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W - NOV. 9 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
W - NOV. 13 GEORGIA SOUTHERN
W- NOV. 17 LAMAR
W - Nov. 22 vs. Texas State (Great Alaska Shootout)
W - Nov. 23 vs. Loyola Marymount/Oral Roberts (Great Alaska Shootout )
L - Nov. 24 vs Northeastern or Belmont (Great Alaska Shootout)
W- DEC. 1 EAST CAROLINA
L - Dec. 5 at Davidson
W - DEC. 8 CENTRAL MICHIGAN
L - Dec. 14 at Miami (Fla.)
W - Dec. 16 at Kennesaw State
W- DEC. 19 RADFORD
W- DEC. 22 FLORIDA STATE (TIME WARNER CABLE ARENA)
L - JAN. 2 UNC ASHEVILLE (A-10 suck factor!)

NONCON FORECAST: 10-4
A-10 FORECAST: 5-11
OVERALL PREDICTION: 15-15.


The Niners did well in nonconference games last year at 8-6 – they did their falling apart in A-10 play. This is a sked with lots of wins and chances for a few upsets.

Charleston Southern has most of its key players back from a team that won 19 games and the school is a favorite in the Big South. Lots of good athletic guards who can shoot, but young and on the smallish side. Niners could get upset, but I see them winning. Georgia Southern is similar but less talented or experienced. Should be a win.

Lamar, coached by Bob Knight’s son, lost its five top scorers from an NCAA tourney team. Knight’s teams play good defense, but they are too young to upset the Niners.

The Great Alaska Shootout is ripe for Charlotte. No BCS teams or any opponent that is clearly better. Niners start out with a middling Texas State team that’s now in the WAC. Decent but very beatable team that lost to Fordham last year.

Up next is Loyola Marymount or Oral Roberts. Both teams won 20-plus games last year and return a decent core. My guess is that the Niners get Loyola (better backcourt vs Oral Roberts’ better frontcourt). Pierra Henry will have to be a shutdown defender or an aggressive LMU (which upset St. Louis last year) will run the Niners ragged. I see Niners in a squeaker.

In the finale, Charlotte gets Northeast or Belmont and falls short. Both teams have fine, experienced backcourts and enough size to compete. Ricky Byrd of Belmont is a fantastic coach.

Charlotte gets almost a week off after returning from Alaska to face East Carolina at home. Old A-10 friends Shamarr Bowden as well as Akeem Richmond (URI) take the floor for Carolina. If Charlotte shows tired legs this one is an upset.

A few days later, Niners fall short at Davidson, which returns all five starters from a 25-win team and often gives Charlotte trouble.

Central Michigan lost four starters from a team that lost 21 games. Home win.

Miami, coached by Jim Larranaga, could be a top 25 team. Niners fall on the road.

After a win at Kennesaw State (3-28 last year) and Radford (6-26 last year), Niners pull the upset at home against Florida State. Noles are big again and athletic, but they lost four starters and will be prone to some ups and downs early on.

UNC Ashville (24 wins last season) damn near beat Syracuse in the NCAA tournament, but they lost six seniors. If Charlotte is not careful, this could be a home loss if the Niners take UNC-A lightly.
 

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Nice write up WH.

One place I will disagree with you is on Davidson. Davidson does not often give us trouble. We own that series historically (3:1 wins to losses) and beat Davidson by 30 last year. They're a fine team and it is a possible loss, but I like our chances. Our superior athleticism was too much for them to keep up with on offense last year and our defenders shut down their shooters. They have nobody to stop Braswell. Throw in the 4 new big men we add this year to give Braswell some assistance (especially JT Thompson) and our front court should have a field day.

I worry about our lack of outside shooters, but against a team like Davidson, we may not need one.
 

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Understood, rworkman, but it sure seems like Davidson has given Charlotte more of a hard time since the Niners have been in the A-10. In any case, Davidson got much better as the year progressed and is a different team than the one Charlotte beat. Hope I am wrong, but we will see.

I admit, I had second thoughts about the Niners' conference record in light of what I expect in noncon. If Charlotte does as well against out of conference teams as I expect, I could see the Niners getting 6-7 wins in A-10 play.
 

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I have no expectations for the season personally. Every year that I do, I'm disappointed. I think Thompson will be a big addition if he can stay healthy. I think we'll have one of the best front courts in the A10, possibly the best, but I think we'll have equally bad back court play. We only signed one player that can shoot, but I don't anticipate him getting much play time.

My only hope for the season is that we see Terrence Williams, Henry, and Nickerson all take a step forward as players and at least one of the new guys show that they can be a contributor. That would give me a lot of hope for our first season in CUSA.
 

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I agree with the Davidson loss. Recently we just haven't performed that well in their high school gym. While they've never beaten us at Halton, I don't think we will win the game at their place this year. I hope the Niners prove me wrong. If we do beat Davidson, you can almost assuredly put us down for an L against Georgia Southern, the 2nd game of the Alaskan Shootout, or ECU. I don't think UNCA will beat us though.
 

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I would say you're being overly pessimistic about our conference record, but I've given up trying to defend Charlotte in the pre-season. Like rworkman said, this team has disappointed too often recently.

I agree that UNCA is unlikely to be the suck factor loss. I'd pick one of the road games, such as Kennesaw St (ugh) or more likely the crappy holiday tournament. The Niners have a long, inglorious history in these holiday tournaments, and we've lost worse games before. Probably either Texas St. or L-M wins a stinker. I also agree with the Davidson loss. I actually think the Niners will be the better team, but road games have been brutal lately and Davidson has a decent home-court advantage (not in crowd size, but rather in results). The little grabs and cheap shots don't get called on their home court, whereas Braswell had their bigs in all kinds of foul trouble in Halton last year if I remember right.

If the Niners are going to make any kind of noise in the A10 this year (I'm thinking top-half finish or better), then they should finish with at least 10 wins OOC.
 
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