Three things you need to know as the Charlotte 49ers return to Halton Arena to host the USC Upstate Spartans tomorrow evening:
–The Spartans (6-5) are coming off a 74-68 win at South Carolina, the team’s first victory over a SEC team and the second over a program from a BCS conference this season (the first was a season-opening win at Virginia Tech). Ricardo Glenn led the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
–Upstate’s go-to guy the past few years has been Torrey Craig. The Atlantic Sun first-team selection is averaging 17.7 points and seven rebounds a game, but he’s only shooting 64.9% from the free throw line. Sharpshooter Ty Greene (14.5 ppg) is another player to watch.
–Eddie Payne is the head coach of the Spartans. Longtime Niner fans may recognize the last name: his wife, Ann Payne, coached the Charlotte women’s basketball team from 1982-1984, succeeding current AD Judy Rose. Their son, Luke, an assistant on his father’s staff, is one of the top players in Spartans history, ranking 10th in points scored.
Bonus points: this is only Upstate’s seventh season as a Division 1 program. As a Division 2 program from 1991-2007, they appeared in six NCAA tournaments, going 5-6 in those games…The Spartans are the second A-Sun team the Niners have faced this year. They opened the 2013-14 campaign with a 80-75 win over ETSU.