Monday, January 10, 2011

Seniors let 49ers down

It's hard to imagine a college basketball team being let down by its senior class more than the Charlotte 49ers have been.

With center Phil Jones being declared academically ineligible on Monday, the four seniors the 49ers started the season with are down to two. With Shamari Spears already having been thrown off the team, Charlotte is left with starting forward An'Juan Wilderness (who was suspended for one game earlier this season as well) and guard Charles Dewhurst on the roster (among the eight scholarship players remaining).

And, boy, how Jones and Spears let this team down. Here's what Jones told me the day after he, Spears and Wilderness had a seniors-only, late-night meeting after Charlotte had beaten East Carolina in the Charleston Classic in November. The victory against the Pirates had come after the 49ers were blown out by George Mason 78-56.

“We probably talked for three hours,” said Jones. "In a few months, the three of us are going to be out there in the real world, so this is our chance to do something as seniors.”

Oh well, so much for that.

Wilderness and Dewhurst (who's finally back from injuries) are both solid guys who are important to the team and I don't want to paint them with the same broad brush as Spears and Jones.

But here's something for the 49ers to think about as they head into the meat of the Atlantic 10 schedule (goal for the season now: qualify for the A-10 tournament) without their leading scorer from last season and the school's third all-time leading shot blocker:

If it hasn't happened already, it's time to turn the team over to players like juniors Derrio Green and Javarris Barnett and sophomore Deuce Briscoe. They're the ones who need to lead the 49ers into this next era under coach Alan Major, whatever that may hold.

And by the time they're seniors, they'll be able to look back to the class of  '11 and see how senior leadership doesn't work.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charles Dewhurst is not a senior, he is a grad student.

Anonymous said...

Senior in respect to eligibility.

Anonymous said...

How did the assistant coaches not make sure that Phil did all he could to remain elegible? That is one of their many jobs. They HAVE to watch out for only 10-12 guys. That's it. It's like Phil just elected to quite because of Shamari.
These seniors were let down when they fired Lutz. Right or wrong, they saw what leadership is all about.

Anonymous said...

Leadership = missing the tournament for 5 straight years? That kind of leadership? Our fanbase is full of losers and we get what we deserve.

punkrockcowboy said...

As a fan I do feel let down. I guess that more playing time for KJ and Gokhan is good in respect to next season.

Anonymous said...

Of course Anon 6:05, its someone else's fault. Bet the house you're a Millennial. Probably unemployed too.

The assistants, academic advisors, tutors and entire support system has been providing as much "encouragement" and assistance as they could, within the rules. With your keen insight, suppose you also wish Charlotte Athletics did it the Crapple Hell way instead, and done the work for him.

This isn't a surprise to Big Phil because I heard he was at risk a month ago, and I'm far from an insider. It's a shame too since he had stepped up his game so much under the new coaches, who you want to blame. EAD.

Anonymous said...

Can't make the grades at UNCC? Ouch!

Anonymous said...

It's not as if the assistants weren't assistants at other schools before they came to Charlotte...

Anonymous said...

Players suspended. Players kicked off the team. Players not making the grade. And what do 49ers fans do? "The refs don't like us." And they wonder why no one in Charlotte takes this school seriously.

Anonymous said...

But lots of people in Charlotte do take UNC Chapel Hill seriously despite a plethora of NCAA violations, eligibility issues and incidents of cheating. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Judy Rose will use this as another excuse as to why we suck (again). Major gets anoth passpass

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of with Anon 8:47. I've never seen more whiney-cry-babies in my life. If as if somebody isn't getting ripped for calling their former school UNCC these weasels are crying about refs in the lousy A-10 basketball conference. Makes a fan not want to be a fan. It's like the current, more recent students of the school own the legacy of the University. They don't and they're not doing the school, the alumni base and the supporting community any favors crying about every little thing. Maybe these guys just need some apple juice and a nap. Go Niners, Go UNCC.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:46, while yuu are standing up for all things academic, what is "EAD"?

Anonymous said...

major's really got this program heading in the right direction.......