NOTEBOOK: Cancun success leads to no-conference list for men’s basketball


MURFREESBORO, Tennessee – The Blue Raider men’s basketball team had a great time in Cancun over the holiday week, returning to the United States with two wins as Mayan Division champions in the Cancun Challenge after destroying Mercer, 82 -58, during the championship match on Tuesday.

Middle Tennessee probably had their best offensive performance against an opponent DI so far this season against the Bears, shooting 55.4% from the field and 39.1% from three. Meanwhile, the full press defense that this year’s team made their identities at the start of the season frustrated Mercer, who only shot 31.5% from the floor and 23.1% beyond. of the arc.

Six different Blue Raiders finished the match in double digits, the first to occur since February 18, 2017 in Marshall. The Maya Division victory was also the program’s first regular season tournament victory since the 2016 Challenge at Music City.

“Watching [this team], it’s not just a bunch of guys wearing the same jersey, ”McDevitt said. “They tell each other the right things. They approach each day in the right way. They really like being together. “

After a dominant victory over NAIA Bryan College this weekend, the Blue Raiders are 6-1 and prepare for two games against the Ohio Valley Conference Schools. MT is set to play its first game of the season against UT Martin at home on Wednesday, before hitting the road for a tough test against Murray State, eternal NCAA tournament contender, on Saturday.

Women’s basketball sets defensive records at the start of the season

Lady Raider’s basketball is also off to a good start in 2021, dividing their games at the Daytona Beach Invitational this weekend, topped with a 62-52 victory over Illinois on Saturday.

Courtney whitson won his fourth career double-double against the Illini, scoring 17 points and picking up 10 rebounds in the victory.

Most impressive of this year’s squad, however, has been the Lady Raiders’ defense. Illinois were the first team they’ve faced all season to score more than 50 points in regulation. MT kept its first four opponents under 50 points, while Marquette only reached that milestone in overtime when the Lady Raiders lost 59-55 on Friday.

The Lady Raiders set a program record after their 65-47 win at Tennessee Tech last Monday before the trip to Florida, holding four consecutive opponents under 50 points for the first time in program history.

Middle Tennessee starts the week in 20th place in the nation’s defensive scorers, keeping their opponents at 49.8 points per game.

“These young women are on the defense and they take great pride in their team’s defense. It’s fun to watch,” said Lady Raider head coach. Rick insell said after the team’s victory over Tennessee Tech. “I’m really happy with our execution on the defensive end, but what is encouraging is that we can still improve. We are still not where we need to be by far.”

Volleyball wins playoff bid at NIVC

For the first time since 2011, Middle Tennessee Volleyball will make a playoff appearance after accepting an offer for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Sunday following the selection for the NCAA tournament.

MT will face former Sun Belt Rival Troy in the first round in Troy, battling the Trojans at 6:30 p.m. PT on Friday, December 3. The winner of this match will face the winner of UNC Greensboro and North Florida to advance to the quarterfinals of the 31-team field.

The Blue Raiders come in with a general offer for their very first appearance in the NIVC. Initially managed from 1989 to 1995, the NIVC was recently relaunched by Triple Crown Sports. After a hiatus in the 2020-21 school year, this is the fourth edition of the NIVC, with previous champions including Georgia Tech (2019), Iowa State (2018) and Ole Miss (2017).

“With the explosive growth of volleyball and the way the maturing club scene has enabled dozens of DI programs to raise the bar for excellence in recruiting, it makes sense to add to the playoff options. in the varsity game, ”said Jared Rudiger, director of the NIVC. said in the statement announcing the field this year. “Teams will be looking for a NIVC title as a reward for experienced teams, or to provide a real learning experience for young players regarding the demands of the playoffs.”

On the cutting room floor… The touch of the woods Zaylin

Sometimes when you’re writing post-game stories in particular, you get a lot of good quotes in interviews that aren’t part of your final story. In the excitement of Middle Tennessee Football’s victory at FAU this weekend and the guest team’s quick turnaround at the Bahamas Bowl, I didn’t have a chance to share how the biggest game in the ‘Heavy’ D story unfolded.

So now, loyal readers of the Blue Raider Diary: The Landing of Zaylin Wood, from the perspective of Mike DiLiello and Wood himself.

“He kind of had a wheel route to the back corner,” said DiLiello. “As I was getting hit, there was no one above him. It really wasn’t designed to go towards him, it was designed to go to Ferg in the apartment. But (Ferg) s ‘kinda stuck, I was hit, so I gave the big guy a chance. “

“In practice we worked on it. I never thought I was going to get the ball back,” said Wood. “It was really designed for Ferg. But Mike had had some pressure on him, so he just threw it. I was stuck on the ball. I didn’t even care who was around me, my people. eyes were just locked on the ball, like it was a million bucks happening to me. “

The ball, of course, was perfectly placed where Wood could get it. And that gave MT the lead in earnest in Boca Raton.

“Maybe he should start playing a little tight for us,” DiLiello retorted. “I don’t know.”

Bahamas Bowl Tickets On Sale Now

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders go bowling and for the third time in their last five bowl trips, it will have a tropical feel.

Middle Tennessee was officially invited Sunday to Rick stockstillBlue Raiders will represent Conference USA at the Bahamas Bowl on December 17, 2021. It will be the ninth bowl game of the FBS (IA) era for Middle Tennessee and the 13th bowl game in school history.

The MAC game against Toledo kicks off at 11:00 am CT from the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. The game will air nationally on ESPN and air on Bowl Season Radio. The two teams will compete for the Prime Minister’s Trophy, awarded to the winner of the competition.

Fans can purchase tickets through the Middle Tennessee box office by calling 615-898-5261 or by logging into (coming soon) Tickets cost $ 50 each and with each purchased you’ll receive a free 2021 Bahamas Bowl Bound shirt. The ticket office is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Blue Raiders will return to practice on December 4 and leave for the bowl game on December 13.


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