Happy October! It’s been a while since we’ve opened the Niner NotePAD, so let’s get you caught up to date with links and news surrounding the Charlotte 49ers today.
–Men’s and women’s basketball opened practice yesterday, with the men practicing earlier on in the day and the women taking the court from 1:30-4:30. Both teams are looking to make a mark in Conference USA after NIT appearances in 2012-13. We’ll try to catch up with both Alan Major and Cara Consuegra this week.
–The men welcome freshmen Cameron Blakely and Marcus Bryan to the mix as well as graduate transfer Ben Cherry; underclassmen transfer Braxton Ogbueze (Florida) and Bernard Sullivan (Clemson) can practice but won’t play this season due to NCAA rules (Cherry can play right away since he has graduated from college).
–For the women, it’s about finding a way to deal with the loss of Jenn Hailey and Amanda Dowe (who have launched pro careers overseas), but a solid recruiting class, including former Tar Hell commit Tanisha Brown and top-100 player Meme Garner, should help immensely.
–Men’s soccer takes on Wake Forest tonight at 7pm. It’s Youth Night (kids 17 and under get in free) and the place is expected to be packed out this evening, with the school hoping to set the all-time attendance record. It wouldn’t surprise us to see head football coach Brad Lambert, the former Deacs assistant, taking in the action at Transamerica.
–After this one, it’s a tough stretch for the men as they return to C-USA play: they travel to New Mexico on Friday before heading home to host a tough Old Dominion squad next Wednesday before hitting the road again to play Tulsa.
–Updated FCS rankings for the gridiron Niners’ upcoming opponents: Saturday’s foe, Gardner-Webb, enters the poll ranked #25 after receiving votes throughout the year. Coastal Carolina is ranked 9th and bound for an at-large playoff selection if they run the table–could the Niners be playing spoiler on November 2 when they pay the Chants a visit? (Also of note: Charleston Southern, who Charlotte will play a week prior, is receiving votes in this week’s poll; James Madison fell out of the top 25 after a loss to an unranked but still strong Delaware team, who moved to #24.)