Charlotte vs. Davidson Post-Game
The Sports Chief attended the 2018 Battle for the Hornets’ Nest tonight and saw two local NCAA Division 1 basketball programs go at it. The 45th meeting of the Mecklenburg County schools resulted in a rather easy victory for the Davidson Wildcats 76-56. John Belk Arena was at 71% (3,376/5,295) capacity and was (so-so) lively. The spread prior to tip-off according to ESPN was -16 in favor of the Davidson College Wildcats, the total over/under was at 131.
Davidson was led by its star, Sophomore Kellan Grady, the sharpshooting guard from Boston, MA put up a 25 spot, while draining 5 threes. It would not surprise me to see him on an NBA roster in the future, as his shot was smooth and almost automatic tonight. The plethora of Grady, Junior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson (Sounds like a Metallica band member or cool Viking) and Freshman guard Luke (Not Peter) Frampton were all launching from deep tonight and this put the dagger in the 49ers hearts. The Wildcats were 10-30 as a team from 3-point range, but they hit them when they counted. Davidson plays a finesse style, not physical. They made more mistakes it seemed than the 49ers, but three-point shooting bailed them out tonight.
Charlotte looked weak offensively. Senior guard Jon Davis is the leader of the young Charlotte squad. Davis paced the Niners with 16 points, and an impressive 9-10 from the free-throw line. He had committed to the NBA Draft last year, but elected to come back as he did not hire an agent. Davidson trapped and double-teamed him all night, and hindered his ability to get good looks. Coach Ron Sanchez had 4 starting Freshman tonight, forward Dravon Mangum, guard Malik Martin, guard/forward Brandon Younger, and guard Cooper Robb. Niner Nation…you should have hope, as all of these guys impressed me. Younger only played 8 minutes, but Mangum, Martin, and Robb all did things exceptionally well on the defensive end. The team in general pressured well without fouling too much, with only 12 personal’s called on them. The Sixth-Man was Sophomore forward Milos Supica from Serbia. Supica played well on the block with 7 rebounds and scored 14 points. Charlotte may struggle for the first year under Sanchez, but look for them to be contenders in Conference USA play soon. Defensively they look eerily similar to the Virginia Cavaliers, where Sanchez was an assistant to Tony Bennett for years. The old saying is defense wins championships so we shall see in this case. Shooting 36% will not cut it for the Niners though, they need to be more efficient on the offensive side.
From the Davidson side, Kellan Grady did impress me…with his ability to separate from defenders and in getting open. Cooper Robb, looks like a traditional 4-year guard who plays smart and will possibly lead Charlotte to a NCAA Tournament berth. He never turned the ball over in 34 minutes tonight, and he played at his own pace. The 49ers definitely have a bright future ahead of them with this recruiting class as Coach Sanchez had them playing disciplined. Davidson honestly…just shoots the ball pretty well, but athletically they are so-so. Coach McKillop always has the Wildcats playing relevant in March, so only time will tell.
AustYn (Randy and Yacs were in attendance as well.)