Charlotte wins the 2023 College Basketball Invitational

by Mar 23, 2023Basketball

Photo credit: Charlotte Men’s Basketball

For Dale

As most of you know by now, Barksdale “Dale” F. Halton passed away this week. Her legacy will never be forgotten here at Charlotte due to her philanthropic work on behalf of Charlotte 49ers Athletics over the years. While I never had the opportunity to meet her in a one-on-one situation, her impact here is nothing short of remarkable. From Dale F. Halton Arena to the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex to the Judy W. Rose Football Center, Dale Halton’s fingerprints are all over the facilities at UNC Charlotte. Beyond her efforts on our campus, she helped create Dale F. Halton Theater at Central Piedmont Community College and the Aspire Carolinas Foundation (The Halton School), an alternative educational opportunity for those that learn differently due to Asperger’s and Autisum disorders.

For more information on Dale F. Halton, I encourage you to read this official release from the Athletic Department, and this piece from Business North Carolina from June 2022. Niner Nation’s thoughts are with the Halton-Wagner family during this time, and I’m sure she was smiling down on the team as they clinched the CBI Championship last night.

Williams robbs EKU of another overtime opportunity

Charlotte imposed their will on the Colonels in the first half, stretching the lead out to 21 points, ultimately leading 42-24 at the break. While it looked like Charlotte would weather EKU’s run’s in the second half, an almost 6-minute scoring drought let EKU back in the game. Charlotte then had another drought later in the half, nearly 3 minutes during crunch-time, broken up with a clutch layup by Isaiah Folkes with 19 seconds left, gave CLT a 3-point lead.

Such droughts have been problematic for Ron Sanchez teams throughout his 5 seasons so far. This time, the Niners were able to stave of the droughts and came out victorious thanks to a great defensive effort from Brice Williams on his former Charlotte 49ers’ teammate Cooper Robb where Williams blocked his 3-point attempt. EKU grabbed the loose ball and hoisted a desperation, albeit a good look, at the buzzer to tie it and force what would have been their 4th overtime game in 4 days. It rimmed out, and Charlotte hoisted the trophy.

via ESPN

Brice Williams’ performance throughout the 4 games in 5 days netted him the CBI MVP award. While he didn’t put up many points in the finale, his game-saving defensive play at the end sealed the ‘ship for Ron Sanchez and company.

What’s next?

All eyes are on the transfer portal as it will undoubtedly giveth-and-taketh away from Charlotte’s program in the near future. That’s simply life for any program these days, gone are the days of stashing and developing young talent.

Charlotte’s already been listed as contacting multiple transfer portal prospects, and they currently have 1 open scholarship remaining as of now (should Musa Jallow apply for a waiver and return). In November Charlotte signed 6’9 prospect Nick Richart out of Zionsville (IN), and as of now, he’s the only member of the 2023 recruiting class for the Forty-Niners.

Curious as to who has been contacted? Here’s a list of those transfers that Charlotte has been connected with publicly so far:

Charlotte also recently offered a JUCO big man, Okechukwu Okeke from Tallahassee Community College. He’s listed at 6’9 is an athletic big man who appears to like dunking everything around the rim. He holds offers from Central Michigan, Tulsa, New Mexico, Iona, UIC, Maryland, FIU, Arizona State, Memphis, ECU, Norfolk State, DePaul, Wichita State, Kansas State, Cal State Bakersfield, NCCU, Arkansas State and Morgan State.

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