As part of our Ridiculously Early 2013-14 previews, we look at how much production each team is losing, and how challenging it will be to replace.
To few people’s surprise, Belmont’s transition from the Atlantic Sun to the Ohio Valley Conference was about as smooth as could be. Even with a deeper league than we’ve seen in some time, the Bruins were dominant through the regular season, and just good enough to earn the OVC’s auto bid after taking Murray State’s best punch.
But repeating could be more of a challenge. Belmont is not only losing the OVC co-player of the year and an All-American honorable mention, but four other seniors, including more than half of their starting five from this year.
|[Stats Per Game]||Points||Rebounds||Steals|
|Total Production Lost||46.8||15.6||5.0|
When you’re losing more than half your production, and closer to two-thirds of your scoring, it’s going to be a challenge to replace. Both returning starters are capable of double-digit scoring, and JJ Mann could be a 15-point per game threat with his three-point shooting ability. Point guard duties will likely go to rising junior Reese Chamberlain, who was fairly solid off the bench this year.
Rebound could (still) be a concern. Blake Jenkins and Mann both averaged fewer than five rebounds a game, and there’s not a lot of young size on the roster.
And it’s not just Ian Clark‘s scoring the team will miss: Clark was also name the OVC defensive player of the year. The season before, it was Murray State’s Jewuan Long, and the Racers defense wasn’t the same this year.
The Bruins are going to be in good company when it comes to losing a lot of production, as many of the top teams are losing similar amounts of production. It’s going to come down to which teams have those hidden gems waiting in the wings, something the Bruins have found plenty of over the past few years.