Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Former 49er Mayfield arrested in Georgia

Former 49ers basketball player DeMario Mayfield was arrested in Athens, Ga., early Monday for armed robbery and loitering and possession, the Athens Banner-Herald is reporting.
Mayfield, Charlotte's leading scorer last season before he was thrown off the team for breaking athletic department rules, had recently signed to play his final year of college eligibility at Morehead State.
Mayfield was arrested in Charlotte in 2012 for misdemeanor marijuana possession, a charge that was later dropped. He graduated from UNC Charlotte last December.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

49ers extend Major's contract

The Charlotte 49ers and men's basketball coach Alan Major have agreed to a three-year contract extension, the school announced Thursday.

Major, whose three-year record at Charlotte is 44-49, is now under contract through the 2017-18 season.

Under Major, the 49ers have improved from 10-20 his first season to 21-12 in 2012-13, the program's first 20-victory season since 2008. Charlotte also played in the NIT, its first postseason appearance since 2008.

“I am pleased with the direction of our men’s basketball program under the leadership of Alan Major,” athletics director Judy Rose said in a statement. “We are trending in the right direction.  Our team played in post season for the first time since 2008. His recruiting model is based on getting quality young men into our program… good basketball players with strong character and a strong desire to graduate."

Major is replenishing his roster after one player (DeMario Mayfield) was thrown off the team during the season and two others recently transferred (Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson). Charlotte has signed forward Cameron Blakley and Ben Cherry, a transfer from Tulane, for next season.

“As a coaching staff, we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue our journey at Charlotte,” Major said in a statement. “I am thankful for the support and leadership of Chancellor Phil Dubois and Judy Rose. I would like to give credit to our coaching staff, players and support staff for the part that they have played in this extension. I am very excited about the future of Charlotte basketball.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

49ers' Gregory makes Parade All-American

Ciara Gregory, an incoming freshman on the Charlotte 49ers' women's basketball team, has been named to the Parade Magazine All-American team.
Gregory, a 5-foot-7 guard, scored more than 2,000 points in her career at Jeannette (Pa.) High. She's the third known player in Charlotte history to have made the team, joining Markita Aldridge in 1991 and Charlette Hargrove in 1993.

Former 49er Clark headed to Southern Cal

Former 49ers forward Darion Clark, who left the program recently, is transferring to Southern California, Clark told the Observer.

Clark will play for new Trojans coach Andy Enfield, who recruited him coming out of high school at Oak Hill (Va.) when Enfield was coach at Florida Gulf Coast.

"It was an easy decision for me," said Clark. "I think USC is a place where I can really build a relationship with the coaches and I can work on my game and take it to the next level."

Clark, who averaged 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds as a freshman last season, declined to get into specifics on why he elected to leave Charlotte, but did say his diminished playing time late in the season was a factor. Clark, a starter for much of the season, played a total of seven minutes in Charlotte's two Atlantic 10 tournament games.

"That had something to do with it," said Clark. "But from my end, I'm not mad at anybody. A lot of stuff happened basketball-wise, and I knew I wasn't going to be as happy as I could be at Charlotte. It just wasn't as good a fit for me as I thought it would be. I got frustrated as the year went along.

"I just thought that if I was going to leave, I should leave early in my career so I'll have plenty of time to still play."

Clark will sit out the 2013-14 season with the Trojans, who haven't yet officially announced that Clark has signed with the program.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Recent additions bode well -- for 2014

 Wednesday’s news that the 49ers’ men’s basketball team has added Florida transfer Braxton Ogbueze further solidified Charlotte's roster -- for the 2014-15 season. They’ve already got another transfer, forward Bernard Sullivan from Clemson, signed for that year, as well (they both have to sit out a season under NCAA rules).

But depth might still be a problem for next season, with Tulane transfer and shooting guard Ben Cherry and freshman forward Cameron Blakley (as well as sophomore guard Shawn Lester) the only new players (for now) coming in to offset the losses of four seniors and the transfers of Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson.

Coach Alan Major has said he wants to make Charlotte and Mecklenburg County a primary recruiting area, and he’s done that this spring, at least through the transfer route. Cherry (Myers Park), Sullivan (North Mecklenburg, Davidson Day) and Ogbueze (Vance, United Faith) are all local products that Charlotte no doubt would have preferred to have signed out of high school – as he’d already done with Terrence Williams (West Mecklenburg) and Ivan Benkovic (Mack Academy).

In signing Blakley from Apalachee High in Winder, Ga., Major also continues to recruit the state of Georgia aggressively. The results so far, however, have been mixed at best, at least in terms of player retention from that state. Sophomore forward Willie Clayton (Thomasville) should be an all-star candidate next season.

But three other Georgia players, although talented and apparently headed for solid careers at Charlotte, didn’t pan out.

DeMario Mayfield (Royston), Major’s first recruit at Charlotte and a transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs, was kicked off the team (he’s now at Morehead State). Nickerson (Atlanta) and Clark (Conyers) have transferred for what they hope are greener pastures elsewhere.

-- 49ers football coach Brad Lambert will be busy with clinics over the next month. Lambert and Charlotte’s Belk Bowl will hold an NCAA Youth Football Clinic on Saturday at the 49ers’ stadium. Check in begins at 8 a.m. and the clinic begins at 9:15. The clinic is open to the first 150 players who register (ages 8-14, grades 3-8): Register at www.ncaafootballclinics.com. Lambert will be joined by area youth, high school and college coaches.

Also, Lambert and his staff will hold a women’s football clinic June 15 from 9 a.m.-noon at the stadium. Participants will take part in a film session, participate in drills, review the rules with a referee and also see a fashion show for football equipment.

To register, call the 49ers Athletic Foundation at 704-687-4950.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Big baseball series for 49ers

-- Charlotte takes a nine-game winning streak into a crucial regular-season ending baseball series at Saint Louis, which begins Thursday night. The 49ers (32-19, 16-5), have a one-game lead over the Billikens (34-17, 15-6) and La Salle (24-24, 15-6), can clinch the top seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament next week at Hayes Stadium.

There are a few ways for the 49ers to do that: sweep the Billikens; win the series against Saint Louis and La Salle fail to sweep George Washington; win two games against Saint Louis (winning a tiebreaker with La Salle if the Explorers sweep GW); win one game against Saint Louis with La Salle winning two of three against GW (Charlotte wins the tiebreaker).

Charlotte is led by Justin Seager, who is second in the A-10 in hitting (.368) and was 7-for-11 in a sweep of Dayton last weekend. Tyler Barnette (5-3, 3.81 ERA) starts Thursday for Charlotte.

-- The 49ers broke their baseball home-attendance season record Sunday against Dayton. Charlotte has drawn 35,104 fans in 35 games this season. It's the first time in school history the 49ers have broken the 35,000-fan barrier.

-- The 49ers' golf team is competing in its ninth consecutive NCAA regional beginning Thursday morning at the Ohio State Golf Club Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio. The 49ers, led by two-time A-10 medalist Raoul Menard, are one of 13 teams in Columbus and are paired with Virginia and San Francisco in Thursday's first round.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Charlotte 49ers to host C-USA men's soccer

The Charlotte 49ers will host the Conference USA 2013 men's soccer Nov. 13-17 at Transamerica Field, the league announced Wednesday.

The league finished its spring meetings in Destin, Fla., with the announcements of its 2013-14 championships, along with other news:

-- The league will recommend to its board that all 16 men's and women's basketball teams play in the C-USA tournaments in a five-day format; that men's basketball teams have travel partners with league games being played on Thursdays and Saturdays; women's league basketball games be played Wednesdays and Saturdays; and increase the league volleyball tournament to 12 teams, women's soccer to 10 and men's soccer to seven.

The meetings were attended by the league's athletics directors, senior women's administrators, faculty athletic representatives and football, men's basketball and women's basketball head coaches.

Eight potential football bowl partners also attended, as did the league's television partners.

Other championship dates and sites were announced:

Cross-country; TBD; women's soccer, Houston, Nov. 6-10; volleyball, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Nov. 22-24; football, division champ with best record, Dec. 4; women's swimming and diving, Atlanta, Feb. 19-22; indoor track and field, Birmingham, Ala., Feb. 19-20; men's and women's basketball, El Paso, Tex., March 11-15; women's tennis, Norfolk, Va., April 17-20; men's tennis, Tulsa, Okla., April 17-20; women's golf, Gulf Shores, Ala., April 21-23; men's golf, Texarkana, Ark., TBA; softball; Boca Raton, Fla., May 8-10; outdoor track and field, TBD, May 15-18; women's rowing, Oak Ridge, Tenn., May 17; baseball; TBD, May 21-25.


49ers sign Florida-transfer Ogbueze

The Charlotte 49ers have signed Florida-transfer Braxton Ogbueze, a point guard who was a top-100 prospect when he left Charlotte's United Faith Christian Academy two years ago.

Ogbueze (6-foot-0) didn't play much last season for the Gators, getting in just 23 games and playing a total of 107 minutes. He'll have three seasons of to play with the 49ers when he becomes eligible in the 2014-15 season. He began his high school career at Vance High, before transferring to United Faith, where he averaged 21.9 points and 3.8 assists as a senior. He shot 60.9 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from 3-point range his senior season.

Ogbueze's father Godwin is a former Clemson soccer player and is eighth on the Tigers' career scoring list.

Ogbueze is the second transfer the 49ers have signed recently who won't be eligible until 2014-15, joining forward Bernard Sullivan from Clemson.

Another transfer, shooting guard Ben Cherry (Tulane) will be eligible for the 2013-14 season. The 49ers also signed freshman forward Cameron Blakely last week.

There is still plenty of room on Charlotte's roster for next season, with forwards Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson transferring out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Charlotte 49ers pick up first freshman member of 2013 class


   On Wednesday, Cameron Blakley, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound senior power forward from Apalachee High School in Winder, Ga., is expected to sign a letter of intent to play for Charlotte.

   Blakley’s high school coach, Kevin Morris, confirmed Blakley verbally committed to the 49ers after making a visit to the school last week.

   Blakley, who averaged 16.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game this season, also received offers from Northwestern, East Carolina, Furman and USC Upstate, his coach said.

   "I think Cam is a good fit for Charlotte," Morris said. "He’s a big-time shot blocker and he and can step out and shoot the 3-pointer."

   Morris said Blakley was already academically eligible. Blakley is the first freshman for the 49ers’ 2013 recruiting class.

   - Jim Utter

Friday, May 3, 2013

49ers, Butler in big baseball series

Charlotte is host to Butler this weekend in a crucial Atlantic 10 baseball series at Hayes Stadium.

The 49ers (26-19, 10-5) and Bulldogs (22-19, 10-5) are part of a four-way tie for third place in the league (joined by Xavier and Rhode Island), which is important because only seven teams will advance to the conference tournament, scheduled for May 22-25 at Hayes Stadium.

Tyler Barnette (3-3, 4.30) starts Friday for Charlotte, although he is 0-3 in league games. The Bulldogs have won six straight overall and six in a row in the conference.

Before Saturday's game, Charlotte will honor its 1993 baseball team, which was the first in program history to win a conference championship and play in the NCAA tournament. On Sunday, the 49ers will retire the jersey of former star and current assistant coach Bo Robinson, whose 100 RBIs in 1998 remain a school record.

Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday.