Coming off of their first win against Davidson since 2012, on Tuesday, Nov. 12 the Charlotte 49ers basketball team will have another tough task tonight.
The 49ers (1-1) will host the ACC’s Wake Forest (2-1) in Halton Arena at 6 p.m. in front of a national audience as ESPNU will be broadcasting the game.
Head Coach Ron Sanchez believes his 49er team is ready for their biggest test so far as this will be their first game against a Power Five school this season.
“This is a part of our growth,” said Sanchez. “We had a good victory, played well in stretches on Tuesday night. Can we capitalize on that and repeat it again, that’s the challenge for the young guys not to think they have arrived and that we have to continue on this journey.”
The two teams are familiar foes as Wake Forest leads the all-time series 8-2. In the 2018-19 season, Wake Forest beat the 49ers at home 80-56.
With the new-look roster, however, Sanchez knows it’s anyone’s game this time around.
“We have to prepare for a lot of different things because anything can up on Sunday when we play,” said Sanchez. “Wake Forest is a long, athletic team that tries to interrupt or disrupt your offensive scheme so we have to do a really good job of managing their defensive stuff.”
Players to Watch
Jordan Shepherd, Charlotte: The transfer from Oklahoma has led Charlotte through two games in scoring with 13.5 points per game. He’ll have a great opportunity to have a big night as the Wake Forest defense has allowed a player to score 20 or more points in each of their first three games.
Brandon Chilldress, Wake Forest: The senior has been the go-to for the Demon Deacons and is coming off of a season where he averaged 36 minutes a game. He had 13 points and five rebounds against Charlotte in their game last year. The 49ers will have to keep an eye on Childress as he could have a big scoring night. He’s averaging 17.3 points a game; a team high.
Keys to a victory
Keep up with the success on defense
Defense has been a huge positive during Coach Sanchez's tenure. 49er opponents averaged 68 points per game last year and that number is the same so far this season. As the Demon Deacons scored 98 points in their last showing, big men Amidou Bamba and Milos Supica will need to prevent scoring in the post to prevent a big night from Wake.
Coach Sanchez has been wanting to improve on taking care of the ball all season and that won’t change for tonight’s matchup as Sanchez mentioned in his pre-game interview. The 49ers have given up 12 steals on the season and 7.5 points per game off of turnovers. Stopping those small mistakes will pay large dividends for Charlotte in the long run.