You’ve read our recap from earlier tonight on Charlotte’s big 71-58, rivalry victory over Davidson. Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the numbers.
- The number that has to immediately jump out to anyone reading the box score has to center around Charlotte’s success on the boards, on both ends of the floor. Charlotte grabbed 35 rebounds, paced by Milos Supica’s 10. 16 of those boards came in the second half, which was at least partially spent fending off a furious Davidson run that sliced a lead that was once 24 to single digits. Davidson managed just 23 boards on the night, with a staggering three of those being offensive caroms. “We gave them three offensive rebounds,” said Charlotte coach Ron Sanchez. “We talk about controlling the controllables. We controlled transition (Davidson scored six transition points), and we controlled the glass. At the end of the day, it doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s just simple. It’s hard work.”
- Davidson’s Kellan Grady and Luke Frampton had, at varying stages, 15 of their club’s 22 first-half points, and 23 of its 35, before the Wildcat surge that drew their side closer. Grady finished with 20 (though it took him 17 shots to reach that number), while Frampton added 10. Guard Jon-Axel Gudmundsson, who was held to just 1-for-4 from the field in the opening twenty, knocked down 4-of-6 in the second stanza to finish with 11. This may have been the biggest area in which the Wildcats missed injured guards KiShawn Pritchett and Carter Collins. Davidson coach Bob McKillop downplayed the significance of the injuries in his postgame comments.
“Teams always miss players, and of course, Carter’s a little bit more than just a player for us. He’s an energizer. He gives great energy,” said McKillop. “You have to play with (injuries). That’s part of the game. That’s not going to be an excuse for us at all.”
- Transfer guards Drew Edwards and Jordan Shepherd clearly provide a veteran boost to a Charlotte club that was among the nation’s youngest last season. The pair combined for 28 points, grabbed 10 boards, and dished out four assists.
“That was one thing that I asked Drew to bring to our program,” said Sanchez of Edwards’ influence on the club. “It’s a big thing for us in the locker room. It’s not a coaching thing. It’s not an Xs-and-Os, or a tactical thing. It’s his overall experience that is helping us grow away from the floor.”
- “They were so efficient in running their offense,” said McKillop of Charlotte, and the numbers bear that out. The Niners tallied 1.076 points per possession on 66 possessions, holding the lead for 39:20 of the 40-minute contest. Charlotte committed 11 turnovers, with several coming late in the game as Davidson ratcheted up the pressure, but the Wildcats were only able to convert those miscues into seven points. Sanchez’ club shot 50 percent in both halves, knocking down 26-of-52 tries on the night.
- Finally, the “hustle stats”:
- Points in the paint: Charlotte 42, Davidson 34
- Points off turnovers: Charlotte 10, Davidson 7
- Second-chance points: Charlotte 6, Davidson 2
- Fast break points: Charlotte 4, Davidson 0 (though Sanchez insisted Davidson had 6)
- Bench points: Charlotte 23, Davidson 5
- Okay, I lied. One more number. That Charlotte bench points number is made all the more significant when realizing that the Niners played just three substitutes. Supica put up a double-double (12 points, 10 boards) in 23 minutes off the pine, while forward Brice Williams scored seven in 19 minutes, and guard Cooper Robb contributed four in 22 minutes. Sanchez’ rotation is clearly still a work in progress, but he has to be happy with those numbers from the guys who will add to his team’s depth as the season goes along.