Scott Fowler

Q&A: Charlotte 49ers basketball coach Mark Price finding way around

Mark Price speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of Charlotte during an NCAA college basketball news conference on March 26.
Mark Price speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of Charlotte during an NCAA college basketball news conference on March 26. AP

I spoke recently with new Charlotte 49ers head basketball coach Mark Price, previously an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets. Answers are edited for brevity and clarity.

Q. You’ve only been on the job officially since March 26. What has struck you so far?

A. I’m just learning the campus and finding my way around. I’m getting to know the players who are here and about to get out on the recruiting trail and find some players.

It’s funny. On a Wednesday I was coaching my last game with the Hornets, and on Thursday I’m having my press conference.

Q. What kind of basketball will you play?

A. I like to play uptempo. I like to be able to spread the floor and to have shooters out on the floor so you can open up driving lanes. Initially, though, we will have to identify our strengths and feel our way through a little bit.

Q. What is the nucleus of the team you inherit?

A. I have some good young guards in the program, and I feel good about that. Obviously college is a guard-oriented type of game. There are not as many quality big guys as there used to be, it seems. And some of our players have transferred, so we will have to recruit and fill those spots.

Q. Will you work heavily on players’ shots with the 49ers like you did to remake Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumper for the Charlotte Hornets?

A. With my role as head coach, I’m going to have so many other responsibilities that I won’t be able to spend the kind of time on an everyday basis working with guys as much as the time I spent with MKG. But I will tell my coaching staff what I see and I’ll be overseeing all the player development that goes on.

Q. What would you tell 49ers fans who have been turned off by a team that hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2005?

A. I would just say I’m extremely excited about coming to Charlotte. I see the great potential we have here. And I look forward to seeing them at the games. It’s a great arena, and we’re hoping to get to the point where the city and the students are excited about coming to 49ers’ games and we can fill the place up.

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