With the loss of DeMario Mayfield dealing a huge blow to the Charlotte 49ers, it’s step up time for several players on the team if they’re to make a push for the top of the standings, and ultimately a NCAA berth. Here’s four in particular that we feel will need to stand out and raise their level of play down the stretch:
Braswell’s nightly work ethic and dedication are being called into question by some fans, both on Twitter and on the message boards. Against George Washington, he went 1-5 from the floor while only managing a single rebound (despite going 9-10 from the line), and that was after a 12 point (but two rebound) performance against Xavier. Shot selection is also a concern with him as he has a tendency to put up 3′s instead of using his size to get himself in the paint. There’s no question that Braswell will need to get it going 100% on the boards and offensively to silence the critics that have been growing louder over the past few weeks (because when he’s good, he’s good).
Williams has struggled mightily every time he has hit the floor of late. Despite starting against GW, he was held without a point and only played five minutes against Xavier. That’s not to mention a 2-point, 25 minute effort at Richmond (where he fouled out). Williams has shown flashes (19 points vs. Charleston Southern), so one can see why Niner fans are highly frustrated with him. He’ll need more than flashes in the remaining games in order to help his team.
E. Victor Nickerson
Nickerson has seen decent minutes over the past few weeks, but his production hasn’t matched up to those minutes (5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg in 18.5 minutes). With his playing time standing to be increased, he’ll need to become a much greater force on the offensive end and use his frame to get it going on the boards. Can he also develop into a greater three-point shooting threat?
Thompson’s health has been a factor, of course, coming off back-to-back seasons of knee surgeries. He’s been averaging 14.6 minutes a game so far, so will his health continue to hold up? Drawing more fouls and getting to the stripe could benefit him and his team as he’s shown the best stroke out of anyone (18 of 19). Also, he’s a decent shooter (46.3%), which he’ll need to continue to display.