Game 4: Charlotte (1-2) vs. Syracuse (3-0)
All-time series: Tied 2-2
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 25th
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Charlotte began the 2015-16 season 0-2, with losses to Elon, who Syracuse just beat, and Eastern Carolina. The 49ers are led by freshman guard Andrien White, who is currently averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. His counterpart, junior guard Braxton Ogbueze, is second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.7 points per game.
Charlotte's head coach, Mark Price, was hired on March 26, 2015, making this his first season with the 49ers. He spent the last two seasons as an assistant for the Charlotte Hornets.
As a team, Charlotte is shooting just over 35% (20-for-57) from 3-point range, which will be a key to their success, or failure, against the Orange on Wednesday.
Bernard Sullivan and Anthony Vanhook are the teams best rebounder, standing at 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-4, respectively.
The 49ers were picked to finish 11-out-of-14 in Conference USA's preseason poll. They finished the 2014-15 season with a 14-18 record, 7-11 in conference play.
This will be an ample opportunity for the Orange to control the glass and get out to an early lead.
Three things to watch:
- Inside scoring: Syracuse looked to Tyler Roberson early and often in their 66-55 victory over Elon last Saturday. The Orange took only fifteen 3-pointers, which was a season-low. With their size advantage in the paint, I expect Roberson to have another solid outing, while redshirt junior Dajuan Coleman could also use Wednesday's game as a step in the right direction.
- Guard depth: With three games in three days for the Orange, coach Boeheim can't afford to run Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney for 36+ minutes each game. Expect Frank Howard and Kaleb Joseph to play significant minutes against Charlotte, while Cooney and Gbinije get to enjoy the game from the bench. Syracuse will need both senior guards to bring their 'A-game' for Thursday and Friday.
- Dajuan Coleman's minutes: Through three games this season, Coleman is averaging 12.3 minutes per game. Before the season, I anticipated coach Boeheim having Dajuan's minutes near 25-30 by the Battle 4 Atlantis. Not only was I wrong, he's only played 37 minutes all season. If Syracuse plays well against Charlotte, it shouldn't be close, meaning Coleman may get extended minutes for the first time all season.