Mike Thorne's early season play has been a highlight for the Niners thus far. (photo courtesy Kevin Harbin)

Charlotte 49ers basketball notepad: Big Mike Thorne looks to continue strong start to season

Redshirt sophomore Mike Thorne has been a pleasant surprise for the Charlotte 49ers in the early going after showing some signs of his ability last year. Heading into the Puerto Rico Tip-Off’s opening game against the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday, he hopes to continue his solid play.

Thorne has averaged 13.7 points over the first three games of the season, all starts, and has averaged 6.7 rebounds an outing. He was a key component in the Niners’ 80-75 win over ETSU in the home opener despite fouling out of the contest, and came close to a double-double in the victory over Elon last week. His 67.9% shooting from the field leads all starters.

His play has certainly set Twitter abuzz, as well.

Can Big Mike carry on the early season momentum?  Time will tell.  But early on, he’s been a nice story for the Niners, and his continued success will certainly do nothing but help the team in the long run.

Offense certainly hasn’t been a problem for the Niners thus far.

The team has scored 80 or more points in all three of its games this season. They reached 80 on the nose against Elon, 82 at College of Charleston and 83 versus Elon.

The number of times they reached the 80+-point plateau last year? Only three–an 89-88 loss at Temple on February 6, an 88-67 loss versus Dayton on February 27 and an 89-87 overtime win at Duquesne on March 6.

Guard Denzel Ingram is expected back in time for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Charlotte Observer reports. However, sniper Ivan Benkovic is possibly out until after Christmas with a ruptured disc.

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