Charlotte (4-3) will open up conference play in a doubler-header against Western Kentucky (7-2). Charlotte, who has won three straight games, will look to continue their hot streak against a very good Hilltoppers squad. Charlotte looks to make a statement out of the gate in conference play.
“We haven’t played a double header before but we are excited for the opportunity to get back on the court and continue to grow as a team,” said Head coach Ron Sanchez.
Gametime for both games will be 4 p.m. on Jan. 1 and 2. The games will be broadcasted on Charlotte’s Athletic Youtube Channel and will take place in Halton Arena.
Key Players for Charlotte
Sophomore guard Jahmir Young is a key player for the Niners as they start conference play. Young was huge down the stretch against George Washington as he finished the game with 21 points on 7-20 shooting from the field. This has been a great year for Young and Charlotte will continue to play through him.
Another player to keep an eye on for Charlotte has to be Jordan Shepherd. Shepherd, who had been quiet in the games leading up to facing George Washington, was able to step up and score 16 points on 6-10 shooting from the field. Shepherd will continue to ramp up production which will be a big help for the Niners.
“(Western Kentucky) is a complete team but we are excited to see how we match up with them,” said Shepherd. “We want to make a statement.”
Lastly, senior guard Jhery Matos will need to build off of his great performance that he had last game against the Hilltoppers. Against George Washington, Matos had a huge second half as he was able to score all seven of his points. Matos has shown great flashes and Coach Sanchez wants to see more of it.
Key Players for Western Kentucky
One player to watch for off of this very talented Hilltoppers squad has to be junior center Charles Bassey, who has been tearing it up so far this year. Bassey, who is averaging a double-double with 17.8 points per game as well as bringing down 11.4 rebounds, will look to have a big game against the Niners. Charlotte will have to slow down Bassey if they want to be able to win either of these games.
Another player to watch for has to be junior guard Luke Frampton. Frampton had a huge game for the Hilltoppers in their last contest against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Frampton scored 22 points on 6-9 shooting from the field. Charlotte will need to force Frampton into bad shots for a chance at winning.
Lastly, senior guard Josh Anderson will be someone that Charlotte will have to focus on. Anderson was able to score 14 points on 5-6 shooting from the field against Tennessee Tech.
Keys for a Charlotte Win
The first key for a Charlotte win will be starting the game better. Charlotte got down 11-0 to George Washington in the early going. Charlotte was able to bounce back and get the win but a good start will set the tempo for the rest of the game.
The second key is continued three point shooting. Charlotte improved drastically from behind the arc against the Colonials as they finished the game shooting 46.2% from three. Charlotte is taking great strides and will need to continue this against the Hilltoppers.
Lastly, Charlotte will have to continue to fight through adversity. Charlotte has come a long way since the start of the season. Charlotte has improved and is learning from every game and they will keep this way of thinking going into this double header. Coach Ron Sanchez knows that there are still things to fix but he is all for celebrating the little victories.
“Our formula is to celebrate the good but also identify the bad,” said Sanchez. “We know that we have more work to do but we are ready for the challenge.”