Tuesday, June 26, 2007

49ers not on Cornelius' list

Perhaps it was Andre Cornelius' green-and-white adidas basketball shoes that still offered a glimmer of hope for Charlotte 49ers fans.

Cornelius, a rising senior at Victory Christian in Charlotte, played in Monday night's first game in the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation/Jeff McInnis Summer League at the Grady Cole Center.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound point guard showed great quickness and dribble penetration and had a nice outside shot. He is being recruited heavily by ACC schools, but until recently it appeared Charlotte still had a shot at him.

However, after the game I asked Cornelius to name his top five schools in no particular order. His reply: "Tennessee, N.C. State, Wright State, George Mason and South Carolina."

No Charlotte.

The 49ers do seem pretty set for the time being at the point guard position, with former Victory Christian star DiJuan Harris coming in this fall and Pepperdine transfer Michael Gerrity joining the team after the conclusion of the fall semester.

Still, adding another talented point guard with local ties would have been a coup for the 49ers. -- Jim Utter

Monday, June 18, 2007

49ers' walk-on got game

DiJuan Harris is joining the Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team as a sophomore walk-on next season.
But the term 'walk-on' doesn't nearly do him justice.
Harris, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound point guard, was lightning quick up and down the court Monday night as his Bring It On team lost its opener to McNasty in the opening night of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation/Jeff McInnis Summer League at the Grady Cole Center.
His passes were on target; he hit the open jumper; and best yet for Charlotte fans, the 20-year-old excelled at dribble penetration.
And Harris, who starred in high school at Charlotte's Victory Christian before spending one season in junior college, wasn't playing against bad competition, either. He spent most of the game facing off against Jeff McInnis and Raymond Felton of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.
When the game finally ended, Harris' father went over to the group of a dozen or so 49ers fans in the stands and exclaimed, "You've got yourself a team now."
I caught up with Harris for a few minutes after the game, a 72-68 loss to McNasty, for a few questions.

Question: You're playing on a team with several players who will join you at Charlotte next season. What do you think so far?
Harris: I'm very excited. This year is going to be very exciting. A lot of people have a lot of questions about our team and we're ready to answer them. We got Leemire Goldwire, we got Ian Andersen and we have a great coach (Bobby Lutz). He's genius and knows how to win.

Question: How did you like playing against McInnis and Felton?
Harris: At first I just wanted to go out there and show them I could do this. Felton told me, 'DiJuan slow down. Relax.' So I did and I got in a little groove. It was very exciting to be on the same floor as those guys.

Question: Did you notice the Charlotte fans tonight?
Harris: I loved it. I loved it. I love the fans.

Question: Is one of your goals to earn a scholarship?
Harris: It's definitely one of my goals. I'm going to be here working my tail off every day. I have a great work ethic. I believe in the system. I stayed here and think I will deserve a scholarship.

Question: Have you always been known to be a quick guard?
Harris: I've been fast but I haven't always known how to control my speed. During my year in junior college I finally learned how to control my speed. I learned how to stay fast, be able to control the basketball and not turn the ball over so much. I love feeding my big men and getting every body else the ball.

Question: Tell me what it's going to be like playing with Phil (Jones)?
Harris: It's easy. We have a 6-11 center to throw the ball down into and he makes his shots. Not only does he do that, he's a very unselfish player. The first thing he does when he catches it in the post is to look opposite for another player. He'll have a double-double every night. By the time we get to conference play, teams will be doubling up on him. But because he's so unselfish, Lee and Ian will benefit from that with open threes. -- Jim Utter

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer League rosters feature 49ers players

There will be plenty of chances to get a sneak peak at the 2007-08 Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team this summer.

Almost every member of the 49ers plans to participate in the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation's Jeff McInnis Summer League, which starts with games Monday and runs through Aug. 8.

Several - including newcomers Phil Jones, Dijuan Harris, Gaby Ngoundjo, An'Juan Wilderness and Javarris Barnett - will play on the "Bring It On" team, which opens play at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Grady Cole Center against a team called "McNasty" led by current Charlotte Bobcats player Jeff McInnis.

Charlotte sophomore shooting guard Ian Andersen and incoming junior college transfers Charles Coley and Lamont Mack will both join the "Bring It On" team later this summer.

Senior shooting guard Leemire Goldwire and redshirt freshman Charles Dewhurst also plan to play in the summer league, but on what team was not clear on Saturday.

Here is the summer league schedule, all games are played at Grady Cole Center:

June 18, 2007
6:30pm Prime Time vs Los All stars
7:30pm Auto Illusions vs Against the Grain
8:30pm McNasty vs Bring It On
9:30pm John P. Kee vs. C.L.I

June 19, 2007
6:30pm Rosemaxx vs A.A.F.
7:30pm Hubbard vs McNasty
8:30pm Prime Time vs John P. Kee
9:30pm C.L.I. vs P.C.S.

June 20, 2007
6:30pm Against the Grain vs P.C.S.
7:30 pm C.L.I. vs Auto Illusions
8:30 pm A.A.F. vs Hubbard
9:30pm Rosemaxx vs Bring It On

June 21, 2007
6:30 pm P.C.S. vs Prime Time
7:30 pm Los Allstars vs Auto Illusions
8:30 pm McNasty vs John P. Kee
9:30 pm Hubbard vs Rosemaxx

June 25, 2007
6:30pm C.L.I. vs A.A.F.
7:30pm Against the Grain vs Prime Time
8:30pm Auto Illusions vs McNasty
9:30pm Los Allstars vs Bring it On

June 26, 2007
6:30pm Bring it On vs. Against the Grain
7:30pm Prime Time vs. C.L.I.
8:30pm John P. Kee vs. P.C.S.
9:30pm A.A.F. vs. Rosemaxx

June 27, 2007
6:30 Auto Illusions vs Hubbard
7:30Los Allstars vs AAF
8:30 AAf vs Hubbard
9:30 John P. Kee vs Losemaxx

June 28, 2007
6:30pm Auto Illusions vs. P.C.S.
7:30pm McNasty vs. Rosemaxx
8:30pm Hubbard vs. Los Allstars
9:30pm Prime Time vs Bring It On

July 9, 2007
6:30 pm Against the Grain vs John P. Kee
7:30 pm Bobby Jackson All Stars vs McNasty All Stars
8:30 pm A.A.F. vs Prime Time
9:30 pm Hubbard vs CLI

July 10, 2007
6:30pm C.L.I. vs. John P. Kee
7:30pm Auto Illusions vs A.A.F.
8:30pm Los Allstars vs Against The Grain
9:30pm P.C.S. vs Bring It On

July 19, 2007
6:30pm Against The Grain vs Rosemaxx
7:30pm C.L.I. vs .Bring It On
8:30pm McNasty vs Prime Time
9:30pm Hubbard vs. P.C.S.

July 12, 2007
6:30pm Auto Illusions vs. John P. Kee
7:30pm A.A.F. vs. McNasty vs.
8:30pm Rosemaxx vs Los Allstars
9:30pm Bring it On vs Hubbard

July 16, 2007
6:30pm Hubbard vs. John P.Kee
7:30pm Auto Illusions. vs. C.L.I.
8:30pm Prime Time vs. Against the Grain
9:30pm Rosemaxx vs. P.C.S.

July 17, 2007
6:30pm Bring It On vs. Hubbard
7:30pm Auto Ilusions vs. Los Allstars
8:30pm P.C.S. vs. McNasty
9:30pm A.A.F. vs. John P. Kee

July 18, 2007
6:30pm A.A.F. vs. Bring It On
7;30pm Against The Grain vs. C.L.I.
8:30pm Los Allstars vs. McNasty
9:30pm Rosemaxx vs. Prime Time

July 23, 2007
6:30pm Los Allstars vs. Auto Illusions
7:30pm John P. Kee vs. Bring It On
8:30pm McNasty vs. Against The Grain
9:30pm P.C.S. vs. Prime Time

July 24, 2007
6:30pm A.A.F. vs. Against the Grain
7:30pm C.L.I. vs. Rosemaxx
8:30pm McNasty vs. P.C.S.
9:30pm Los Allstars vs. John P. Kee

July 25, 2007
6:30pm A.A.F. vs. Bring It On
7:30pm Hubbard vs. Against the Grain
8:30 pm C.L.I. vs. McNasty
9:30pm Auto Illusions vs. Prime Time

July 26, 2007
6:30pm Rosemaxx vs. Auto Illusions
7:30pm McNasty vs C.L.I.
8:30pm P.C.S. vs Against the Grain 9:30pm Hubbard vs Los Allstars

July 30, 2007
6:30pm Los Allstars vs. Bring it On
7:30pm A.A.F. vs McNasty
8:30pm Rosemaxx vs John P. Kee
9:30pm P.C.S. vs Auto Illusions

July 31, 2007
6:30pm P.C.S. vs. Rosemaxx
7:30pm John P. Kee vs.McNasty
8:30pm Los Allstars vs. C.L.I.
9:30pm Prime Time vs. Hubbard

August 1, 2007
6:30pm Old Timers Game
7:30pm College Player Challenge
8:30pm ALL STAR

August 2, 2007
6:30pm Prime Time vs. John P. Kee
7:30pm P.C.S. vs. A.A.F.
8:30pm McNasty vs. Against the Grain
9:30pm Hubbard vs. Rosemaxx

August 6, 7,8, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Former Niner Maine on SI cover

For your viewing pleasure. Maine's at front left, No. 33.

Monday, June 11, 2007

49ers hoops recruits already enrolled

Two of the Charlotte 49ers' incoming freshman basketball class aren't wasting any time getting started.
Gaby Ngoundjo, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward from Little Rock, Ark., and An'Juan Wilderness, a 6-6, 215-pound combination guard/forward from Dunwoody, Ga., are already on campus and enrolled in summer school sessions.
Ngoundjo is listed as a math major in the school's student directory while Wilderness is listed with an undecided major in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Wilderness was the Class AAA player of the year in Georgia in 2006 and spent this past season in prep school at The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C. Ngoundjo's Little Rock Christian Academy team finished the season 20-3.
Also enrolled in summer school is 6-10 center Phil Jones. Jones was declared ineligible at the start of last season by the NCAA, but remained enrolled in school and has been paying his own way. He will become eligible to join the team -- and be classified a sophomore -- and regain his scholarship this fall. -- Jim Utter

Friday, June 1, 2007

49ers honor fallen teammate with win

There was another winner in the Charlotte 49ers' 6-3 baseball victory over N.C. State on Friday.
He wasn't on the field, but Eric Walker's presence was apparent in many other ways -- like the "E.W. 23" etched in the hats of Charlotte's players or simply by their performance.
Walker finished his four-year career with Charlotte last season as the 49ers' all-time leader in appearances (104) and saves (26). He died last fall in a canoeing accident. He had just turned 23 and had started what looked to be a promising pro career.
This year's current 49ers team was in the midst of fall workouts when word came one Saturday Walker was missing following the accident in Virginia. Even though Walker's eligibility had expired he was still around campus working to finish his degree and spent countless hours with his former teammates.
The 49ers have sought to honor Walker this season, dedicating the season to him. They have talked of their teammate when asked, but have not been overly public with their thoughts or feelings.
They have not needed to. They honor the memory of their teammate with the hard work they have put in all season. They have exceeded expectations and broken school records, both as a team and in individual performances.
In essence, they have honored Walker the best way they knew how -- playing the best baseball they can and taking the 49ers' program further than every before.
Friday's win meant many things, including this: So far, their job is far from done. -- Jim Utter