Rick Byrd To Be Inducted Into Atlantic Sun Conference Hall of Fame
Former Belmont Coach Rick Byrd will be inducted into the Atlantic Sun Conference Hall of Fame later this year. This is Byrd’s latest addition to his impressive list of inductions, including the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, NAIA Hall of Fame, and the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame. He will also be formally enshrined into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame this November in Kansas City.
Byrd retired from Belmont in 2019 after 25 years of coaching, taking Belmont from NAIA to NCAA Division I and winning 805 career games, ranking him 12th all-time among NCAA DI coaches. He led the Bruins to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and won 17 conference championships. Two players from his program, Ian Clark and Dylan Windler, also went on to reach the NBA.
Byrd will inducted into the Class of 2021 alongside current Miami Marlin pitcher Richard Bleier from Florida Gulf Coast University, former basketball player Ben Smith from Jacksonville State, volleyball star Stefine Pease from Lipscomb, and two-time National League Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom from Stetson University.
Former Vanderbilt Basketball Stars Darius Garland, John Jenkins Invited To USA Olympic Team
Former Vanderbilt basketball stars Darius Garland and John Jenkins have been invited to join the USA Men’s Basketball team for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will serve as head coach of the USA Select Team.
Jenkins, who twice led the SEC in scoring and set an SEC record with 134 made threes as a junior, was drafted with the 23rd overall pick in 2013. A member of Bilbao Basket in Italy, Jenkins played for Team USA during the November 2019 World Cup Qualifying window and the November 2020 AmeriCup Qualifying window, helping Team USA to a combined 4-0 record.
A native of Nashville and the fifth overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Garland recently completed his second season with the team. In 54 games last season, he averaged 17.4 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 45% from the field and 40% from 3-point range.
“This USA Select Team continues the legacy established by previous Select teams of helping prepare our USA National Team for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” says Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director. “With all the uncertainty of how many of our Olympic Team members will be available for the USA training camp because of the overlap with the NBA Finals, we chose a USA Select Team consisting of many of the top young NBA players and four players who not only own international experience, but who played recently for USA Basketball in important national team qualifying competitions. If we need to add players to fill out our roster for any of our exhibition games, we feel this USA Select Team has an excellent variety of skilled players to choose from.”
Additional members of Team USA include Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum and James Harden among several other NBA All-Stars.
MTSU Men’s Basketball Team Announces 2021-22 Conference Schedule
The MTSU men’s basketball team has released its schedule for the 2021-22 season with the new and updated Conference-USA formatting.
The difference from past C-USA schedules prior to the 2020-21 season (which was changed drastically due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols) is the divide into East and West divisions. This new format will see each team play their divisional opponents at home and away while facing only six of their seven cross-divisional foes, three at home and three on the road.
MTSU opens the conference slate on Dec. 30 when it hosts UTSA in Murphy Center before welcoming UTEP to town on New Year’s Day. The 2021-22 Conference USA Championships will be played on March 9-12 and will return for the fifth consecutive year to the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Here is the full conference schedule for the Blue Raiders: