The Charlotte men's basketball team will face Wake Forest at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets, in the Hall of Fame Shootout on Friday, Dec. 17, at 9 p.m.
After a one-point win against Valparaiso on Saturday, the 49ers improved to 5-4 on the season. The team looks to build off the momentum and come out swinging against the Demon Deacons in hopes of winning their second straight game. Head Coach Ron Sanchez hopes the team will learn from their win on the road and take it into this neutral-site contest.
"Winning on the road is hard," said Sanchez. "As you're building your confidence for the year, you do need to have some success, and being able to have success on the road is really important. So, I think right now, us being able to pull away from that victory on the road definitely gives us a boost of confidence going into this game at a neutral site versus a formidable opponent."
Wake Forest boasts a 10-1 record on the season after beating VMI in a 77-70 win on Tuesday, Dec. 14. This season, Wake Forest's only loss was against LSU, where they came up short 75-61, and since then, the team has won four straight.
This will be the 11th matchup between the two teams, and Wake Forest leads the series 8-3. The previous matchup between the two teams came in 2019, and the 49ers won 67-65. Both teams have played in the Spectrum Center before, with the first matchup coming in 2007, and the 49ers won in the heart of Charlotte 63-59.
The 49ers are 1-5 on the road against the Demon Deacons, but this matchup will be on a neutral court. Charlotte will look for a signature win against Wake Forest.
Scouting the 49ers:
Junior guard Jahmir Young has been outstanding so far this season as he averages 19.3 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Young needs only 13 points in this upcoming contest to make it to 1,000 points, and he will be the 29th 49ers to accomplish the milestone. Charlotte will rely on Young to come up with big shots down the stretch.
The 49ers have prided themselves on taking smart shots as they have improved in both shooting categories from a year ago. Austin Butler and Robert Braswell have provided the shooting spark for the team as they both have substantial shooting percentages of 47.7 and 52.2, respectively. Both players need to step up if the 49ers hope to come out on top in the contest.
Scouting the Demon Deacons:
Graduate Student Alondes Williams has been a significant part of the team's success this season, consistently putting marks on the stat sheet in each game. He leads the team in points per game with 19.8 and rebounds with 6.5 per game. In their most recent game against VMI, he recorded 36 points in a winning effort.
The 49ers will have to stop the Demon Deacons from getting good looks from three. Wake Forest shoots a respectable 34.9% from three, and Charlotte is tasked with slowing them down.
"Coach Forbes is doing a really amazing job of really building that program," said Sanchez. "They shoot the ball really well, I think they make about nine three [pointers] per game, they really spread you out offensively, and they all can shoot it."
Looking to gameday:
The 49ers will take on the Demon Deacons inside the Spectrum Center on Friday, Dec. 17. Tipoff will be a 9 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network.