Sunday, August 31, 2008

Charlotte rings up another win

The Charlotte 49ers used a stifling defense and torrid offense in defeating York University 123-59 Sunday in the second stop of their three-day, three-game exhibition tour of Canada.
Charlotte led 58-27 and never let up in defeating York, which had lost by 21 to N.C. State on Saturday. All 11 49ers players who saw action scored.
Freshman shooting guard Shamarr Bowden topped Charlotte with 21 points in 20 minutes. He was 8-of-9 shooting, including five 3-pointers.
Five other Charlotte players finished in double figures with sophomore An’Juan Wilderness scoring 19; Michael Gerrity had 15 points and four assists; Charlie Coley had 13 points; Javarris Barnett had 13 points and eight rebounds; and center Phil Jones finished with12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
“You play hard and good things happen,” Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. “Our defense intensity was really good and disruptive.
“It was great for all the guys to get some playing time. I was very pleased with our aggressiveness and unselfishness.”
The 49ers will close their Canadian tour with an 11 a.m. game Monday at Sheridan College.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

49ers' Canada trip begins with win

The Charlotte 49ers got off to a strong start on their three-game swing through Canada with a convincing 88-59 victory Saturday against the University of Toronto.
Senior forward Charlie Coley led the way for the 49ers, finishing with 15 points with 7-of-13 shooting. He also had six rebounds and three dunks.
Freshman shooting guard Shamarr Bowden had 13 points and sophomore Charles Dewhurst finished with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds.
In all, 10 of the 11 Charlotte players who saw time scored. Junior DiJuan Harris started at the point and had nine points, seven assists, seven steals and just one turnover.
“I’m extremely proud of our effort, energy and unselfishness. Our execution overall was pretty good,” 49ers coach Bobby Lutz said. “We have some room to improve but with the fast pace of the game and to have only nine turnovers – that’s pretty good.”
The 49ers will return to action Sunday with a game at 7 p.m. at York University in Ontario, Canada.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rally planned to show support for football

Charlotte 49ers students and organizers of the Charlotte Football Initiative are planning a show of support for the addition of a football program.

The rally, dubbed "March to the Endzone," will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Belk Tower on campus where students and alumni are encouraged to gather. The rally is set to conclude with the delivery of a mock goalpost to Bissell House, the residence of Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois.

On Sept. 18, Dubois is set to present his research and recommendation to the school's board of trustees on whether it should add a Division I football program in the future.

Charlotte's pep-band, the Golddusters dance team and cheerleaders are all expected to participate, organizers say.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

49ers-Wildcats game in doubt - again?

The back-and-forth, on-and-off drama surrounding this season's men's basketball game between the Davidson Wildcats and Charlotte 49ers took another bizarre turn on Thursday, once again throwing the 29-year history of the rivalry between the two Mecklenburg County Division I schools in doubt.

Chattanooga, one of Davidson's fellow members in the Southern Conference, released its 2008-09 schedule on Thursday, which includes a Dec. 13 matchup with the Wildcats at Davidson's Belk Arena.

However, that's the date Davidson and Charlotte officials agreed to play when the future of the game was first put in doubt earlier this month.

At that time, Davidson athletics director Jim Murphy said the Wildcats would need to reschedule their game with Chattanooga, but also said that would not be problem. Charlotte rescheduled its game with Winthrop, originally planned for Dec. 13, and moved it to Jan. 31.

Murphy did not return calls or e-mails for comment on Thursday.

The new twist left Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose frustrated.

“We did everything Davidson asked us to do to make the Dec. 13 game work because they assured us it would work,” she said. “We would never have asked Winthrop to change a previously contracted date unless we were certain this game was going to happen.

“Now we're told that Dec. 13 won't work. It seems to me nothing we did was good enough for Davidson to get this game done.”

Jim Horten, a team spokesman for Chattanooga, said the Mocs offered Davidson “three or four” new game dates, but none worked for the Wildcats. Horten said the team then proceeded with its schedule as is.

Horten also said Dec. 13 was not the original date of Chattanooga's visit to Davidson. The Wildcats asked for a date change earlier this year to accommodate another game, but Horten did not know which game it was.

Horten said Chattanooga was in no additional discussions with Davidson regarding their game. Charlotte has released its 2008-09 schedule, which includes the Dec. 13 game at Davidson.

Davidson has not released its schedule.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

49ers' golf team ranked 13th in preseason poll

The Charlotte 49ers' men's golf team is ranked 13th in the country in the preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll, which will appear in the Aug. 29 issue of Golf World Magazine.

In addition, two Charlotte players - Corey Nagy and Stefan Wiedergruen - were named to the magazine's Top 50 "Players to Watch" for the 2008-09 season.

The 49ers finished tied for eighth at the 2008 NCAA Championship, their second consecutive top-10 finish. Charlotte has won three consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference championships and made four consecutive NCAA appearances.

"I think anytime the coaches take a look at how you've done the previous year and tip their cap, so to speak, as a top 25 golf program, our players and coaches should be proud of that," said Charlotte coach Jamie Green.

"Our goal is to play our best every time out and to improve at every turn so that ultimately we want to be playing our best at the end of the year. That's the ranking that counts most."


Men's Division I - Preseason

1. UCLA (11)
2. Oklahoma St. (4)
3. Georgia (6)
4. Southern Cal. (5)
5. Stanford
6. Clemson
7. Florida
8. Alabama
9. Texas A&M
10. Georgia Tech
11. Florida St.
12. Arizona St.
13. Charlotte
14. Duke
15. Tennessee
16. Auburn
17. Kent St.
18. East Tennessee St.
19. South Carolina
20. Wake Forest
(T) Indiana
22. UNLV
23. San Diego St.
24. Texas
25. North Carolina

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Top 100 baskeball prospect to visit 49ers

Chris Braswell, one of the nation's top high school power forwards, is planning a visit with the Charlotte 49ers on Oct. 23 - the day of the school's annual "Basketball Madness" event to kick off the 2008-09 season.

Braswell, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward who attends Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., is ranked the 78th best player in the country among high school seniors and the 22nd-best power forward by recruiting Web site He has also been named an ESPN 100 college prospect.

Last season, Braswell made a commitment to Georgetown, but after deciding to spend another season in prep school the Baltimore native re-opened his recruiting in June.

Braswell also has considered Virginia Tech, Xavier, Virginia, Indiana and Oklahoma.

Last season, Braswell helped Hargrave to a 29-0 season and national championship. He had 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in Hargave's win against Findlay College Prep (Nev.) in the National Prep Invitational championship game at Fordham.

Monday, August 25, 2008

W. Rowan's Sherrill visits Charlotte 49ers

K.J. Sherrill, ranked among the top high school seniors in North Carolina, made an unofficial visit to the Charlotte 49ers on Monday and said he was "very, very close" to making a decision on where he will play in college.

Sherrill, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, who plays at West Rowan High, said the 49ers are at the top of his list. He is also being recruited by Georgia and Auburn.

"I like the coaches. I really like the players and I think I would fit in real well here," said Sherrill, who was named N.C. 3A first-team all-state last season by the Associated Press. "It's not too far from home but then again I would still be away from home.

"I like the way they play here. This team is very unselfish and that's what I like."

Sherrill was named second-team All-Observer as a junior and first-team all-Piedmont while averaging more than 19 points a game. He was recently named by basketball recruiting analyst David Telep as a "breakout player."

Sherrill is a cousin of Scooter Sherrill, a former star at West Rowan who played college basketball at N.C. State.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

49ers bid to host A-10 baseball tournament

The Charlotte 49ers already plan to host three Atlantic 10 Conference championships in the upcoming season - cross-country, track and field and women's basketball - but are still trying to add one more.

The 49ers have put in a bid to host the A-10 baseball tournament at their new Hayes Stadium and hope to get it in 2009, 2010 or 2011 or even a combination of years.

At one time, school officials were worried about hosting the tournament because it falls on the same weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and hotels are hard to come by. The school, however, has secured a hotel deal for visiting teams if they are awarded the tournament.

A-10 athletic directors will make the final call on the 2009 tournament sometime in September. The only sites in the running are Charlotte and a minor baseball league park in Dayton, Ohio.

The 49ers have won the A-10 tournament title the past two seasons and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

49ers' women's cross country team 2nd in poll

The Charlotte 49ers' women's cross country team was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in a poll conducted by the league's 14 head coaches. Charlotte's men's team was picked sixth.

The women's team returns the entire 2007 squad which came home with a fourth-place finish at last year's A-10 championships in Philadelphia. The 49ers return the talented trio of Aja Jackson of Charlotte, Amanda Goetschius of Franklinville, N.J., and Keara Thomas of Haverhill, Mass.

Jackson was an all-conference selection a season ago and won four events, including the inaugural Charlotte Invitational.

The men's team has several talented runners returning, including former South Caldwell High star Chase Eckard of Granite Falls, N.C., named all-conference a year ago; and former Vance standout Adu Dentamo, who redshirted last season.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

49ers' Gerrity on how he's spent his summer

Charlotte 49ers junior point guard Michael Gerrity has spent most of the summer in his native California but will return to campus next week as the 49ers begin preparation for their three-game trip to Canada over Labor Day weekend.

Gerrity has stayed busy playing basketball over the summer and last weekend went to Oregon to attend the wedding of teammate Ian Andersen.

I traded e-mails with Gerrity recently and asked him to talk about his summer. Here is his response:

"I've had a great summer ... been working out a lot and at the same time being able to spend time with family and friends. Monday-Friday I'll do about a 1-2 hour basketball workout with a couple local players in the morning and then I'll go back to the gym that night and hit the weights, cardio, and sometimes 5-on-5 games for a good 2-3 hours. I'll be back on the 21st to start getting ready for Canada and school."

Friday, August 8, 2008

49ers' women beef up nonconference schedule

The Charlotte 49ers' women's basketball team will face one of its most challenging nonconference schedules this season, including home games against ACC opponents Wake Forest and Clemson and a nationally-televised home game against Notre Dame.

Charlotte will play a 14-game nonconference schedule and will open the 2008-09 season playing in a tournament Nov. 15-16 at N.C. State. The 49ers' first home game of the season is Nov. 21 against Alabama-Birmingham.

The 49ers will have at least two games televised, including the Dec. 28 home game against Notre Dame, which is expected to be broadcast on ESPNU. Charlotte will also have one of its Atlantic 10 Conference games televised.

Charlotte will play Dec. 21 at South Carolina, where former WBNA Charlotte Sting coach Dawn Staley makes her debut this season with the Gamecocks.

The A-10 schedule has not been released.

Charlotte women's nonconference schedule
Nov. 15-16 at N.C. State tournament
Nov. 18 at Hampton
Nov. 21 vs. Alabama-Birmingham
Nov. 26 vs. Wake Forest
Nov. 28-29 at Southern Methodist tournament
Dec. 6 at UNC Asheville
Dec. 9 at Davidson
Dec. 13 vs. Charleston Southern
Dec. 21 at South Carolina
Dec. 28 vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 2 at Clemson
Jan. 5 vs. N.C. A&T

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

West Meck's Forney commits to Niners

Jaquaria Forney, who averaged more than 21 points a game last season at West Mecklenburg High, has committed to play for the Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball program.

The 5-foot-9 guard confirmed Wednesday night she recently narrowed her college choices to two and picked the 49ers over Kansas.

“Coach (Karen) Aston has been committed to me since the first time she met me. She wanted to make sure I took the right classes, took the SAT when I needed to, all those things,” said Forney, who will play at Butler High next season.
“When it came down to it I wanted to return the same commitment to coach Aston and the Charlotte program as she has shown me.”

Forney was named third-team All-Mecklenburg last season and was also considering offers from Alabama, Kentucky and Clemson. She attended Aston’s Elite summer camp and also plays for the Peach State Elite Black AAU team, named by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz as one of the top girl’s basketball travel teams in the country.

“There are a lot of top colleges saying Charlotte got a steal right now,” said Clyde Pritchett, Forney’s coach with the Peach State Elite Black team. “She has had a tremendous summer playing basketball and taken her game to a very high level.
“Charlotte and coach Aston did a terrific job in recruiting Jaquaria and I think she will fit it very nicely with their program.”

ESPN: 49ers vs. Arizona State on Thanksgiving

ESPN has confirmed the Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team will indeed face Arizona State in the first round of the 2008 Anaheim Classic, which opens on Thanksgiving Day at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center.

The 49ers, who finished 20-14 and advanced to the National Invitation Tournament last season, will meet the Sun Devils, coached by former N.C. State coach Herb Sendek, in the third quarterfinal at 9 p.m. (EST) on Nov. 27. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The winner will meet the winner of the Providence/Baylor game at 12:30 a.m. (EST) on Nov. 29. The losers of each game will play at 5:30 p.m. (EST) Nov. 28.

The final four games begin at 3 p.m. (EST) Nov. 30, with the championship at 10:30 p.m. (EST) and aired on ESPN2. All games in the tournament will be broadcast on either ESPU or ESPN2.

Arizona State won 21 games last season, just the fourth time in 27 years the school has won 20 or more games. Wake Forest was 17-13 last season under first-year coach Dino Gaudio and lost 63-59 to Charlotte in a game played at what is now called Time Warner Cable Arena.

Anaheim Classic Schedule
(last season's record; home team listed second)

Thursday, Nov. 27
Quarterfinal #1: Saint Mary's* (25-7) vs. UTEP# (19-14), 2 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Quarterfinal #2: Wake Forest (17-13) vs. Cal State Fullerton* (24-9), 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Quarterfinal #3: Arizona State^ (21-13) vs. Charlotte^ (20-14), 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Quarterfinal #4: Providence (15-16) vs. Baylor* (21-11), 11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Friday, Nov. 28
Consolation #1: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Consolation #2: 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Semifinal #1: 10 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Saturday, Nov. 29
Semifinal #2: 12:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2

Sunday, Nov. 30
Seventh-place game: 3 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Fifth-place game: 5 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Third-place game: 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Championship: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ex-49ers softball star returns as assistant coach

Former Charlotte 49ers star and Central Cabarrus High softball coach Kristi Killough has been hired as an assistant coach with the 49ers. Killough was one of two recent additions to Charlotte coach Aimee DeVos' staff - the other is former Missouri State pitcher Missy Porche, who will join the program in October.

Killough is the 49ers' all-time leader in home runs (20) and ranks second in RBIs (105). She hit a school-record 11 home runs and had 47 RBIs as the 49ers won a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference title and earned a school-record 42 wins in 2006.

A native of Concord, Killough played for Central Cabarrus' state championship teams in 2000 and 2001 and ended her high school career at Jay Robinson High and was named The Charlotte Observer's Female Athlete of the Year in 2003.

"Kristi brings coaching experience, passion for the 49ers program and an incredible knowledge of hitting to our offense," DeVos said.

- Jim Utter

Monday, August 4, 2008

49ers' men picked 3rd in preseason soccer poll

The Charlotte 49ers' men's soccer team, which advanced to the championship game of last season's Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, was picked to finish third in a 2008 preseason poll voted on by the league's 14 coaches.

Saint Louis is the preseason pick to win the league. Massachusetts, which advanced to the Men's College Cup last season, was picked to finish second.

Charlotte won 12 games last season under first-year coach Jeremy Gunn, the most by a 49ers team since 1997. The 49ers return nine starters from last season led by senior preseason all-A-10 forward Chris Salvaggione, who led the league with nine assists last season.

Charlotte opens the 2008 season with an exhibition Aug. 24 against High Point. The 49ers' first regular-season game is Aug. 29 at Davidson. The 2008 A-10 tournament is Nov. 13-16 at Duquesne.

Friday, August 1, 2008

49ers women picked to repeat as soccer champs

The Charlotte 49ers, the reigning Atlantic 10 women's soccer champions, have been selected to repeat as conference champions in voting by the league's coaches.

The 49ers tied a school-record with 16 wins as they captured the 2007 regular-season title, their first conference tournament championship, and earned the third NCAA tournament berth in program history. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Brown, a second team All-A-10 selection last season, is one of eight starters and 19 returning letterwinners for Charlotte.

"We are honored that the coaches in this league think highly of our program,” said Charlotte coach Jonathan Lipsitz. “That said, preseason voting means absolutely nothing until we roll the ball out on the field and start working towards that goal."

Five-time champion Dayton was picked second, followed by Saint Louis, which claimed A-10 championships in 2005 and 2006. The six-team A-10 tournament will be held Nov. 6-9 at Saint Louis' Hermann Stadium.

2008 Predicted Order Of Finish
1. Charlotte
2. Dayton
3. Saint Louis
4. Rhode Island
5. Fordham
6. Richmond
7. Duquesne
8. La Salle
9. Massachusetts
10. George Washington
11. Xavier
12. St. Bonaventure
13. Temple
14. Saint Joseph’s