Here’s some Charlotte 49ers news and notes from over the weekend, including golf, softball and a long-awaited basketball signing.
–The men’s basketball team finally picked up a signing. The good news: Clemson transfer Bernard Sullivan is in the fold. The bad news: he’ll have to sit out a year due to NCAA rules, so he can’t play in 2013-14, but will have two years of eligibility in 2014-15.
Out of high school, Sullivan was highly touted. He was ranked as a top-100 player by various publications and was offered by programs like Purdue, Maryland and Marquette–as well as Charlotte. But his career as a Tiger never really took off. The 6’7″, 230 lb. Davidson Day grad only averaged 9.1 minutes a game, 1.8 points and 1.3 boards this past season.
Hopefully Sullivan’s game picks up with the Niners. In any event, there’s a chance he’ll be playing for a new coach in 2014-15 if the entire team’s play doesn’t pick up.
–April 2006 seems like such a long time ago. That was when the golf team played in its first A-10 tournament–and they came away with a victory that year. This year, they had their farewell appearance at the tournament, and, for an unprecedented seventh time, won it all. Needless to say the rest of the league won’t be sorry to see the Niners heading to Conference USA next year.
This one wasn’t even close, as Charlotte (-20) topped newcomer VCU by eight strokes. The top finisher was sophomore Raoul Menard (-9), two strokes better than Temple’s Brandon Matthews–for Menard, it’s his second straight individual title; he won a rain-shortened event as a freshman last year. Two other Niners showed up in the top 15–Thomas Rowland (+1, t-9th), Franco Castro and Joe Roland (both E, t-14th).
A quick note: the Niners didn’t win the tournament last year as the final round was washed out (as we alluded to), but made the NCAA field anyway. This year, there’s no question that they’ll be in the field as they’ve picked up the conference’s automatic bid.
–Speaking of rain, the softball team’s series against Butler yesterday was rained out. Unfortunately, the ladies have been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention as a result. This opens up a few questions: can a team actually be eliminated if they don’t even play? That sadly looks as if it will be the case this time around. Softball takes on Winthrop in a non-league bout on Tuesday before ending the season at league foe La Salle on Saturday. Even if the Niners (at 7-9) sweep the Explorers, they’ll still lose out on tiebreakers.