Saturday, November 13, 2010

Observations from a 1-1 start

-- Friday's loss against lowly Gardner-Webb was never the disaster so many people seemed to think it was. Charlotte's not good enough to be able to lose five players -- including two starters and a sixth man -- to suspension, injury and eligibility, and still expect to win (which was the prevailing feeling in some quarters), no matter who it's playing.

Like the late Skip Prosser used to say, "The other team gives scholarships, too." It was a quality and quantity issue for Charlotte. They didn't have all their best players out there, and that also affected their depth, especially when two players fouled out. When you've got two walk-ons on the court, the problems are compounded.

-- Charlotte proved all this Saturday with Shamari Spears and An'Juan Wildnerness back in the lineup against S.C. State. Against a markedly better opponent, Charlotte imposed its will because it had better players available. End of story. Doesn't mean it will be that way every night, but that's what having your best players available will do for you.

-- A good start for new point guard Deuce Briscoe. Briscoe played 78 of 80 minutes in both games. With Spears back, he didn't shoot as much Saturday as he did Friday (9 of 17 for 30 points against Gardner-Webb; 5 of 13 for 15 points against S.C. State). He's a little guy (listed at 5-10, but probably not big) and had several of his shots blocked as he went to basket. But as he gets more comfortable, he'll continue to figure out his role in the offense. One thing is for sure, he's not afraid to shoot it when the offense clogs up.

And guess who had eight rebounds to lead his team in that department against S.C. State? Briscoe.

-- Derrio Green also played huge minutes (75). His shot is way off to start the season. He's 8 of 31, including 3 of 18 from 3-point range), but he had just four turnovers in the two games. The 49ers are shooting the 3 as much as they ever did under Bobby Lutz, taking 56 of them in the two games (making 15 of them).

-- Chris Braswell was a force inside against S.C. State. He kept getting to the basket and kept getting fouled, making 11 of 17 free throws. He got into early foul trouble (he also fouled out against Gardner-Webb) but kept himself in the game.

-- George Mason, Charlotte's first-round opponent in the Charleston Classic on Thursday, beat Harvard 66-53 in its season opener Saturday. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks anything positive comes out of losing to Gardner Webb and barely outlasting S.C. State is CLUELESS. The team has no emotion or passion. It just doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

You're clueless if you think we're clueless.

Anonymous said...

Briscoe maybe a little guy BUT HE PLAYS VERY BIG.Not only did he lead the team in rebs also led the team in steals. Those catagories are all about HEART.

Anonymous said...

The Niners opened the game with a long, embarrassing string of turnovers and trailed until the last seconds of the first half. It looked like it was going to be a complete train wreck, but they settled in and and started to play well. I think this team will be pretty good, but are still finding their rhythm.

Anonymous said...

First of all excellent article. You have to take positive out of everything. Yeah we have looked a little sloppy these past couple games but what we have is a group of excellent players who are used to playing a certain style of basketball and having to learn a whole new system. Niners will gell before the year is up just in time for March.

Anonymous said...

whole new system? it looks like the exact same system with worse defense, worse inside game, and awful 3 pt shooting. The article said they are taking as many 3's as ever. Major hasn't fixed any of the problems, but has made things worse so far.

Anonymous said...

I wish this was in the print edition. I barely found the story and there was no boxscore. We should NEVER lose to Gardner-Webb in any sport, but I wish more people got to read this in print.

Thanks for the coverage all week David. - Mark

Anonymous said...

Saying GWU is a lowly team is an insult of the highest order

Anonymous said...

Its always mindboggling to read a journalist talk down to the readers that pay for their paper! Then, they try to figure out why people are no longer buying. Journalists believe that they have the truth that you don't understand and their job is to make sure you can understand it.

Anonymous said...

anybody need a little cheese with their wine?

Anonymous said...

anybody need a little cheese with their wine?

Anonymous said...

As a graduate of both Gardner-Webb and Charlotte and a player on the 1970 freshman team, the lost hurts. But let's be honest, there are no more UCLAs of the 1960-70s and there is so much parity in all of college sports. Gardner-Webb has a rich basketball history and they caught us at a bad time just like Stetson caught Wake Forest at a bad time? Anybody remember the College of Charleston and UNC or should I say Winthrop and Notre Dame in the NCAAs? Hey, everybody could have thought the same things about us in '77 when we went to the Final Four! UNCC who?

punkrockcowboy said...

Good article. I think we should suspend judgement of the new coach/team until we have enough players back to see just what kind of offensive and defensive sets we will employ at full strength. You mentioned having 2 walkons on the floor, but I might also add that we often had Sirin playing Center and Barnett at Power Forward, which is equally or more problematic; and that's no offense to Sirin or Barnett, Lutz recruited them as shooters, not post players, but with so few players available there wasn't much else to do. I look forward to seeing how this team develops over the course of the season.