Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day-after observations from Charleston Southern victory

Observations from the Charlotte 49ers’ 68-58 season-opening men’s basketball victory Friday against Charleston Southern:

-- There was plenty of teeth-gnashing among 49ers fans when it was announced before the game that center Chris Braswell and guard DeMario Mayfield had been suspended for violating team rules (Mayfield will also miss Tuesday’s game against Georgia Southern). There was also a sense of déjà vu from two seasons ago, when coach Alan Major suspended two starters (Shamari Spears and An’Juan Wilderness) for the season opener and center Phil Jones for the season’s second game.

The difference here, of course, is that the 49ers lost to Gardner-Webb two seasons ago and they beat Charleston Southern on Friday.

Major has been consistent with his players in his now two-plus seasons in at least one area: Break a rule, pay the price. And I will never understand why a coach is criticized for that.

-- The 49ers’ 14-0 run in the first half against the Buccaneers was mostly about energy and enthusiasm from the team’s young players (with a 3-pointer by senior walk-on Colby Lewis thrown in for good measure). But just as impressive was how Charlotte managed a lead that reached as many as 18 points in the second half. Point guard Pierria Henry was key to that, playing a solid floor game (he had one turnover in the second half). Henry also defensively imposed his presence on the Bucs’ small backcourt of Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper with five steals (freshman Denzel Ingram also had four).

-- Freshmen forwards Willie Clayton (eight points, four rebounds) and Darion Clark (six and 11) are more athletic than some of Charlotte’s players in that spot in recent seasons. Clark, in particular, has a nose for the ball. He also showed some strong inside moves Friday. So did redshirt freshman center Mike Thorne, who helped plug the spot vacated by Braswell capably (four points, two rebounds in 15 minutes).

-- Sophomore Terrence Williams played a smart game, finding holes in Charleston Southern’s zone defense for a career-high 19 points. He also had 10 rebounds.

-- Major played Henry and Ingram together several times. Ingram, a scoring point guard in high school, handled the ball most of the time.

-- Braswell will be back Tuesday against Georgia Southern, as will senior J.T. Thompson (knees), who also didn’t play Friday. The Eagles game will start at 9 p.m. so it can be televised on the NBC Sports Network (which has time slots to fill because of the NHL lockout). It will be the second consecutive odd starting time for the 49ers. Friday’s game had a 6 p.m. tipoff, perhaps explaining why Halton Arena was less than half full (attendance was 4,429) for the season opener.


-- After Friday's 1-0 semifinals loss against Virginia Commonwealth, the 49ers will leave the Atlantic 10 without ever having won the league's men's soccer tournament.

Next up for the 49ers is the NCAA tournament. Bids will be announced Monday afternoon. The 49ers (14-3-3) probably have done enough to earn a seed and, with that, a first-round bye next Thursday. If that's the case, Charlotte would host a second-round game next Sunday (Nov. 17).


Rashad said...

Loving the new guys! What a breath of fresh air! Best group of freshmen in a decade. Go Niners!!

slick willie said...

Haters gonna hate but 49ers looked good last night. Clark and Ingram are steals for Niners still need to make some outside shots but post game will carry the load. Pumped up for season now.

Anonymous said...

Team uncc played supposed to be good. Probably win their league but couldn't shoot on niner defense. Hope the Virginia tech guy can play.

Anonymous said...

I realize that Charleston Southern is, at their absolute best, the 85th-best team in the NCAA, but I'm pumped up. A win against a possible NCAA tournament team almost entirely with freshmen and sophomores is a reason for optimism. If these young guys keep improving, and don't despair when whe get whipped by far superior teams like Temple, this could be the year we get back to postseason play.

I like the way that Major sticks to his guns on team rules. The players will be better men for it, even if it costs a win or two.

GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dr Cletus said...

One of the better more exciting teams the Niners have had in a while. Think things are heading way up after the last several years. Good young players finally! Need to work on making FT but otherwise the first team in years that will actually dive on the floor and give max effort. Recruiting has obviously improved a lot from the 2005-2010 era in Atlantic 10

Baseball legend said...

But. But. But. Major is terrible. Can't be getting better. Not possible. It would mean I am wrong. And I have never been wrong. Impossible. Must not read this stuff about success.

Anonymous said...

I was encouraged by what I saw last night.

Hopefully with Mayfield, Braswell, and Thompson in the lineup there will be more opportunities for open threes.

The freshmen filled in nicely last night, but none are going to draw a double team like Braswell.

It was definitely nice to see our young guys ready to contribute.

Anonymous said...

November 17th is next Saturday, not Sunday. So which is it?

Anonymous said...

UNC 49ers is the real name.
No such animal as a private 4 year or 2 year community or junior college with the Charlotte 49ers name. Total apparition BS.

UNC 49ers owned lock stock and barrel by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM TAXPAYERS of all 100 counties and this includes all others fortunate to have been awarded the UNC preface and in the public 16 campus system.

(taxpayers about 50% of the population)

UNC 49ers or UNCC 49ers are acceptable.

UNC-Charlotte acceptable but only with the hyphen to connotate the superior front UNC head ownership status connecting the lower Charlotte tail subordinate.

Same for all cities who have been designated by the NC State Legislature to be privleged with the unique honor of the UNC legendary traditional insignia.

Those who abuse their UNC privledge or allow some AD idiot to change the insignia in any way will punished as a perpetural loser and mocked by the Sir Issac Newton Laws Of Motion physics of 500 yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

God your annoying. Anon IGNORED.

Anonymous said...

P.Henry 2assists 4 turnovers scored 10pts on 3 for 10 30% shooting and you call that a "solid floor game". What game were you watching?

Slick Willie said...

Had 5 steals too TC.

Anonymous said...

it looked like the arena was empty.

Anonymous said...