2008 NIT Capsule: Charlotte
Atlantic 10 (20-13, 9-7)
Big Wins: 12/5 Davidson (75-68), 1/9 at Clemson (82-72), 1/16 St. Joseph’s (70-66)
Bad Losses: 11/19 vs Monmouth (56-58), 12/15 at Hofstra (68-70), 2/17 at Fordham (51-53)
Coach: Bobby Lutz
Dijuan Harris, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 3.2 apg
Leemire Goldwire, Senior, Guard, 19.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 spg
Lamont Mack, Junior, Forward, 12.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg
An’Juan Wilderness, Freshman, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Charlie Coley, Junior, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Ian Andersen, Sophomore, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Michael Gerrity, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
Charles Dewhurst, Freshman, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Phil Jones, Sophomore , Center, 3.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Charlotte started off the year pretty slow, but that is because there are a whole lot of new faces on this team. After a little slump in February, the 49ers reeled off five consecutive wins in March before falling to Temple in the semi-finals of the Atlantic 10 conference tournament. The experienced piece on this team is senior and leading scorer Leemire Goldwire. Goldwire hits 3.8 three-pointers per contest and will take a large majority of his shots from beyond the arc. He will occasionally get to the basket too and leads the team with 4.4 free-throw attempts per game.
The ball handling is done by Dijuan Harris and Michael Gerrity. Both first year players have done a great job keeping the turnovers down, although the rest of the team rarely follows suit. Harris, a junior college transfer, will not do much scoring, but he does open up opportunities for his teammates. Gerrity, who spent his freshman year at Pepperdine, leads the team with 3.5 assists per game while mostly coming off the bench.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The inexperience factor will still play a role. Of the nine players who average over 13 minutes per game, only Goldwire and roleplaying guard Ian Andersen saw significant game time last season. Most are junior college transfers, so they do have some experience playing college ball, but even the NIT is a whole different experience than most of these players have been through.
Who To Watch:
Lamont Mack immediately added some toughness to the frontcourt after spending a couple years at Angelina Junior College. The 6-7, 230 pound forward is a good athlete and can stretch the defense with his outside shooting. Averaging 12.8 points per game, Mack is the second scorer behind Goldwire. Charlie Coley is not any taller than Mack, but he will use his great leaping ability to dominate the glass. If the frontcourt can continue to develop and Goldwire is hitting his shots, Charlotte can be a tough out in the NIT.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (133rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.6 (142, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (292, 14)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (95, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (49, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (146, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (206, 11)
Rebound Margin: -0.2 (186, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (186, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (181, 11)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Nebraska
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