2021-22 season is right around the corner
The Charlotte 49ers Men’s Basketball team held their first open practice of the season on Tuesday, Sep. 28 inside Halton Arena. My job is to provide you, readers, some initial thoughts about the team and how they look early on in the preseason.
New kids on the block
Sanchez and company hit the transfer portal hard over the offseason, bringing in a lot of new faces loaded with talent. Here are two that really caught my attention during the first practice.
Photo creditHoly Cross Athletics
Austin Butler, Guard, Formerly at Holy Cross: If I could describe Butler in one word, that word would be, Sniper! Butler was knocking down shots at a very high level. At one point during a shooting drill, he was 13/13 from three-point range until he finally missed his 14th attempt. He is a vocal leader on the defensive side of the ball and will get into your grill and force you to make a quick decision. His 6’5, 210 stature will be very effective playing the rugged style of defense that Sanchez likes to implement.
Photo creditAlbert Cesare, IndyStar
Clyde Trapp, Guard, Formerly at Clemson: In my opinion, this was the best portal snag for Sanchez and the team. He is quick, very athletic, and has a solid shot. He is an all-around player who will likely fill the shoes of Jordan Shepard in the starting lineup. He challenged Jahmir Young during practice as coach Sanchez had the two matched up on one another to bring the best out of one another.
“The reason I put them against each other on the court is so that they can challenge one another,” Sanchez said. “When it comes time for competition they will definitely be playing together, no doubt.”
A look at the team’s chemistry
It is no doubt that last year’s team looked off in many aspects. Some (including myself) tend to believe it was a bad chemistry issue. However, with the team being able to meet more and be around each other more, Sanchez feels like the team has good chemistry as they progress towards the start of the season.
“This is something that we have to invest a lot of time in, especially with what has happened over the last 24 months,” Sanchez said. “Hopefully being able to be together more, we will have a more synched or synergized approach to our team.”
As I look at the roster and the amount of talent this team has, I believe that they can go as far as their attitudes allow them. It will start with a, “Check your attitude at the door,” type mentality, and if the team can do that, they can go far.
Looking ahead to the season
There is a lot to be done before the start of the 2021-22 season, which I am sure Sanchez knows and will address with the team. Things get going on Nov. 9th against Monmouth for the 49ers inside Halton Arena. Time is yet to be announced.