Charlotte is a team like URI who like to control the pace of the game and slow the game down. Both schools take approximately 53-55 shots per game. The key difference here is the efficiency. Charlotte is shooting 46% from the field compared to URI’s 39%. This explains how both teams have the same number of shots but Charlotte scores 70 points per game and URI scores 61. The efficiency advantage of Charlotte is because they don’t take nearly as many 3’s as URI does. Charlotte take about 12/13 3’s per game whereas URI takes about 20.
Thank God URI has Aaman back as they’re going to need all the size they can get down low for this game. If Charlotte takes about 42 shots from inside the arc (assuming most will be down low), rebounding will be a big key for URI to pull off the “W.” Charlotte does have some guys with some size. Their top scorer, Chris Braswell (#35), is a 6’9″ F at 12 points per game. Their next top scorer is DeMario Mayfield (#11), a 6’6″ G at 10 points per game. It will most likely be Munford on Mayfield (if URI plays man-to-man) which is a match-up nightmare on defense as Mayfield has 2 inches and 22 pounds on Munford. The key to stopping Mayfield will be to keep him on the perimeter. He’s a slasher who loves to drive it (of course he does, given his size) so he has a 51% FG% on the season but only 25% from 3. They don’t need to hold him to only shooting 3’s but if they can play aggressive enough defense and get in the driving lanes, they can hold him to mid-to-long range jumpers (17ft. or so) which would be huge. There is a big drop off in shooting percentage with this guy outside of the paint.
The only issue with getting into the lanes against Mayfield will be that Aaman, Hare, or Brooks will need to rotate over to help which could leave their top scorer, Braswell, open down low for Mayfield to dish it off to him.
The only way I can see URI attacking Braswell is just to try and have Hare and Aaman play right up against him and make absolute sure that neither one commits any silly fouls putting them into foul trouble. Braswell is a good shooter from the floor and from the free throw line. It won’t be like Maia (on Brown) where they can play the old “hack-a-Shaq” knowing he’s terrible at the line.
Since Charlotte’s big advantage is size, on offense, URI will need to exploit their biggest advantage – quickness. Even Charlotte’s PG is 6’4″- 200 (Powell is 5’11”-175). If URI can execute a lot of good high screens, Powell, Malone, Malesevic, and especially Munford should be able to shake free from the defense for open shots. Look for Munford to continue his hot streak from 3 from the Richmond game.
I know it is only a small sample, but Charlotte is avergaing 70 points per game on the year but only 62 points per game on the road. Coupled with the fact that, at home, URI only gives up 50 points per game.
I think URI grinds this one out and wins 60-55.