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December 22, 2012A long awaited break is right around the corner for the Charlotte 49ers basketball team. Their game against the Florida State Seminoles will mark their seventh game in 22 days.
The 49ers will look to have a better showing against this particular ACC foe after the disaster in Miami eight days ago.
49ers Head Coach Alan Major has been pleased with the team's response following the Miami game and in this particular stretch.
"A lot of our practice time has been more prep related," Major said. "We haven't had as much true 'practice practice' time if that makes sense. It's been more preparation style practices. They've done well. We've tried to go in there and go hard for the time that we need to. When you're on a stretch like this, being fresh is your number one priority."
Luckily for the 49ers (11-1), they are healthy and have a bench to go to. Junior DeMario Mayfield has provided the team with a spark off the bench in the last two games, including a thunderous dunk that was the top play on SportsCenter.
The Seminoles (6-4) are coming off of a 63-48 home victory over Louisiana Monroe on Monday. They played that game without Ian Miller (injury) and Michael Snaer (disciplinary reasons.) Snaer, the Seminoles leading scorer at 14.2 points per game, will return against the 49ers but Miller will remain out with his injury.
Even without Miller, the Seminoles have nine guys who play more than 10 minutes per game. In their four losses, the Seminoles have struggled from the field. For Major's team, it will be important to not let the Seminoles run and get easy buckets to gain confidence.
"I think keeping them out of transition, speaking for our defense, is limiting their easy baskets," Major noted as one of the keys to the game. "They got multiple guys that can get the ball up the floor, they're a good driving team. They're a good drive and kick team. They have multiple guys that can make plays for themselves or each other. [We have to] make sure they have to work for what they want."
Freshman Willie Clayton will be one of the key cogs down low for the 49ers who will definitely make the Seminoles work for everything, especially Okaro White.
Despite foul trouble against Kennesaw State, Clayton has provided a steady effort each game, drawing praise from Coach Major.
"He's just an everyday guy," said Major. "Some of that is production related, but I don't want to focus just on production, I think one of his biggest strengths is he is an everyday person. The Willie you saw yesterday is the Willie you see next week. That's one of the highest compliments you can give a person, is to know that they're gong to be the same guy day in and day out. His character contributes to his play, as you get a consistent person, you get a consistent level of production and play."
The 49ers will have an 11 day break following their game against the Seminoles. The game will be played in Charlotte's city center at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Bobcats.