Saturday, February 1, 2014

Observations from Charlotte 49ers victory against FIU

Observations from Charlotte's 73-61 victory against Florida International:

-- As critical as Ben Cherry's shooting was Saturday and as the offensive outburst of Shawn Lester was against FAU on Thursday, defense was the key in Charlotte (14-7, 5-3) sweeping the two games on this home stand. The 49ers held the Panthers to 38.5 percent and FAU to 37.5. The 49ers will win plenty more games with that kind of defensive effort -- especially if the offense continues to play as consistently well as it has over the last two games.

Charlotte held FIU scoreless for more than 8 minutes during one stretch (late in the first half until early in the second half). That stretch ended with an FIU free throw and went on to nearly 10 minutes before the Panthers scored another field goal.

-- Cherry is now making 52% of his 3-point shots, which will certainly continue to lead Conference USA. He was 5 of 6 against the Panthers and made two in a row to open the second half.

-- The 49ers got a better game from center Mike Thorne, who scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds.

-- Pierria Henry is looking like the walking wounded. He had a bandage above his left eye (from recent minor surgery) and split open his finger Friday at practice, necessitating a wrap there. He still scored 10 points, had seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.

-- Cherry paid tribute to the late Lew Massey after the game, saying the 49ers wouldn't have the excellent facilities they have or enjoy the perks of playing for the 49ers without those teams of the 1970s that Massey played on. Cedric Maxwell, a teammate of Massey in town for his memorial service, spoke to the team before the game.

-- Charlotte takes a break from the Thursday-Saturday rotation of play next week so they can be play at Southern Mississippi in Conference USA's national CBS Sports Network game of the week Sunday. Charlotte opens the road trip Friday at Tulane.


Anonymous said...

I'll take the two wins at home this week, but the Niners have had some horrible losses this year. I think there are real problems with the 49ers program. Major is in his 4th year, and the Niners have played one post season game (a loss in the NIT to Providence). If not for a miracle finish against Richmond last year, they wouldn't have played a post seaon game (most likely).

Major's refusal to come out for a post game interview after the Niners lost to Rice was inexcusable. To me, it's the equivalent of Lutz putting 6 men on the floor against UMass in the A10 tournament in what turned out to be his last game. Both moves are moves that amatuer coaches make. Not highly paid D1 coaches.

Bottom line, these two wins do nothing to change my mind that this team is regressing and Major is not the right coach to lead the Niners. We're probably stuck with him until 2018 though.

Anonymous said...

The butthurt fron Major's non appearance following the Rice game continues.
There's absolutely no parallel between that and Lutz putting six on the floor. D1 coaches are highly paid
mainly to COACH, which is likely what Major was doing during his scheduled interview time. You do know that coaching occurs at times other than during the game, right?
Could be that Major is more Clark Kent than Superman, but let's confine our criticisms to something making a little sense.

Anonymous said...

The last two 49er wins showed improvement but when one recalls the hype over changing to a weaker B-ball C-USA, the last two games should of been in the bag anyway. I am not impressed with Major at all. I forecast another season with no post season tournament bids. How many more insignificant seasons can we take? UNCC can save postage by not sending me an alumni support request until I see a reason for support.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if UNCC can get buses for students to go to a Tarheel games? We should support our other UNC schools. A bus full of people to the Dean Dome would be fun! GO HEELS!!

Anonymous said...

Because winning in athletics is clearly the only reason to support a university. A common opinion from a common person.

Anonymous said...


Laughing at your weak-ass attempt at trolling

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:27,

While they are there they can get a degree in African American studies with UNC's athletes. Apparently you don't even have to be able to read to get one.

Anonymous said...

9:01. I'm sure Lutz was coaching during the timeout right before he put six men on the floor. Fact is hiding behind coaching doesn't absolve you from doing the basics. Putting the right number of players on the floor is a basic as is answering a few softball questions after you get beat by a really, really bad team. The latter is also a contractual requirement.

For all Lutz's faults, I'll give him this. After the UMass game, I completely expected him to duck out of the post game interview. He knew that he had made a critical error, and he knew his career at Charlotte was probably over. Regardless, he came out and took ownership of the mistake and the loss. Major ducking out after a loss to one of the worst teams in the country was inexcusable. Part of the job is owning things (particularly when they go poorly). Explaining things to alumni, students and fans why it went poorly is a big part of a coaches job.

WJ said...

Four years ago, Chancellor Philip Dubois said this when removing Lutz, "long-term interest of 49ers basketball and the university as a whole." Alan Major is not in the best interest for 49ers basketball in my opinion. If they don't make the NCAAs this season - which will require them winning the C-USA tourney because at-large bid is out - he should be let go. This program is dead in the water. Man...just think how much better this program would be if McKillop was at the helm. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:45 I could not say it any better. Bravo. I don't think Major truly understands the head coaches entire portfolio of responsibility. It is not his fault our administration hired someone with zero experience and the savvy PR skills of a stick of Balsa wood. It is also not his fault he was extended. Just foolish on all accounts. How could he turn us down?

WJ at 2:44, you too are so correct. I am so disheartened with this program that I stopped attending games last year after 30 plus years of backing them no matter what. I cannot get behind someone who does nothing but worry about his locker room.

Lastly, there is no way Bobby thought that UMass game was his last - embarrassing as it was. He covered for an assistant whose only job was to make sure we had 5 on the floor. He admitted his setback and took the blame as a true leader. He is gone. Maybe we needed a change. But, what we got is not what we needed. We needed passion, energy, toughness and someone who could light this city's fire.

The administration failed on all accounts. We may win 20 again. No one is enthused outside of the 1200 season tickets sold.

- Mark '83

494evr said...

Again, who do you think is going to come in and win all of these games that you are talking about. McKillop gets paid far more money at Davidson then he would here. There are good recruits coming in next year and this team will be a good one. Firing Major will only result in another assistant coach coming in and starting all over again. If you want a winning team, try going to the games and supprting the team you have now.

Anonymous said...

We have a good team. We beat two top 25 teams this season (at least at some point) and then proceed to lose to two unbelievably bad teams. Also blasted by a mediocre Florida State team. This is purely coaching and not having the players ready. Next year will be the same thing regardless of the recruits.

A seasoned coach can take this batch of kids to the NCAA. Look at SMU and NC State.

Anonymous said...

On the overrly analyzed subject of Major's missing a post game intrerview, I'm not sure that doing that interview is a "contractual obligation" or that some poster with an agenda made that up.
Trying to guess Alan's motives for his behavior is futile. If you disapprove of him generally, you can assume he was just cowardly. If not, you can assume there was some other reason such as
talking to his team in the locker room.
I do know that Major often and repeatedly talks about his team learning life lessons and blowing off the interview out of cowardice would be a horrible example to the team. If you have a low enough opinion of the man to think he talks one way for public consumption and acts completely differently, then so be it.
Somehow, I don't think this is the case, unless his players are trained to be equally two-faced. To a man, they all speak of being "brothers" and a true team. Such an attitude would not naturally flow from coaching leadership with no character.
Major missed a post game interview after a horrendous loss. He's not the first to do so nor will he be the last.

Anonymous said...

You idiots who love McKillop so much are hilarious. He has made like 5 or 6 NCAA tourneys in over 20 years at Davidson. No at-large bids either. He had one season that they actually WON an NCAA tourney game, thanks to Steph Curry who fell in his lap. Bobby Lutz owned McKillop. He is NOT that good.

Anonymous said...

For next year Charlotte will return all but Ben Cherry. In addition you add 2 top 100 recruits from previous years off transfers. Two high school recruits who are both 3 star recruits. Everyone is so quick to jump the gun, but Alan Major is building a program with depth and talent. You could make the argument that he's not a seasoned coach and makes mistakes coaching. What coach doesn't? He's gotten dramatically better and seems to be progressing. Reality is that Charlotte is never going to be a destination for a top tier coach. Charlotte's best chance of getting a great coach is investing time and money while he develops. Long term is he the answer? Time will tell but he's made the program better since his arrival and seems to be an active recruiter who is finding talent and getting them to buy into his system. That's light years ahead of every school that is not in the ACC in this state.

Anonymous said...

Since Coach Lutz left UNCC, the basketball program has been stuck in
no-man's land. First, all of the great teams (with football programs)
left C-USA. At that time (2006), it wasn't a good basketball conference and it's less so now. Charlotte was thrown a life preserver by the A-10 and drowned. Now, with waning fan interest, the 49ers are about where they were last year (check out the records) and this is supposed to be a lower level conference.

Anonymous said...

Lutz was fired after the supposed A-10 life preserver. His style did not fit the new conference and Charlotte did not fit in most sports. Your implication that Lutz's departure is the main impetus for a downward trend in basketball is simplistic at best and possibly just wrong.