Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2 Niners make notable teams

A couple of notable upcoming adventures for some Charlotte 49er student-athletes:

-- Incoming Charlotte women's basketball freshman guard Rachelle Coward has been invited to try out for a spot on the 2008 Canadian Junior Women's National Team. Coward, who played at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy and a native of Nova Scotia, is one of 23 players invited to the tryout in Barrie, Ontario, Canada on July 11 and 12.
The tryout will determine the Canadian Junior National Team which will compete in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 23-27. The Canadian team won the silver medal in the 2006 competition.

-- Recent 49ers graduate Jonas Enander Hedin will begin play Thursday with the European team at the 2008 Palmer Cup, an annual Ryder Cup-style competition between a team of college players from Europe and a team of college players from the United States. Enander Hedin is a native of Taby, Sweden.
The two-day event will be held at the Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links in Gailes, Scotland. Enander Hedin helped Charlotte win three consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference golf championships and consecutive top-10 finishes in the NCAA Championships the past two seasons.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Top girls players considering 49ers

Three top high school girls basketball players -- including two from Charlotte -- who participated in Charlotte 49ers coach Karen Aston's select basketball camp last week have expressed interest in joining the 49ers' program.
Chelsea Davis, ranked the second-best player this season in the state of Delaware by the recruiting Web site, is a 6-foot-3 forward and rising senior. She has not committed to any school but is considering Charlotte and Florida State, among others.
The only player ranked higher than Davis in Delaware this season was 6-5 senior center Elena DelleDonne, who has signed to play at national power Connecticut.
Providence Day's Janee Johnson and West Mecklenburg's Jaquaria Forney, both rising seniors, also participated in the camp and are considering Charlotte. Johnson, a 6-1 forward, was named second team All-Mecklenburg by The Observer while Forney, a 5-10 guard, was named to the third team.
Johnson said she hasn't narrowed her list of schools but would be open to remaining near home and considering Charlotte. "I think when I first thought about going to college I just wanted to get out on my own," she said. "Now, I think I wouldn't want to go too far away because I really want my family to be able to see me play."
Forney is considering offers from Charlotte, Kansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Clemson, said her summer coach, Clyde Dickerson. Forney, who averaged 21.1 points per game this season, is attending several high-profile camps and tournaments this summer, including the Best of Summer in Atlanta and Fab Five in New Orleans.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

49ers basketball schedule taking shape

Although its 2008-2009 men's basketball schedule is far from complete, some of the Charlotte 49ers' nonconference schedule is beginning to take shape.
The 49ers are tentatively scheduled to open the season Nov. 14 at home against UNC Greensboro, one of at least three Southern Conference schools Charlotte will face this season. The 49ers will also play road games at Appalachian State and Davidson.
Charlotte has also tentatively scheduled three home games in December against Youngstown State, Long Island and Tulsa.
Long Island, of the Northeast Conference, finished 15-15 last season and had an RPI of 201 by Youngstown State, of the Horizon League, finished 7-21 last season and had an RPI of 227. Tulsa, of Conference USA, finished 25-14 last season and won the inaugural postseason College Basketball Invitational.
Charlotte also will host Winthrop of the Big South, and Clemson of the ACC, both likely in December, at Halton Arena. The matchup with the Tigers is a return game from last season, won by the 49ers at Clemsons' Littlejohn Coliseum. The game with the Eagles will be the first between the schools and first of a three-year contract.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Pro-Am is underway

The Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation Summer Hoops pro-am league - formerly known as the Jeff McGinnis Summer League - is underway and once again several current and new members of the Charlotte 49ers basketball team are participating.
Five members -- junior Phil Jones, junior transfers Shamari Spears and Rashad Coleman, sophomore An'Juan Wilderness and freshman Shamarr Bowden -- are all scheduled to play on the Pepsi Team and will see action for the first time at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Senior forward Charlie Coley is scheduled to play on the Rosemaxx Team and his next game is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
Junior point guard DiJuan Harris and sophomore forward Gaby Ngoundjo are playing for the Los Allstars Team and play again at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Finally, sophomore Charles Dewhurst and redshirt freshman Javarris Barnett play for John P. Kee and play again at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
As last year, all games are free and played at the Grady Cole Center. Playoff games begin August 5.
Several other local college stars are playing this summer, including Davidson's Stephen Curry (BTTB team), Wake Forest's Jamie Skeen (PCS team) and Washington Wizards player (and former North Carolina star) Brandon Haywood on Cube On team.

Here is the remaining summer league schedule:
Monday: 6:30, Pepsi v. MC Allstars; 7:30, JCSU v. Prime Time; 8:30, McNasty v. CLI; 9:30, Skillz Athletics v. Bring It On.
Tuesday: 6:30, PCS v. BTTB; 7:30, Titus Ivory v. Los Allstars; 8:30, Rosemaxx v. USC Aiken; 9:30, John P Kee v. Cube One.
Wednesday: 6:30, CLI v. MC Allstars; 7:30, Pepsi v. Skillz Athletics; 8:30, Bring It On v. Prime Time; 9:30, McNasty v. JCSU.
Thursday: 6:30, BTTB v. Rosemaxx; 7:30, Los Allstars v. John P Kee; 8:30, PCS v. Titus Ivory; 9:30, Cube One v. USC Aiken.
June 30: 6:30, Prime Time v. MC Allstars; 7:30, CLI v. Pepsi; 8:30, McNasty v. Skillz Athletics; 9:30, JCSU v. Bring It On.
July 1: 6:30, John P Kee v. BTTB; 7:30, Cube One v. PCS; 8:30, USC Aiken v. Los Allstars; 9:30, Titus Ivory v. Rosemaxx.
July 2: 6:30, McNasty v. MC Allstars; 7:30, Pepsi v. Prime Time; 8:30, JCSU v. Skillz Athletics; 9:30, Bring It On v. CLI.
July 3: 6:30, Titus Ivory v. Cube One; 7:30, John P Kee v. Rosemaxx; 8:30, Los Allstars v. BTTB; 9:30, USC Aiken v . PCS.
July 7: 6:30, CLI v. Rosemaxx; 7:30, John P Kee v. Prime Time; 8:30, PCS v. McNasty; 9:30, Pepsi v. Los Allstars.
July 8: 6:30, JCSU v. BTTB; 7:30, PCS v. Los Allstars; 8:30, Rosemaxx v. Cube One; 9:30, John P Kee v. USC Aiken.
July 9: 6:30, Pepsi v. Bring It On; 7:30, MC Allstars v. JCSU; 8:30, McNasty v. CLI; 9:30, Skillz Athletics v. Prime Time.
July 10, 6:30, John P Kee v. PCS; 7:30, Rosemaxx v. Los Allstars; 8:30, BTTB v. Titus Ivory; 9:30, USC Aiken v. Cube One.
July 14, 6:30, John P Kee v. Pepsi; 7:30, CLI v. Los Allstars; 8:30, PCS v. Prime Time; 9:30, Rosemaxx v. McNasty.
July 15: 6:30, Cube One v. Skillz Athletics; 7:30, BTTB v. Pepsi; 8:30, Bring It On v. USC Aiken; 9:30, Rosemaxx v. JCSU.
July 16: 6:30, Prime Time v. Titus Ivory; 7:30, CLI v. John P Kee; 8:30, PCS v. MC Allstars; 9:30, McNasty v. Los Allstars.
July 17: 6:30, Old Timers Game; 7:30, Alumni Challenge; 8:30, Overseas Challnege; 9:30, College players challenge.
July 21: 6:30, John P Kee v. McNasty; 7:30, PCS v. CLI; 8:30, Rosemaxx v. Prime Time; 9:30, Pepsi v. Cube One.
July 22: 6:30, Skillz Athletics v. Los Allstars; 7:30, Bring It On v. BTTB; 8:30, MC Allstars v. Titus Ivory; 9:30, USC Aiken v. JCSU.
July 23: 6:30, Rosemaxx v. Pepsi; 7:30, McNasty v. Titus Ivory; 8:30, John P Kee v. Bring It On; 9:30, USC Aiken v. CLI.
July 24: 6:30, Los Allstars v. Prime Time; 7:30, Cube One v. JCSU; 8:30, PCS v. Skillz Athletics; 9:30, BTTB v. MC Allstars.
July 30: 6:30, Bring It On v. Cube One; 7:30, BTTB v. Skillz Athletics; 8:30, Titus Ivory v. JCSU; 9:30, USC Aiken v. MC Allstars.
July 31: 6:30, BTTB v. JCSU; 7:30, Cube One v. MC Allstars; 8:30, Bring It On v. Titus Ivory; 9:30, Skillz Athletics v. USC Aiken.
Aug. 4: 6:30, Pepsi v. Titus Ivory; 7:30, Bring It On v. MC Allstars; 8:30, CLI v. Skillz Athletics; 9:30, McNasty v. Prime Time.

More honors for 49ers' golfers

Charlotte's top-10 men's golf team produced a pair of All-Americans this season.

Senior Jonas Enander Hedin was named third-team All-America by the Golf Coaches Association of America and GolfWeek. Sophomore Corey Nagy, who starred at Vance High, was named honorable mention All-American by the two organizations.

Enander Hedin led the 49ers with a 71.78 stroke average, becoming the second player in school history to finish a season of under-par golf. Enander Hedin will represent Europe in the 2008 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event pitting the best college players from Europe against those from the United States.

Nagy posted a 72.14 stroke average this season and was ranked among the nation's top 50 players in the final Golfstat and GolfWeek individual rankings. He was Charlotte's top performer in the NCAA Championship, finishing tied for 16th.

Enander Hedin was also tapped a second-team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine. He graduated cum laude with a 3.77 GPA as a business management/managerial leadership major.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Niners hire women's soccer assistant

Former Western Carolina women's soccer standout Heather Dittmer has been hired as an assistant coach with the Charlotte 49ers.

Dittmer finished her career at Western Carolina with 15 goals which is tied for the fourth highest in the program’s history. She also finished fifth in the program’s history with 39 career points. As a junior, she earned first-team All-Southern Conference and N.C. Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State honors.

"I really like the qualities that she possesses as a player and a person. To be able to watch her have an opportunity to take what she has learned as a player and continue to grow as a young coach is exciting for me," said Charlotte coach Jon Lipsitz.

Dittmer played two years with the W-League’s Cocoa Expos from 2006 to 2007. In 2006, she led the Expos in goals while leading them to a third place finish in their inaugural season.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Former Tenn. star considers Charlotte

The Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team is in the running to pick up Duke Crews, who spent the past two seasons at Tennessee and was a consensus top-10 player coming out of high school.

Crews, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound sophomore forward from Hampton, Va., and sophomore point guard Ramar Smith were dismissed from Tennessee on May 2 by coach Bruce Pearl citing violations of unspecified team rules.

A story last month by the Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel cited violations of the university's substance abuse and academic shortcomings as contributing to both players' departures, but the Observer on Tuesday was shown Crews' official release from Tennessee, which states Crews was in good standing academically and did not violate any university or NCAA substance abuse policies.

Crews, reached at his home Tuesday night, said he will likely make a decision soon between Charlotte and Pittsburgh. He said he's been to Charlotte many times and is friends with current 49ers player An'Juan Wilderness.

"I love the city of Charlotte. I've been there many times and I am very familiar with their program," Crews said. "I played against An'Juan Wilderness a few times in AAU."

Crews said he has no timetable to make a decision. Neither Charlotte nor Pittsburgh has an available scholarship at the moment. In either case, Crews would likely have to pay his way the first season, which he would have to sit out anyway under NCAA rules.

He said he is currently spending the summer working out and taking online classes to continue his academic progress. "I'm sure I will make a visit to campus, I just don't know when yet," he said.

Crews said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz's style of play would be a definite fit for him. "They love to get up and down the court and play the open floor, I love that," he said.

Asked if he was disappointed things didn't work out at Tennessee, Crews replied, "Not at all. I really don't want to talk about it. I'm definitely looking forward to moving on."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ex-player Gregory joins 49ers' women's basketball staff

Sabrina Gregory isn't leaving the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball team after all.

Charlotte coach Karen Aston on Monday hired Gregory, who helped lead the 49ers to 80 wins and four consecutive postseason berths, as the team's director of basketball operations.

“I appreciated so much the passion she played the game while here at Charlotte and know that she will transfer that to the professional side of our game. I knew the moment I met her that she has an extraordinary gift in leadership, and I do believe that this will be a stepping stone for her into a successful coaching career," Aston said.

Last November, Gregory became the 15th player in school history to score 1,000 career points and finished her career ranked 11th in school history with 1,286 career points. She finished her career at Charlotte ranked among the program’s career leaders in points, assists, steals, field goals made, minutes played and games played.

Gregory finished the 2007-08 season second on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg) while leading the team in assists with 125. She led the Atlantic 10 in free-throw shooting at 86 percent. She graduated last month with a bachelor's degree in mathematics for business.

As the director of basketball operations, she will be responsible for team travel, coordinating the duties of managers and working basketball camps.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

49ers go in baseball draft

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team had four players selected in the second day of the amateur baseball draft Friday. Junior right-handed pitcher Zach Rosenbaum was selected by the New York Mets in the 19th round, Shayne Moody, Brad McElroy and Chris Taylor were then drafted by Atlanta, Toronto and St. Louis respectively.
Rosenbaum was 5-2 this season with a 4.34 ERA. He pitched 64 1/3 innings, striking out 41 and walking 40. He had his best season as a sophomore in 2007, finishing 9-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 starts. Should he sign and play this summer for the New York system, he would join John Maine as another former 49ers star affiliated with that club.
Moody led the Atlantic 10 in hits, at-bats and plate appearances this season. He was the most outstanding player of the conference tournament. He has started 118 games in two seasons, with a .317 average, 88 runs, 23 doubles and 26 stolen bases.
McElroy ended his career with a school-record .392 batting average after a 5-for-5 performance and six walks in two NCAA tournament games last week. In his two-year career at Charlotte, McElroy had 120 runs, 114 RBIs, 42 doubles and 33 stolen bases in 35 tries.
Taylor, the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year, set personal bests with 19 home runs and 70 RBIs during his senior season. He led the A-10 in home runs this season and his 65 doubles and 208 RBIs both ranked third and his 35 home runs rank fifth in Charlotte history.

Friday, June 6, 2008

49ers freshmen on All-America team

Two freshmen members of the Charlotte 49ers baseball team have been named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team selected by Collegiate Baseball News.

Second baseman Corey Shaylor, who starred at Independence High in Mint Hill, was among five second basemen named to the team. Pitcher Joe Yermal of Bel Air, Md., was among 30 starting pitchers named to the team.

Shaylor was the Atlantic 10 Conference rookie of the year and led the 49ers in batting through the regular season and conference tournament. He bat .366 in 49 games and had eight doubles, four triples and 43 RBIs.

Due to injuries and his strong performance Yermal was thrust into the No. 1 starting pitcher role for Charlotte. He finished with a team-high eight wins, which was also second-highest in the A-10. He pitched 84 innings, including 14 starts and two relief appearances.

Shaylor and Yermal are the first Charlotte players named to the Freshman All-America team since Mike Taylor (2000) and Aaron Bray (2006).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Taylor, Bray named to All-Regional team

Charlotte 49ers baseball players Chris Taylor and Aaron Bray were named to the All-Regional team for the NCAA baseball tournament's Raleigh Regional this past weekend.

Bray, who plays third base, hit a home run in both of Charlotte's losses at the Regional and drove in a team-high five RBIs in two games.

Taylor, Charlotte's senior catcher, had four hits and reached base seven times in two games, scoring a team-high four runs at the Regional. He reached base in his last five plate appearances in a 13-12 loss to James Madison, scoring twice and driving in a run in that span.

Charlotte finished the 2008 season 43-16, winning 40-plus games in back-to-back seasons for the first time. Charlotte set a school record with a .333 batting average en route to back-to-back Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles and consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

2008 NCAA Tournament NCAA Raleigh Regional All-Tournament Team
P – Blake Cooper, South Carolina; P – Clayton Shunick, NC State; C – Chris Taylor, Charlotte; 1B – Justin Smoak, South Carolina; 2B – Dallas Poulk, NC State; 3B – Aaron Bray, Charlotte; SS – Reese Havens, South Carolina; OF – DeAngelo Mack, South Carolina; OF – Matt Payne, NC State; OF – Whit Merrifield, South Carolina; Most Outstanding Player – Justin Smoak, South Carolina.