Thursday, March 8, 2012

Charlotte 49ers: Looking back, ahead

The Charlotte 49ers’ basketball season ended Tuesday with an 80-64 loss at Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament. Let’s wrap up things up and look ahead:

(Note: I'll have a story with coach Alan Major and AD Judy Rose's take on the season soon).

In review


-- The 49ers’ record (13-17, 5-11 A-10) improved – somewhat – in Major’s second season. Their overall and league marks were both three games better than 2010-11 and they returned to the league tournament after failing to qualify last season. But after a promising 2-0 start in the league, the 49ers lost 11 of 14 regular-season conference games the rest of the way.

-- Center Chris Braswell continued to develop into one of he league’s top big men, averaging 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds. Freshman point guard Pierria Henry was a revelation, finishing among the nation’s leaders in steals and providing the 49ers with a tough defensive presence on the perimeter. The versatile DeMario Mayfield had a strong second-half, scoring and rebounding, and he often took over ball-handling duties for Henry.

-- But the 49ers never found offensive cohesiveness (shooting 41.2 percent for the season). Javarris Barnett was the closest thing Charlotte had to a No. 2 scorer behind Braswell, but Barnett’s senior season was marked with inconsistency. The backcourt depth Major hoped for vanished when Luka Voncina left school in December and senior Derrio Green’s defensive liabilities (something his streaky shooting couldn’t make up for) cost him a spot in the rotation.

Looking ahead


-- In Braswell and Henry, Charlotte will have two of the Atlantic 10’s top players at two key positions, and Mayfield and shooting guard Jamar Briscoe will also return to the starting lineup. But Braswell will clearly need help offensively, and there’s no veteran who has shown he can fill that gap.
It could come from Briscoe (the nation’s second-leading freshman scorer at N.C. Central three years ago), Mayfield or even E. Victor Nickerson, who got plenty of minutes as a freshman this season. 

Incoming freshman Shawn Lester was a proven scorer at Mooresville High, but counting on a freshman is dangerous business. Finding that No. 2 scorer will be a huge priority for Major.

Henry, for all his defensive prowess, will need to work on his offense in the offseason. If he can find – and make – more shots, Charlotte will be better.

-- Rebounding help is on the way from incoming freshmen Darion Clark (6-6) and Willie Clayton (6-8). And if Braswell’s eventual replacement in the post is to be recruiting-gamble Mike Thorne (who played three minutes this season), he’s going to have to quickly develop and contribute as a sophomore.

-- As Major continues his re-building effort, it can be argued that this the lowest point for 49ers basketball in nearly 30 years. The last time Charlotte had back-to-back losing seasons was 1985 and '86, Hal Wissel’s final season and Jeff Mullins’ first. Another three-game improvement would only move Charlotte into the middle of the Atlantic 10. Will that be enough to satisfy 49ers fans who are yearning for a return to the NCAA tournament, where Charlotte hasn’t been since 2005?     

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Another three-game improvement would only move Charlotte into the middle of the Atlantic 10. Will that be enough to satisfy 49ers fans who are yearning for a return to the NCAA tournament, where Charlotte hasn’t been since 2005?"

No. It won't satisfy me.

Chaz said...

Another three game improvement will not satisfy me. Charlotte needs to get over .500 in conference and have an extended postseason. Braswell has the potential to be THE dominate player in the league next year with Frease and Nicholson moving on. He has to step up.

Anonymous said...

Let me save you the time David reporting what Major will say:

"this year our A players were A players some nights, other nights our B players were more like C players. We need to have our identity and not let other team have their identity. (you can insert any other John Fox cliche here)"

he will say nothing of substance

Anonymous said...

David's piece makes alot of assumptions that guys are HERE. If a guy like Braswell transfers, all hell breaks loose.

Anonymous said...

in 2 seasons Major has an average of 12 wins and RPI of 191.

Major's FG% for 2 seasons is ranked 287 and 278

rebuilding or not, that doesn't fly, he should hire an offensive asst coach

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this Blog David.

The 49ers' mantra is: It's hard to look ahead when you've fallen way behind.

Bring Back Mullins said...

LMAO, I never thought in my wildest dreams a Hal Wissell mention would spring up in regards to Major's performance, but it's accurate. OUCH!!!! #reality #flashcards

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have Bobby Lutz's phone number? We may owe him an apology...

Steve L said...

I think I just read that next year our best player (in Major's 3rd season) is a LUTZ leftover?

Better hope next yr's class is better than this dud class. Nickerson was supposed to be far better, and Thorne should of played more to develop.

Always next yr!!

J said...

A 3-game improvement would make us 8-8, 16-14 if the 3 more wins are all league games. If the A-10 is as good next year as it has been this year, that gets us an NIT bid. That would be good enough for me if the Major recruits are major contributors.

Now, if the 3 more wins were against the likes of NC Central and Kennesaw St, and we are 16-14 but 5-11 in the A-10 again, then no, that is not good enough, and we'll have to find a new coach and start all over again.

Ultimately, I'd like to see us with a winning A-10 record, 17-18 wins overall, an NIT bid, and the Major recruits being the team's best players. That would be enough to give Major a 4th year, but no contract extension.

If he managed to coach us to 10 A-10 wins, 20 overall, and an NCAA birth, give him a 5-year contract extension.

Anonymous said...

If your 40 years old and single it should be a clue that youre not a good communicator.

Anonymous said...

Dude thats funny....yeah the 40+ never married or kids thing is a flag

Anonymous said...

Did Thorne officially get a redshirt? I know it was discussed on Lutz Live but ive never seen it written in print or blog form anywhere.

Anonymous said...

He can't coach, he can't recruit, he can't win. It Her fault. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Lutz Live? Hah. Freudian slip?

Yes, he got the redshirt.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte played a garbage schedule and was still horrible.

The A-10 this year is a garbage league and yet Charlotte was still horrible.

Wake up people. Charlotte is now a completely irrelevant school in a completely irrelevant league.

Tell me, with attendance and season tickets sales already approaching 10-year lows, who's going to pay to see this same old story next year?

Not me.

Anonymous said...

Change the name back to UNCC
49ers and stop trying to stuff the dead white queen down throats since nobody gives a rats ass.
12th is a joke and Major is a bigger joke and a mistake. The whole basketball program is laughable.

Losers.

Anonymous said...

As an alum who was there at the NCAAs in the 70's, this season and last were most painful. I'll give Major 1 more season to show that this team is REALLY on the move in the RIGHT direction. Well over 500 in the league and overall.

Anonymous said...

And, er, could we get some front page coverage of this from the CO??
Please, for gosh sake, it's the city's local state university and the state's 3rd largest in student population.

Anonymous said...

OK knucklehead. Those who who dont given a damn get it. Anything new screwball?

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J said...

Anon 3:09 AM said, "The A-10 this year is a garbage league..."

I'm guessing you're a Tar Hole or Dook fan trolling on the 49ers blog. That would be the only explanation for why you would say that a conference that is going to get as many or more teams in the NCAA, compared to the ACC, a garbage league. The ACC will get the Tar Holes, Dook, and Florida State (if Virginia and NC State lose today, they're toast). The A-10 has 3 locks - Temple, Xavier and Saint Louis, and if UMass does anything in the A-10 tourney, they're going also.

Now crawl back under your rock, and we'll talk again once the brackets come out.

Michael Procton said...

Why would you compare a bunch of first-round losers to perennial tournament teams, two of which are among the championship favorites? All tourney bids are NOT created equal.

kyleh49 said...

I cant belive how apatetic everyone is. Lets look at the obvious:
major doesnt understand x and o's
we have no talent
major cant coach
people are loosing interest
our conference is getting weaker
we cant compete in the a-10
people of charlotte do not care

I am finding it hard to care...major has to go...bring on Dalonte Hill

Anonymous said...

Don't despair, one day we might aspire to be UNC Asheville.