UTEP vs. Charlotte Preview: UTEP Hopes to Stop Charlotte’s Jon Davis and 49ers
Going through a quick turnaround from losing to Old Dominion (50-48), who is the current No. 1 team in C-USA, the Miners will regroup and have their eyes set on Charlotte for Saturday's contest in the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners (6-12, 1-6 Conference USA) currently sit at last place in C-USA, while Charlotte (5-14, 2-6 C-USA) is one spot above them at No. 13 in the current standings.
The difference between the two: UTEP is coming off a two-point loss to the top team in C-USA, while Charlotte was trounced by UTSA, 88-43, and scrapping for some redemption.
Despite their record though, Charlotte possesses one of the better talents in the league.
Senior guard Jon Davis currently leads the 49ers and all of C-USA in scoring, as he's averaging 20.9 points per game. His versatility on the court shows as well, grabbing 4.6 boards and leads Charlotte with 68 assists.
“[Charlotte] plays with a lot of energy on [the defensive] side of the floor,” UTEP coach Rodney Terry said. “Coach [Ron] Sanchez had an opportunity to work with Tony Bennett [Virginia Head Coach] the last seven or eight years. It’s a great defensive team and they’ll be another tough team to score against. Offensively, we’ll have to guard some Princeton actions. And anytime you go up against a scorer like [Jon] Davis, you’ll have your hands full.”
While both teams are lower scoring in the conference, as both rank in the bottom two for points per game, both teams heavily emphasize defense on the court. For scoring defense, UTEP (68.2 ppg) and Charlotte (68.3) rank no. 5 and 6, respectively.
It will be interesting to see how Davis fares against the Miners' guards. Freshman Jordan Lathon will probably have the task in guarding him and if he can hold in tight on defense, Charlotte could be in trouble early on.
UTEP's C-USA statistical leader currently stands at freshman forward Efe Odigie, who is averaging nearly a double-double: 13.7 ppg, 9.9 rebounds.
Even though some may think this is a winnable game for the Miners, it comes at a point where the Miners are especially needing a win.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.