Price Sees Improvement in Young 49ers

First year college coach says he has seen an improvement in defense in the past four games.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WCCB Charlotte) –Results have been hard to come by for Mark Price in his first year as Charlotte’s basketball coach.  With a completely rebuilt roster, a young 49ers team is constantly reminded about the long term outlook.

“The challenging part is I hate to lose games,” Price said.

The pain really felt at the beginning of the season where the schedule lined up power teams Syracuse, Michigan, Washington and Davidson in a seven day stretch.

“It took a lot out of our guys, confidence-wise,” Price admitted.

Charlotte lost their Conference USA opener on Saturday at Old Dominion 74-65 to fall to 3-10 for the season. The bright spot?  A 2-2 stretch since a 10-day lay off for finals in mid December.

“I feel defensively has been the biggest improvement overall. We are coming together as a team that way.”

Another bright spot is freshman Andrien White and his 27 point, 8-three point performance in Saturday’s loss at Old Dominion. White was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week for his performance.

“It’s the confidence level and physically he’s ready to play at the college level. He puts in extra time and that’s when you see it start to pay off,” Price said.

Another bright spot has been big-man Joseph Uchebo who was flagged in the recruiting process with a banged up knee. Price has been able to get ’30-minutes a night’ out of the 6’10 Senior transfer from Pittsburgh when he only expected between 12-and-15 minutes a game per night.

Charlotte returns to action on Thursday at Southern Miss (3-9) and finishes a three-game road trip with a Saturday night game at Lousiana Tech (12-2)–a team that owns a 39 game home winning streak.

“Going into this weekend, we have the opportunity to play two teams on the road again and give us a chance to grow as a team and hopefully come out with a win or two,” Price said.