top of page

Behind the Bruin: Destinee Wells is the official bucket getter for Belmont WBB


At the line, junior guard Destinee Wells laser focuses on knocking in a Bruin freethrow. Isaac Wetzel/Belmont Vision

When junior guard Destinee Wells dropped a career-high 35 points against Indiana State University on Feb. 12, it cemented her status as a certified bucket getter.

It was the most points scored by a Belmont Bruin since 2005, but for head coach Bart Brooks, the performance of his floor general wasn’t a surprise.

“It was just another day in the office really,” Brooks said. “It wasn’t different than a lot of the games she’s played. It was just her turn to score.”

Wells has always been a steady point guard.

Even as a freshman, she was a high-volume scorer, earning what was a career-high 32 points against the University of Tennessee at Martin in the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Finals.

This consistency has allowed for the Bruins to reach their full potential, Brooks said.

“She’s been unbelievably stable and solid for us in that position, and I think that’s allowed everyone on the team to do what they do best and be able to focus on their jobs,” Brooks said. “I think she makes everyone better, and that’s the mark of a really good player. I don’t remember more than a handful of games where she hadn’t had her best stuff.”

Wells has been a point guard her entire life, always getting advice from her father on how to pick apart defenses.

“I’m pretty much used to setting the tone for the offense, and I have my dad to thank,” Wells said. “He taught me everything I know about how to read the defense and just make plays.”

Brooks always takes notice of Wells’ ability to control the tempo of the game.

“She’s a really instinctive player, and I think she has a great knack for exploiting whatever the defense gives her,” Brooks said. “She’s got the skills to do whatever she needs to do, whether it’s facilitating and getting other people involved or getting to the rim.”

Unselfishness is an essential part of Wells’ game.

“My favorite part is being aggressive and making my teammates look good. To see us play together, shoot and hit 3s and go crazy on the bench is amazing,” she said.

Wells carries that same mindset into every game.

“My teammates set great screens for me at the top, and I just want to be aggressive every play,” she said. “If the defense steps up to me, I’ll dish it down for a dump-down pass.”

“If they don’t commit to me, then I’ll have a layup. It’s just about trusting what you see in reading the defense and making plays,” Wells added.

This talent makes her the go-to player in the end of close basketball games, Brooks said.

“She’s got a great feel for what her team needs from her and when she needs to be more aggressive and assertive to score,” Brooks said. “She has the ability to take over a game. Down the stretch of close games, the ball is going to be in her hands, and she’s going to make the right play.”

Brooks’ faith in Wells has paid off as she’s averaging a team-best 17.1 points per game and 4.8 assists.

Wells has played a role in junior forward Madison Bartley averaging a career-best 14.1 points, Brooks said.

“Destinee’s leadership has shown itself in Madison Bartley having huge games,” Brooks said.


“That’s often because of Destinee’s vision and understanding of what the defense has tried to take away, and Madison’s been able to exploit that. They complement each other beautifully.”

Brooks may have known of her talent for a long time, but the college basketball world is slowly starting to take notice of Wells’ talent. She was named the 2022-23 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year and found herself on a handful of notable award watch lists including the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List for the nation’s best point guard.

For Wells, the achievements are a culmination of all her blood, sweat and tears.

“It feels great to finally be recognized and see that my hard work is paying off,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard for this my whole life, and it makes me proud of myself.”

Aside from all the individual recognition, Wells has her eyes set on a bigger goal.

She wants to secure a Missouri Valley Conference Championship and she believes the Bruins can win it.

Belmont had its back against the wall when it started off the season slowly, facing a variety of Power 5 teams.

But now the tide has turned, and the Bruins are on a 10-game winning streak, tied for first place in the conference.

“Most teams would have given up by now. But we know how good we are,” Wells said. “We know when we’re at our best and playing aggressively and together, we can compete with anybody in this conference."

“We’re ready to win.”


This article was written by Ty Wellemeyer

176 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page