Here’s where the Charlotte 49ers rank statistically among other Conference USA teams, as of today:
–Out of the 16 teams in the league, the Niners have the fifth-highest scoring offense (77.1). That’s well below LA Tech’s league-leading 86.2 mark and just above sixth-place North Texas’ 76.8. They are 8th in scoring defense (69.8).
–Interestingly, the Niners are tied with Southern Miss for sixth in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (34.1%). It’s a far cry from the squad that was dead last (26.7%) in the A-10 a season ago in that department. Teams are shooting just 28.8% from beyond the arc against the Niners (third-lowest in the league), but that’s a little misleading when you realize that Charlotte’s opponents have shot nearly 23 threes a game, meaning that not only does Charlotte’s perimeter defense needs some work, but that they’ve mostly been able to get away with allowing teams to shoot that many thus far (minus College of Charleston’s twelve makes from three on November 12–a Cougars win–and Elon’s ten threes on November 15 in what turned out to be a Charlotte win).
–One thing the Niners excelled at last season was their work on the boards (tied for the A-10 lead with two other teams), and that’s continued: 42.1% is third in C-USA, with their 14 offensive rebounds (second) and 28.11 defensive rebounds (third) ranking highly among their league counterparts. They allow an average of 35 a game (seventh).
–How about individually? Marshall’s Elijah Pittman (21.4 ppg) is leading the way, but Shawn Lester (14.4) has found himself in the top twenty scorers in the conference. Willie Clayton is showing up as the league’s top rebounder (10.6 an outing) and second in field goal percentage (63.9%).
–Of course, we can’t forget about assists, and for that we turn to the point guard, Pierria Henry. He’s third in the league in that department (averaging six a game); by the way, he leads C-USA in steals (three per outing).