CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Observations from the 49ers’ 77-46 loss Friday at Miami:
-- Charlotte’s 9-0 start to the season didn’t mean the 49ers were headed for the NCAA tournament. But losing by 31 to a good Miami team doesn’t mean Charlotte can’t continue moving forward with a young, still developing team.
It all depends on how the 49ers react to the loss and what they learn from it.
The schedule, which has criticized as being too soft, will help with that, with games at one-win Kennesaw State on Sunday and Radford on Wednesday at Halton Arena. Those games will give Charlotte ample opportunity to figure some things out about itself against lesser competition, just in time for another test: Florida State next Saturday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Charlotte won’t face many more teams – if any – with the kind of size the Hurricanes have on their front line. Nor will the 49ers see a backcourt as talented as Miami’s duo of Durand Scott and Shane Larkin. Charlotte was beaten down by Miami down low (having 12 shots blocked) and Larkin and Scott both had four steals, in addition to making 3 of 5 3-pointers between them.
-- With the 49ers losing for a first time, it will be interesting to see if coach Alan Major brings Chris Braswell (and maybe DeMario Mayfield) back into the starting lineup.
-- Commencement ceremonies at UNC Charlotte are Saturday. 49ers Mayfield was to fly to Charlotte from Miami on Saturday morning to attend them, then join the team later in the day at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (where the 49ers, believe it or not, are to change planes on their way to Atlanta and Sunday’s Kennesaw State game). Colby Lewis is also graduating, but isn’t attending today’s ceremonies.
-- Braswell and Miami center Reggie Johnson attended a big-man camp last summer in summer in Chicago put on by Nike and the New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire.
-- The crowd was sparse at the BankUnited Center. Miami doesn’t usually draw very well and the fact that students were leaving for the holidays didn’t help. The Hurricanes cheerleaders and dance team weren’t even there.