Photo credit: Charlotte Athletics
Save the overreactions and breathe 49er fans
Well, to be quite frank, I’m sure that Ron Sanchez wasn’t pleased with the two losses on the road to Florida International and Florida Atlantic.
Despite his charismatic, jovial, and overall mild-mannered attitude with the media; behind closed doors, he was probably fired up. The 49ers dropped to 2-3 in the conference with the back-to-back losses, but according to Sanchez, there is still good to be found in the losses to help his team get better.
“We are just excited to get back on the floor after what was definitely a challenging trip down south,” Sanchez said. “I’m just looking forward to cleaning up some of the things that we needed to address after this past weekend.”
Some things that I’m sure were addressed were the lack of quality shooting as well as the turnovers in the game against FIU. Charlotte shot a collective 21-55 in the game while committing 11 turnovers – several of which led to easier opportunities for the Panthers. If there is one thing that kills momentum at any level of basketball, it’s a sloppy possession leading to a turnover and transition basket.
The team had a total of 10 assists giving them a negative assist-to-turnover ratio in the game which is never in the recipe for winning. Overall, this game got away from the 49ers. They had their chances at the rim that wouldn’t fall as well as missed a handful of open opportunities.
Alright – shake that off and get ready for the top team in Conference USA, the FAU Owls.
To not be totally cynical and a “Debbie downer,” if the cliche is appropriate, the 49ers did mount a large comeback and have a chance at the end of this game to at least tie the game down the stretch.
Now for the bad
The 49ers found themselves in a 20-point hole against FAU, and no disrespect to App State from a month or so ago, but the Owls aren’t the Mountaineers. You spot FAU 20 and it is almost game over from that point. FAU’s guards are quick and can take their defenders off the dribble as they did. Their big men can rebound also.
This game was the tail of two halves for Charlotte. Both their field goal and three-point field goal percentages were in the mid-30s in the first half until they played a much better second half, leading to the comeback that fell just four points short.
“If we can bottle those last 15 minutes of basketball for the future then we will be pleased with where we are,” Sanchez said in reference to how his team closed out the game against the Owls last week.
He is right, the last 10-15 minutes of the game is when the 49ers were executing their game plans well on both ends of the floor and it showed as they slowly crawled back, almost to level with the Owls.
The Season Isn’t Over!
From the fan’s perspective, I am sure it is easy to see two losses like this and get discouraged. However, Charlotte lost two straight games earlier in the season to UMass and Detroit Mercy; their response was that they went on to win seven of their next eight games.
It is all about learning, and this team seems more willing to be coached than in years past.
So, just settle in.
There is still a lot of basketball to be played this season.