Members of the Charlotte 49ers women's basketball coaching staff updated the blog each week during the 2011-12 season. Every Tuesday a new blog was posted.
Monday, February 27, 2012
By Assistant Coach Sabrina Gregory
Hey Niner Fans,
It's great to be able to talk to you again about what's been going on with team. A lot has gone on since we last made contact.
We ended up losing to Saint Joseph's on Breast Cancer awareness night. Although the girls started off well, we ended up allowing St. Joe's to pull away at the end to claim the win. St. Joe's has received the #5 seed in the Conference Tourney that will take place this weekend, Friday, March 2nd - Monday, March 5th.
Following the St. Joe's game, we took on Saint Louis (a familiar current and past conference foe). We played them at home the second game of the season and ended up pulling out a close win. Since we last saw them, they definitely had gotten even better. We started the game off pretty slow with four back to back to back to back turnovers. Nonetheless, we were able to battle back and keep the score close the entire game. The game ended up going into overtime where we blew a four point lead with roughly 20 seconds left in OT to lose by one measly point. If you can only imagine how devastated we were after the game.
Finally after a disappointing loss to Saint Louis, we had one game to prepare for - Richmond. Richmond has always been a consistent contender in our league. This year they played well throughout the conference season and their losses were all pretty much very close losses to the teams ahead of them. So we knew we were in for a battle. Surprisingly, we found the old 49er team and we came out of the gates ready. We lead the entire game only allowing them to get within three points one time. Then we pulled away again to claim the victory. Richmond still finished fourth in the conference claiming a first round bye. This was a very rewarding game to play. We've been through a lot of ups and downs this season with winning streaks then losing streaks and we really needed this win to get us going. It also happened to be Senior Night where we honored our two seniors, Katie Meador and Epiphany Woodson. So to get a win yesterday felt good. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the Conference Tournament this Friday.
So we ended up finishing sixth in the league and will take on our very well known opponent, Saint Louis. Now the good thing is we are very familiar with them having played them less than a week ago. This will be our third meeting this season and we definitely shouldn't need any motivation to come out and compete. Hopefully we will have that Charlotte team that made an appearance yesterday show up to play them. We will need your support though to do that! Cick here for the bracket to help show you what road we will have to take to claim another championship. So please continue to support us and remember always WEAR GREEN and GO NINERS!
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY Niner Nation!!
I'm going to go with the Love theme for the day for my blog...yeah I know I'm not too original huh?
I'm a music lover. Music is always playing in my car, my office, my house...ALWAYS. What music I listen to depends on the day and what I'm feeling. Today ironically while I was working out "We All Want Love" by Rihanna shuffled through my playlist and so did "Bleed Red" by Ronnie Dunn. Music lyrics can describe exactly what you are going through sometimes....
"Everybody wants something. Better want something. What are you living for? Fighting for something. We all want the same thing....We all want the same thing"
"We all bleed red, we all taste rain. All fall down, lose our way. Sometimes we're strong, sometimes we're weak. -We all bleed red."
Our last week wasn't perfect by any means and we fell short of our goals and we know it. In moments like this you have to remind each other...."We all want the same thing. We are all fighting for something." We are still fighting for a bye in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament and we are in complete control of our destiny. We don't have to hope, wish, etc. as long as we control what we can control. That is still the positive and beauty in all of this. All you ever want is another chance and sports more so than anything in life gives you second and third chances to make things right. We have that opportunity over the next week and a half.
The other thing you learn in these moments is that we all fall down. Even the best fall down but the best stand up a lot faster than everyone else. We all bleed red, we all are strong sometimes. Sometimes we're weak. You have to teach young people that things are never as bad as they seem and things are never as good as it seems so you have to stay balanced. And you FIGHT BACK, you BOUNCE BACK; you get back to being who you are. That's CHARLOTTE BASKETBALL!
On Saturday we play host to Saint Joseph's who we are tied with in the conference. It's our PINK game to honor those who are battling breast cancer or who have battled breast cancer. All of us have loved ones you have been affected by this disease. Show your love and support by coming to our game Saturday, wearing pink, and honoring some of the strongest people in life....cancer fighters!!! See you Saturday 49ers!!
It's February which means we are deep into the season and working on positioning ourselves for another run at post season play. We currently have five A-10 games left, three of which are on the road so we have to continue to prepare well and stay focused.
I like to use my blog entry to give you an inside look at our program so today I'm going to write about our in-season recruiting. Coaching our team and scouting opponents takes much of our time but on top of that, we have to continue to recruit student-athletes for our future classes. Coach Angela Crosby is our Recruiting Coordinator and does a great job keeping us organized but all of our staff takes a shared responsibility in recruiting. Each of my assistants lead our recruiting efforts in different regions and are responsible for going to scout recruits, arranging visits, corresponding with coaches and also finding new names to add to our list. Every Monday Coach Crosby passes out a chart that organizes our correspondence for the week with our top targets for the upcoming 2013 class. For each day of the week every top recruit will receive some type of correspondence from one of us on the coaching staff. It may be a Facebook message, email, a phone call to her high school coach or a hand written note. We want to make sure they hear from Charlotte often!
We are also constantly traveling to see players either locally or regionally. By NCAA rules we are allowed to use 100 days to watch prospects and our program will use each and every one if those days. This means that there are really no off days this time of year. When my assistant coaches aren't working on a scout for our next opponent, they are on the road watching a high school game or going to a practice or tournament. They may even miss our own practice to do this.
I also get out and see recruits as much as I can. It's a little tougher for me because in my first year as Head Coach because I don't want to miss any practices. So that really narrows down days that I can travel. When we have an off day from practice I am almost always traveling to see a game. We also utilize road trips when possible. For example, earlier this season when we played at George Washington, three of the coaches went recruiting in the Washington, D.C. area. We landed at Washington Reagan airport and the team went to hotel while the three of us jumped in a taxi or rental car to catch a game.
It is certainly a lot of work but we all understand that next to developing our current student-athletes as both people and players; recruiting is one of the most important things that we do. Hopefully our hard work on the recruiting trail will pay off with many winning seasons to come!
Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you in Halton on February 18 when we take on St. Joseph's in our Play 4 Kay game. For one time only leave your green and wear pink to support this great cause.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
By Director of Operations Eric McCombs
Hey Niner Nation,
Greetings and happy 2012 from your Director of Operations; I hope you have not given up on your New Year's resolutions yet, you only have 11 more months to go. For this blog I want our fans to catch a small glimpse into traveling with the Niners... come on I'm the travel guy, I had to say something about it. Then at the end I'm going to attempt to be a salesman, you'll see.
On Wednesday January 25th we played Fordham at 7:00 pm... and won. But as you can imagine MUCH preparation and planning went into this victory. It first starts approximately three months in advance when Head Coach Cara Consuegra and I discuss flight options for the trip. We typically like to get to the city in which we play about 24 hours in advance, in Fordham's case, the Bronx, New York. After careful consideration of flight times, airfares, when we can practice, and the player's class schedule we chose a US Airways flight that departed Charlotte at 2:26 pm and arrived at LaGuardia airport in New York at 4:15 pm. Return flights are a bit more complicated. If it's a 2:00 game, typically we can get back the same day, but for 7:00 games, we have to fly out early the next morning. Missing class is something Coach Cara does not mess around with. She does everything to make sure the girls miss the least amount of class possible; this is a top priority of hers. After selecting the flight, everything else falls into place. I then book our hotel. We try and stay at full service hotels where we can have a full hot breakfast, meeting space for study hall and film, and a workout facility for rehab if necessary. Next, I schedule our charter bus needs. Most would think we need just one bus, in New York. However, we actually need three. Bus 1 is a shuttle that takes us from Halton Arena to Charlotte Douglas Airport, Bus 2 is our "local bus" that drives us while in New York, and Bus 3 is another shuttle that picks us up at Charlotte Douglas airport and returns us to campus. I then contact the opposing school to find out when we can have a shoot around time. The last major component is food. This is a HUGE component of our trip. Our student athletes can put some food away, and I mean A LOT... but, please remember, we burn well over 2,000 + calories per day.
For your viewing and curiosity pleasure, below this blog I have posted our Travel Itinerary for you. You will notice that it is VERY detailed. It has departure/arrival times, weather forecast, attire for each activity, and even what piece of luggage to use. On a side note, Darin Spease, Senior Associate Athletic Director in charge of the Business Department for Charlotte Athletics will be happy to know we save on average $300 per FLIGHT by using small carry-on bags instead of big pieces of luggage. I hope this will give each of you a look into how the Niners travel.
And lastly, let me end with a short marketing and sales pitch. There are two chances to see your Niners in action here at home. First come tomorrow night, Wednesday February 1st at 7:00 as we play the UMass Minutewomen. For those that are Fast Break Club Members only, our pregame reception will be at 6:00 pm in the SAC Salons. This looks to be a great game between the two teams.
And for the grand finale, on Saturday February 4th make sure you run all your weekend errands prior to 4:00 pm. Many of our alumni are coming back and playing in our annual Alumni Basketball game. Come and watch as your past Niners prove they still got it. This is always a fun event and allows Niner Nation to remember the many fond memories here at Halton and honor those who laced up their shoes for this great institution. The actual game vs. Rhode Island will start at 7:00 pm. This is also National Girls and Women in Sports Day and a kid's clinic will be held from 5:30-6:15 pm on the Recreation courts above the main court. Hopefully this will be a fun filled afternoon/evening for the entire family, and another slash for Charlotte in the win column.
Thanks so much for reading and being a loyal Niner.
As always, wear green and GO NINERS!!!!
January 24th - 26th , 2012Tuesday January 24th
9:15 am Film
9:30-12:100 pm Practice
12:30 pm Depart campus for Charlotte Airport (Black jumpman, green LS dri-fit, nike travel shoes)
2:26 pm Depart on US Air flight 1182 for LaGuardia Airport
4:16 pm Arrive at LaGuardia Airport
5:30 pm Arrive at hotel
6:15 pm Depart hotel for dinner (same as the plane)
6:30 pm Dinner at Outback Steakhouse (60 S. Broadway)
8:30 pm Film (same as plane but NO jacket)
9:00-10:00 pm Study Hall (MANDATORY for those in study hall only)
11:00 pm Lights Out
Wednesday January 25th
9:30 am Breakfast at hotel (hoodie sweats PANTS only, green t-shirt, nike travel shoes)
10:00-11:00 am Study hall - (MANDATORY for ALL)
11:15 am Depart hotel for Shoot Around (same as breakfast with hoodie top)
12:00 pm Shoot Around at Lombardi Center
1:40 pm Arrive back to hotel
3:00 pm Pregame Meal (black jumpman pants, gray LS dri-fit, nike travel shoes)
5:10 pm Depart hotel for game (wear game warm-ups with away uniform underneath)
Bring everything you, we will not be returning to THIS hotel
7:00 pm Game Time - GO NINERS!!!!!
9:30 pm Depart arena for Courtyard Marriott hotel (hoodie sweats, nike travel shoes)
10:15 pm Arrive at Courtyard Marriott
11:00 pm Lights out
Thursday January 26th
6:30 am Depart hotel for LaGuardia airport (black jumpman suit, gray LS dri-fit, travel shoes)
6:40 am Arrive at LaGuardia airport
8:00 am Depart on US Air flight 1733 to Charlotte
10:12 am Arrive at Charlotte Douglas airport
11:00 am Arrive at campus
GO TO CLASS IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL
Hello Niner Nation,
What an exciting week of basketball! So I will get right to the details!
Last Wednesday I experienced my first Education Day with the 49ers and it was AWESOME! There were over 6,500 people in attendance and the phrase home court advantage was redefined! The kids were so excited and loud which made our players really play hard. They did not want to disappoint that group of kids. Now on to the game... LaSalle arrived at Halton Arena undefeated in conference, so we knew this would be a tough game against an up and coming LaSalle team. At halftime we were tied up and knew that we needed to play 20 more minutes of good basketball. In the second half we had several players step up and make some big plays for us. That is one of the many great things about this team. Our opponents can't focus on one or two players. We have people who can step up at any given time. We won that game by double digits but it was a tough game. We feel very blessed to come away with a win.
On Saturday night, we hosted conference foe St. Bonaventure. They also came into Halton Arena undefeated and boy were we in for a fight! St. Bonaventure came in pretty confident as they had beaten some pretty tough teams in non-conference and in the Atlantic 10. Our players were really focused days prior to that game as they reminded each other that we would have to play extremely well to beat a team as solid as the Bonnies. We battled back and forth during the entire first half and went into the break up five. We knew we could not relax because they were known to have really strong second half performances. So we talked things over and prepared to go out and give it our best shot! Things went well for us early in the second half as we maintained our lead. But in the last five minutes of the game is when things got a little tough for us. They hit some tough shots and we could not stop them. We also struggled from the free throw line and could not buy a basket when we really needed one. It was a tough loss for us but we knew that we had to regroup for a tough Fordham team.
Fordham is known to be a very strong three-point shooting team and when that is the case you have to be very careful to contest all of their shots. They have a new coach and a lot of new players and they play extremely hard. After the loss to St. Bonaventure, it was important for us to bounce back with a win because every game means something different for your program and we did not want to lose two in a row. We practiced hard and focused on Fordham and also on things that would make us better as a team. (Ex. Free throws and layups) We had really good practices leading up to the Fordham game so we were ready to compete again. We started the game a little sluggish but as time went on we begin to play "Charlotte" basketball. A few fast break points as well as getting the ball inside always seems to get us on track. We also had several hustle plays in the first half that got us going...There is nothing like seeing the girls dive on the floor. After the break our defense picked up and we were able to pull away. I am always happy to see the girls get fired up and chest bump after a good play. Now that's a lot of fun! We finished the game with several people doing some good things although we had a lead....That's the sign of a good team getting ready for a nice run in A-10 play.
We will play Temple this Sunday at 2pm on CBS Sports Network. If you can't be there... cheer us on!
Thanks for your support!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
By Assistant Coach Sabrina Gregory
Hey Niner Nation,
It's been a while since I've been able to speak to you, but I couldn't be more excited to fill you in on what the Charlotte 49ers Women's Basketball team has been up to lately! We just recently began Conference play on Saturday, January 7th. Since then, we have gone 3-0 with wins at Xavier, at home versus Saint Louis and at George Washington. I must say, we really are big on letting games go down to the wire.
We hosted Saint Louis last Wednesday, January 11th. As many of you may already know, we have the pleasure of playing Saint Louis twice every year. Every team gets to play an opponent in the conference twice and Saint Louis is our team. Here is a quick side note for you... Saint Louis used to be in Conference USA with us back in 2005. When the conference broke up, they headed to the A-10 with us. So we have a lot of history with them. On another note, we ended up barely getting the win. After having a reasonable lead earlier in the second half, we ended up allowing them back in the game. One of their guards proved to be difficult to handle for us. She was able to get her team back in the game by hitting huge shots down the stretch. But, we will take the win however we can get it.
Saturday was a similar story up in Washington, D.C. as we took on George Washington. If you guys don't know much about them, they used to rule the conference back when we first joined the A-10 in 2006. They haven't been that same team since they graduated that talented group. But they definitely are still extremely competitive. We saw that first hand this past weekend. It was a close game the entire way. At one point we pulled away, but not by much. It came down to two big plays by one of our freshman, Ayanna Holmes. She hit two big shots at the end of the game that gave us the win. That's always encouraging to watch your young kids grow. She definitely stepped up and showed us what type of player she is.
Now we have two big games this week. Tomorrow we take
on La Salle, who is also undefeated in league play. They are playing
great. And if you all remember, last year we went up there and got a
beating. So we definitely owe them, but it won't be easy. They have
some new faces this year that have been carrying the load of their team.
We also have St. Bonaventure coming in on Saturday. They too beat us at
their place last year on National television. St. Bonaventure is having a
great year. Right now they only have two losses and have beat some
significant teams. This will be a test for us. La Salle, St.
Bonaventure and Charlotte are the only three undefeated teams in conference
play right now. By the end of the week, there will be at least one of us
with a loss, if not two. So we need your support in Halton Arena!
Can we count on you?! We need you there on Wednesday at 12pm and Saturday
at 7pm. We'll be looking for you!!!!!
And remember wear GREEN and GO NINERS!
January 10, 2012
By Assistant Coach Karen Lange
Hello Niner Nation and Happy New Year. I'm not big on New Year resolutions only because I'm a realist and I know that I will have good intentions but my follow through will be messed up just like it used to be with my shot. My ball always had a sideward spin to it. =)
We have started A-10 play and we are 1-0 with a big road win over Xavier this past Saturday. I know that we snapped all kinds of their crazy conference win streaks which I am happy about but now I want to focus on working to make Charlotte win streaks happen. It's important that we gain confidence and get a good bounce to our step with that road win but we have to stay focused on what's ahead and move on with the same intensity and effort for our next game vs. Saint Louis tomorrow. One game at a time. It's a long season and winning is an everyday process. I once was told the story of the bamboo tree and I a lot of times feel like I am a bamboo farmer since we began this season in September. The story goes like this....
When the Chinese plant bamboo, first they plant seeds, then water and fertilize them. The first year (first month for us) nothing happens. The second year (second month) they continue to water and fertilize the seeds, and still nothing happens. The farmer continues the process for a 3rd and 4th year (third and fourth month) with no visual results. Then sometime in the 5th year in a period of approx. 6 weeks, the Chinese bamboo grows 90 feet. If the farmer had given up when he didn't visually see any results and not kept watering and fertilizing the seeds there would be no bamboo.
It's the same way for us with our team. Everything can look like it's not working in the middle. Wins are often the result of persistence - of not giving up when everything seems to be difficult. We water and fertilize daily with discipline and hard work. We plant seeds of character and lessons. Our bamboo hasn't grown 90 feet yet but we know it's growing. Our players' persistence and consistency one day will have beautiful results. "Relentless consistency" is what we are striving for everyday. "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9.
Come out and support your 49ers during A-10 conference play. See you in Halton.
All players and coaches reported back on December 26 and we got to work. We had several long practices, including a two-a-day, to get us back into playing mode and prepare for the upcoming tournament hosted by FIU in Miami. We got down to Miami and played Auburn first and unfortunately did not get off to a good start. We quickly found ourselves in a 19 point deficit, but we refused to quit. We battled all the way back to take the lead with four minutes to go in the game, but couldn't quite close it out. It was a disappointing defeat but I was pleased to see that our team is learning to battle. It takes a lot of toughness and heart to come back like that, so I am sure it will pay off down the road. We played Albany the next day and were able to get out of there with a victory.
Last night we finished out the non-conference portion of our schedule with a decisive win over Furman. I challenged the team before the game that everyone needed to play a complete game and I really thought we were close to doing that. We have now won 3 out of our last 4 games and plan to carry that momentum into the A10 season. We start off with a tough one at Xavier on Saturday, but I am confident that our tough schedule has prepared us for this.
Thanks for your continued support this season and I hope to see you in one week for our A10 home opener on January 11 vs. Saint Louis. Wear Green!
By Director of Operations Eric McCombs
Season's Greetings Niner Nation,
Welcome to the Holiday Edition of the WBB Blog. I first want to say a HUGE congrats to our Men's Soccer team for an unbelievable run in the NCAA tournament. What an inspiration they are to all sports team's here at Charlotte and to this university as a whole. Truth be told, I got teary eyed watching the team walk into the stands and thank Niner Nation for their support. As an alum here at this great institution, it was a touching moment. If it wasn't clear before, then it should be now... Niner Nation is alive and strong.
The women's basketball student-athletes are hard at work right now, but not necessary with basketball. As you all know, this is exam week and the team is really focusing on being successful and finishing up strong in each of their classes. One small way to motivate the team to be successful in the class room is our academic competition. The three assistants and myself each have an academic team comprised of three to four players. The team with the highest GPA at the end wins a meal free of buying the groceries, preparing the food, and cleaning up. Team 3, my team, is looking good so far. But when all is said and done, you of course want all to succeed.
You'll be very happy to know the team has certainly gotten into the holiday season by giving. In over a week's time, the team took a few hours out of their day and visited the Levine Children's Hospital in downtown Charlotte. They made some crafts, gave out posters and put a big smile and some children who really needed. A new tradition that is being started is the Fox Charlotte Angel Tree. Our team broke up into two groups and selected one boy and one girl to give gifts to. They bought everything from a football, to a coat, an etch-a-sketch, gloves, a dippin' dots maker, remote control car and much more. And lastly, the team participated in the annual department wide Toys for Tots drive.
After exams, our next game will be against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, OH. Tip off will be Monday Dec 19th at 2:00 pm. But be sure to come out to Halton Arena and get your women's basketball fix just before Christmas we take on North Carolina A&T on Wednesday Dec. 21st at 7:00 pm. The support you have shown thus far has been incredible and we appreciate your enthusiasm. Keep it up Niner Nation!
Hope everyone has a joyful holiday season.
Wear Green (Niner or Christmas Green) and GO NINERS!!!!!
Tuesday, December 6,
By Assistant Coach Angela Crosby
Hello 49er Nation,
It is hard to believe that the semester is coming to an end! We had a week off in regards to games so it gave us an opportunity to break things down in practice and film. And as we all know, film always tells the truth.
Off the court the girls were busy finishing up papers and getting organized for exams. It takes a lot of work this time of year to get everything done and fulfill all of their commitments. It is a very critical time of year and I am glad we work with young ladies who want to excel in all aspects of their lives.
On Saturday, we traveled to Florida to take on FSU on Sunday. What a hard fought game. From the tip our players competed and executed as well as we know they can. FSU had lost three in a row, so we made sure to match their intensity from the start. We battled back and forth with FSU throughout the entire game but unfortunately we were unable to come back with a win. But with that type of effort we are definitely a better team.
As we enjoy our holiday season, I encourage each of you to reach out to those who may not have very much during this time. I have been overly impressed with all the many ways we support our community here at Charlotte so let's make sure we reach out and do the same during the holiday season.
UNC Wilmington will be here on Wednesday Dec. 7th at 7pm so come out and wear "Green"!
Thanks for all your continued support,
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays! The 49ers were on the road during the Thanksgiving break. We first headed to Richmond, VA to take on the VCU Rams. The Rams are in the CAA Conference where they compete against teams like JMU, Delaware, ODU, etc. Fortunately, we had a pretty good size crowd with support from Gabby Tyler's family (only being an hour or so away), Coach Cara's family, and other players' families - Epiphany Woodson, Ayanna Holmes, etc. It was great to have that kind of support on the road especially during the holidays.
The game turned out to be a battle. VCU went on a stretch where they either scored or went to the FT line consistently. However, we did not give up. Every time they scored, we would score. Eventually we won the battle. It was a good win to get on the road.
The next day we headed to Brooklyn, NY where we competed in the Long Island University tournament featuring Long Island, La Salle, and Florida. We arrived on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and headed straight to dinner. After dinner, we surprised the girls with tickets to the Broadway show - Spiderman. I have to admit, that was my first time at a Broadway show and I absolutely enjoyed it. The player that probably enjoyed it the most was Jai Forney #23. She is obsessed with Spiderman! After the show, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night's rest. The next day we practiced and ate Thanksgiving dinner as a team. It was nice to be able to have Thanksgiving dinner even though we were away from home.
Friday we began playing tournament games. We took on LIU. Not only was it their tournament, but it was also their first home contest. They played their first three games on the road. So we knew it would be a tough bout. We came out very slow and we weren't playing the way we were capable of playing. We ended up digging ourselves a hole that we were not being able to recover from. We lost that game and had to turn around and get prepared for Florida the very next day.
We were a little livelier the next day. The last time
we had faced Florida was at home in the Postseason WNIT. We ended their
season the previous year. This was the third time we were playing them in
less than a year. So we knew they would be ready. We started off
way better than the day before. The game was close pretty much the entire
time until we went on a run in the second half. Although we built a small
lead, Florida fought back. We ended up losing once again. It was a
tough weekend, but I think we learned a very valuable lesson. This week
we are off until Sunday when we travel to Florida State. This again will
be a tough match, but we will definitely be ready.
Until next time, WEAR GREEN AND GO NINERS!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
By Assistant Coach Karen Lange
HAPPY THANKSGIVING NINER NATION!
Every year it feels like time flies and we are already into the Holiday season. The 49ers are off to a great start at 4-0. We have a big week this week starting tonight at VCU in Richmond. We will be spending Thanksgiving in New York City and will play Long Island and Florida. Every day we are getting stronger. We have a sign next to our lockeroom door that the players hit as they walk out before every game. It says "Toughness is in the soul and spirit not in the muscles.". I think we are getting better every day as a team understanding that kind of toughness. Thanksgiving is a time to spend quality time with family and to give thanks for all of God's blessings. Although we will not be with our own families, we will be with our 49er Basketball family to enjoy a great meal together and appreciate each day. Last week the Women's Basketball community lost 2 colleagues in Head Coach Kurt Budke and Asst Coach Miranda Serna from Oklahoma State to a horrible tragedy. Our prayers and support go out to all so those affected. They will be remembered for the impact they had on young people which is the #1 reason we all choose this profession. It is a chilling reminder that we have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving even in our trials and struggles. Thank you Charlotte fans for your support. It doesn't go unnoticed and we hope to see even more of you at our next home game. GOOD LUCK to our Men's Soccer team in the 3rd round of the NCAA on Sunday... Way to set the standard for the rest of us!! Much Love this week for everyone... Enjoy your families
November 15, 2011
By Head Coach Cara Consuegra
Hey Niner Nation,
Basketball season is officially underway and we are off to a 2-0 start after beating both Presbyterian and Arkansas State over the weekend. Friday night was a doubleheader with the men's team and my first official game as head coach of the 49ers! It was an incredible feeling to walk out of that tunnel and then win the first game ever of my career...that is something I will never forget.
Since it's the season, I thought I would give you an inside look at what a game day is like for our team...
5 HOURS TO TIP: Shoot Around. This is the first time we see our players on game day. Here we spend a lot of time doing what you expect...shooting. However, we also use the hour to go over any last minute game plan adjustments and always walk through our opponent's out of bounds plays. We finish with a shooting competition amongst the team and we pick the teams in a variety of ways. We've had upperclassmen vs. lowerclassmen, divided teams by where they are from or one day we had a draft. It's always a fun and exciting way to end shoot around.
4 HOURS TO TIP: Pregame Meal. After shoot around we all wash up and walk over to the Student Union to eat together as a family before the game. We like to stay on campus for the meal because it's convenient but also because Gary at the Bistro takes such good care of us! A typical pregame meal includes chicken, salmon, mashed potatoes, veggies, salad, bread, fruit and Gatorade, water or lemonade. After we eat, the team has some downtime to relax and prepare for the game.
1 HOUR AND 5 MINUTES TO TIP: Warm Up Begins. Our players are required to be on the court and we start with stretching. We split up the guards and posts and one group stretches while the other shoots and then it is reversed. The team then completes a few more shooting drills.
35:00 ON THE GAME CLOCK: Pregame Talk. The 49ers report to the locker room and here I give last minute reminders about personnel, opponent tendencies and our keys to victory. All of this information has already been communicated to the team over the days leading up to the game, but for some reason, I always feel better telling them one last time.
22:00: Exit the Locker Room and Warm Up Continues.
10:00: Return to the Locker Room. Here the players receive their defensive matchups and then we allow them time to themselves for any last minute preparation they might need.
6:00: Final Exit from Locker Room. When each player leaves the locker room the last thing they do is slap a sign by the door on the way out. This sign has a huddle of our team and the following quote, "Toughness is in the Soul and Spirit, not in the Muscles." It is our goal to be the tougher team, every night.
5:00: Team Returns to Court.
From that point on, I know that most of you fans are in Halton and already on your feet and cheering on our team. We look forward to your continued support all season long and hope to see you on Saturday at 7 pm as we take on Elon.
It is great to finally be back writing to you all. I knew there was something missing, something lacking in my life... finally it dawned on me what it is, I haven't blogged to everyone in well over six months. A lot has occurred since then, let's see... ground-breaking on the football field has commenced, Charlotte's baseball and golf teams secured A-10 Championships, the NBA is still in a lockout, the race for the Republican Nomination has heated up, Kim Kardashian got married AND divorced, and activists against corporate greed continue to gather and protest at Wall Street. But enough about all that, its basketball season so let's dive right into the good stuff.
As you all know there's a new sheriff in town, her name should not be new to you, but in case you were like the Chilean miners stuck underground for nearly 70 days, her name is Cara Consuegra. After reading her impressive bio you can clearly see she's a winner, not just as a player but as an assistant coach as well. NCAA tournaments are nothing new to her and she plans on making that a tradition here at Charlotte. Don't let her fool you though, despite not having played in quite some time, she's still got game J
We did have an exhibition game this past Saturday vs. Johnson C Smith. Charlotte came out victorious, however as everyone does in this business, it was an exhibition game and we have since moved on. Thank you to all those who came to BE PART OF IT!
Cara's era will OFFICIALLY begin on Friday November 11th, 2011 when Charlotte takes on Presbyterian at 5:00 pm; this will be a doubleheader with the Men's Basketball team as they play at 7:30. For those people who don't believe in numbers and coincidences, let me throw this out there for you. We play on 11/11/11, and Cara will be seeking win number 1... coincidence you might say? I'll let you be the judge.
Well Forty-Niner fans it's time to go back to work, because in this industry showing up does not guarantee a win. As many of you are aware, we have a challenging non-conference schedule. We of course want you at Halton Arena for our home games, but it is very uplifting for our players to have familiar Forty-Niner faces behind the bench when on the road. Join us in New York City or Miami for a tournament, or come to Ohio State or Florida State for some great non-conference basketball.
I hope to see you ALL this Friday night at 5:00 pm as we take on Presbyterian.
And I'll leave you with the always great quintessential sign off... Wear Green and GO NINERS!!!!!!!
Monday, October 31, 2011
By Assistant Coach Angela Crosby
Hello 49er Family!
This past week has been very productive for our team! We started out with one last day of 5:45 am practice on Monday and it went very well. Although we have had several good morning practices, I felt as if this was our best one! There was a lot of energy and execution of our plays so our staff walked away very pleased and excited about coming back Monday afternoon to do it again! We definitely showed a lot of discipline and H.E.A.R. T.
Later in the week we had a scrimmage against our practice players and it was so nice to see so many players get it done! There were several players who scored, rebounded and played great defense. This season will be a lot of fun for all of us associated with 49er Basketball!
We also received news this past week from the Atlantic 10 and their preseason predictions. We were picked to finished 4th in the Coaches Poll. Pip Woodson was named Preseason First-Team All Atlantic and Jennifer Hailey was named Second-Team Preseason All Atlantic 10 and also named to the All Defensive Team. We are very excited for these young ladies and our entire team! There are some very special pieces on this team and we can't wait for you to come out and see us!
Last but not least, I would like to say how excited I am to be a part of the 49er Family! My first few months have been very exciting and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone associated with our program! There is a lot of support from the university as well as our community and that is exciting for our young ladies. I know they truly appreciate all the support!
In closing, please come out this Saturday night at 7pm as we play Johnson C. Smith in our exhibition game in Halton Arena. Admission is free so please come and support your 49ers! And as always "WEAR GREEN"!
With 49er Pride,
Angela Crosby...Better known as "AC"
Monday, October 24, 2011
By Assistant Coach Sabrina Gregory
Hey Niner Nation!
I hope you had a great weekend! Last week was a pretty busy week for the ladies. We started off our Monday with an early morning practice at 5:45am. It's always tough to wake up for those, but once we get going you don't even notice the time! We came back that afternoon and finished the day with another good practice.
Other than that we had a Team Building Workshop on Wednesday with Felicia Hall Allen. Mrs. Hall Allen is one of the best speakers I've heard speak. I've had the opportunity to do a team building workshop with her both as a player and a coach. Every year she does something different with the team depending on what that particular team needs. She is absolutely AMAZING! I think it was great to open up with each other, both coaches and players, and find out what each of us had going on in our lives, not just on the court, but off the court as well. The team really enjoyed it.
The following evening we had one of the highlights of the start of the season which was our Basketball Madness. Every year I think the marketing staff and everyone involved in putting this event together does a great job of trying to make it better. This year the highlight of the evening was the fact that we had a stage set up like All-Star weekend where the players and coaches came out on when they were introduced. I thought that was neat! The fun always begins in the locker room where the girls get all amped up for the evening. Take a look at the picture of the girls and some other staff members doing the wobble! Some other fun things we did was a dance with the some of the men's and women's players, a skills contest and of course the infamous dunk contest. The dance the girls did with some of the men's players was exciting to see. All in all, everything turned out great!
We finished the week off with Fan Day on Saturday. After both the men's and women's teams scrimmaged and signed autographs, we had a clinic for young kids. This is always a treat to do. The kids really seem to enjoy it! It's fun watching the players interact and impact these young lives. I don't think the girls know how much of an impact they have on these kids. They all did a great job.
Every day we are getting closer and closer to our opening day! Before you know it, our exhibition game will be here. And right after that, we will be playing our home opener, which is a double header with the men, against Presbyterian. Although the season is long, it seems to go by extremely fast.
So NINER NATION, we hope to see you soon
in HALTON ARENA to kickoff the
season! If you want to be exact, NOVEMBER 5th is the DATE to SAVE. Admission is free and
attendance is needed J So see you soon! And remember, wear GREEN and GO NINERS!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Ok enough with the serious stuff...since I'm one of the newbies here I thought I'd give you an inside look on my take of our players and staff. I'll start with the freshmen and end with the staff. Enjoy
Ayanna (I call her Ya-Ya she's not used to
that yet): Don't let her quietness fool you - -
she knows exactly what she wants she just might not tell you.
Desiree (Dez): Can go with the flow no matter what the flow is
Hillary (Hill): can depend on her to be one of your lifelines when you don't know the answer
Olivia (Liv): guaranteed to get a smile out of her every day
Gabby (Gab): upbeat, bubbly off the court but has no mercy for ANYONE on the court.
Ny: The sneakiest - - even has a sneaky smirk all the time. Have to watch out for this quiet one =)
Tiana (T): by far the Tweetingest person I've ever seen! Always has something to say.
Amanda: by far the quietest unless she is on the dance floor. Want to know the newest dance - - Ask Amanda
Jai: Spiderman lover almost to the point that I need to worry about her.
Jennifer (Jenn): most likely to give you a hug and to break out into a song.
Jessica (JJ): She's THAT girl. You know the one that can absolutely throw down some food and STILL be skinny.
Epiphany (Pip): need to know what the move is in the 704 - - Ask Pip
Katie: if she could play basketball outside in the sunshine she would
Paige: funniest "under the breath" comments in practice. You want a laugh..stand next to her.
Cara: give me crab legs and a Brewers game and I'm set - - low maintenance
Sabrina (Bri): still "schooling" people in practice even with her nails and eyebrows done!
Angela(AC): Hi my name is AC. I love ya but don't you dare breathe on or touch my food.
Eric: by far the WORST unhealthy eater known to man
Me: as far as me I guess you would have to ask everyone else. JJ calls me shortstop and the players say I have some swag so I guess that's a good thing!
Madness this Thursday and 49er Fan Day this Saturday.....Green it out!!
Most of the fall was spent on preseason workouts, conditioning and of course recruiting. Workouts were a combination of individuals and small groups and our goal was to work on basic fundamentals and begin to install basic principles of our program. Conditioning was tough as we worked to get into the best shape so that we can play an up-tempo style this season. Preseason ended with a four day Boot Camp that included things from flipping tires to players carrying teammates on their backs to just plain running a lot of sprints. I was proud that all of our team got stronger and "graduated" from Boot Camp.
We had several weekends with recruiting visits and we really tried to use that time for our team to bond and work on our chemistry. My favorite team activity was playing laser tag because of course as competitors, we really got into it. Our staff strategized (just like good coaches do) to control an entire area and we were racking up the points. But soon our team figured it out and ambushed us from all over. It was good to see them use teamwork off the court.
We started practice on October 2 so we already have a full week under our belts. Our rule changed two years ago so we can now start practice 40 days prior to our first competition. As a new staff you can be sure that we are happy about this rule. There is so much to learn for both the players and our staff as we get to know each other. It's very beneficial to have the extra time for all of us to get on the same page. It's still too early to tell a lot but I can tell you one thing, this season you will see a team that works hard and takes pride in being tough.
Well I'm off to catch my flight so that's all for now. Make sure you circle Nov. 11 on your calendar for our 5 pm regular-season opener against Presbyterian in Halton Arena. We hope to see you all there!