Monday marked the beginning of the first recruiting period of the 2013-14 NCAA calendar, meaning that college basketball coaches are allowed to travel the country to evaluate recruiting targets until November 10th. With the travel requirements (not to mention costs for rental cars and gas), saving a few dollars where you can is something most coaches look to do.
But carpooling with a rival coach on the way to checking out a player you’re both recruiting? That was the case for new Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander, who shared a ride with Belmont head coach Rick Byrd on Wednesday.
Even with the intense nature of the “Battle of the Boulevard,” the two coaches share a relationship you’ll be hard-pressed to find in any other rivalry in college basketball. Alexander, previously the head coach at Stetson, was both a player and an assistant coach under Byrd at Belmont so it makes sense that these two would share a ride.
That probably makes for some good conversation, and maybe some good-natured ribbing between the two as well.
Despite now being members of different conferences (Lipscomb remains in the Atlantic Sun while Belmont is entering its second season in the OVC) the rivals who are separated by just 2.7 miles continue to play twice a season. Lipscomb will host the first meeting of the 2013-14 season on November 8, with the return match being played on November 20 at Belmont’s Curb Events Center.
Lipscomb leads the all-time series 73-59 but the Bisons have lost the last three meetings, with Belmont winning both games last season (89-60 at Lipscomb and 100-66 at Belmont).