- Norcross High School’s E. Victor Nickerson
Who: Charlotte 49ers (9-1)
What: Men’s basketball
Where: Convocation Center (Kennesaw GA)
When: 4:00 on Sunday December 16th
Last Meeting: Charlotte 74 Kennesaw 63 (1/18/12)
Radio: Click Here
Charlotte (#35 RPI) might be 9-1 but they accumulated that record from low-RPI games vs. Charleston Southern (265), Georgia Southern (262), Lamar (256), Texas St. (279) and Northeastern (178). Their top competition before the blowout loss against Miami came from schools in the 107-120 range.
I watched Friday night’s game vs. Miami on television to get a little preview of what is to come on Sunday. The reason Miami handled them so easily was a pure size and strength advantage. Kennesaw won’t have that advantage…in fact one of the biggest disadvantages will be trying to defend Charlotte’s bigger guards.
Charlotte is a fairly young team and they play a handful of underclassmen; however, their younger players are giving solid contributions. Their top players are sophomore guard Pierria (pronounced perry-ay) Henry, redshirt junior guard DeMario Mayfield and senior forward Chris Braswell.
Henry is the main catalyst for the 49ers. He’s a good passer and is pesky on defense (2.5 steals). Mayfield is a big 6’5″ guard who scored 25 against KSU last season. He can get a bit careless with the ball at times. Braswell is a 6’9″ match-up issue who moves well with the ball for somebody his size and has developed a three point shot these past few seasons. Charlotte will attempt to isolate him one on one, so Kennesaw should counter with a double team/extra attention.
Charlotte is statistically one of the worst three point shooting teams in the country. KSU should play the passing lanes and keep Charlotte’s guards out of the paint, even if it means giving up the three point shot. I’d like to see a bit of the zone with the zone press that KSU used vs. Chattanooga. Pack the paint!
This game won’t be won without 40 solid minutes of effort and hustle. Kennesaw is well rested so there should be no excuses for sluggishness. KSU’s best bet would be to hound them early on and hope Charlotte isn’t taking the game seriously. Charlotte brings two of their best and most senior players (Braswell and Mayfield) off of the bench, so the opening tip would be the best time to get ahead and gain some confidence.
Delbert Love scored 26 and Aaron Anderson pulled down 17 rebounds against Charlotte last season in an 11 point road loss. This Charlotte team is much improved, so let’s see if KSU can shock the world.
Head Coach: Lewis Preston
Years at Kennesaw State: 1+ (4-35)
Overall head coaching record: 4-35
2011-12 Record: 3-28
2012-13 Record: 1-7
Conference: Atlantic Sun Conference (A-SUN)
Head Coach: Alan Major
Years at Charlotte: 2+ (32-37)
Overall head coaching record: 32-37
2011-12 Record: 13-16
2012-13 Record: 9-1
Conference: Atlantic 10