Friday, November 8, 2013

Observations: Charlotte 49ers 80, ETSU 75

Observations from Charlotte's 80-75 season-opening victory against East Tennessee State:

-- It's only one game and it was against less-than formidable competition, but center Mike Thorne can answer a lot of questions about this team if he can consistently play as he did Friday (17 points, nine rebounds, both career highs). Thorne never strayed far from the basket (as he shouldn't) and was eight-for-10 from the field on a variety of moves. He said he shot 100 hook shots a day last summer and it showed.

-- Newcomers Shawn Lester (10 points, nine rebounds) and Marcus Bryan (nine points, four rebounds) had impressive debuts. Lester, a guard from Mooresville High who was academically ineligible last season, is an athletic presence who also added four assists. Transfer Ben Cherry missed all five of his 3-pointers, not the kind of debut he had in mind.

-- Guard Terrence Williams' shooting problems from last season are apparently carrying over. He was just two-of-12, although he made an important 3-pointer in the second half as the shot clock expired. Forward Willie Clayton wasn't much of a factor, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds before fouling out.

-- Point guard Pierria Henry said the new stricter rules against hand-checking aren't a concern to him. Henry, who had five steals and created his usual defensive havoc before sewing up the game with four free throws in the final 5.5 seconds, said he's always been taught to play defense with his feet, so why would rules restricting what you can do with your hands bother him?

-- The 49ers, who were worried about their front court, outrebounded the Bucs 45-35. The 49ers, who hope to be a better perimeter shooting team this season, were two-of-17 from behind the 3-point arc.

-- Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard, who scored 31 for ETSU, had a previous career high of 16.

-- Don't expect to see guards Denzel Ingram (foot) and Ivan Benkovic (back) back until the Puerto Rico tournament in two weeks, at the earliest.

-- East Tennessee is starting football in 2015 after it returns to the Southern Conference. The Bucs' coach is Carl Torbush, a former coach at North Carolina.



Anonymous said...

Crickets.....code blue