Saturday, April 5, 2014

Denzel Ingram transferring from Charlotte 49ers

Sophomore guard Denzel Ingram is leaving the Charlotte 49ers basketball program and will transfer, the school announced Saturday.

Ingram, who started 10 games last season, averaged 8.1 points and was third in Conference USA in 3-point shooting percentage (44.1 percent).

Ingram would have had to find time in a crowded 49ers backcourt next season, with starting point guard Pierria Henry returning along with shooting guards Terrence Williams, Shawn Lester and Ivan Benkovic. Florida transfer Braxton Ogbueze is a likely starter, and he will be joined by freshmen guards Keyshawn Woods and Torin Dorn, both of whom figure to push for playing time.

Ingram, an all-state player at Chapel Hill High, played in all 28 games last season and scored a career-high 20 points against Georgia Tech.

“We would like to thank Denzel for all his efforts and contributions to our program,” coach Alan Major said. “We want to wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Charlotte 49ers back with WFNZ

The Charlotte 49ers have signed a three-year deal to return to Charlotte's WFNZ (610-AM) to broadcast men's basketball and football games.

The deal also includes pre-game and coaches shows throughout both seasons, as well as a daily "49ers Minute" during the morning drive. Some baseball and women's basketball games will also be included. If there is a conflict with WFNZ's broadcast of Charlotte Hornets' NBA games, 49ers games will move to sister station WBCN (1660-AM).

The deal was brokered by IMG College, the 49ers' media rights holder. 49ers basketball games were broadcast on WFNZ from 1994 through 2011, when they switched to  WZGV (730-AM). That three-year contract is expiring this spring, with WZGV switching to Appalachian State football and basketball.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rose: February comments sufficient

Alan Major

Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose has declined an interview request with the Observer to talk about the 49ers’ recently concluded men’s basketball season.

A school spokesman said Rose has nothing further to say about the season beyond the comments she made to Observer columnist Tom Sorensen in February after a 59-56 loss to Marshall, the third defeat in what would become a six-game losing streak.

Here’s the portion of Sorensen’s column in which Rose was quoted:

“Rose doesn’t regret (coach Alan Major’s contract) extension. She says Major and his assistants are recruiting ‘the right kind of kids.’ She says the team has lost its focus; it’s not the team it was early this season. But she still believes in the players and the coaches.

“You haven’t lost faith in Major?

“ ‘No,’ Rose says after the game. ‘No. Absolutely not.’ ”

The 49ers, who had nonconference victories against Michigan and Kansas State, finished the season winning three of four games, bowing out of the Conference USA tournament’s quarterfinals. 

The 49ers were 17-14, their second consecutive winning season under Major, who has a four-year record of 61-63 at Charlotte.

Major received a three-year contract extension in 2013, keeping him at the school through 2017-18 at an annual salary of $465,000.

Attendance at Halton Arena averaged 5,111 this season, lowest in the building’s 18-year history. Charlotte's last NCAA tournament appearance was in 2005.

The 49ers had just one senior on this season’s team (guard Ben Cherry) and have a strong recruiting class (guards Keyshawn Woods and Torin Dorn) and talented transfers in guard Braxton Ogbueze and forward Bernard Sullivan coming in for the 2014-15 season.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Charlotte 49ers face old A-10 foe in WNIT

The Charlotte 49ers will face St. Bonaventure on Friday in a first-round Women's National Invitational Tournament. It is the 12th consecutive season Charlotte has made the postseason, 10 of them in the WNIT.

The 49ers (15-15) lost in the second round of the Conference USA tournament to Louisiana Tech last week. The Bonnies (23-10) fell to Fordham 73-34 in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Observations from C-USA tournament

EL PASO, Texas -- Observations from the Conference USA tournament, in which the ninth-seed Charlotte 49ers men advanced Wednesday (beating No. 8 UAB 80-70), but the No. 6 women's team was eliminated (losing to No. 14 Louisiana Tech 64-55):

-- Men's coach Alan Major tried to spread out the minutes among the rotation (with nobody playing more than 29 minutes) to keep the legs as fresh as possible for Thursday's quarterfinal against top-seed Louisiana Tech (which had a double bye). Point guard Pierria Henry played just 25 minutes, nine fewer than his average. Although Henry was in foul trouble in the second half, he was rested a few times in the first half, when he played just nine minutes. Marcus Bryan (23 minutes) and Ben Cherry (27) played more than they usually do. They both responded, with Bryan scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, and Cherry scoring 10 on 2-of-6 3-point shooting and going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.

-- UAB played without two starters, Rod Rucker and C.J. Washington. Washington has an injured shoulder, but Blazers coach Jerod Haase said that although Rucker had recovered from an undisclosed injury, he didn't play because of a team rule forbidding players to play if they don't practice the day before a game.

-- Scouting Louisiana Tech: Bulldogs guard Kenneth "Speedy" Smith averages 7.9 assists (second nationally). He needs three more assists to set C-USA's single-season record ... Charlotte's Henry is second in the league in assists (5.9) and steals (2.2), behind Smith in both categories ... Sophomore guard Alex Hamilton leads Louisiana Tech in scoring (14.5) .. The game might come down to rebounding -- the Bulldogs are second in the league (39.5) and Charlotte is third (38.3) ... The 49ers held UAB, the league's top rebounding team, to 37.

-- Charlotte's women had en epic 3-point shooting meltdown, missing all 18 of their attempts over the Lady Techsters' zone defense. Knowing they'd be facing a zone, coach Cara Consuegra said the 49ers worked on their shooting for three consecutive days entering the tournament. But to have sharpshooters like Hillary Sigmon, Lefty Webster and Ciara Gregory miss all their 3-pointers wasn't something anybody expected.

-- Charlotte is 15-15 and has an outside shot at landing a Women's NIT bid, which would mean a 12th consecutive postseason appearance.

-- The biggest story of the tournament has come from the women's side, where FIU senior guard Jerica Coley's 42 points in an 87-75 victory against East Carolina moved her from ninth place and into fifth place on the NCAA's all-time scoring list. These are the four legendary players she passed in one game: Southern Cal's Cheryl Miller, Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw, UConn's Maya Moore and Delaware's Elena Delle Donne. Coley has 3,054 career points and trails Drake's Lorri Bauman (3,115) for fourth.

-- UTEP's Haskins Center and Memorial Gym are located on Glory Road, named after the movie of the same name about the Miners' 1966 national championship. Then called Texas Western, the Miners were the first team with an all-black starting lineup to win a national title, beating Kentucky for the championship. The Miners played in Memorial Gym back then, with the larger Haskins Arena being constructed later and named for coach Don Haskins.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3 Charlotte 49ers football players suspended

Three Charlotte 49ers football players -- running back Alan Barnwell, linebacker Terry Caldwell and defensive back Kariym Gent -- have been suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules, coach Brad Lambert told the Observer on Wednesday.

The suspension of Barnwell, a sophomore from Burlington who was the team's second-leading rusher last season (636 yards), was undoubtedly related to his arrest in the offseason for possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a revoked license.

Caldwell, a sophomore from Wilmington, had 55 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries last season. Gent, a sophomore from Grifton, played mostly on special teams.

Monday, March 10, 2014

49ers' Henry makes all-C-USA 3rd team

Charlotte 49ers junior point guard Pierria Henry has been named to the all-Conference USA third team. Henry leads the 49ers in scoring at 12.6 points per game and is second in the league in assists (6.0) and steals (2.1).
Pablo Bertone, Florida Atlantic, Sr., 6-2, 198, G, Arroyito, Argentina
Chad Frazier, UAB, Jr., 6-4, 190, G, Charlotte, N.C.
Shawn Jones, Middle Tennessee, Sr., 6-8, 236, F, Hialeah, Fla.
Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, Louisiana Tech, Jr., G, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Neil Watson, Southern Miss, Sr., 5-11, 170, G, Kansas City, Kan.
Vince Hunter, UTEP, Fr., 6-8, 200, F, Detroit, Mich.
Tymell Murphy, FIU, Sr., 6-5, 215, F, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Akeem Richmond, East Carolina, Sr., 6-0, 180, Sanford, N.C.
Julian Washburn, UTEP, Jr., 6-8, 210, F, Duncanville, Texas
James Woodard, Tulsa, So., 6-3, 183, G, Arcadia, Okla.
John Bohannon, UTEP, Sr., 6-11, 210, C, Lancaster, Texas
Kareem Canty, Marshall, Fr., 6-1, 180, G, Harlem, N.Y.
Michael Craig, Southern Miss, Sr., 6-5, 230, F, Phoenix, Ariz.
Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech, So., G, Chipley, Fla.
PierriĆ” Henry, Charlotte, Jr., 6-4, 188, G, Charleston, W.Va.