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February 27, 2013

Opening turnovers

There are plenty of things that the Charlotte 49ers could clean up as they prepare for their last four games of the regular season.

After consecutive losses by a combined 38 points, the 49ers will look to get back on track against a struggling Dayton Flyers (14-12, 4-8) squad who is in danger of missing the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

For the 49ers, there is one area in particular that they'll need to clean up quickly if they want to play in any postseason tournament.

Any person that has watched the 49ers this season could point out that they have a problem of protecting the basketball.

In 12 Atlantic 10 games the 49ers have turned it over 191 times, which ranks only ahead of Fordham, who has turned it over 194 times in one more league contest.

Opponents have turned those 191 turnovers into 207 points, an astounding 17.3 points per game. The 49ers turnover plague has trended since the first game of the season.

Eight teams have scored 20 points or more off of 49er miscues this season. The 49ers are 3-5 in those games. Four of those losses have occurred in A10 play (@GW, @Temple, VCU, @SLU) with the fifth coming at Miami.

In 26 games the 49ers have only had one game where they turned it over less than 10 times and that was back on Dec. 8 against Central Michigan. In that contest they turned it over a season low nine times and in an ironic twist they also recorded their highest single game assist total of the year with 23.

Perhaps the most disturbing trend for the 49ers is the timing of these turnovers. Many of their miscues can be traced to the first possession of each half.

Let's start with the good news. Opening game possessions haven't been overly poor for 49ers. On the year, they've scored on their opening possession in nine games. On 11 occasions they missed some sort of shot attempt and they had second chance opportunities on two of those possessions, converting on one. In the other six contests, they opened the game with a turnover and against Rhode Island they opened up with back-to-back turnovers.

The second half is where things get ugly on the opening possession front. On the season the 49ers have scored on their first second half possession twice. The first occurrence was a made layup against Xavier while the other was a layup against Massachusetts.

So what about the other 24 opening second half possessions? Nine possessions ended with a missed shot while 15 ended with a turnover. They've opened up the second half with consecutive turnovers four times (Miami, Radford, UNC Asheville VCU).

While the 49ers pride themselves on pounding the paint, they haven't had many assists. They rank last in league play with 120 assists. Xavier sits above them in that category with 143.

The only 49ers player with a positive assist to turnover ratio in league play is J.T. Thompson, who is no longer available due to a knee injury.

Notes that may interest you

1. Mike Thorne has not turned the ball over once in 49 minutes of action in league play.

2. Even though he was dismissed from the team and hasn't played since Jan. 26 at George Washington, DeMario Mayfield still leads the 49ers in league play with nine made 3-pointers. He shot 36 percent prior to his dismissal and the only other 49er over 30 percent is Ivan Benkovic, who has hit 4-of-12 attempts. The 49ers are 16-for-58 from beyond the arc since Mayfield stopped playing.

3. Denzel Ingram hasn't hit a 3-pointer at Halton Arena since he drilled two against Xavier back on Jan. 23.

4. The 49ers are 12-0 when they turn the ball over less than 15 times, 6-8 when they turn it over more.


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