Friday, October 29, 2010

Major: Sherrill was off to strong start

Just spent some time with men's basketball coach Alan Major before Friday's practice. A few highlights:

-- Major said the most impressive player in the preseason had been forward K.J. Sherrill before he hurt his knee. "K.J. had a great summer and good early fall, so it's really unfortunate for him," said Major. "He was showing us a lot."

Sherrill, who had surgery on the knee earlier this week, is expected to miss 8-12 weeks.

-- Major said there's a silver lining to the absences of Sherrill and guard Charles Dewhurst (who's also out with a knee injury): "It's giving our other players more reps in practice. So they're getting a chance to get better a lot faster."

-- Point guard Jamar Briscoe (a transfer from N.C. Central) is starting to get a feel for his teammates. " 'Deuce' has had some good moments," said Major of Briscoe, who was a score-first point guard for the Eagles. "He's learning the game on this level. He was a volume guy; now he's an efficiency guy. He's not going to do what he did at Central, which is good because he's got more guys around him now."

-- The 49ers are four days away from a Tuesday exhibition against Queens in Halton Arena. The 49ers' season opener is at the unique time 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12 against Gardner-Webb, followed by another game the next day against S.C. State.

"Yeah, it's kind of funny," said Major of the first weekend, which came about when the 49ers couldn't find a game for the weekend of Dec. 4 (their only open weekend of the pre-conference season aside from Christmas). "But it will get us ready for the Charleston tournament (Nov. 18-19 and 21)."

Charlotte plays George Mason in its Charleston opener, then will face either N.C. State or Georgetown the next day.

-- Major said there are no issues with forward Shamari Spears, who suggested on his Twitter account earlier this week that he was unhappy with Major. Major said Spears' father visited Spears one day last week, and there was confusion whether the senior forward would be at practice.

"Shamari's had a great week of practice," said Major. "He's fine."