The Charlotte 49ers' men's basketball team gained a player Friday and unexpectedly lost one.
Early in the day the team received a commitment from West Rowan High's K.J. Sherrill, ranked among the top high school seniors in North Carolina.
Sherrill, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward who averaged more than 19 points a game last season, picked the 49ers over Auburn, UNC Wilmington, East Carolina and Winthrop, said West Rowan coach Mike Gurley. Sherrill made an unofficial visit to Charlotte's campus on Aug.25.
Late Friday afternoon, the 49ers announced junior point guard Michael Gerrity had decided to leave the team, citing personal reasons, but would complete the semester before transferring to another school.
Gerrity's decision comes on the heels of the 49ers' three-game tour of Canada during which Charlotte went 3-0 and junior point guard DiJuan Harris started each game.
“I'm very surprised and disappointed with Mike's decision,” said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz. “However, I have to respect what he and his family have decided is best for him. I hope that things turn out the way he wants them to.”
Sources said Gerrity was not pleased with the amount of his playing time and freshman point guard Shamarr Bowden, who plays shooting guard, will likely see some time as a backup point guard for Harris this season.
Gerrity transferred from Pepperdine in January 2007 and became eligible to play at Charlotte in December. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.5 assists and was third in the Atlantic 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.39) last season.
“I definitely wish my teammates the best of luck,” Gerrity said in statement released by the school. “I enjoyed my time playing with the team.”
Sherrill will join the 49ers' frontcourt after seniors Lamont Mack and Charlie Coley leave after this season.
“It came down to the fact that right in his backyard, K.J. had a great university and a super basketball coach in Bobby Lutz, who runs a great program,” said Gurley. “While he was looking at other schools, I think K.J.'s approach was more of a ‘How do they compare to Charlotte?'-type process because he just wanted to make sure it was the right decision.”
Gurley said Sherrill plans to sign a letter of intent during the early signing period in November and also expects to make several appearances during the season to watch 49ers games.
Sherrill was named second-team All-Observer as a junior, and first-team All-Piedmont. He was recently named by basketball recruiting analyst David Telep as a “breakout player.” He is a cousin of Scooter Sherrill, a former West Rowan star who later played at N.C. State.
Charlotte has one scholarship remaining for its 2009-10 class with Chris Braswell, a 6-8, 215-pound forward from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., the 49ers' top target, according to sources.