The Ron Sanchez era is underway, and the Charlotte 49ers’ first-year men’s basketball coach will lean heavily on pre-season all-Conference USA point guard Jon Davis, while developing a lot of promising young talent.
Three players, including Davis, who each averaged more than 15 minutes per game last year, return for 2018-19. The others are center Jailan Haslem and forward Milos Supica.
They are joined by freshmen guards Malik Martin, Cooper Robb and Brandon Younger, and forward Dravon Mangum. Sophomore Jaylin McGill, who made one start last year, provides Sanchez an option in the backcourt. Redshirt sophomore Bo Blight is a forward, and junior John Kitoko starts his first year with the 49ers.
Davis is a team leader who has averaged double figures in each of his first three seasons, including 19.6 points per game as an all-District 11 sophomore. He’s likely on his way to joining legendary 49ers Henry Williams, Lew Massey, Chad Kinch and DeMarco Johnson as a 2,000-career-point scorer.
Women’s Basketball Preview
Coach Cara Consuegra, starting her eighth year at the helm of the women’s program, also relies on a talented senior, All-C-USA guard Laia Raventos. The team, picked to finish fifth in Conference USA, has the potential to contend for the league title.
Returning are senior Ka’neeshia Brown, juniors Dara Pearson and Lauren Harley, and sophomores Octavia Jett-Wilson, Mariah Linney and Lyrissa Deans. Raventos shot more than 40 percent from three-point range and led the 49ers with 14.3 points per game, and Jett-Wilson (10.1 ppg) averaged double figures, while Pearson put up 6.5 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds.
The 49ers welcome transfers junior guard Jade Phillips, from Syracuse, and sophomore guard Christian Hithe, from the University of Central Florida. Mix in freshmen Rinnah Green, Jazmin Harris, Jada McMillian and Maddie Moore.