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Bellarmine’s go to to WVU simply one other cease on the Knight’s gauntlet in nonconference play

MORGANTOWN — Earlier than the headlines rolled this faculty soccer season concerning the potential injustice finished to James Madison, there was Bellarmine College.

The Knights — just a little faculty with an enrollment beneath 4,000 from Louisville, Ky. — is aware of all concerning the NCAA’s transition rule.

The rule states that any faculty transferring as much as Division I have to endure a four-year reclassification course of earlier than being eligible for bowl video games, NCAA tournaments and even the NIT.

James Madison started this season 10-0 earlier than dropping its first sport final week, however because the Dukes are nonetheless of their transition interval, they might not play in a bowl sport this season though they’re ranked within the High 25.

Bellarmine, coached by Scott Davenport, gained the Atlantic Solar event in 2022, however was denied the automated bid to the NCAAs, and gained’t be eligible for the postseason till 2025.

It’s only a observe, because the Knights (2-4) journey to the Coliseum at 5 p.m. Sunday to play West Virginia (2-3).


Nevertheless it’s removed from telling the whole story of how Davenport has constructed his nonconference schedules because the Knights joined the Atlantic Solar in 2020.

“They going to be as battle-tested as they will presumably be within the nonconference,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned of the Knights. “After they get to their convention, they’ll perceive who they’re and what they must do to compete.”

That could be an understatement of types, as a result of Davenport has gone out of his approach to duck nobody to assist get Bellarmine on the map.

Two years in the past, the Knights took on Purdue, Gonzaga, UCLA and WVU on its approach to a 20-13 file and the Atlantic Solar event championship.

Final season, Davenport scheduled highway video games towards Louisville, Clemson, Duke, UCLA and Kentucky.

Why schedule such a gauntlet? Davenport mentioned it’s his approach of constructing a players-first program.

“Solely 4 faculties within the historical past of faculty basketball have performed in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Pauley Pavilion and Rupp Area,” Davenport mentioned final season after conducting his personal analysis on the topic. “It’s North Carolina, Notre Dame, St. John’s and Louisville. Solely 4.

“The closest anybody ever did it was over two seasons, 333 days, from December to the next November. We’re going to try this in 9 days. For those who had been a Bellarmine participant, would that thrill you? Sure. So on this program it’s placing our gamers first. It doesn’t matter what it takes. It’s not simply speak.”

Already this season, two of Bellarmine’s 4 losses have come towards the College of Washington and Kansas State.

Louisville can be on the schedule once more, as are different highway video games towards Utah and BYU.

“What higher atmosphere to study?” Davenport continued. “If you speak about these gamers enjoying in Cameron and enjoying on the Yum! Heart (Louisville) and enjoying at Pauley and enjoying at Rupp Area, they’re part of one thing that’s larger than them, to convey issues out of them they might not even know exists. That’s what educating’s all about.”

WVU goes by means of its personal studying course of, attempting to finish a two-game dropping streak that got here towards SMU and No. 24 Virginia on the Fort Myers (Fla.) Tip-Off.

Eilert mentioned the Mountaineers are trying to find extra self-discipline from its gamers, who’re nonetheless rising into new roles.

That features making changes to enjoying extra minutes. The Mountaineers can have simply an eight-man roster eligible immediately.

“I hope our guys perceive, and we’ve talked about it, the one man on our roster who has performed huge minutes earlier than is Jesse Edwards,” Eilert mentioned. “Wanting again now, Seth (Wilson) has performed huge minutes for 5 video games. Kobe (Johnson) has, Josiah (Harris) has.

“Hopefully we get ourselves extra accustomed to enjoying these huge minutes to the place we really feel like we’re extra snug. That is the hand we’re dealt, so we’ve bought to determine it out.”


WHEN: 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: WVU Coliseum
TV: ESPN+ (On-line subscription wanted)