Men’s Basketball 12th in the Nation

Tom Kelsey is leading our Men’s Basketball team to one of most successful seasons ever……and I’m sure Charlie Rugg and the players of that era are their biggest fans.

Below is the story from the Clarion Ledger today.

We have a huge game on Saturday night this week at Tougaloo 7:00 pm.¬† Our women’s team shouldn’t be overlooked for they are also having a strong season at 12-6, and they also play that evening¬† at 5:00.¬† Maybe we can have lots of green and gold in the stands Saturday night.

Blazers boast best bunch in decades

Mike Christensen
mchristensen@clarionledger.com

There’s a buzz around Belhaven basketball that hasn’t been felt in a long time.

Tom Kelsey’s Blazers moved up to No. 12 in the NAIA poll released on Monday and then tightened their grip on first place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference standings that night. BU improved to 17-2 and 7-0 in the league by beating Spring Hill 77-63 at Rugg Arena.

The program, which won 18 games last year, hasn’t had a 20-win season since 1977-78 in the heyday of former coach Charlie Rugg.

“As far as we know, it’s one of the best starts ever here; we just hope we can sustain it,” said Kelsey, a former Alabama assistant in his fifth year at BU. “You don’t have time to sit back and enjoy it as a coach. … You’re always thinking about the next game and finding ways to get better.”

These Blazers are deep, bolstered by an influx of junior college transfers.

“When you’ve got good assistant coaches and good players, that makes for a good team,” Kelsey said. “We had six or seven back from last year and we had a good recruiting class coming in, so we were confident this would be a good year. We’re athletic, we’re quick, we’re deep … we’ve continued to get better.”

The leading man is Nathaniel Roche’, a 6-foot-8 junior from New Orleans who averages 12.9 points and 7.9 boards. But three others, including East Mississippi CC transfer Woodie Howard, average between 11.0 and 11.6 ppg.

The Blazers will be tested over the coming days. Starting Thursday, they’ll play three GCAC road games in an eight-day stretch, including visits to Tougaloo on Saturday and LSU-Shreveport on Feb. 4.

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