The 49ers men's basketball team wrapped up its two-game trip to the Bahamas last week with two easy victories against two of the country's "all-star" teams. 49ers coach Alan Major was happy with how things turned out, but warned to take the opposition "with a grain of salt." Here are a few of Major's observations from the trip:
-- Not having center Chris Braswell (broken foot) playing gave more playing time to red-shirt freshman Mike Thorne, who averaged 11.5 rebounds in the two games.
"Mike's a little green from not playing last season, so this was his first real competition in a while," said Major. "He rebounded really well."
-- The trip also gave Major a chance to look at the team's four freshmen. "I liked the young guys' effort," he said. "(Denzel) Ingram ran the team well and distributed. Willie (Clayton) and Darion (Clark) gave us energy and rebounded. Ivan (Benkovic) had some stretches where he shot it well."
-- Major said senior forward J.T. Thompson doesn’t appear to be favoring either of the knees that he had surgery on before he transferred to Charlotte from Virginia Tech. Thompson missed the past two seasons after injuring both his knees in the preseason.
“His knees are fine,” said Major. “But he’s still getting his wind. But he’s going to really help us. He’s got this sense of calmness on the floor that I hope rubs off. He’s not out there feeling like he has to prove himself.”
-- Major said sophomore point guard Pierria Henry made his presence felt in the first game, starting a rally by being disruptive on defense and hitting a few jump shots.
“That’s the next step for Pierria and something he wasn’t that comfortable with last season,” said Major. “He’s got to recognize when the shot is there for him, then step up and knock it down.”
-- Sophomores Terrence Williams and E. Victor led the 49ers in scoring in each game, something Major hopes happens often next season.
“They had good off-seasons and it showed,” Major said. “They’re rounding out their games and that’s good to see.”
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