Hello, 49ers fans. Greetings from a longtime Cedric Maxwell fan. I still remember that Butch Lee fling and Whitehead score like it was yesterday. I was thrilled when the Celtics – I grew up near Boston – drafted Max. As you know, he’s the color radio guy up there nowadays.
To NinerAdvocate, I have no problem with posting the material here. I am glad you linked to the A-10 board, though. Since I post there, I like to drive some traffic to the site. But generally, the more the merrier. I encourage anyone to post my stuff anywhere. If it helps the A-10 or its fans, great.
to Run49er, thanks for the kind words. I am very impressed by your knowledge of the A-10 and especially by your weekly league roundup. I’ve checked this site regularly for that info.
Looking ahead, one of the things I am most interested in discovering is who surprise who more. Will Charlotte surprise the A-10 with just how good they really are, or will Charlotte fans be surprised by just how good the A-10 really is.
I admit to being a bit of an A-10 homer here. I think it will be the latter, but that’s what the games are for.
To answer a few questions, I am well aware of who the Niners have brought in. I expect Goldwire and Drayton to increase their production, and at least one newcomer will have to produce big numbers and will probably get all-league consideration. Alexander obviously is the most likely candidate given his skills and his performance at Oklahoma.
I further expect Alexander to start at small forward. My guess is that Lutz will want to have two big 3-point threats on the floor to start – Goldwire and Alexander – since Baldwin is not particulary dangerous out there.
Clearly, Alexander could emerge as one of the top small forwards in the A-10. Some new A-10 players not on my lists will shine, as Run49er points out. If I were to put him on my list, I would have removed Chet Stachitas of St. Joe’s or Monty Scott of Dayton.
Yet Stach will be that team’s No. 1 scoring option and should put up good numbers. In addition, Stach is a tough defender and a team leader. The knock on Alexander, as you know, is that he did not play good defense at Oklahoma. You cant judge players by offense alone.
Scott is less consistent than Stachitas and I could easily see Alexander surpassing him, but Scott is bigger, stronger and just as athletic than Alexander. He oozes potential.
In any case, I cut the names off at five for a reason. Better for the purposes of debate. Run49er jotted down a list of lots of other names that could have ended up on the list.
One fan repeated Lutz’s line about Baldwin being the fastest man on the planet. Well, that’s not what I saw. He’s fast, but I think Stanley Burrell of Xavier is faster. Maybe even Warren Williams of Dayton, and Tabby Cunningham of LaSalle aint no slouch, either.
Speed is great, but it’s what you do with it that counts. Baldwin runs the team well, but he’s got some liabilities. He’s not a great shooter and it’s hard to believe a guy that fast barely ended up with more than 100 assists. There are more creative point guards in the A-10.
For a moment, I thought Dax was being facetious. Charlotte having six of the A-10’s top 25 players! Clearly, such a view would be, to put delicately, unrealistic. There are 14 teams in the league, and only one, GW, got more than two names on my lists.
By season end, I could see Charlotte with three names on that list, but that’s it. St. Joe’s only had four and Xavier three of the A-10’s top 25 players when they went to the Elite 8 two years ago. If Charlotte really had six of the league’s best players, you could start ordering your tickets for the Final 4.
I am particularly leery of overestimating juco players. Case in point is Drayton. He didn’t come close to matching his juco numbers as a 49er. I see that all the time.
At the same time, I know how good the A-10 is and how good the players are on my list. I watched over 80 games last year involving A-10 teams. I watched another 14-15 involving St. Louis and Charlotte. And I’ve seen 15 Charlotte games in the past two years. It’s a lot easier to compare when you’ve seen all the players in question. When you haven’t, it’s a lot harder to judge. That’s why a lot of jucos and transfers and freshmen don’t make my lists.
To be honest, I think the 49ers are not all that some here make them out to be. I saw them barely scrape by a struggling Indiana team, lose big at Cincinnati (with Baldwin out), lose at ECU, lose to Louisville at season end, lose to Memphis in the CUSA tourney and lose to NC State in the NCAAs.
Charlotte lost three biggest games of the year: when it had a chance to win the regular season title; when it had a chance to win the league tournament; and when it had a chance to win a game in the Big Dance. The 49ers lost their last four games of the year – and none were really close in the second half.
I do not come here to bury the 49ers, though. I come to praise them. I am delighted to have you in our league, even if many fans here are understandly less than thrilled. No need to rehash all that. You have a terrific coach who’s a great recruiter. The current edition has as much talent as anyone in the A-10. and the Niners have to be considered a favorite to win the league title.
Just don’t expect to show up and win. (-: