Are the Charlotte 49ers a true contender in Conference USA or are they doomed to be an inconsistent, up-and-down team?
We could get a better sense of that tonight as the Niners visit Louisiana Tech (7:30pm ET) in Ruston, LA. Here’s three things you need to know about the matchup before the Bulldogs and Niners hit the court.
–The Bulldogs aren’t a bad team at all. In fact, they’re a really good team. They enter tonight 15-4 (3-1 C-USA) and can claim a 102-98 win over Oklahoma to their credit among others. They average 84.5 points a game while holding teams to 65.9 an outing. That’s not bad.
–Raheem Appleby has been the leading scorer for LA Tech, but he’s out for a few weeks with an ankle injury. Alex Hamilton has settled in quite well in the junior’s absence. The sophomore from Chipley, FL has averaged 15 points a game in the first four games of league play, including a 19-point effort against Southern Miss on Saturday.
–The Bulldogs have some good ball handers. They only average 11.7 turnovers a game, but they are racking up steals at the rate of 9.7 an outing.
Bonus points: We can’t go without mentioning the name of LA Tech’s most famous player, former Utah Jazz great Karl Malone. The Basketball Hall of Famer scored 1,716 points over three seasons in Ruston and was an honorable mention All-American in all three of the seasons he played. (He was academically ineligible to play as a true freshman, so imaging his point total if he had been there all four years.)