Mark Price can tell a difference in Charlotte’s men’s basketball team since the start of practice a month ago.
If the stats from Monday’s 98-73 exhibition win over Methodist are any indication, the new-look 49ers could be a higher-scoring team than in years past.
Bernard Sullivan came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points for Charlotte, which had four other players finish in double figures against the Division III Monarchs. Andrien White, one of eight new players on the 49ers’ roster this season, added 15 points. Three other newcomers finished in double figures: Ridell Camidge had 13, Curran Scott 12 and Anthony Vanhook 11.
“We’ve spent a month together now,” said Price, who took over as Charlotte’s coach in March. “The first practice, everybody was new to each other – we had a brand-new team, brand-new players, a brand-new coaching staff, a brand-new system – and things take time.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“Fortunately, I’ve got a bunch of great young men on my team. They listen, and they want to learn. They’ve really bought in to what we’re trying to do here.”
Three who mattered
Bernard Sullivan: Didn’t start for the 49ers, but was their most effective weapon against Methodist. He shot 8 of 10 from the field (including making his only 3-pointer) and 4 of 5 from the free throw line in 19 minutes.
Andrien White: While he shot 6 of 12 from the field (including 1 of 4 on 3-pointers), the 6-foot-3 freshman also had five of Charlotte’s nine steals.
Ridell Camidge: The 6-3 transfer from Cloud College (Kan.) Community College displayed a quick trigger on his jumper, hitting 5 of 7 from the field and 3 of 5 on 3-pointers.
▪ Sullivan scored seven points – and also had two blocked shots – over a 56-second span late in the first half that helped Charlotte go up 46-34 at the break.
The Monarchs enjoyed a 38-32 rebounding advantage against the 49ers, but Charlotte forced Methodist into 18 turnovers. That led to a 25-9 advantage in points for the 49ers.
▪ After a slow start, Charlotte’s 12-point halftime lead came thanks to 56.3 percent shooting. The 49er finished the game shooting 51.5 percent, and led by as many as 29 points late in the second half.
▪ One major stat that stood out – the number of Charlotte players making 3-pointers. Eight players attempted 3s, with six connecting – four of those two or more times. As a team, the 49ers hit 11 of 19 (57.9 percent).
▪ Charlotte assistant coach Andre Gray played for Methodist from 1995-1997, helping the Monarchs advance to the Division III Elite Eight his senior year.
▪ The 49ers open their season Friday night, hosting Elon at Halton Arena. The 8:30 p.m. game is part of a doubleheader with Charlotte’s women’s basketball team, which hosts Ball State at 5:30 p.m.
They said it
▪ “We knew there might be a little bit of nerves early on, with so many new players and getting out in front of the lights and the fans for the first time.” – Price.
▪ “Just from the first practice, we could tell that the guys were hungry and excited about a new opportunity to play. I definitely see the mindset to be a good team.” – Sullivan.
▪ “We did some really good things. This is my first gameday, and a lot of others’ first gameday. We’re going to build on this, and try to get better every game.” – White.