The Charlotte 49ers’ decision to replace Alan Major as men’s basketball coach in 2015 sent two of the team’s outstanding young players looking for new schools, and the 49ers will face one of those transfers Tuesday night.
Charlotte travels to Winston-Salem for a 7 p.m. meeting at Joel Coliseum with Wake Forest, and the Deacons’ No. 2 scorer is former 49er Keyshawn Woods.
When Major’s tenure as coach ended in the spring of 2015, Woods and teammate Torin Dorn transferred out of the program, each landing with ACC teams. Woods went to Wake Forest and Dorn to N.C. State, and each is playing a key role for his new team.
Woods, a 6-3 guard, was a standout at Gaston Day and Northside Christian, then averaged 8.4 points as a freshman with the 49ers in the 2014-15 season. He was the team’s leading three-point shooter.
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When he left Charlotte, Woods told the Winston-Salem Journal that he transferred because he “liked playing for coach Major.”
The transfers and departures via graduation of three other players left new 49ers head coach Mark Price scrambling to build a roster last season. The rebuilding job is in Year 2, and the 49ers are 6-2 and coming off a 69-66 victory Saturday over the Pac 12’s Oregon State.
Sophomore guard Jon Davis has scored 20 or more points five times this season for Charlotte. Forward Najee Garvin has been named Conference USA Freshman of the Week, after averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in victories over Appalachian State, James Madison and Oregon State.
Leading scorer for the Deacons (6-2) is John Collins, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds in the team’s 75-67 victory Saturday at Richmond. Woods is second in scoring with 13.1 points a game and is shooting 57 percent (16-of-28) from three-point range.
No. 5 DUKE (8-1) vs. No. 21 FLORIDA (7-1)
Madison Square Garden, New York City, 9 p.m. ESPN
The nightcap of the annual Jimmy V Classic has the Blue Devils facing the Gators for the first time in more than a decade. Amile Jefferson is on a tear for Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 67 percent field-goal shooting over the past four games. He scored 20 points in Saturday’s rout of Maine. Florida, which is shooting only 31 percent from three-point range this season, hit 47 percent of its 3’s Saturday in a 31-point victory at North Florida. Gator coach Mike White is the son of Duke athletics director Kevin White. Arizona State faces 18th-ranked Purdue in the 7 p.m. opener of the Jimmy V Classic, played in memory of former N.C. State coach Jim Valvano.
GREENSBORO COLLEGE (3-2) at WINTHROP (4-3)
Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, 6:30 p.m.
Donavan Griffith, a 6-5 senior, leads NCAA Division III Greensboro at 14.2 points a game. Winthrop is coming off an 83-67 loss Saturday at Dayton, where the Flyers broke away late in the contest. Guard Keon Johnson, the Eagles’ leading scorer, had 24 points against Dayton.