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Beginning Monday, June 21st, 2004 CHN began unveiling 144 Team previews in 144 Days. CHN ranked the nations top 144 teams, and is unveiling one per day leading up until the opening day of the 2004-05 Season.

 

Bookmark the 144 Teams in 144 Days home page, and check back each day to see which team is previewed next.


   
#62 Charlotte 49ers
Conference USA
2003-04: 21-9, 12-4, 3rd
2003-04 postseason: NCAA


By
Joel Welser



Charlotte was part of a five-way tie for first place in the conference.  The 49ers should be towards the top again this year.  Head coach Bobby Lutz guided his team to the NCAAs last year, falling in a close one to Texas Tech.  Curtis Withers will once again have to lead the squad.  The junior led the team in points with 16.3 and rebounds with 9.5 last season.

Who’s Out: Point guard Demon Brown will be missed the most, especially with no experienced point guard ready to come in and take over.  Brown scored 12.1 points per game and led the squad with four assists.  Kevin “Butter” Johnson started eight games and played in all 30 contests.  He turned into a solid option off the bench last year scoring 6.6 points, 3.9 boards and 2.0 assists per outing.  Another forward, Calvin Clemmons, will deplete last year’s deep frontcourt even more.  The 6-8 center averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 boards in 30 appearances.  Little used Russ Snyder has also run out of eligibility.

Who’s In: The 49ers were a deep team last year, with ten players getting at least two starts.  A solid class of newcomers will continue that depth.  Leemire Goldwire might turn out to be a sleeper pickup for Bobby Lutz.  The 6-0 combo guard could be asked to immediately come in and run the point.  It might be too early for Goldwire to make a huge impact, but he will be by the time he leaves Charlotte.  Shooting guard Jerrell Lewis is the only other incoming freshman.  Lewis should see limited minutes, but will add more depth to the backcourt.  A couple junior college power forwards will replace the departing big men.  E.J. Drayton is a solid 6-8, 215 pound interior player.  He has bulked up his lanky frame at Colby Community College and should make an immediate impact in the 49er frontcourt.  Chris Nance will help continue the depth at Charlotte.  The 6-7, 250 pound junior is a big body who should see some minutes.

Who to Watch: With Curtis Withers and a new group of forwards providing consistency in the frontcourt, the backcourt becomes the major concern for the 49ers.  Brendan Plavich will have to provide the senior leadership for the backcourt.  The 6-2 shooting guard is a former transfer from Vanderbilt with an incredible outside shot.  He averaged 12.2 points per contest last year and added 1.8 assists.  Plavich isn’t really a passer though and does much better in the two guard spot.  It will be vital for a point guard to step up so Plavich can have the opportunity to do what he does best.

Projected Conference Rank: Seventh place in the conference isn’t as bad as it seems.  The top seven teams will be strong in the Conference USA.  Last year, Louisville was a very talented team and ended up in sixth place in the conference.  C-USA would be looking even better for the future…if we didn’t know any better.

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

 

« Team #63 , Team #61   »

 


Email Joel Welser: jwelser_chn@ameritech.net

Chat About CHN's Top #144 Ranking: http://pub14.ezboard.com/fcollegehoopsnetfrm8

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