Some observations from watching three pickup games involving Charlotte 49ers players Friday afternoon at Belk Gymnasium:
- Leemire Goldwire is pushing newcomer DiJuan Harris hard in the pickup games. Harris, a Charlotte native and sophomore transfer from junior college, needs the workout to prepare for the start of the season. Harris may well be called on to start -- or at least play significant minutes -- at the point before Pepperdine transfer Michael Gerrity becomes eligible in mid-December.
- Freshman 6-foot-7 forward Gaby Ngoundjo has been tapped as a defensive specialist and his rebounding and shot blocking are impressive. But Ngoundjo also has a nice touch around the basket on offense and can throw down some nasty dunks with the best of them.
- Speaking of an offensive touch, sophomore center Phil Jones looks to have a nice jumper out to about 15 feet or so. Jones and Ngoundjo on the court at the same time would definitely give the 49ers an inside game they were lacking last season. Jones' wing span is 7-4, Ngoundjo's is 7-3.
- Goldwire, Ian Andersen and Sean Phaler were all bombing away from the outside and looked good doing it. Phaler is also showing himself to be an effective passer and finding the open man on the break.
- Rising junior Jerrell Lewis recently suffered an injury to the lateral collateral ligament of his left knee. He does not require surgery, but rather is going through rehabilitation. Lewis said he will be ready to play by the start of the season.
- Redshirt freshman Charles Dewhurst is wearing a protective boot on his right foot. He said he suffered a mild sprain and expects to lose the boot by the beginning of next week.