Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cardinals, Pirates and Vols. Oh My!

No worries my basketball brethren. Only 66 more days until the madness begins. When the men’s non-conference schedule came out last week I took a look. Looked some more. Put it down on my desk, walked away, came back, only to gander a while longer.

You know in sports, especially baseball, when players make a great play or do something extraordinary, players and coaches often give them a swift pat on the backside accompanied by a, “Nice job.” Coach Lutz and his staff deserve one of those.

Here is what to expect with this non conference schedule both home and away…

The Johnson C. Smith match up is practice. We talkin’ bout practice. But it’s your first official chance to catch this team in action for the new year. BTW, we average 104.7 points per exhibition the last three years. (Guelph, Ottawa, Pfeiffer)

Now to the ones that count toward our march to the field of 64. If 7ft 7in Kenny George was still playing basketball he would have been the tallest player to ever step inside Halton. He isn’t playing any longer and UNC Asheville will look to stifle the excitement of a new season with a big win against the Niners.

The Preseason NIT finally garners the Charlotte name when we head to Cameron Indoor in hopes of singing this tune…

Two teams stand in our way. The Elon Phoenix, a team formally known as the Fighting Christians and the winner of the Duke/Coastal Carolina game. A potential matchup with the Dookies would certainly excite the student body and alumni. A new 49er already has a past with the ACC rival (see pic) It would also attract ESPN/ESPN2 which means if you can’t make it to the game, Picassos University is surely the party spot.

The next pair of opponents take me back. Former CUSA rivals unite. East Carolina comes to Halton, we head to Louisville (pron. Loo-ah-ville) for a reunion with Pitino and company.

An ACC team comes to Halton, not Time Warner Cable Arena. Two years ago Georgia Tech beat the Niners down in the Virgin Islands. Now we get them on our turf.

Other great non-conference games include an easy road trip to Knoxville. Last time we met the Vols was the last NCAA Tournament win for the Niners. Rodney White led Charlotte to an opening round 70-63 win. But beware, if you do make the trip, I’ve heard they play this at nausea.

The full release is up on For ticket information call 704-687-4949.

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