Last week, Matt Vautour, the beat writer who covers Massachusetts for The Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Mass., decided to conduct his own unofficial updated Atlantic 10 media poll of the conference's men's basketball teams.
Because of how many teams have had surprising starts, Vautour wanted to know how beat writers of other A-10 schools would rank the conference teams after seeing most of the nonconference schedule completed.
Vautour released the results Sunday and there were several interesting changes. Xavier and Rhode Island both remained at the top, but four schools originally ranked sixth through 11th – Dayton, UMass, Charlotte and Duquense – made dramatic jumps. Charlotte (10th in the preseason), Duquesne (11th in the preseason) and UMass (eighth in the preseason) all improved four spots moving to sixth, seventh and fourth, respectively. Dayton moved from sixth (preseason) to third (updated), and this poll was mostly completed before the Flyers' upset of No. 6 Pittsburgh.
Fordham, which returned all five starters this season, made the biggest movement down. The Rams started the year ranked fourth in the preseason and have moved to ninth.
Team: preseason, updated ranking
Xavier: 1, 1
Rhode Island: 2, 2
Dayton: 6, 3
UMass: 8, 4
Saint Joseph's: 3, 5
Charlotte: 10, 6
Duquesne: 11, 7
Saint Louis: 5, 8
Fordham: 4, 9
Temple: 9, 10
George Washington: 7, 11
Richmond: 12, 12
St. Bonaventure: 14, 13
La Salle: 13, 14
-- Jim Utter
Monday, December 31, 2007
Last week, Matt Vautour, the beat writer who covers Massachusetts for The Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Mass., decided to conduct his own unofficial updated Atlantic 10 media poll of the conference's men's basketball teams.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Some odds and ends:
- The Charlotte 49ers baseball team will begin the 2008 season among other teams receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball poll, which was released this week. Last season, Charlotte was ranked in five different polls, finishing 19th in both the Ping! Baseball poll and the Perfect Game CrossChecker poll. The 49ers finished tied for 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and were 29th in the final Collegiate Baseball poll of the season. The 49ers reached the finals of the Columbia Regional in the NCAA tournament this past season, winning a pair of games over N.C. State -- Charlotte's first postseason wins in program history. The 49ers were eventually eliminated by regional champion South Carolina.
- Three members of Charlotte's Atlantic 10 champion women's soccer team earned All-Southeast region honors from Soccer Buzz. Senior midfielder Lindsey Ozimek, the A-10's midfielder of the year, earned second team All-Southeast Region honors. Freshmen Whitney Bryant and Sam Huecker earned Southeast Region all-freshman honors. Ozimek, a 2004 Soccer Buzz Freshmen All-American, has earned Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region honors in each of her four seasons at Charlotte.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Julius Powell, a 6-foot-8 forward from Newton-Conover, N.C., has played two seasons at Clemson and is transferring at the start of the spring semester. Powell made a recruiting visit Saturday and attended the 49ers’ 83-51 win against Gardner-Webb.
Q: What brings you to Halton Arena?
Powell: I wanted to come check out the 49ers. I am considering coming here next semester. I wanted to check out one of their ballgames.
Q: What was your main reason for looking to moving to another school?
Powell: Things just didn’t work out the way I wanted them to at Clemson. Coach (Oliver Purnell) and I sat down to talk about it. I wanted to redshirt because of some problems with my left knee. After we talked about it, it made more sense for me and the Clemson program to transfer, if that was what I wanted to do. I think that’s the best decision for me and for them. They have some big guys coming in next year and it would be a fresh start for me.
Q: How is your injury situation?
Powell: I had two surgeries on my left knee. I got a second opinion and basically I came back too soon after surgery and needed more rehab time.
Q: What do you like about Charlotte?
Powell: I’d be very close to my family and friends. Basketball is the biggest sport here. Like at Clemson, it’s really a football school. Charlotte has a great basketball environment here and I would really look forward to that.
Q: Do you feel you would fit into Charlotte’s style of play?
Powell: Oh, yes. Big guys have a lot more freedom, a lot of freedom to create your shot. I really like the up-and-down game.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
An update on the Atlantic 10 and the RPI:
The Atlantic 10 is ranked seventh out of 31 conferences through games of Dec. 19 by collegerpi.com. The A-10 is the only league to have four teams ranked in the top 20 overall as Xavier comes in at No. 10, followed by Massachusetts (15th), Rhode Island (16th) and Dayton (19th).
In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 86-53 (.619) in non-conference action this season which, if maintained, would be the fourth-highest winning percentage since the formation of the league in 1976-77 and highest since the 1993-94 campaign (69-35 - .663).
A-10 teams were 104-85 (.550) in non-conference matchups last season.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
-- Charlotte freshman guard Javarris Barnett, still on a growth spurt and approaching 6-foot-7, has started an extensive workout regiment set up by the 49ers’ strength and conditioning coach, Preston Greene, with an emphasis on improving his upper body strength. Barnett is likely to redshirt this season barring any unforeseen circumstances.
-- There were no problems during Tuesday night’s game, but Oklahoma and the Tulsa area are still feeling the effects of last week’s severe ice storm. Several thousand Tulsa residents remained without power Tuesday and countless tree limbs still litter city streets.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers (6-3) play Tulsa at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. Jim Utter takes a quick look at the Golden Hurricane (4-4), who is coming off a 90-61 victory Saturday over Texas-Pan American:
WHAT'S GONE RIGHT
Tulsa has played well at home, with a perfect record (3-0) at the Reynolds Center. The Golden Hurricane hasn't played exactly tough competition, though, as the wins have come over the likes of Arkansas State, Central Arkansas and Texas-Pan American. The Golden Hurricane utilize a three-guard offense much of the time, led by sophomore Ben Uzoh, who leads the team averaging nearly 16 points per game.
WHAT'S GONE WRONG
The Golden Hurricane have not played well away from home, losing handily to Hampton, cross-town rival Oral Roberts, Arkansas-Little Rock and Oklahoma. Tulsa has had trouble generating consistent offense in the face of strong defensive pressure. The lack of a strong nonconference schedule at home makes it difficult to judge Tulsa's ability.
Charlotte has had difficulty rebounding, particularly in last Saturday's loss at Hofstra. Tulsa has a 7-footer, so the 49ers will need to continue to focus in that area. Charlotte should be one of the best defensive teams Tulsa has faced so far this season. How well Charlotte responds to its loss, will likely determine the flow of this game.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers (6-2) play Hofstra at 4 p.m. Saturday (MASN) at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, N.Y. Jim Utter takes a quick look at the Pride (1-5), who are coming off a 77-74 home loss to Stony Brook on Wednesday:
WHAT'S GONE RIGHT
Hofstra features scoring wonder Antoine Agudio, who is tied with Niagara's Charron Fisher as the nation's leading scorer. Both average 27.0 points per game. The Pride obviously relies on Agudio a lot and it shows as he leads the country in minutes played (39.8 per game). Freshman guard Charles Jenkins has provided a spark, scoring in double figures in five straight games.
WHAT'S GONE WRONG
Too many times this season, Hofstra has given up big leads to its opponents early in the game and mounted spirited comebacks, only to fall short each time. Agudio may have the ability to shoot the Pride back in games, but you cannot do that successfully on a regular basis after giving up 20-plus point leads. Hofstra has lost four consecutive games by a combined 12 points.
The Pride can put points on the board, but Charlotte is also very capable of explosive runs on offense, particularly from senior guard Leemire Goldwire, who has scored a career-high 34 and 24 points, respectively, in each of his past two games. If the 49ers' defense can match anything like that in their win over Southern Illinois last Saturday, Hofstra could be looking at five straight losses.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Charlotte 49ers senior shooting guard Leemire Goldwire is raking up kudos from across the country for his play last week.
Goldwire, who scored a career-high 34 points in a victory against Davidson and 24 in a win against Southern Illinois, shared player of the week honors in the Atlantic 10 Conference with Xavier’s Drew Lavender when the league announced its weekly awards Sunday night.
But that wasn’t all.
On Monday, ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale in his "Dickie V" weekly awards column for ESPN.com gave player of the week honors to Goldwire.
Vitale also tapped the 49ers as his team of the week, writing, "Very quietly, Bobby Lutz has done a super job. It’s a nice week when you can beat Davidson and Southern Illinois, two teams that are not cupcakes by any stretch of the imagination."
Finally, late Monday, Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com named Goldwire his player of the week. He also named Charlotte his runner-up for team of the week, which he gave to fellow A-10 member Rhode Island.
A short timeout from basketball season for a quick update on the Charlotte 49ers’ baseball team.
Over the weekend, two Charlotte players were named to the 2008 Wallace Watch list, one of several player of the year awards given to college baseball’s best player. Those named were outfielder Brad McElroy and catcher/outfielder Chris Taylor.
Last season, McElroy became the sixth 49er to bat .400 or better in a season (.401) and paced Charlotte with 11 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .661 slugging percentage. He had nearly a third of the team’s hit by pitch at-bats with 15. McElroy, a senior from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, led the Atlantic 10 in hits (97), runs scored (65), RBIs (68) and doubles (26).
Taylor, a senior from Mount Pleasant, N.C., finished fourth on the team with a .340 average, while learning the outfield position. He split time as the designated hitter and a right fielder, belting 25 doubles, second only to McElroy in the Atlantic 10. For the season, he had nine home runs, 65 runs driven in and 25 doubles.
Charlotte set a school record with 49 wins last season, including a pair of victories in the NCAA Columbia Regional. Charlotte opens the 2008 season at 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at Hayes Stadium when it hosts Manhattan.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This Charlotte team does not like to do things the easy way.
Free throws? Can't hit them consistently.
Shots within 3-feet of the the basket? Not hardly.
But the difficult plays? The big-money plays which can turn the tide of the game? Charlotte is just about perfect on those.
The 49ers needed every one to down rival Davidson 75-68 at Halton Arena on Wednesday night. And they came from everywhere.
Their were clutch 3-pointers from Leemire Goldwire, five coming in a five-minute span late in the second half.
When Stephen Curry scored eight straight points late in the game for Davidson, including back-to-back 3-pointers, freshman An'Juan Wilderness answered with a traditional 3-point play for Charlotte.
After Davidson missed on the next possession, Charlie Coley, who started the game missing his first five shots, hit a highlight reel one-handed slam in transition to push the Charlotte lead to three.
When consecutive 3-pointers from Goldwire gave Charlotte a four-point lead with under three minutes remaining, Coley again came up big, this time nailing a reverse layup. To add to the excitement, he was fouled and made his free throw.
Charlotte may not produce basketball this season that will be used in a skills clinic. But it is producing wins. And the bottom line is a 5-2 Charlotte team that does it the hard way is far better than a 49ers team that finds easy ways to lose.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Fresh off a victory over Wake Forest, the Charlotte 49ers may not have to wait too long for a rematch.
The 49ers had already accepted an invitation to play in the eight-team Anaheim Classic during the Thanksgiving weekend next season and on Monday they found out who else is joining them.
As it turns out, it may be one of the strongest early-season tournaments next season. In addition to Charlotte, the Anaheim Classic will feature Wake Forest, Arkansas, Providence, Arizona State, UTEP, Cal State Fullerton and Baylor.
Baylor was in this season's Paradise Jam tournament along with Charlotte, but the two teams never met. In the teams' only other meeting, Baylor won 94-93 in 1992. The 49ers have never played Arkansas, Providence or Cal State Fullerton.
Charlotte lost its only meeting with Arizona State, 91-78, in 2000. The 49ers are 2-0 against UTEP, winning 86-58 in the team's most recent meeting in 2001.
The bracket for the tournament has not been set. Each team will play three games in four days.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
"Enjoy the moment."
That was Charlotte 49ers men's basketball coach Bobby Lutz's words of advice Friday to his team as they completed their first practice since Thursday night's 63-59 victory against previously unbeaten Wake Forest at Bobcats Arena.
Lutz and his staff wasted no time in beginning preparation for the 49ers' next opponent, Davidson, which Charlotte plays Wednesday at Halton Arena. The team worked extensively on Friday on ways to defend Davidson guards Stephen Curry and Jason Richards.
Lutz gave his team Saturday off and planned to return to practice on Sunday. Senior guard Leemire Goldwire, who struggled in Charlotte's win Thursday, said he and others planned to watch Davidson's game Saturday against Duke on TV.
"The win over Wake was great for us and it was a big momentum builder for us. I know our fans are going to be excited going into Wednesday," Goldwire said. "We'll watch the (Davidson) game on TV and look at some of the things they do.
"I think we already have a good feel for it, but they're playing against Duke, and they might put in a new wrinkle or two."
Asked about his tough night against Wake Forest, Goldwire offered this explanation: "I let them get in my head, not just talking, but they were bumping me for no reason and hitting me for no reason and refs weren't calling it.
"I was frustrated with myself. I basically went into the locker room at halftime and cussed myself out. I apologized to my team because I was better than that. I'm a senior and I'm supposed to lead by example and that wasn't leading by example."
- Jim Utter
Friday, November 30, 2007
There's been a lot of talk about point guard Michael Gerrity, a transfer from Pepperdine who will join the 49ers next month at the conclusion of the fall semester.
By all accounts, Gerrity should make an immediate impact on the team and his arrival is much anticipated.
But Thursday night, long after Charlotte had handed Wake Forest its first loss of the season in a 63-59 victory at Bobcats Arena, the point guard most talked about was the one already on the court for the 49ers - DiJuan Harris (pictured at right).
Listen to the compliment from Wake coach Dino Gaudio: "The other young man who had a very good day and deserves a lot of credit for Charlotte's win is (DiJuan) Harris. Three of the games they've played I don't think he's attempted a shot. He's only averaging two points a game and he makes four of six and gets 10 points against us. Give that young kid credit."
And listen to Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz talk about Harris' play: "DiJuan was terrific. Defensively, he was really special. I think he did a great job of not allowing the easy baskets that Wake normally gets. Ish (Smith) is a terrific player and he still got fives assists, but he can easily get 10 or 12."
Harris, a sophomore who played one year at junior college, played a season-high 33 minutes, scored 10 points, had three rebounds, five assists, four steals and committed just two turnovers.
"It's about opportunity. The way the game flows, that's how I play," Harris said. "I give the team what they need me to do. If they need me to score, I score. I take advantage of opportunities the defense gives me.
"Tonight, (Wake Forest) sagged off a lot and I took advantage of it and knocked down some key shots when they were needed."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Reserve point guard Jerrell Lewis announced on Monday he had left the Charlotte 49ers' men's basketball team and plans to transfer to another school at the conclusion of the fall semester next month. I caught up with Lewis on Monday afternoon by phone to ask him a few questions about his decision to leave Charlotte.
Q: Jerrell, how did you come to this decision?
Lewis: I've talked a lot with my family and spent some time going over my situation and decided it was best at this point to look to play somewhere else. I think Charlotte is a great program and I think it will have tremendous success, but for me, I need to be somewhere where I feel more comfortable and someplace that is a better fit for me. This is not about playing time or anything like that. It's just about a better fit for me.
Q: You haven't gotten a lot of game experience here. Do you regret your decision to come to Charlotte?
Lewis: Not at all. I've learned a lot. I'm a much better person and a better player than when I first came here. This is just the right thing for me to do. I don't leave bitter or angry.
Q: Have you made a decision on where you would like to end up?
Lewis: I don't have any one particular school narrowed down. I've got nothing set. I would like to be closer to home (Brooklyn, N.Y.). I spent four years in a prep school in New Hampshire and the past three years here in Charlotte. I haven't been around home much. The main thing, though, is to find a place that will be a good fit for me and my style of play.
Q: What prompted you to make the decision now?
Lewis: I've had discussions with my family for a while now. I did not want my situation to be a distraction to the team, so I tried to time it when it would not be. I didn't want guys on the team sitting around saying things like, "What's going on with Jerrell?" when they should be focused on something else.
Q: What do you think about the potential for this year's team?
Lewis: I really believe this is going to be a good team. They are working so hard. It's always been true that good things happen for those who work hard. If anything, this team may be trying too hard. There is a tremendous amount of talent here. They will be successful.
Charlotte 49ers senior point guard Jerrell Lewis, citing personal reasons, has elected to leave the 49ers' men's basketball program and will transfer at the conclusion of the fall semester, the school has announced.
- Jim Utter
Friday, November 23, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers just finished their lone regular season tournament appearance for this season, but have already made plans for another one next season.
Charlotte has accepted an invitation to play next November in the Anaheim Classic, an eight-team tournament that made its debut this season at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center. Each team is guaranteed three games in four days. This year's tournament started with games on Thanksgiving Day and final games conclude on Sunday.
The tournament is hosted by the Big West Conference and features all of the games televised on some ESPN network. This year's tournament consists of Mississippi State, UC-Irvine, Southern Illinois, Chattanooga, Miami (Ohio), South Alabama, San Diego and Southern California.
No word yet on what other teams have accepted invitations for next season's Anaheim Classic, which also features events built around nearby Disneyland.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
- Winthrop appears to be in good hands with first-year Randy Peele. The Eagles lost their coach, some talented seniors and one player died in a traffic accident in the offseason -- any of which could have thrown this program for a loop -- but they impressed many here with their tenacity and composure. Winthrop looked spent in the championship game against Baylor, but heading back to Rock Hill 3-1 with a win over an ACC team is a strong start to the season.
- It's way too early to make a call on the Charlotte 49ers. They are not as good yet as some thought after starting 2-0, but neither are they as bad as many think after losing the fourth-place game to Monmouth. There is no question the quality of the players and the defense is much improved over last season. The offense still has a long way to go.
- It was never going to be easy to judge Charlotte while one of its starters - Pepperdine transfer Michael Gerrity - sits out the first eight games. With eight new players and a whole compliment not available until second semester, patience will be key. If in January this team still looks the way it did against Monmouth, then it will be time to hit the panic button. I'll say one thing for this team, though, win or lose there is never a dull moment.
- One trademark common to both Winthrop and Charlotte so far this season -- generally classy actions on court by their respective players. During game introductions this year, Charlotte players go and greet the referees. Winthrop does too, but I don't know if they've done that before. Also in six tournament games between them, I don't recall a single instance of a player from either team complaining unnecessarily about bad officiating. In one standout moment Sunday, after Charlotte's Charlie Coley got hit with a technical for hanging on the rim, he let the ball roll out of bounds and off the court. It wasn't required, but Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz asked Coley to retrieve it and give it back to the referees, which he did. There will always be bad calls in games. A young team's ability to play through them is a key ingredient to staying on track.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers (3-1) play Monmouth at 3:30 p.m. Monday for fourth place in the Paradise Jam tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas. Jim Utter takes a quick look at the Hawks (1-3), who are coming off a 59-50 victory over Wichita State.
WHAT'S GONE RIGHT
Not much until the Hawks became a different team defensively in the second half of their win Saturday over Wichita State, giving them their first victory of the season. Monmouth held the Shockers to four field goals over a span of 16 minutes 30 seconds in the second half and forced 17 turnovers for the game. Monmouth's Jhamar Youngblood scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half.
WHAT'S GONE WRONG
Until Saturday's win, the Hawks have had difficulty on offense. They managed just 33 points Friday against Notre Dame and for much of the first half against Wichita State couldn't even get good looks at the basket. The opened the season with close losses at Colgate and at Seton Hall and appeared headed to an 0-4 start until their second half rally against Wichita State.
Charlotte's defense has been consistently effective this season even when its offense has been spotty. With the problems Monmouth has had offensively so far this season, another strong defensive effort by the 49ers should give the Hawks fits.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers (2-1) play Illinois-Chicago at 6 p.m. Saturday in the second round of the Paradise Jam tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas. Jim Utter takes a quick look at the Flames (2-1), who are coming off a 72-58 loss to Winthrop.
WHAT'S GONE RIGHT
WHAT'S GONE WRONG
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers (2-0) play Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Paradise Jam tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas. Jim Utter takes a quick look at the Yellow Jackets (1-1), who are coming off a 99-85 victory at Tennessee State.
WHAT'S GONE RIGHT
Has Georgia Tech righted the wrongs that plagued it in its season opening home loss to UNC Greensboro? A dominating victory at Tennessee State this week should have helped. The Yellow Jackets went inside to dominate Tennessee State as junior center Alade Aminu scored a career-high 25 and Tech outscored the Tigers 48-18 in the paint.
WHAT'S GONE WRONG
A lot was wrong in the Yellow Jackets' season opener as a poor second-half display on offense and defense helped UNC Greensboro pull the upset. Outside of Morrow (23 points), Georgia Tech had virtually no consistent offense and allowed the Spartans to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field. UNC Greensboro also handily out-muscled the Jackets on the boards in the second-half, hardly what you would expect from a very athletic Tech team.
Which Georgia Tech team will show up? The one with virtually no inside game against UNC Greensboro or the one which dominated the paint at Tennessee State? Either way, Charlotte's frontcourt of Phil Jones, Lamont Mack and An'Juan Wilderness is likely to determine the outcome of this game.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Charlotte 49er fans, meet An'Juan Wildnerness - the freshman defensive stopper.
Two games into his first season with the 49ers, Wilderness has already shown himself to be one of Charlotte's toughest defenders on a team that is quickly developing a reputation for stingy defense.
That, of course, is a good thing. And the freshman forward's defensive skills were much needed in Monday night's win over Appalachian State when the Mountaineers' Kellen Brand connected on all four of his 3-pointers and racked up 16 points in the first half.
Enter Wilderness, who Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz stuck on Brand most of the second half.
"An'Juan was terrific on Brand in the second half. He didn't score much when An'Juan was guarding him. He still made plays and shots but An'Juan did a very good job in the first 10 or 12 minutes of the second half of slowing him down," Lutz said.
Brand never took another 3-pointer until late in the second half when Charlotte appeared to have the game well in hand.
"Coach said to get on him, so I got on him and did my job," Wilderness said. "I got on him, pressured him and didn't let him breathe. That's about it."
Monday, November 12, 2007
Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball junior center Danielle Burgin of Asheville was named the Atlantic 10's women's player of the week. She claimed the honor as a result of her performance at this past weekend’s WBCA Classic at Penn State.
Burgin averaged a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) in Charlotte’s three games in the Classic, where the 49ers went 0-3. She recorded her first double-double of the season and the fourth of her career with 12 points and 12 rebounds against No. 20 Pittsburgh on Friday.
On Saturday, she added her fifth career double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Penn State. She scored four points and grabbed eight rebounds against Arizona in the final game of the Classic on Sunday.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Games Notes provided by Charlotte 49ers Sports Information:
Charlotte 49ers vs. High Point
Fri., Nov. 9; 7:30 p.m.
Halton Arena (9,105); Charlotte, N.C.
Bobby Lutz, Charlotte
Career: 349-203 (19th year)
at Charlotte: 168-112 (10th year)
Bart Lundy, High Point
Career: 185-93 (11th year)
at High Point: 70-52 (6th year)
Series Record: High Point leads, 2-0. Two teams have not met since 1970.
NOTES: The 49ers are 8-1 in season-openers under Lutz ... The two teams met in a season-opener once before: 1969-70; High Point won, 113-59 ... High Point is the preseason favorite to win the Big South Conference ... Charlotte has been picked to place 10th in the Atlantic 10 Conference in the league’s preseason poll ... the 49ers next game is at home, Nov. 12 vs. Appalachian State ... Appalachian State went 25-8 last year, earning a trip to the NIT.
The 49ers: The Charlotte 49ers return two starters from last year’s 14-16 squad, but hope that the influx of the Atlantic 10’s top-ranked recruiting class will send the Niners to greater heights in head coach Bobby Lutz’s 10th year at the helm. The 49ers return senior guard Leemire Goldwire, who was second on the team with a 14.5 scoring average, last year as well as sophomore shooter Ian Andersen, who averaged 4.6 points while making 14 starts, last season.
A DECADE of 49er PRIDE: Charlotte, it should be noted, has been to post-season play in seven of Bobby Lutz’s nine seasons, including a school-record five NCAA Tournament appearances. In the last four years, Charlotte has posted one first-place and two second-place regular-season finishes in league play (2004 C-USA Champs; 2005 C-USA Runner-up; 2006 A-10 Runner-up). With 168 career wins, Lutz is 14 shy of the school record of 182 coaching victories, held by Jeff Mullins.
GOOD AS GOLD: Senior Leemire Goldwire ranks 21st all-time with 1043 career points and fifth all-time with 215 career three-pointers. He led the Atlantic 10 in three-pointers made per game (3.03) and free throw pct. (.905), last season. His scoring average improved to 16.0 in A-10 games and he shot .450 from three-point range against league opponents. His scoring averages and shooting pcts. have gone up during league play in each of the last two seasons.
Preseason A-10 Honors: The Charlotte 49ers are picked 10th in the A-10 Preseason Poll, as selected by coaches and media. Xavier is picked to win the league. Senior Leemire Goldwire is a preseason all-Atlantic 10 third team selection. Sophomore center Phil Jones is tabbed on the preseason all-Rookie Team.
The Long Rangers: Each of the last nine years -- which neatly corresponds with Bobby Lutz’s tenure as head coach -- the 49ers have boasted the league leader in either three-pointers made or three-pointers made per game. Last year, Leemire Goldwire led the A-10 with 3.03 threes per game.
2007 Leemire Goldwire (91; 3.03)
2006 De’Angelo Alexander (94, 3.03)
2005 *Brendan Plavich (114, 3.9)
2004 Brendan Plavich (97, 3.3)
2003 Demon Brown (137)
2002 Jobey Thomas (110)
2001 Jobey Thomas (94)
2000 Jobey Thomas (81)
1999 Diego Guevara (80)
* Led the nation in three-pointers made per game
(Charlotte was in Conference USA from 1999-2005)
Home at Halton: The 49ers have won at least 10 home games in nine of the 11 seasons that they have called Halton Arena home. Charlotte was 10-4 last year. The 49ers have advanced to post-season play in nine of the 11 years (7 NCAA; 2 NIT) at Halton. Overall the Niners are 113-32 (.779) in 11 years at Halton.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Atlantic 10 women's soccer tournament gets underway on Thursday at the 49ers' Transamerica Field. Charlotte, the top seed, doesn't play until Friday's semifinals.
Charlotte coach Jon Lipsitz offered an inside look on the teams participating in the tournament this season.
Fordham: "A counter attacking team -- they will sit in with lots of players and then counter -- so they can absorb lots of chances waiting for their special ones. Difficult style to play against."
Duquesne: "They have a great midfield that has been scoring lots of goals lately. First year coach and he has them inspired and ready. Very athletic."
Saint Louis: "Have a great attack and are the two-time defending tournament champ so very difficult to favor anyone but them. Great possession style, very skilled."
Dayton: "Has top goal scorer in league - Mandi Back - they are very tough and good on set pieces and Back can win a game individually at any time."
Richmond: "The Cinderella -- after a few lean years they are back in the tourney -- very organized. Expect low scoring games that come down to a couple moments. Top player is Jess Wolfe in the midfield."
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Injury update on Charlotte 49ers' men's basketball team entering Friday night's season opener against High Point:
-- Redshirt freshman forward Charles Dewhurst, who missed last week's exhibition against Ottawa with acute Achilles tendinitis in his right foot, has been practicing this week at 100 percent.
-- Senior guard Sean Phaler has been battling a stomach virus.
-- Senior guard Jerrell Lewis has a loose tooth, which should not affect his availability.
In other words, everyone is pretty much good to go.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Charlotte 49ers senior golfer Andrew DiBitetto has been named Atlantic 10 co-Golf Performer of the Week after posting a perfect 4-0 record at the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championships in Greensboro, Ga.
DiBitetto’s award is the 49ers' fourth this fall. Sophomore Corey Nagy has won the award twice: Sept. 17 after winning the Scenic City Invitational and Oct. 22 after placing third to lead the 49ers to the team title at The Prestige Invitational. Junior Stefan Wiedergruen won the award Sept. 24 after winning the PING/GolfWeek Preview.
Charlotte, ranked first in both the Golfstat and GCAA Coaches’ Poll and second in GolfWeek, have won each of the first three stroke play tournaments in which they have competed.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Ozimek is the first player in the program’s history to be named first-team Academic All-District three times in their career and the first to be named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American twice.
Last season, she earned first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honors. In 2005, she earned third-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honors.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Some postgame quotes and thoughts from Charlotte 49ers coach Bobby Lutz and players Phil Jones and Leemire Goldwire following their 92-36 exhibition victory against Ottawa on Wednesday night:
Coach Bobby Lutz:
"I was pleased. I was a little concerned with so many new guys. But they were anxious to play somebody other than each other. I am really shocked at the margin. They did have two guys missing, but this team played Illinois and Alabama. Villanova did beat them pretty handily, but it was a game at halftime in all of them. I was pretty surprised with the easy we were able to establish a big lead in the first half. There was great energy and the crowd was fantastic."
Thoughts on Phil Jones: "Phil showed that he is a low-post presence. That’s what we wanted to start the game. He just needs to continue to work on his conditioning. He gets tired. In the second half, we just didn’t get it to him. Part of that was they adjusted their defense and played some zone. They packed it in on him. He is going to continue to be, when he is in the game, a focal point of our offense."
Thoughts on DiJuan Harris: "DiJuan was terrific off the bench. He had 18 minutes, four assists, no turnovers, three steals. It’s not that he wouldn’t be a good starter, but he is the prefect energizer off the bench. We’re already playing hard and quick and then he comes in and we hit another level. He was really good both halves."
"It feels good, man. I waited a whole year for this. There were a lot of emotions, but it was good. I enjoyed myself. For the first three minutes I had butterflies. We have faithful fans. The turnout was great. They got a taste of what they’re going to see this season. We’ve put in a lot of hard work, so it’s going to pay off in the end."
"I started the game off at the (point guard position) and tried to get my other teammates involved, but when I moved to (shooting guard) and they milk me, I can make those all day. We didn’t play that strong a team but the crowd was behind us and we played hard. Sometimes in practice we go hard and sometimes we go so-so, but we were definitely going all out tonight. It was a good win."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers finished their final full practice Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday night’s exhibition at Halton Arena.
The starting lineup against Ottawa is likely to look like this: Phil Jones (center), Leemire Goldwire (point guard), Lamont Mack (forward), An’Juan Wilderness (forward) and either Charles Dewhurst or Ian Andersen at shooting guard. During a recent intrasquad scrimmage, Dewhurst and freshman Gaby Ngoundjo got rave reviews.
Other possible last-minute additions to the starting lineup could be Charlie Coley for Mack and starting sophomore DiJuan Harris at point guard.
Coach Bobby Lutz said his players were ready to play against "someone other than each other."
"We’re going to try to win the game, but we’re going to look at as many guys and as many different combinations as possible," he said. "Ottawa will dictate some of that since they have already played seven or eight games this month alone.
"We want to come out of it with a positive. The first goal is to win, but it’s also to evaluate lineups as the flow of the game allows."
Monday, October 29, 2007
Some notable Charlotte 49ers accomplishments this week:
-- Freshman defender Megan Minnix of Columbus, Ohio, was named Atlantic 10 women’s soccer rookie of the week for her performance against Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Minnix scored her first career goal, which proved to be the game-winner, in the 49ers’ 1-0 win against Massachusetts on Friday.
-- Freshman midfielder Will Shull, who played at Shelby High, was named Atlantic 10 men’s soccer rookie of the week for his performance in the 49ers’ A-10 road wins at George Washington and Richmond this past weekend.
Shull assisted on the 49ers’ first goal and then scored Charlotte’s second goal in its 3-0 win at George Washington on Friday. Then, he assisted on the 49ers’ second goal in their 2-0 win at Richmond on Sunday.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
As part of the Atlantic 10 Basketball Media Day, fans of each school were able to submit questions for the men's and women's basketball coaches. Several questions were submitted by Charlotte 49ers fans.
Here are the questions submitted and answered for Charlotte women's coach Karen Aston:
-- Do you think your team got a head start on the competition after playing together over the summer for USA Basketball? Aston: "I wouldn't say it was a head start. If anything it was more of a catching up process with our staff being new and beginning an entirely new system. I think it was just a sounding board for how they were going to handle each other and how they would get to know me. I think that was the biggest advantage of going to Bangkok, other than the experience of it all." -- Submitted by Jackie, Concord, NC
-- You return a lot of talented and experienced players from last year. How have the newcomers, including the coaches, blended in with the veterans?
Aston: "Everybody is blending in very well. There's obviously a learning-curve where the players have to learn my style and I have to learn what they can and can't do best. Newcomers are having typical freshman growing pains. They have good days, they have bad days like all freshman do. I don't think it's been anything different for them because they're new to being with us. Seniors and juniors are the ones having to make the biggest changes because for a couple of them, this is their third coach so I think they're tying their best. They're seniors and this is their last shot." --Submitted by Travis, Gastonia, NC
-- How has your experience at Charlotte been thus far?
Aston: "It's been fast and furious. I had to hit the ground running with recruiting and of course for the trip to Bangkok, we were gone for three weeks in August and got back the day we started school. I've really enjoyed the city of Charlotte. It is a tremendous environment to live in with things to do and lots of opportunities for young women who are growing into professionals. I've enjoyed the coaching part the most. That's why I wanted to be a head coach and just the opportunity to get to go and practice every day has been the best part for me." -- Submitted by Kelly, Charlotte, NC
-- Here are the questions asked to men's coach Bobby Lutz. How much will your challenging non-conference schedule prepare your young team for conference play?
Lutz: "As good as our league is, and the A-10 is great this year, we're playing a non-conference schedule that will likely be rated in the top 50 non-conference schedules in the country. It's a double-edged sword. It's dangerous to play such a difficult schedule because if you get beat up, it's tough to keep your kids confident enough. On the other hand, if you don't play a tough schedule, you'd don't prepare as a team as well. We've chosen to take the challenging path. We're going to have to patient with our young guys, but they'll grow up. We certainly feel like we can win more than we lose and be in a position in A-10 play where we can be successful." --Submitted by Caitlin, Winston-Salem, NC
-- The A-10 looks to be much improved from top to bottom. Who is your pick to win the league and how many teams do you think will have a legitimate shot taking the crown?
Lutz: "I think you could pick Xavier to win the league, based on what they've done and who they're returning. But I honestly think there are seven or eight teams in the league that could do it. Anyone could emerge. This could be a year where you've got a bunch of teams with four-six losses or you could see one or two teams emerge. I think the depth and balance of our league has been the best it's every been in our three years in the A-10." -- Submitted by Doug, Jamestown, NC
The complete list of questions and answers are available on the Atlantic 10 Website, at http://atlantic10.cstv.com/
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
-- Pepperdine transfer Michael Gerrity, who is expected to start at point guard for the men’s basketball team when he becomes eligible in December, is ranked ninth among College Hoops Update’s Top 15 incoming transfers in NCAA Division I this season.
The 6-foot-180-pound sophomore averaged 14.1 points and 3.4 assists per game for Pepperdine as a freshman and was named CBSportsline.com’s rookie of the year in the West Coast Conference.
Gerrity was one of four Atlantic 10 players on the Top 15 list. Leading the way in the top position is Duquesne junior center Shawn James, a transfer from Northeastern. Duquesne junior point guard Kojo Mensah, a transfer from Siena, is ranked third. Xavier’s C.J. Anderson, a junior forward and transfer from Manhatten, is ranked fourth.
-- Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer sophomore midfielder Luke Exley was named to College Soccer News’ national team of the week for his performance against Rhode Island and Massachusetts last weekend. He is the first Charlotte player to earn national team of the week honors since goalkeeper David Martin was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s weekly national team in September 2006.
Exley scored the 49ers’ goal in a 1-1 double-overtime tie with Rhode Island and assisted on the winning goal in a 1-0 win against previously undefeated Massachusetts last weekend.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Charlotte 49ers freshman shooting guard Javarris Barnett became the first casualty of the preseason, taking an elbow to his nose during Tuesday's practice while practicing half court defense drills.
Upon first examination it appeared Barnett had broken his nose. He was planning to be evaluated again later Tuesday evening.
Barnett, who played at Charlotte's Victory Christian, had already made good progress and has had some unintended improvement as well. He arrived on campus measuring at 6-foot-5 and weighing about 200 pounds.
Two months into his freshman year, Barnett has had another growth spurt and strength and conditioning coach Preston Greene said the 18-year-old was already pushing 6-7. Greene was planning to take an official measurement on Wednesday.
Before his incident on Tuesday, Barnett appeared to be playing well, working hard on defense and hitting open 3-pointers when the opportunity arose.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Some kudos to Charlotte 49ers soccer players this week:
-- Charlotte junior forward Nikki Dumencich was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for her performance in the 49ers' road win at Dayton on Sunday. Dumencich scored both of Charlotte's goals in its 2-1 win at Dayton.
-- Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer goalkeeper David Martin, a sophomore from Timnath, Colo., was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after his performance against Rhode Island and Massachusetts this past weekend.
Martin allowed only one goal and recorded eight saves in the 49ers' 1-1 overtime tie with Rhode Island and collected his 11th career shutout with six saves in Charlotte's 1-0 win over Massachusetts on Sunday.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Junior Charlie Coley stole the show at the UNC Charlotte Bookstore 2007 Basketball Madness, Thursday night at Halton Arena. Coley showed off his jumping ability yet again, celebrating his victory in the event's annual Slam Dunk Contest by jumping over a chair on top of a table for a memorable dunk.
-- Photo courtesy of Charlotte 49ers Sports Information Office.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Charlotte 49ers fans can help one of their own win a prestigious award this season.
Lindsey Ozimek, a senior midfielder on the 49ers' women's soccer team, has been named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, the nation’s premier award for NCAA senior student-athletes.
The 10 finalists are placed on the Lowe’s Senior Class Award ballot for a nationwide vote which started Wednesday and concludes Nov. 21. Fan balloting is available at the award’s official Web site, www.seniorclassaward.com. Fan votes will be combined with those from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.
In the last year, Ozimek has been named first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, first-team All-Atlantic 10, 2006 Atlantic 10 All-Tournament team, A-10 Academic All-Conference team, NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-South region team, NSCAA All-Southeast Region second-team and Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region third-team.
The Lowe’s Senior Class Award is presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to senior student-athletes who have outstanding attributes in four areas: the classroom, community, character and competition. Winners will be announced during the NCAA Soccer Championships, Dec. 7-9 in College Station, Texas.
Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer freshman midfielder Sam Huecker was named to Soccer Buzz’s Elite Team of the Week after scoring four of Charlotte’s five goals last weekend.
She also earned Atlantic 10 Player and Rookie of the Week honors.
Huecker is the second 49er to be named to Soccer Buzz’s Elite Team of the Week this season. Senior midfielder Lindsey Ozimek was named to the team, Oct. 2.
Currently, Huecker is second on the team with 15 points (five goals and five assists) behind Ozimek’s 18 points.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Charlotte is getting an unexpected guest at Thursday's "Basketball Madness" event at Halton Arena.
Karron Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward who attends Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham and currently ranked sixth overall in the Class of 2009 by recruiting Web site rivals.com, plans to make an unofficial visit to Charlotte on Thursday, his AAU coach confirmed Tuesday night.
Johnson, who has already received offers from Virginia, Memphis and Louisiana State, is rated the No. 1 small forward among high school juniors.
Johnson, 17, hails from Richmond, Va., and has played for the Squires Richmond AAU team and coach Tony Squire since he was 13. Charlotte assistant basketball coach Chris Cheeks, a former star at Virginia Commonwealth, is friends with Squire.
"I told Karron he needs to keep his options wide open," Squire said. "I told him to go out and take a look at teams and coaches and their styles and think about what he likes and what would work for him."
Squire said his relationship with Cheeks is part of the reason he thinks the visit to Charlotte would be a smart one for Johnson.
"I've known Chris since he was up here playing at VCU. You know, for the most part, a lot of these kids don't know much about these schools when you get down to it," Squire said. "Having someone who is from the area certainly makes it easier to make a connection."
But could a player of Johnson's stature really come to Charlotte?
"Of course." Squire said. "Stranger things have happened."
Squire said Cheeks, then an assistant at West Virginia, lured away another one of Squire's players, Jonathan Hargett, in 2002.
The Richmond Squires have a long history of talented players, including Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Amare Stoudemire, Marco Killingsworth, among others.
Johnson had hoped to attend Georgetown's "Midnight Madness" basketball event last week, but was unable to make travel arrangements in time, Squire said.
"I know he has practice starting up this week at Mount Zion, but when we spoke today he was still planning to make the 2 1/2 drive down on Thursday," he said.
I'd like people to share their thoughts on last night's Alumni House meeting about the football initiative. Here's one, please post yours in the comments section or e-mail them to me at email@example.com.
From Ron Dibble of Belmont (Class of 1996):
"I do think that the process last night was helpful. It showed me that this is not a cause that only the young alumni care about. Looking at those who attended this is clearly a subject that all alumni see as something important to the future of the university. It also pleased me that the feeling in the meeting was very pro-football. I really get the feeling at these meetings (I went to some of the committee meetings this summer) are about digging up potential obstacles now so that when we do make the push we do it with our eyes open and prepared for the challenge with out any surprises. I was prepared last night to hear some negative thoughts around football, but surprisingly heard none. It seemed everyone there knew that football will be a challenge and it will take support from many areas to make it happen, but that we all understand how important this is for the school.
"At the end of the evening they asked that each one of us record our thoughts about football on a card that the committee would read at a later time. I really felt this was an excellent way of taking the pulse of your core group of alumni. They also mentioned that the format we used would be used for 2 more meetings, one with students and the other with faculty. I am anxious to see how those play out.
"I may be off base here, but barring something crazy happening I truly believe that seeing the Niners on a football field is no longer a foolish dream."
From Kenny Houck in Pineville, a Charlotte Football Initiative Member and former candidate for N.H. House district No. 107 in 2004:
"I was impressed by the more elder, more established Alumni showing up, & being so supportive. I'm glad to know it's not just us youngsters out there. We even picked up a bandwagoner of a guy I knew in college who thought football had no chance at Charlotte, who is now on board since the school announced a Study Committee. The meeting made it seem like the school & Athletic Dept. are really serious about getting us football so we don't get left behind at the next conference realignment like we were this time with the A-10 after getting run out of Conference USA for not having football."
From Bill Dye, Unionville in Union County:
"I really enjoyed the meeting and appreciated the chance to a tleast 'be involved' in this process which I feel is absolutely critical in the development of this university. I was very impressed with Mac Everett (as I expected I would be) and left feeling VERY positive about the committee's work to this point. I hope that the meeting was helpful to the committee. It appeared to me that it was obvious that the VAST majority of alumni are strongly in favor of starting a football program at UNC Charlotte and feel it is exactly what the school needs to help it connect with it's alumni, the city of Charlotte and the region.
"The results of these "connections" would be multi-faceted, but most importantly (it is believed) would be increased giving from alumni and friends of the university, as well as additional opportunities to partner with many more of the local corporations through sponsorships and naming rights(especially the ones with UNC Charlotte alumni in leadership positions--BofA and Lowes, etc.). These relationships would help to promote the school/teams and put them more into the public eye in the city/region. All of these factors would benefit the university, the alumni, the city and the region."
Friday, October 12, 2007
Charlotte 49ers senior golfer Jonas Enander Hedin (Taby, Sweden) is ranked 29th in the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews World Amatuer Rankings.
Enander Hedin, who led the 49ers to a third-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships with a 71.86 stroke average, has keyed the 49ers' run to their present No. 1 ranking.
“It’s terrific to see Jonas receive the accolades and acknowledgement from such an esteemed and world-renowned body in the world of golf,” said Charlotte coach Jamie Green. “It’s a long time coming for Jonas, who works so tirelessly in all areas.
"He plays with such maturity and poise and has taken his game to quite a high level. That said, I know he’ll continue to seek and find more ways to improve.”
In two events this fall, Enander Hedin owns a 69.7 stroke average. Charlotte is ranked No. 1 in the nation in both the Golfweek and Golfstat computer ratings.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer junior forward Chris Salvaggione was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week after scoring two goals and assisting on the other goal in the 49ers 3-0 win at Central Florida last Wednesday.
Salvaggione is the third 49ers player to claim A-10 Player of the Week honors this season. Senior forward Tom Woollard, who claimed the honor last week, and sophomore midfielder Luke Exley, who claimed the honor earlier this season, are the others.
Salvaggione leads the Atlantic 10 in assists with six and points with 16. He is tied for second in the A-10 with a team-leading five goals.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Charlotte 49ers women’s soccer senior midfielder Lindsey Ozimek was named to Soccer Buzz’s Elite Team of the Week after scoring three goals and recording two assists in the 49ers two Atlantic 10 games this past weekend.
This is the third time in her career that she earned this honor since she was named twice to Soccer Buzz’s Elite Team of the Week in 2005. She also earned her third career Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor this week as well.
Ozimek contributed on four of Charlotte’s five goals in its 5-0 Atlantic 10 season opening win at Duquesne last Friday. She scored the 49ers' first and third goals in the game. She assisted on the 49ers' second and fifth goals in the game as well. She also scored the game-tying goal with just under eight minutes left in regulation in the 49ers' 1-1 double overtime tie with Fordham last Sunday.
Ozimek currently leads the 49ers and ranks fourth in the A-10 with five assists. She also leads the team with 13 points and ranks second on the team with four goals.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Curing Kids' Cancer Inc. announced that it has joined forces with Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte to raise money for pediatric cancer research in the Charlotte region.
To help the cause, Charlotte 49ers men's basketball coach Bobby Lutz has been named an ambassador for Curing Kids' Cancer and will assist in fundraising efforts in the area.
Levine Children's Hospital, set to open in October on the main campus of Carolinas Medical Center, will be promoting both of Curing Kids' Cancer's flagship programs: Coaches Curing Kids' Cancer (CCKC) and Teachers Curing Kids' Cancer.
Each program uses a simple concept - Youth sports teams and individual school classrooms are encouraged to donate the money they would usually raise for presenting their coach or teacher with a gift at the end of the season or school year to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Donations to Curing Kids' Cancer fund much-needed pediatric cancer research, and, in return, the participating coach or teacher receives a commemorative certificate and a gift acknowledging their generosity. Details of the programs are available at www.curingkidscancer.org.
"We are thrilled to team up with Levine Children's Hospital, which is setting the standard for pediatric cancer treatment in the Carolinas," said Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids' Cancer. "By tapping into Charlotte's successful youth sports programs, we hope to help fund cutting edge cancer treatments at Levine Children's Hospital."
Monday, September 24, 2007
More from Charlotte golf coach Jamie Green on the 49ers’ win at Sunday’s PING/GolfWeek Preview at Purdue, host of the 2008 NCAA championships:
"This is as elite an event as there is. That being said, once you’re here, everbody’s tied. Everybody has the same opportunity. To be able to test yourselves against this field and come away with a win. It’s a good time to have a win. Against this field, on this golf course – that’s what you practice for. It’s as elite as it gets and we will play in some other events that have similar fields in the spring, that are based on your success, and those will be elite events as well.
"Everybody’s good enough to know they can make a birdie on any hole they play. I think there was an excitement level that this team has grown accustomed to. There’s something about the personality and how they approach it that is pretty special.
"It was really a challenging golf course (note the high scores of many opponents). The golf course doesn’t lend itself to easy birdies. You’ve really got to hit good shots and be consistent, and to get off to that fast start was really a confidence builder."
On medalist Stefan Wiedergruen: "He shoots 30 on the front nine and doesn’t two-putt a green until No. 9. Through 10 holes, he had 11 putts. Anytime you do that, you’re going to shoot pretty a pretty good number."
On Jonas Enander Hedin finishing second: "Can’t say enough about Jonas. He goes up against two of the best players in the country, who are coming back from Walker Cup play and he goes toe-to-toe with them, and the only guy that beats him is a teammate who catches him from behind. It’s such a good golf course. It says a lot about Stefan’s and Jonas’ performances and what type of players they are to finish 1-2 and shoot under par in all three rounds."
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers golf team, which won its season-opening tournament at the Scenic City Invitational, has moved up to a program-best #9 ranking in the Sept. 21 GolfWorld/NIKE Golf Coaches’ poll, heading into this weekend’s prestigious PING/GolfWeek Preview in West Lafayette, Ind.
The 49ers received one first-place vote in the latest poll, which is the first-ever first-place vote for the program.
The PING/GolfWeek Preview is played annually in the fall at the site of the coming spring’s NCAA Championship. Teams are extended invitations based on their performance the previous season. The 49ers, who finished third at the 2007 NCAA Championships and were ranked 10th in GolfWorld’s preseason poll, are competing in the event for the first time.
The 15-team field includes six teams in the top 10 of the latest Coaches’ Poll and 13 Top 25 teams. The other two teams, including host Purdue, are receiving votes towards the Top 25 poll.
Golfweek.com will provide live streaming of the tournament, with Lance Ringler and Jay Coffin calling the action from the 18th hole during the final round. Live scoring will be available at golfstat.com.
The 49ers lineup this weekend will include current A-10 Player of the Week Corey Nagy (Charlotte/Vance High), a sophomore who took medalist honors at last week’s Scenic City Invitational. Junior Stefan Wiedergruen (Waiblingen, Germany), who finished second at the Scenic City Invitational with a career-best -7, 206, and seniors Jonas Enander Hedin (Taby, Sweden), Trevor Murphy (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) and Andrew DiBitetto (Rochester, N.Y.) will fill out the lineup.
Enander Hedin posted the 49ers low stroke average last season. Murphy reached the round of 32 at the 2007 US Amateur and DiBitetto placed ninth at the 2007 NCAA Championships to earn honorable mention GCAA all-America honors. DiBitetto and Nagy were both among GolfWorld’s Top 50 “Players to Watch” for 2007-08.
The GolfWorld/Nike Preseason Coaches’ Poll marked the 49ers first top 10 ranking and this week’s #9 listing is the highest ever for the 49ers’ golf program.
The 49ers, who have won back-to-back Atlantic 10 Championships, have competed in the NCAA Tournament each of the past three years and advanced to the NCAA Championships each of the past two. Charlotte finished third at the NCAA Championships in 2007, matching the best-ever finish by a 49ers sports program. They finished 22nd in 2006.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Although there is still time for him to change his mind, it looks like standout prep star Victor Davila has decided to pass on joining the Charlotte 49ers and appears primed to commit to Virginia Tech.
Davila, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound center who plays at Boonville Starmount High, is expected to cancel his official visit to Charlotte scheduled for next weekend and could announce a verbal commitment to the Hokies any day, several sources said Thursday night.
Davila, ranked No. 136 in Rivals.com's list of the top 150 recruits in the 2008 class, recently narrowed his college choices to Virginia Tech, Charlotte, Wake Forest and Clemson.
Last season, Davila averaged 20.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.3 blocks per game at Starmount. He made an unofficial visit to the Charlotte campus last winter.
In other recruiting news, the 49ers are keeping a close eye on Charlotte Latin junior David Chadwick Jr., a 6-9 center who has started gaining interest nationally. Chadwick's father, David Chadwick Sr., played college basketball at North Carolina.
Among the other schools expressing interest in Chadwick are Davidson, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Charlotte already has one Latin grad on its roster, redshirt freshman Charles Dewhurst who sat out last season with a high ankle sprain.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team will again face another challenging schedule which features eleven postseason teams from last season. The 49ers return nine letterwinners off their 2007 team which reached postseason play for a school-record fifth straight season.
“We have a very challenging schedule,” Charlotte coach Karen Aston, who is entering her first season at the helm of the 49ers women’s basketball program. “Right out of the gate we open on the road with three games in three days against possibly two ranked opponents. The teams we play in the non-conference portion of our schedule will definitely prepare us for the Atlantic 10 schedule. We have to play Dayton, an improved Duquesne team, George Washington, Temple and Xavier on the road in Atlantic 10 play this season. We have an attractive schedule that hopefully will aide us in a potential postseason bid. Every team in our league is trying to gain respect and the way you do that is play teams that are ranked and in conferences with high RPIs. You hope you can beat some of them and establish respect.”
Last season, the 49ers went 19-13 en route to a school-record fifth straight postseason appearance and a berth in the second round of the WNIT.
The 49ers schedule not only features 11 postseason teams from a year ago but it also features 11 teams that were ranked in the Top 80 of the Final RPI.
This season, Charlotte will play 15 games in Halton Arena, where the 49ers are an impressive 68-12 over the past six seasons.
The 49ers’ home non-conference schedule features ACC foes Clemson and Virginia Tech, Big Ten foe Minnesota, 2007 WNIT participant Davidson and regional foe Winthrop. The 49ers also host a holiday tournament which features 2007 NCAA Tournament participant UT-Arlington along with regional foes Charleston Southern and Elon.
The non-conference road schedule begins with the WBCA Classic at Penn State over the first weekend of the season. The 49ers take on 2007 NCAA Tournament participant Pittsburgh as well as Arizona and Penn State at the WBCA Classic. The 49ers battle ACC foe Wake Forest and Old Dominion, who has played in 24 of the 26 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournaments, and former Conference USA foe and 2007 WNIT participant UAB on the road.
In January, the 49ers begin the Atlantic 10 season which is a grueling 14-game schedule. Last season, the 49ers went 9-5 in a league that sent five teams to postseason play. The 49ers begin A-10 play on the road at Duquesne, January 12. The 49ers host 2007 WNIT participant Saint Joseph’s, February 14. Charlotte travels to 2007 NCAA Tournament participants George Washington, January 26, Temple, February 6 and Xavier, February 17. Charlotte concludes the regular season at home against Richmond on the first weekend in March.
The season culminates with the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament which will be played at Saint Joseph’s Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, March 7-10.
2007-08 Charlotte 49ers
Women’s Basketball Schedule
9-11 at WBCA Classic
9 vs. Pittsburgh
10 at Penn State
11 vs. Arizona
15 at Wake Forest
18 at Old Dominion
28 at UNC Greensboro
5 at UAB
16 VIRGINIA TECH
20-21 CHARLOTTE SPRINGHILL SUITES HOLIDAY CLASSIC
20 UT-Arlington vs. Elon
20 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
21 Elon-Charleston Southern
30 at Arkansas State
12 at Duquesne*
19 SAINT LOUIS*
22 at Dayton*
26 at George Washington*
30 LA SALLE*
2 at Saint Louis*
6 at Temple*
9 St. BONAVENTURE*
12 SAINT JOSEPH’S*
17 at Xavier* (CSTV)
24 RHODE ISLAND*
27 at FORDHAM*
7-10 at Atlantic 10 Championships in Philadelphia
*- Atlantic 10 Conference games; Home games in CAPS and bold
Friday, September 7, 2007
Charlotte 49ers men's basketball coach Bobby Lutz was kind enough to allow me to sit in on individual workouts with his team earlier this week.
Associate head coach Rob Moxley and assistant coaches Bobby Kummer and Chris Cheeks ran through three different sessions on Thursday -- one for point guards, one for shooters and one for post players. The only players absent were center Phil Jones and forward Charles Dewhurst, who were both nursing injuries.
In the point guard session, senior Leemire Goldwire and incoming sophomore DiJuan Harris seemed to push each other hard. Goldwire looked more comfortable with his shot than he was over the summer. Harris, a planned walk-on who was recently awarded a scholarship, should offer a good contrast with sophomore transfer Michael Gerrity, who won't be eligible until mid-December. Harris is quick and likes to shoot, while Gerrity is a gritty guard who likes to penetrate and pitch.
Senior Sean Phaler and sophomore Ian Andersen teamed up to face off against freshman Javarris Barnett and sophomore walk-on Kyle Church during the shooters session, with the Phaler/Andersen duo coming out on top. Barnett has an odd-looking shot but lots of confidence. Andersen comes in this season in better shape and is still one of hardest-working players on the team.
The post players session was the most interesting because it was my first in-person look at junior college transfers Lamont Mack and Charlie Coley. Coley was everything everyone had said -- lightning quick, athletic, all over the court. He had a nasty follow dunk off a missed shot which drew lots of attention.
Mack, who had knee surgery over the summer, is about 20 pounds over his usual playing weight, but still looked solid under the basket. Coley and freshman An'Juan Wilderness look impressive on fast breaks. The 49ers should have plenty of offensive options to finish plays. This is way early, but I predict freshman Gaby Ngoundjo will soon contend for the Atlantic 10 all-defensive team.
--- Jim Utter
Monday, September 3, 2007
There are many positives to take out of Appalachian State’s college football upset of fifth-ranked Michigan on Saturday.
Here’s another: The game should serve as both a rallying cry and reminder that there is no excuse UNC Charlotte shouldn’t add football as soon as possible.
Imagine – dream if you will – opening up Sunday’s Observer and reading all the stories written about ASU’s upset and replacing the word "ASU" with "UNC Charlotte" or "Mountaineers" with "49ers." Think about everything this win does for Appalachian State – the school and the athletics department.
Think it couldn’t do the same to Charlotte? Think again.
There has been one glaring omission from the debate about whether Charlotte should add football and that is trying to quantify the intangibles of such a move. There are many well-paid and highly touted economists and financial experts who will offer their opinions as to whether the 49ers fan base and the Charlotte region can sustain a NCAA Division I football team.
What those very well-meaning people cannot measure is the loyalty, the excitement, the school spirit such Saturday afternoon football weekends bring. Ask fans of North Carolina, Clemson and South Carolina what it’s like at their respective football games each fall weekend, and you will get descriptions that go far beyond a sum of plays and description of good 40-yard-line seats.
It’s an atmosphere – one that cannot be easily replicated in a 100-page study. In such cases, the best evidence to discern the effect is to look at the visual evidence that surrounds you.
Davidson plays football, but likely will never get a chance to win a national championship because of the level the Wildcats choose to play. Ask students and alumni if it should be disbanded.
Ask Clemson fans if they would trade Saturdays at Death Valley for an ACC basketball championship. I think I know the answer. Do you?
Skeptics said Appalachian State would never – could never – beat Michigan in the "Big House."
We know the Mountaineers did.
Skeptics say Charlotte 49ers fans won’t support football. They say it can’t be done. They say nobody cares.
Give them reason to be wrong again.
Show them constant vigilance.
Friday, August 31, 2007
DAVIDSON -- Jeremy Gunn's debut as the Charlotte 49ers' men's soccer coach saw mixed results Friday night at Davidson's Alumni Stadium.
Charlotte did well to give itself several good opportunities to score against San Jose State, but ended up only able to capitalize once and lost 2-1 in the opening round of the adidas Classic.
The 49ers (0-1) will try again for their first win on Sunday, facing St. Mary's (Calif.) at 2 p.m. Davidson and San Jose State will meet at noon Sunday.
Here is a brief post-game Q&A with Gunn:
Q: Was this a game of missed opportunities?
Gunn: The players worked very hard and overall I thought we were a much better team. San Jose State managed to get back into the game after a tough first half, but that's what happens when you get to the goal -- the players get excited. Leading into halftime we were down. The second half, I couldn't have asked for more out of the guys. They were under a lot of pressure. San Jose State scored a great goal that deserved to win any game. When they looked at what they did to win it, it was a great strike. We had them on the ropes for such a long period, we just have to find a way to score a little more.
Q: Is it frustrating to have chances but not finish them?
Gunn: I find it encouraging that we were creating chances to score. If we weren't getting chances, we'd have a lot more to worry about. We had a lot of young players out there, a lot playing their first college game that counts. There were tiny little things in the game that decided the result, but overall I was pleased.
Q: Considering it was your first game and you're a first-year coach, how would you assess how the team has progressed in a short period of time?
Gunn: The boys have done very, very well. The reality is when you are starting off fresh, there are always going to be little things that change games that you are not going to make go away. We're playing very good soccer and I am extremely excited about that. The only thing now, is as we gain experience, we should learn how to manage the game a little bit better and how to do the damage where it counts.
HOOPS TICKET DEAL: Charlotte and Davidson fans can catch four college basketball games in Charlotte Bobcats Arena this season as the 49ers and Wildcats are each hosting two ACC opponents there this season.
For $80, fans can catch all four games (upper level seating). (A limited number of lower level seats are available to 49ers season ticket holders for the 49ers games only).
You can access the sales site by clicking: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E003F1CCA69B932?artistid=1155075&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=7. Use the promo code 4BBALL to purchase the four-game ticket package or 4HOOPS to purchase individual tickets.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Released by the Charlotte 49ers' Sports Information office today:
The Charlotte 49ers golf team has been ranked 10th in the Golf World/Nike Pre-Season Div. I Coaches’ Poll released today. The 49ers placed third at the 2007 NCAA Championships and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three years. Charlotte returns four of the five players that competed at the NCAA Championships and five of their top seven players overall.
Among the top returnees are senior Andrew DiBitetto (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) and sophomore Corey Nagy (Charlotte, N.C./Vance), who were both named to Golf World’s Top 50 “Players to Watch”.
“I could not be more proud of what our players were able to accomplish last season and while it was tough to lose (graduated seniors) Matt (Mincer) and Ray (Sheedy), our squad this year is justifiably excited about the coming season and eager to get going,” two-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Jamie Green said.
“It’s a terrific honor to have fellow coaches realize the potential of your team and while we are anticipating success my hope is that we become better and better as the year goes on and are able to make a nice run in May, again.”
DiBitetto, the individual runner-up at the 2007 Atlantic 10 Championships, placed ninth at the NCAA Championships and earned PING Honorable Mention all-America honors by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). He owns a school-record 72.88 career scoring average, which includes last year’s 72.8 mark.
Nagy, the 49ers first-ever Freshman all-America, was also a PING Honorable Mention all-America by the GCAA and placed 35th at the National Championships. Also an all-Atlantic 10 choice, Nagy placed tied for third at the A-10 Championships, helping the Niners to their second straight A-10 crown. He posted a 72.2 stroke average, last season and this summer made more waves by reaching the semifinals of the US Amateur Public Links.
The duo will be joined by senior Jonas Enander Hedin (Taby, Sweden; Tibble Gymnasium), an all-Atlantic 10 choice who led the 49ers with a 71.86 stroke average, senior Trevor Murphy (St, Johnsbury, Vt./Burke Academy), who reached the round of 32 at the 2007 US Amateur after finishing fourth in the qualifying rounds and won both the Vermont Open and the Vermont Amateur, this summer, and junior Stefan Wiedergruen (Waiblingen, Germany/Salier Gymnasium), who ranked third on the team with a 72.5 stroke average.
Charlotte has advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament each of the last three years and moved through the regionals to the 30-team NCAA Championships in each of the last two. This past year, the golfers matched the university’s best-ever NCAA Tournament finish with a third-place showing behind Stanford and Georgia. The previous season, in their first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships, the 49ers placed 22nd in the nation.