The Belmont’s men’s basketball program was ranked No. 7 in the country in the most recent “Top Programs” edition of Basketball Times magazine — beating out programs like Michigan State, North Carolina and Kansas.
The study — conducted by a panel of 10 college basketball journalists — scores Division I teams based on 6 categories and puts out comprehensive rankings every five years.
To be considered, a team needs to have won at least two-thirds of its games over the last 10 years.
Teams are then ranked based on their 10-year winning percentages, number of former players in the NBA, team graduation rates, academic peer assessment scores, head coach rankings and program cleanliness.
Men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd was proud to have the team so highly ranked.
“The article was really flattering,” Byrd said. “It speaks to a measure of awareness and respect our basketball program has gained over the course of many years.”
Murray State was the only other Ohio Valley Conference school who made the list — ranked 32nd overall.
The Bruins were the only team to have a 100 percent graduation rate from the freshmen classes of 2007-2010.
The program also came in fourth for cleanliness, which involves avoiding issues with the NCAA and having upstanding men on the team.
Byrd said he appreciates that factors like NCAA compliance and academics are included in the rankings.
Byrd himself was also ranked 10th for best head coach, with coaches scored “on their ability to win and their suitability to guide young men,” according to the article.