The Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball is headed an hour north of the Queen City to play Wake Forest. The Tuesday night matchup in Winston-Salem will be the eighth all-time matchup between the two schools, with the Deamon Deacons leading the series 5-2 against Charlotte. This is the second of four games against a ‘Power 5’ school. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and fans can catch the game will be televised on ACC Network Extra.
LAST TIME OUT
Charotte is coming off an impressive week, picking up three victories against Appalachian State, James Madison and Oregon State. The game against Oregon State was a big win (69-66 final score) for the program, as it tested the young 49ers down the stretch. Despite not scoring a field goal in a ten-minute span in the second half, Charlotte was able to hold off the Beavers at the free throw line to pick up their first win against the Pac 12 foe.
Jon Davis led the way with 22 points, shooting 12-13 from the charity stripe, and seven assists. Andrien White added 19 points and six rebounds.
The win put Charlotte at 6-2, the best start for the program since the 2013-2014 season.
KEYS FOR CHARLOTTE
On an individual level, Charlotte is going to need Braxton Ogbueze to start knocking down his shots. The senior from Charlotte is third on the team on scoring with 12.4 points, but is only shooting 32 percent (ten percentage points down from last year) from three. With Charlotte playing bigger schools, like Wake Forest and Florida, Ogbueze is going to need to find that shooters touch.
As a team, the 49ers have to limit second-chance opportunities. Unlike last season, Charlotte is not a strong rebounding team. Opponents are grabbing 13 offensive rebounds a game on Charlotte. It hasn’t haunted Charlotte so far this season, but giving teams extra possessions slows Charlotte’s pace and keeps them off the scoreboard. The team has played exceptional defense over the last three games, it would be unfortunate to keep bailing out opponents by giving them second chances.
WAKE FOREST SCOUTING REPORT
The Demon Deacons are looking to bring back the days of Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Currently at a 6-2 record, Wake Forest is coming off a bounce back victory against Richmond. Wake is undefeated so far this season at home at 3-0.
Wake Forest is led by big man John Collins, who averages a double-double on the year with 17.6 points and 10 rebounds per game. The sophomore is Charlotte biggest threat on the boards, as Collins averages three offensive rebounds a game. Wake Forest also former Charlotte player Keyshawn Woods. The Gastonia native played for the 49ers in 2014, where he led the Conference-USA in three-point shooting at 46 percent. Woods comes off the bench for Wake Forest, but still averages 13 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game.
A weakness that Charlotte can exploit is the Demon Deacons are a bit turnover prone. Wake is losing the turnover margin battle this season, only giving up one more turnover than their opponent. Also, they give up nearly seven steals a game. That means defenders like White (1.75 steals per game) and Anthony Vanhook (1.4 steals per game) may have the opportunity to create some chaos and get out in transition.