Nathan Butler

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Boone bound, but not without reminiscing of Charlotte

Covering the 2013 Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Covering the 2013 Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Somewhere in the archives tucked away in a file cabinet in the middle of the Niner Times newsroom, there can be found my first-ever story written for the Niner Times.

I was asked at the last minute, on my second day working for the newspaper, to cover the first football signing day in the history of Charlotte athletics.

That was my first story in a newspaper. Seems so long ago, but yet feels like it was yesterday.

And now I’m leaving.

For almost two years, the Niner Times newsroom has been my second home. If I haven’t always been in the office on the bottom floor of the  Student Union, I’ve been attached to the people inside by either a Facebook message planning out content, or a simple Tweet asking where I was and why I wasn’t there. While this might sound like a burden for some, it wasn’t for me. My co-workers made me better. And that’s why I continued.

And now I’m leaving.

Starting in the fall, I’ll be walking the campus of Appalachian State University, pursuing a degree in journalism.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, or what I’ll be asked to do, but this feels like the right move. And sometimes you’ve got to go with your gut. What I do know, however, is that I’ll receive my journalism degree from Appalachian State.

And now I’m leaving.

Like almost every student at UNC Charlotte, I didn’t grow up pulling for the 49ers. But I lived close enough to know about the University and their basketball program which has seen some success through the years. And I never thought I would have the chance to cover them.

And now I’m leaving.

It’s the moments of talking to football players who haven’t stepped foot on campus, but know they’re joining something special that keeps you going.

It’s having lunch with the women’s basketball head coach, Cara Consuegra, to talk about the previous season and what the student newspaper could do the following season to spark additional interest. After all, we are the students’ voice.

It’s covering the men’s soccer team through a season where they were nationally-ranked all year and, once again, got folks to believe that they could make a run to the College Cup. If not this year, then the next.

It’s the feeling you get when Charlotte 49ers head football coach Brad Lambert knows you by name and asks how you are before the start of a press conference.

And it’s the feeling that comes when you pick up the paper in the morning, understanding all the work, and long hours spent at production, that went into getting it there.

These are the moments I’ll miss.

And now I’m leaving.

This will be a transition for me. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or scared. But the same could have been said for when I enrolled at UNC Charlotte.

Just because I’ll now wear black and gold and call myself a Mountaineer, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate everything that I have ever experienced at this University – I have.

My experiences and memories are what will help me carry on with a smile on my face, providing a sense of comfort in a world of uncertainty.

And now I’m leaving.

Game Preview: Dayton Flyers v. Charlotte 49ers

The Charlotte 49ers (18-8, 6-6) will host the Dayton Flyers (14-12, 4-8) in Halton Arena on Wednesday.

Dayton has won three straight in the series, including a 75-65 win last season. Charlotte is looking for win No. 19, which is something that has not been done since the 2009-10 season.

Charlotte Game Notes:

– The 49ers have outscored 21 of their 26 opponents this season on points in the paint (averaging 35.8 per game).
– Charlotte’s bench has outscored their opponent’s bench in 20 of the last 25 games. Charlotte’s bench has averaged 27.9 points per game this season.
– JT Thompson has been ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL in his right knee at Temple (Feb. 6).
– DeMario Mayfield was dismissed from the team (Feb. 22) after violating athletic department policy. He was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 30.
– Charlotte is averaging 6,261 people per home game, which is sixth highest in the Atlantic 10.
– The 49ers are 1-4 during the last five games, including two consecutive blowout losses to Saint Louis (58-76) and Temple (51-71).
– Charlotte leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense (.400), but are last in the A-10 in free throw percentage (.645).

Charlotte Probable Starters:

– (G) Denzel Ingram: 6.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
– (G) Pierria Henry: 9.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
– (G) E. Victor Nickerson: 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
– (F) Willie Clayton: 8.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg
– (F) Darion Clark: 6.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Other Stats:

Scoring: Charlotte: 1749 (67.3), Opponents: 1702 (65.5)
Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 633-1417 (.447), Opponents: 586-1465 (.400)
3-point Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 85-324 (.262), Opponents: 172-527 (.326)
Free Throw percentage: Charlotte: 398-617 (.645), Opponents: 358-515 (.695)
Rebounds: Charlotte: 975 (37.5), Opponents: 874 (33.6)
Assists: Charlotte: 297 (11.4), Opponents: 283 (10.69)
Turnovers: Charlotte: 394 (15.2), Opponents: 369 (14.2)

Dayton Game Notes:

– In the Atlantic 10, Dayton leads the conference in field goal percentage (.466), and are second in defensive rebounding (29.9).
– The Flyers have played eight games that have gone down to the final minute this season and have lost all but one.
– Dayton finished non-conference play with 10 victories, the seventh consecutive year achieving 10-plus wins prior to A-10 action.
– Dayton is 7-0 this season when scoring 75 or more points, also when holding teams to 60 points or less.
– Overall, Dayton leads the conference in 3-point shooting (.380).
– Kevin Dillard is 10th in the A-10 in scoring, fifth in assists and fourth in free throw percentage. He has scored in double figures in 17 of his last 19 games.

Dayton Probable Starters:

– (G) Kevin Dillard: 14.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
– (G) Vee Sanford: 12.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
– (F) Devin Oliver: 8.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg
– (F) Dyshawn Pierre: 8.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg
– (F) Devon Scott: 1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
** From bench: (C) John Benson: 10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

The Series:

– Series record: Dayton leads, 7-4.
– Last five meetings: Dayton has won four of the last five meetings.
– Record with 49ers as home team: 49ers lead, 3-1.
– First meeting: Jan. 5, 1978 – Dayton 66, Charlotte 55.
– Last meeting: Feb. 15, 2012 – Dayton 75, Charlotte 65.
– Last Charlotte win: Feb. 8, 2009 – Charlotte 79, Dayton 66 (Halton Arena).
– Charlotte’s largest margin of victory: 13, twice (most recent: Feb. 8, 2009).
– Dayton’s largest margin of victory: 28 (Feb. 10, 2010 – Dayton 75, Charlotte 47).

Mike Thorne shines, Charlotte falls to Temple 51-71

For Charlotte, when things don’t go well, boy, they don’t go well.

Temple defeated Charlotte, 71-51, in a must-win game at Halton Arena Sunday afternoon. Both teams came into Sunday’s game as a possible bubble team for the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, the Owls did what they had to do to prove their case. For Charlotte, it looks like another graduating class will not see their team participate in the “big dance.”

The 49ers had the benefit of playing Temple earlier this month in Philadelphia, an 88-89 loss. That game, however, featured a totally different style of play.

“We talked about how we couldn’t stop each other,” said Temple head coach Fran Dunphy.

Unlike the last game on Feb. 6, Temple’s defense changed the outcome in this one. The Owls (19-8, 8-5) held Charlotte (18-9, 6-6) to a season-low 27.4 shooting performance (17-for-62).

“They got into a rhythm early and their experience showed through as the game went on,” said Charlotte head coach Alan Major. “I thought we got off to a tough start. We didn’t get in a rhythm the way we like.”
After winning four of the first five conference games, the 49ers have lost the last two by blowouts (lost 76-58 at Saint Louis on Feb. 16).

The 49ers were led by guard Pierria Henry, who recorded 10 points and racked up four rebounds. Backup center Mike Thorne also recorded a double-digit performance.

Thorne, a redshirt freshman,  had his best game as a 49er. He posted career highs in points (10), field goals (4), field goal attempts (7), rebounds (7, 6 offensive) and minutes played (18).

“I thought Mike Thorne grew up before our eyes tonight,” Major said. “He played with a lot of energy.”

Thorne and freshman forward Willie Clayton were the only 49ers to make at least half of their shots.

“We were taking shots early in the shot clock and they were getting the rebound and limiting us to that one shot,” said Charlotte guard Terrence Williams, who scored nine points on 4-of-13 shooting. “They’d kick it ahead and score. We had too many mental breakdowns.”

“We need to get our defensive edge back,” said Williams. “Earlier in the season, our offense came from our defense. We need to get those stops, so we can get our offense going in transition.”

Owls’ senior guard/forward Scootie Randall believes his team can compete with anyone. “As a program, we know we can play with anybody in the country,” Randall said during the postgame press conference. “When we lose, we beat ourselves. Even the great teams have losses.”

Temple defeated Syracuse on Dec. 22, but have fallen to Xavier, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s and Duquesne since.

“That loss to Duquesne was tough,” senior guard Khalif Wyatt said, “but we did a great job putting it behind us and going on to UMass, because we needed that win.”

“Playing at UMass, at Charlotte, La Salle at home, you know, that was a tough stretch,” said Randall. “But we’ve got to get it done. That’s Coach Dun’s philosophy. We have to get it done.”

Temple will now prepare for Detroit in the Chevrolet Gotham Classic before finishing out conference play with a home games against Rhode Island and VCU and an away game with Fordham on March 6.

“Now we’re starting to play good,” Wyatt said. “Guys are starting to hit shots, we’re playing better defense and we’ve got some momentum going. We want to carry that into Thursday against Detroit, which is going to be another good test for us. We just want to keep taking it one game at a time, and keep building some momentum.”

The 49ers  will host Dayton (14-12, 4-8) on Wednesday night, before traveling to St. Bonaventure and Duquesne. Charlotte will finish their regular season on March 9 against Saint Joseph’s at Halton Arena.

“Our guys know [Sunday] wasn’t what they are, identity-wise,” said Major. “We’ve got to play better.”

Game Preview: Temple Owls v. Charlotte 49ers

The Charlotte 49ers have averaged a home attendance of 6,222 this season - sixth best in Atlantic 10. Photo by Chris Crews
The Charlotte 49ers have averaged a home attendance of 6,222 this season – sixth best in Atlantic 10. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (18-7, 6-5) will play a crucial game against Temple (18-8, 7-5) in Halton Arena on Sunday afternoon. Charlotte enters the game a half game back of Temple for sixth place in the Atlantic 10.

According to many national brackets, both teams are on the NCAA Tournament bubble, but that could change with a loss on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

During halftime, Charlotte and Levine Children’s Hospital will honor 49ers cheerleading alum and former coach Jason Peetz and his family for winning the Primrose Schools Family Dance Off and earning $30,000 for Levine Children’s Hospital.

Associate director of basketball operations, Stephen Doughton, has established the Stephen Doughton Jr. Foundation for Cancer research and patient assistance. Doughton was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2006, and has been in remission since 2008. The Stephen Doughton Jr. Foundation will have tables set up in both hospitality areas to accept donations on Sunday.

Charlotte Game Notes:

– Chris Braswell has now recorded 1359 career points and 827 career rebounds during his playing-time at Charlotte. Braswell is now the sixth player in school history to record 1000 points and 800 rebounds. Only three players in school history have posted 1000 of each: Cedric Maxwell (1824 points, 1117 rebounds), Jarvis Lang (1855 points, 1047 rebounds) and Curtis Withers (1750 points, 1042 rebounds).
– Charlotte has averaged 6,222 at home this season, which is the sixth highest average attendance in the Atlantic 10.
– Charlotte’s bench has outscored their opponent’s bench in 20 of the last 24 games. Charlotte’s bench has averaged 28.04 points per game this season.
– The 49ers have outscored 20 of their 25 opponents this season on points in the paint. The 49ers average 36.1 points per game inside the paint.
– JT Thompson is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during the loss at Temple on Feb. 6.
– DeMario Mayfield was dismissed from the team on Friday, after being suspended on Jan. 30 for violation of athletic department policy.
– The 49ers have had seven double-doubles this season. Willie Clayton leads the team with four double-doubles.
– Charlotte is 2-3 during the last five games, but they defeated No. 11 Butler on the road during that stretch (49ers fell at Temple, v. VCU, and at Saint Louis).

Charlotte Probable Starters:

– (G) Pierria Henry: 9.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
– (G) Denzel Ingram: 6.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg
– (G) E. Victor Nickerson: 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
– (F) Willie Clayton: 8.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg
– (F) Darion Clark: 6.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Other Stats:

– Scoring: Charlotte: 1698 (67.9 ppg), Opponents: 1631 (65.2 ppg)
– Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 616-1355 (45.5%), Opponents: 558-1407 (39.7%)
– 3-point percentage: Charlotte 84-312 (26.9%), Opponents: 162-503 (32.2%)
– Free Throw percentage: Charlotte: 382-598 (63.9%), Opponents: 353-508 (69.5%)
– Turnovers: Charlotte: 379 (15.2 per game), Opponents: 356 (14.2 per game)
– Steals: Charlotte: 195 (7.8 per game), Opponents: 185 (7.4 per game)

Temple Game Notes:
– Temple is looking for the opportunity to sweep Charlotte, the only school in the A10 it plays twice. Temple won in Philadelphia, 89-88, on Feb. 6
– Temple has won two straight and is coming off an 82-74 win over La Salle on Thursday. TU has not won three straight since starting 6-0.
– Khalif Wyatt has averaged 24.5 points over the past 12 games.
– Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson set a career-best in points (23) and rebounds (18) v. La Salle on Thursday.
– Anthony Lee leads TU in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (54.8%) while Scootie Randall (11.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg) also averages double figures while ranking among the A10 leads in minutes per game (34.6 mpg).
– Both teams are leaving the A10 following this season. Charlotte is heading to Conference USA while Temple will join the Big East.

Temple Probable Starters:

– (G) Khalif Wyatt: 19.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg (Leads A-10 in scoring)
– (G) Will Cummings: 5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg (Ranked 10th in A-10 in steals, 1.5 spg)
– (F) Anthony Lee: 11.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg (Has recorded 17 double-figure scoring games this season)
– (F) Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson: 9.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg (Leads Temple in blocks, 1.1 bpg/13th A-10)
– (G/F) Scootie Randall: 11.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg (Second on team and 15th in A-10 in rebounding)

The Series:

– Series record: Temple leads, 8-5.
– Last five meetings: Temple has won four of the last five.
– Record with Charlotte as home team: 49ers lead, 4-1.
– First meeting: Dec. 26, 1980 – Charlotte 68, Temple 65.
– Last meeting: Feb. 6, 2013 – Temple 89, Charlotte 88.
– Last Charlotte win: Jan. 27, 2010 – Charlotte 74, Temple 64.
– Charlotte’s largest margin of victory: 11 (Dec. 4, 2002 – Charlotte 91, Temple 80).
– Temple’s largest margin of victory: 27 (Jan. 24, 2009 – Temple 80, Charlotte 53).

Charlotte dismisses DeMario Mayfield

Charlotte 49ers dismiss DeMario Mayfield from team following Jan. 30 indefinite suspension. Photo by Chris Crews
Charlotte 49ers dismiss DeMario Mayfield from the team following his indefinite suspension on Jan. 30. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers have dismissed DeMario Mayfield from the team after violating athletic department policy. Mayfield was suspended on Jan. 30.

Mayfield moved into the starting lineup in the win against Xavier and had been averaging a team-high 11.7 points with 3.6 rebounds.

The junior from Royston, Ga., had recorded 14 double-figure scoring games this season and 33 during his career. Mayfield was a transfer from the University of Georgia. He was also the first newcomer to be added to the 49ers’ roster by head coach Alan Major.

Mayfield had been suspended three times, including a two-game suspension to start this season for violating team rules.

In a statement released announcing his indefinite suspension in January, athletic director Judy Rose said, “Our policies are in place for a reason and our student-athletes are expected to abide by them.”

“The coaching staff wants to wish DeMario the best in his future endeavors,” said Major. “We will continue to move forward as a team.”

Charlotte will host Temple at Halton Arena on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

 

Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer announce spring exhibition schedule

The Charlotte 49ers finished the 2012 season with a record of 15-4-3. Photo by Chris Crews
The Charlotte 49ers finished the 2012 season with a record of 15-4-3. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team, 2012 Atlantic 10 regular season champions, have announced their 2013 spring exhibition schedule.

Charlotte has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances in the program’s history, including three appearances in the last four years.

The 49ers reached the College Cup Championship game in 2011.

For 2013, the 49ers will return 14 letterwinners and six starters from the 2012 season that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling short to Georgetown.

Charlotte will begin their spring schedule with a home game against England’s Pass 4 at Transamerica Field on Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m. Just five days later, the 49ers will play host to USL Pro’s Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. Charlotte will close out the month of March on the road with future Conference USA rival South Carolina on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m.

In April, Charlotte will begin the month on the road in Blacksburg, Va., for a meeting with Virginia Tech on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. Charlotte will then travel Greensboro, N.C. for a game against North Carolina, a rematch of the 2011 College Cup Championship game, on Saturday, April 13 at 5 p.m. The 49ers will conclude their schedule in Spartanburg, S.C. against Wofford, Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m.

According to the press release, all home games will be played at Transamerica Field and will be free to the public.

Worth noting, former 49ers Donnie Smith and Jennings Rex were drafted by MLS’ New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders during the off-season.

March:
11, England’s Pass 4 (7 p.m.)
16, Charlotte Eagles (6 p.m.)
23, at South Carolina (2 p.m.)

April:
6, at Virginia Tech (5 p.m.)
13, **North Carolina (5 p.m.)
18, at Wofford (7 p.m.)

** Game will be played in Greensboro, N.C.

Huge second half lifts Charlotte to a 68-56 victory over George Washington

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Charlotte forward Amanda Dowe scored 15 points and pulled down 17 rebounds against George Washington on Sunday. Photo by Chris Crews, photo@nineronline.com

If you wanted to get behind a team that wins on a consistent basis, look no further than the Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team.

On Sunday, in front of 1,159 fans in attendance for the annual Play4Kay game to raise awareness for breast cancer, the Charlotte 49ers (20-4, 9-1) defeated the George Washington Colonials (11-14, 5-6), 68-56, to earn their 20th win of the season for the 13th time in program history.

That milestone hasn’t been reached since the 2010-11 season when the 49ers won a school-record 27 games.

“We talked about it during the lockerroom after the game that 20-wins is a significant milestone and that the team should be proud of it,” said Charlotte 49ers head coach Cara Consuegra, who now has a career record of 36-18 during her first two seasons at Charlotte. “But I do think that the team has earned that. I say this to them a lot, you get what you earn.”

“This team, this year, every week is trying to get better. Every game is trying to get better. They’ve trusted us [coaches] and we’ve trusted them [players] and because of that, you’re able to see the number of wins that we’ve had. At the same time, we still have a ways to go. We can still get better,” noted Consuegra.

The first half didn’t go as smoothly as Consuegra, or anyone else pulling for the 49ers would have wanted. While Charlotte put up one of the better defensive performances of the season, the 49ers had trouble scoring on their own end.

It was almost as if neither team wanted to score during the first half. Charlotte, who had been averaging 65.9 points per game, was only able to score seven points during the first six minutes of action. The Colonials, however, didn’t score their sixth point until the 12-minute mark of the half.

“I thought the first half we weren’t really focused with what we needed to do defensively,” said Consuegra.

Charlotte entered the locker room with a 23-17 advantage, forcing George Washington to shoot under 23-percent from the field.

But the dismal first half by the Colonials didn’t stop them from coming out and changing the pace of the game.

After an early 4-0 run to cut Charlotte’s lead to just two, Consuegra was forced to call an early second half timeout.

“When we went in on halftime we talked about adjustments, came out in the second half and still didn’t feel it in the first 1:30,” said Consuegra. “We took that timeout and I was really hard on the team during that timeout. But you could see the character of this team to come out after I’ve been hard on them and they [the team] decided to be different. Decided to be the Charlotte team that I know that we can be.”

Over the next 12 minutes, Charlotte went on a 26-10 run.

Both teams committed 16 turnovers, but Charlotte was able to score on 23 points off of them. The Colonials only recorded 14.

Charlotte did have an advantage in the post. The 49ers out-rebounded the Colonials 48-39 and scored 36 points in the paint compared to George Washington’s 20.

The 49ers made 19 of their 28 free throw attempts, good enough for 67.9-percent for the game. Sunday’s free throw percentage was slightly above Charlotte’s season average, 66.1 percent.

Four Charlotte players scored in double-digits: Jennifer Hailey (16), Amanda Dowe (15), Jai Forney (13) and Hillary Sigmon (10).

Hailey not only recorded 16 points during Sunday’s game, but she also racked up 13 rebounds for her 10th straight double-double and the 19th this season.

Dowe also recorded a double-double, adding 15 points and 17 rebounds to Charlotte’s total.

The 49ers will travel to UMass on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off against the Minutemen. Charlotte is only one game behind Dayton for the lead in the Atlantic 10 standings.

Game Preview: Charlotte 49ers v. Saint Louis Billikens

The Charlotte 49ers (18-6, 6-4) will conclude their two-game road trip when they play Atlantic 10 co-leader Saint Louis (18-5, 7-2) on Saturday.

The game will be aired on Fox Sports Midwest. Tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Charlotte Game Notes:

– 49ers’ Chris Braswell has scored 1355 points and has racked up 823 rebounds during his career at Charlotte. He is now the 8th player in school history to record 1000 points and 750 rebounds.
– Charlotte’s upset over No. 10/11 Butler on Wednesday was the first victory over a top-10 team since 49-48 win over No. 7 Tennessee on Dec. 7, 2010. Charlotte’s last road victory over a top-10 school was a 96-92 win at No. 7 Syracuse on Nov. 26, 2003.
– The 49ers bench has outscored their opponent’s bench in 20 of the last 23 games. Charlotte is averaging 28.5 bench points per game this season.
– Charlotte has outscored 19 of their 24 opponents this season on points in the paint. The 49ers are averaging 36.2 points per game when scoring inside the paint.
– The 49ers are 7-5 in the last 12 games played.
– 49ers’ guard DeMario Mayfield is currently serving an indefinite suspension after violating athletic department policy and forward/center JT Thompson is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in the Temple game on Feb. 6.
– Next game: v. Temple, Sunday, Feb. 24. Tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m. Following the game against the Owls, the 49ers will host Dayton on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Charlotte Probable Starters:

– (G) Denzel Ingram: 6.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg
– (G) E. Victor Nickerson: 5.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
– (G) Pierria Henry: 9.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
– (F) Willie Clayton: 8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg
– (F) Darion Clark: 6.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg
** Player to watch: (F) Chris Braswell: 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg

Other Stats:

– Scoring: Charlotte: 1640 (68.3 ppg), Opponents: 1555 (64.8 ppg)
– Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 45.6% (592-1299), Opponents: 39.5% (536-1357)
– 3-point Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 27.3% (83-304), Opponents: 31.7% (151-477)
– Free Throw percentage: Charlotte: 64.3% (373-580), Opponents: 69.6% (332-477)
– Turnovers: Charlotte: 364 (15.2 per game), Opponents: 346 (14.4 per game)

Saint Louis Game Notes:

– Saint Louis has won six in a row, the longest active streak in the Atlantic 10 conference.
– SLU is receiving votes in the AP Top 25 (34, 34th) and USA Today Coaches Poll (13, 34th).
– The Billikens lead the A-10 in scoring defense, yielding 57.7 ppg. In A-10 games, SLU are third in scoring, averaging 71.8 ppg in nine A-10 games.
– SLU shoots 45.4 percent (537-1182) from the floor, 36.2 percent (143-395) from 3-point range and 70.5 percent (352-499) from the line.
– The Billikens scored 75 or more points in three recent games (Butler, Dayton, at Fordham) for the first time since 2008-09 season when they scored 88, 78 and 85 points against Fordham, Duquesne and Richmond.
– Next game: v. VCU, Tuesday, Feb. 19. Tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. Following the VCU game, SLU will travel to Butler for a rematch at Butler on Friday, Feb. 22.

Saint Louis Probable Starters:
– (G) Kwamain Mitchell: 9.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg
– (G) Mike McCall Jr.: 10.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
– (F) Dwayne Evans: 11.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg
– (F) Grandy Glaze: 4.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
– (F) Rob Loe: 7.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg

The Series:

– Series record: Saint Louis leads, 14-11.
– Record with 49ers as road team: Saint Louis leads, 11-1.
– First meeting: SLU 72, Charlotte 58 (Jan. 27, 1996)
– Last meeting: SLU 68, Charlotte (Jan. 14, 2012)
– Last Charlotte win: Charlotte 63, SLU 61 (Jan. 17, 2010 – overtime in Halton Arena)
– Charlotte’s largest margin of victory: 29 (Charlotte 81, SLU 52 – Jan. 11, 1997)
– Saint Louis’ largest margin of victory: 19 (SLU 73, Charlotte 54 – Feb. 9, 2002)

Before dusting off, it might be best to locate the dancing shoes

Following Wednesday night's win over Butler, the 49ers are now 18-6 overall and 6-4 in Atlantic 10 play. Photo by Chris Crews
Following Wednesday night’s win over Butler, the 49ers are now 18-6 overall and 6-4 in the Atlantic 10. Photo by Chris Crews

I have spent the better part of two seasons covering the men’s basketball team, and I could not begin to tell you just how frustrating it has been for fans to watch.

This season, however, there’s hope.

Many questions have come to surface whether or not Charlotte is legit. The roller-coaster ride of 2012-13 might be coming to an end. And, no, I’m not talking about the season. After all, Charlotte is coming off the biggest win in a long, long time. I would even argue that last night’s win over No. 11 Butler was on a larger-scale than Charlotte’s win over nationally-ranked Tennessee at Time Warner Cable Arena in 2010.

Charlotte won at No. 7 Syracuse in 2003-04, at No. 18 Clemson in 2007-08 and at No. 20 Louisville in 2009.

Perhaps Charlotte is flying under the radar. And maybe the 49ers have found their mojo – playing like a team that is destined to be talked about come Selection Sunday.

Call me crazy, but I think Charlotte is playing more like a team now than they were just a few weeks back. You know, after the 20-point loss to Richmond (1/19) and 28-point loss to George Washington (1/26) on the road.

What’s changed? Well, for one, guard DeMario Mayfield is currently serving an indefinite suspension for violating athletic department policy. Mayfield averaged 11.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg. Charlotte forward/center JT Thompson has been ruled out for the season after tearing an ACL in his right leg – the third straight year his season has been cut short due to injury.

Both of these players contributed. There’s no denying that. But perhaps Charlotte had to dig deep to find ways to win as a team. If that’s the case, then watch out.

“I could not be more proud of our team,” said Charlotte 49ers head coach Alan Major, following Wednesday night’s win over Butler. “We have a special group of players.”

In my honest and most humble opinion, Charlotte should  have won at Temple, despite the 88-89 loss, which resulted in giving the ball away at-will. The 49ers also could have come away with a win against VCU, 61-68, at Halton Arena if it weren’t for the lacking free throw percentage.

This is me speaking hypothetical, but if Charlotte were able to capture  wins at Temple and home to VCU would they be surfacing on the national radar? I mean, after all, the 49ers should be back on the NCAA Tournament bubble after knocking off Butler on the road.

The 49ers will have another big test on Saturday when they travel to Saint Louis (18-5, 7-2).

There are a few things that play into Charlotte’s favor come NCAA Tournament time:

– Charlotte has the opportunity to have 20-win season. The 49ers have six regular-season games left. After both Saint Louis and Temple, Charlotte faces Dayton, St. Bonaventure, Duquesne and St. Joseph’s – all of which have league records of .500 or below.

– Charlotte has three victories against top-50 RPI teams: Butler (17), La Salle (33) and Massachusetts (49). The 49ers also beat top-100 teams Xavier (87) and Oral Roberts (100).  RPI rankings are from CBSsportsline.com.

If Charlotte can win at Saint Louis, finish above .500 in conference play – without laying an egg –  and win one or two games in the A-10 tournament, their chances become, somewhat, realistic.

So fellow Charlotte students, if you want to go dancing, locate your dancing shoes. Then dust them off.

Game Preview: Charlotte 49ers v. No. 11 Butler Bulldogs

Charlotte 49ers' Pierria Henry finished Saturday's game against VCU with 8 points, 11 rebounds. Photo by Chris Crews, photo@nineronline.com
Charlotte 49ers’ Pierria Henry finished Saturday’s game against VCU with 8 points, 11 rebounds. Photo by Chris Crews, photo@nineronline.com

The Charlotte 49ers (17-6, 5-4) will begin their two-game road trip with a game at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., when they take on No. 11 Butler Bulldogs (20-4, 7-2) on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

The game is being broadcast on WISH TV/WNDY in Indianapolis, but will also be aired in the Charlotte area on Antenna TV on WJZY 46.2. Antenna TV can be found on Time Warner Cable 147 or 46.2. It can also be found on Comporium (120), Charter (80), SkyBest (262), ComPas (143), ComPas Morganton (113), and RST Fiber (8).

Charlotte Game Notes:

– Charlotte 49ers head coach Alan Major is an Indianapolis native.
– 49ers’ Chris Braswell scored a season-high 23 points in Charlotte’s last road game at Temple last Wednesday, and leads the team with 11.8 points per game.
– Braswell, who has scored 1344 career points and 817 career rebounds, is now the eighth player in school history to record at least 1000 points and 750 rebounds.
– The 49ers are 7-5 in the last 12 games played. Charlotte started the season 15-2.
– Charlotte has outscored 18 of their 23 opponents this season on points in the paint. The 49ers average 36.2 points per game inside the paint.
– Charlotte has also outscored their opponent’s bench in 19 of the last 22 games.
– 49ers’ guard DemMario Mayfield is currently serving an indefinite suspension after violating athletic department policy and forward/center JT Thompson is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in the Temple game on Feb. 6.

Other Stats:

– Scoring: Charlotte: 1569 (68.2 ppg), Opponents: 1488 (64.7 ppg)
– Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 45.2% (566-1251), Opponents: 39.5% (513-1298)
– 3-point Field Goal percentage: Charlotte: 27.1% (81-299), Opponents: 31.5% (141-448)
– Free Throw percentage: Charlotte: 64.6% (356-551), Opponents: 69.8% (321-460)
– Turnovers: Charlotte: 352 (15.3 per game), Opponents: 335 (14.6 per game)

Charlotte Probable Starters:

– Willie Clayton, F, 8.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg
– Chris Braswell, F, 11.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg
– E. Victor Nickerson, G, 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
– Denzel Ingram, G, 6.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg
– Pierria, Henry, G, 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Butler Game Notes:

– Butler is 12-0 this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse and have at least won 10 home games in 18 consecutive seasons.
– The Bulldogs are 224-32 at home over that 18-season stretch.
– Butler’s seniors are 52-8 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
– Under head coach Brad Stevens, Butler is 81-11 on their home-court.
– Butler climbed to No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and No. 11 in the Associated Press national poll this week. It’s the third time the Bulldogs have reached the “top 10” in at least one of the polls.
– The Bulldogs will be without senior center Andrew Smith for the game against Charlotte. Smith was injured during Butler’s win at George Washington, and he requited medical attention when the team returned to Indianapolis following the game.
– Bulldogs’ Brad Stevens has moved into a tie for third place on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, six seasons. Stevens is 159-44 at Butler. He trails Everett Case (NC State, 1947-52) in second place by two wins.

Butler Last Game Starters:

– Roosevelt Jones, F, 10.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg
– Khyle Marshall, F, 10.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
– **Andrew Smith, C, 11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg
– Rotnei Clarke, G, 16.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg
– Alex Barlow, G, 2.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
** Andrew Smith out for game against Charlotte

The Series:

– Wednesday night’s meeting will mark the fourth time Butler and Charlotte have faced each other on the court. Charlotte leads the all-time series, 2-1.
– Last meeting: Charlotte defeated Butler, 81-61, in the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, Ca. (Dec. 29, 1993).
– Last meeting at Hinkle Fieldhouse: Butler defeated No. 17 Charlotte, 87-84, for their first victory over a nationally-ranked team under then-head
coach Barry Collier (Jan. 27, 1992).
– Charlotte’s largest margin of victory: 20 (Dec. 19, 1993 – Charlotte 81, Butler 61)
– Butler’s largest margin of victory: 3 (Jan. 27, 1992 – Butler 87, Charlotte 84)

Charlotte 49ers basketball: The numbers never lie

Charlotte is currently on track for one of the worst attendance years to date in Halton Arena. Photo by Chris Crews
Last Wednesday’s Whiteout game against Xavier had the second highest attendance of the season (7280). Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers are on track for the worst season attendance at Halton Arena since 1997

The atmosphere of a sold-out college basketball game is rare and elusive. Just imagine if Charlotte could experience this on a regular basis. Or, better yet, just imagine if Charlotte could fill 70% of their on-campus arena.

Attendance this year is utterly pathetic. This season’s attendance is the lowest in Alan Major’s tenure as the head coach of the 49ers. But to put into context, we’ve been on a steady decline since the previous head coach.

In 2009-10, the season in which Bobby Lutz was fired, the 49ers averaged 6,321 during the first 11 home games of the season. That’s approximately 69.4% of Halton Arena’s total seating capacity of 9,105.

The following year, 2010-11, Major’s first year as head coach, the 49ers averaged 6,192 during the first 11 home games of the season (the game against Tennessee that was played at Time Warner Cable Arena was factored in). That’s a difference of approximately 129 fans from the year before.

The least significant drop in attendance took place the following year, 2011-12. The 49ers averaged 6,132, which is approximately 67.3% of Halton Arena’s total seating capacity.

But here’s the kicker, the 49ers aren’t anywhere near that this season. Despite Charlotte’s 16-4 overall record and 4-2 Atlantic 10 record, the 49ers are averaging just 5,726 fans this season. That’s 62.8% of Halton Arena’s total seating capacity.

These numbers are not a direct representative of the actual number of fans in attendance.

And I know the attendance average will go up after the games against UMass (homecoming) and VCU. I would be stupid to think those wouldn’t have high attendance numbers. The point of this story is to raise awareness of the lack of attendance during the first 11 home games played this season.

The reasoning behind this varies from person-to-person, but it’s almost evident that students, fans, alums, are not buying into the current Charlotte record.

Everyone should agree that Charlotte’s non-conference schedule has greatly affected the optimism this season. Wins over Texas State, Lamar, Northeastern and Oral Roberts, most certainly didn’t help their cause.

Humiliating losses at Miami (46-77), at Richmond (61-81) and at George Washington (54-82) gives those who question the legitimacy of Charlotte’s record an extra leg to stand on.

While I think Charlotte is a potential NIT team, there was plenty of talk about possibly making the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening now.

If people are okay with the lack of attendance, then so be it. But as a student, you have an invested interest to be concerned.

My last column was to raise awareness of the lack of tradition and the embarrassment of not knowing the words to our alma mater. This piece is to shed the light that there is a problem and others need to challenge those in power to find a way to correct it.

The most common excuse that I hear on a regular basis is that football will change everything. Sure, it will, but don’t think things will get better in other sports just because of it.

Charlotte had the opportunity to cash in on being a member of the Atlantic 10, which has turned out to be a haven for college basketball’s elite.

The addition of Butler and VCU most certainly helped the league’s stature, but unfortunately, Charlotte is looking to Conference USA hoops with hopes of running that league.

If that’s not enough to excite the base, then it’s probably just a lost cause.

I’m not sure of the dynamic of this university or why it seems as if everyone just settles for mediocrity. But it can be frustrating. Most students are frustrated – just look at the upper level of the student section during a game for further proof – some alums are frustrated, and the city of Charlotte could not care less about what this basketball team can or will do. The team is hardly even discussed on local sports talk radio.

It’s time to find a way to become elite. Other schools are catching up and surpassing us. And, no, it’s not just because we haven’t had a football team. There are other reasons. Find it. Challenge it. Correct it.

Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll work on the attendance for women’s basketball games. After all, they’ve been far more consistent in recent years.

Average home season attendance at Halton Arena:

1997 – 5, 544
1998 – 6, 717
1999 – 6, 676
2000 – 6, 849
2001 – 7, 108
2002 – 7, 484
2003 – 6, 423
2004 – 7, 381
2005 – 7, 577
2006 – 6, 641
2007 – 6, 026
2008 – 7, 309
2009 – 6, 184
2010 – 6, 156
2011 – 6, 069
2012 – 6, 001
2013 – 5, 726 **

** Only 11 of 16 home games played.
Information from NCAA

Game Preview: Xavier Musketeers v. Charlotte 49ers

Charlotte will host their sixth annual Whiteout game against Xavier, Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m. at Halton Arena. Photo by Chris Crews
Charlotte will host their sixth annual Whiteout game against Xavier, Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m. at Halton Arena. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (15-3, 3-1) will host Xavier (11-6, 4-0) tonight at Halton Arena for their annual Whiteout game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte Game Notes:
-Chris Braswell leads the team with 11.5 points per game. He recorded 10 points and racked up nine rebounds in Saturday’s loss to Richmond.
-Also, Braswell is one of only eight players in school history with 1,000 career points and 750 career rebounds.
-Charlotte is 9-0 at Halton Arena this season.
-In just four Atlantic 10 games, the 49ers have 37 assists and 63 turnovers.
-Darion Clark has nine assists and 27 turnovers on the year.
-Head coach Alan Major was an assistant coach at Xavier under former XU coach Thad Matta for three seasons, 2001-04.
-In 10 home games this season, the 49ers are averaging just 5,570. That’s 61.1% of Halton Arena’s total seating capacity (9,105).
-This is the lowest average attendance through the first 10 home games under the Alan Major era. In 2010-11, Halton Arena averaged 5,996 (65.8%). In 2011-12, Halton Arena averaged 5,934 (65.1%).
Charlotte Probable Starters:
–          (F) Willie Clayton – 8.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5 assists, 7 steals, 14 blocks
–          (F) Chris Braswell – 11.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 18 assists, 16 steals, 16 blocks
–          (G) Denzel Ingram – 6.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 25 assists, 18 steals, 0 blocks
–          (G) Terrence Williams – 7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 31 assists, 12 steals, 5 blocks
–          (G) Pierria Henry – 9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 58 assists, 50 steals, 10 blocks
** Notable player off bench: (G) DeMario Mayfield – 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 33 assists, 20 steals, 3 blocks
Xavier Game Notes:
-Xavier is on a four game winning streak after a 70-63 victory over La Salle on Saturday. Xavier had led by as much as 18 with just a few minutes left before emptying their bench. Freshman Semaj Christon led Xavier with 18 points and five assists in that game.
-Xavier is second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense (.403), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.303) and scoring defense (60.7 ppg).
-Christon won his fourth Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week award (second straight) after scoring 18.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game and 2.0 steals per game in wins at St. Bonaventure and against La Salle on Saturday.
-Xavier has led in the second half of all but one game this season.
-Head coach Chris Mack (Overall: 84-36; A-10: 43-9) led Xavier to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three seasons, including the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2012.
-Xavier is one of only four teams that have made the NCAA Sweet 16 four times in the last five years (2008-12): Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina and Xavier.
-Xavier is one of only eight schools that have made at least the last seven straight NCAA Tournaments.
Xavier Probable Starters:
–          (F) Travis Taylor – 11.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg – Fourth in Atlantic 10 in rebounding
–          (F) Justin Martin – 8.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg – Career-high 12 rebounds at Tennessee
–          (F) Jeff Robinson – 7.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg – 10 pts, 6 rebs & 3 blocks v. La Salle
–          (G) Semaj Christon – 14.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg – Four-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week
–          (G) Dee Davis – 9.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg – Returned to lineup after missing two games with wrist injury and contributed seven assists and only one turnover.
Xavier-Charlotte Series:
-Xavier leads the all-time series 11-2, including winning the last three meetings.
-Last season, Xavier swept Charlotte: at Halton, 74-70 (Jan. 18, 2012); at Xavier, 72-63 (March 2, 2012).
-All-time, Xavier is 4-2 against Charlotte at Halton Arena.
-First meeting: Jan. 4, 1971 – Xavier 74, Charlotte 68
-Last Charlotte win: Feb. 2, 2011 – Charlotte 66, Xavier 62 (Halton Arena)
-Charlotte’s largest margin of victory: 5 (Charlotte 65, Xavier 60 – Feb. 19, 2009)
-Xavier’s largest margin of victory: 34 (Xavier 91, Charlotte 57 – Feb. 3, 2007)

Game Preview: Charlotte travels to Richmond with undefeated conference record on the line

Charlotte is off to their best Atlantic 10 conference start since the 2005-06 season. Photo by Chris Crews
Charlotte is off to their best Atlantic 10 conference start since the 2005-06 season. Photo by Chris Crews

The Charlotte 49ers (15-2, 3-0) will try to remain undefeated in the Atlantic 10 when they battle Richmond (11-7, 1-2) on the road, Saturday at 6 p.m.

Charlotte enters Saturday’s game with a 15-2 overall record. The 49ers haven’t had a start to the season like this since the 1976-77 season when the 49ers started 17-2. Charlotte captured the Sun Belt Conference Championship that year and played in the NCAA Final Four, under Lee Rose.

Charlotte Game Notes:

-Saturday’s game against Richmond will mark the 18th meeting between the two schools.

-Richmond leads the all-time series, 10-7.

-The two teams split their two meetings last season. Charlotte defeated Richmond, 75-70, in Halton Arena (Jan. 4, 2012).

-Former 49er Javarris Barnett led the team with 22 points. Chris Braswell scored 13 points and Pierria Henry added 10 points.

-Richmond defeated Charlotte in their last meeting, 53-52, in Richmond (Feb. 18, 2012). Braswell led the team with 16 points and 13 rebounds in that game.

-If Charlotte gets the win on Saturday, head coach Alan Major will have a career record of 39-39, .500 at Charlotte.

-Charlotte’s bench has outscored their opponent’s bench in 16 straight games. Charlotte is averaging 32.2 points per game off the bench this season.

-The 49ers have outscored 14 of their 17 opponents this season on points in the paint. Charlotte is averaging 37.01 points per game in the paint.

-The 49ers will return home on Wednesday where they’ll face Xavier. This will be a Whiteout promotion for Charlotte.

Charlotte’s probable starters:

-(G) Pierria Henry – 8.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 57 Assists, 49 Steals, 10 Blocks

-(G) Terrence Williams – 7.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 28 Assists, 12 Steals, 5 Blocks

-(G) Denzel Ingram – 6.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 25 Assists, 18 Steals, 0 Blocks

-(F) Chris Braswell – 11.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 17 Assists, 16 Steals, 16 Blocks

-(F) Willie Clayton – 8.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 5 Assists, 6 Steals, 14 Blocks

**Notable player off the bench: (G) DeMario Mayfield -11.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 31 Assists, 17 Steals, 3 Blocks .

Richmond Game Notes:

-This is the first time since Charlotte joined the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06 that the two schools have not been scheduled to meet twice.

-Richmond has won seven of the last nine meetings against Charlotte and has an 8-5 record in A-10 games against the 49ers.

-Even though the game isn’t being played at Halton Arena, the Spiders had won four-straight trips to Halton before Charlotte ended that streak last year.

-Richmond is playing their third-straight game against a team with a winning percentage over .750.

-The Spiders are 9-1 at home, looking to win 10 games in the Robins Center for the 20th time in 41 seasons, including six times in the last eight seasons under Chris Mooney.

-Richmond is 49-9 in its last 58 home games.

-Richmond senior Darien Brothers leads the Atlantic 10 and is third in the nation in three-point percentage, 48.5%.

-The Spiders are third in A-10 wins over the previous five years (52), behind Xavier and Temple.

-Richmond leads the A-10 and is 32nd in the nation in three-point percentage (.376).  They are also second in the A-10 and 36th in the nation in three-pointers per game (8.1).

Richmond probable starters:

-(G) Darien Brothers – 14.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG – 3rd in nation in 3pt % (48.5)

-(G) Cedrick Lindsay – 9.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG – Tied-3rd in A-10 in assist/to ratio (2.0)

-(G) Kendall Anthony – 12.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG – 2012 A-10 Rookie of the  Year

-(F) Greg Robbins – 6.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG – 10 pts, 5 rebs v. La Salle

-(F) Alonzo Nelson-Ododa – 3.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG – 5th in A-10 in blocks (1.7 bpg)

UNC Charlotte’s alma mater has gone silent

Students show support during game earlier this season. Photo by Chris Crews
Students show support during game earlier this season. Photo by Chris Crews

Charlotte struggles to find identity with lack of tradition 

“Hail University! To you we sing our praise. May Charlotte’s light dispel the night, illumine all our days. In Charlotte’s crown the brightness gem we see. Without your power our finest hour would hold no victory. So let us love your life and cherish your great name. To aid your cause and uphold your laws and your enduring fame.”

 
Believe it or not, these are the words of our alma mater. A song in which alums and current students should cherish. A bond in which the past meets the present. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at UNC Charlotte.
 
The lack of tradition at this university can be frustrating at times. And that’s not because I don’t love this university – I do. My love for this institution is what has caused me to voice my concern.
 
While being a student journalist I have to separate myself from being a student first. This is extremely difficult at times, but it doesn’t stop me from planning my future as a UNC Charlotte graduate. My goal is to continue giving to this university even after my days of cramming in Atkins Library have come and gone. I’ll do this because, quite frankly, this is my school.
 
But when I come back in 20 years to watch my beloved 49ers hit the hardwood, I want to join with the person beside me, locking arms, singing this cherished song. I want to feel the goosebumps when we reach the end. I want to hear the cheers of Niner Nation, past and present, because we are one.
 
Enough with the excuse that we’re not old enough to have tradition. I’m sick of hearing it. This school has been in existence long enough to not have any of these problems.
 
In order to have tradition, you must first establish tradition.
 
When I attend games at Appalachian State or Virginia Tech, I’m overwhelmed by the response when their respected alma maters are played at the conclusion of an athletic event. Could you imagine if this school had that much pride? If we did, then maybe you wouldn’t see students walking around in East Carolina, Davidson, or better yet, Appalachian State gear.
 
This school has gotten better over the years, but it’s not there yet. In fact, it’s nowhere near where it should be. For a school of 26,000 students and over 100,000 alums this shouldn’t be an issue.
 
Embrace this school. Learn the history of this school. While not all the tradition is centered on athletics, there is plenty of it that can still be taught and handed down to future generations.