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Charlotte 49ers’ men’s basketball coach Ron Sanchez says he wants badly for his team to regain its form in time for next week’s Conference USA tournament.
But he says there’s no magic switch to will make it happen.
The 49ers (9-13, 5-9 C-USA), in the midst of a six-game losing streak, finish the regular season this weekend with a two-game set at Marshall (13-6, 7-5).
The teams play at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.
Sanchez says the losing streak is the result of several factors, including spotty transition defense, problems in blocking out defenders, and injuries.
“We’re a little banged-up and not that experienced,” Sanchez said.
He views the development of the team as a process and says adversity plays a role in any eventual success.
“You can’t speed up a process, just because you want it in a hurry,” Sanchez says. “Teaching and coaching is the same. You have to go through the process.
“A lot of coaches want the success, but without the adversity.”
The 49ers have avoided the type of season-ending injuries that can change a roster’s chemistry. But they’ve rarely been able to field the same lineup in back-to-back weekends.
The good news is that, as the 49ers approach the start of the conference tournament next week in the Dallas area, they are getting healthier. And when the regular starting lineup is healthy, Charlotte will have an experienced corps of substitutes, including:
▪ Brice Williams, who is averaging nearly 10 points a game.
▪ Center Anzac Rissetto, who made his first two starts of the season last week due to Milos Supica being injured.
▪ Freshman Caleb Stone-Carrawell, who had his first double-figure scoring performance (10 points) last week at UTEP.
“A lot of people undervalue the role of adversity in life,” Sanchez says. “Learning to deal with that is important.”
The 49ers face a tough opponent in their final weekend of the regular season.
Marshall has dealt with a series of postponements this season, due to COVID-related issues for both them and opponents. But the Thundering Herd has won five of its last six games.
“They are an explosive offensive team,” Sanchez says. “They shoot the ball extremely well from the perimeter, and they have several guys who can do that.”
The Thundering Herd likes the 3-point shot, averaging 25 attempts per game. Taevion Kinsey, who leads the team in scoring with 19.8 points a game, is shooting 46%from 3-point range.