Charlotte advances to the semifinals of the CBI

by Mar 21, 2023Basketball

Photo credit: Charlotte Basketball Twitter

Sanchez and staff have to shift attention quickly to focus on Radford

The Charlotte 49ers, propelled by their star guard/forward Brice Williams’ 25-point outing, knocked off the 11th-seeded Milwaukee Panthers 76-65. The win sets up a date with the Radford Highlanders (21-14) in the semifinals of the CBI tournament. 

So, what has been going well for the 49ers in the CBI?

Just about everything. The team is clicking well right now. It may be against teams that may not have a championship pedigree, or at least haven’t for a while, but if there is one thing that this tournament is providing is just more game reps and yes, a chance for a postseason championship.

Daylan Berry has been able to get some extensive run so far in the CBI. He has performed well in practice, so head coach Ron Sanchez felt his hard work should be rewarded. His offensive game has come a long way, and his defensive presence on the floor is also highly disruptive as we saw against Milwaukee where he had 3 steals, trailing only Isaiah Folkes with 7.

To win the CBI, the 49ers might need a little more from Igor Milicic. He has shown just how talented he is this season and just needs to find his usual rhythm again. He is a true stretch four, when he is hitting from range, it makes the 49ers a much harder team to guard.

Quick glance at Radford

The Highlanders come out of the Big South conference, where they went 12-6 in conference play this season. They played a solid non-conference schedule this season, playing the likes of Marquette (2-seed in the NCAA tournament) and Notre Dame. It may have been a down year for the Fighting Irish, but this was an early season challenge for Radford nonetheless. 

DaQuon Smith and Bryan Antonie will be the focal points for the 49er defense. They shoot 43 and 46% from the field respectively and don’t think about fouling them as both shoot over 84% from the charity stripe. As with any compelling guard matchups, it will be interesting to see how Sanchez wants to match up with these guys.

Antoine is the taller of the two guards standing at 6-5, so it would sound reasonable to put Folkes on him with Montre Gipson being matched up with the shorter Smith who is just 6-1.

Looking to tonight’s action

The 49ers opened at -3.5 for this game. If they want to win, they will need another all-around performance. It is tough to beat the 49ers when their shooters are on, and Brice Williams has been lights-out in Daytona Beach. Tip-off is set for 9:00pm ET on ESPN 2.  Farewell, FloSports

As always, you can follow along with me at @camwillsports on Twitter for periodical updates or listen to Trevor Wilt and Matt Swierad on the call on ESPN 730 The Game.

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