His team’s longest road trip of conference play awaiting, Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball coach Mark Price spoke this week with his players about their road woes.
Nine of the 49ers’ 11 wins this season have come at home at Halton Arena. On the road, however, Charlotte is just 2-5. So as he spoke with his team, Price said he asked each player about their routine before home games in an effort to improve their approach away from their home court.
“It could be a multitude of things that make you feel comfortable playing here,” said Price, referring to Halton Arena. “Well, we’ve got to find a way to get that feeling and be able to play our best on the road as well.
“As coaches, it’s our job to try to help with that as much as we can. But also, as players, they have to individually take an approach that gives us an opportunity to play well.”
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There’s no better time than this week for the 49ers to find that much-needed approach. Starting Thursday, Charlotte visits Conference-USA powers Ala.-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee (Saturday) and Old Dominion (Feb. 18).
A successful road trip could go a long way for the 49ers (11-11, 5-6 C-USA), as they sit in 10th place in the conference standings. Only 12 of 14 teams qualify for the C-USA tournament.
Vanhook still sidelined
Price said senior forward Anthony Vanhook, the 49ers’ leading rebounder, remains day-to-day with a left shoulder injury he suffered in Thursday’s loss against Florida Atlantic. He hasn’t practiced with the team since.
“We’re hopeful,” said Price when asked Vanhook’s availability. “But we won’t really know until we see how he practices (Wednesday) and how his body responds.”
Gregory breaks four records
With Saturday’s 101-54 win at Florida International, the Charlotte women’s basketball team (17-5, 9-2 C-USA) maintained its stranglehold atop the conference standings.
The game also carried special significance for senior guard Ciara Gregory, who set school records for career 3-pointers made (204), single-season 3-pointers made (75), single-season 3-pointers attempted (208) and single-game 3-pointers made (nine) in the win.
“I think any time you have a young lady like that who has been through a lot and who has always been about team first - when you see her be successful and leave here as one of the all-time greats, that’s just a really, really awesome thing,” coach Cara Consuegra said.