In their final season as a member of the Atlantic 10, Charlotte can use their three-game exhibition slate in the Bahamas as preseason preparation for what will be a very tough league.
Unfortunately for head coach Alan Major and the 49ers they’re most likely going to play those three games (and the ten practices that precede them) without their best player.
6-9 senior forward Chris Braswell will be sidelined for the next eight weeks after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, and injury that will require surgery according to the school.
Braswell, who averaged 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season, was a third-team All-Atlantic 10 selection and was one of three league players to rank in the top ten in both scoring and rebounding.
Charlotte returns three of their top five scorers from last season, and they add some interior depth in the form of Virginia Tech transfer J.T. Thompson.
The trip to the Bahamas will be valuable for their five incoming freshmen, as well as going through the process of finding players who can account for the scoring lost with the departures of Javarris Barnett (graduation) and Jamar Briscoe (transfer).
But that task becomes a little tougher with their best player likely being sidelined for the practices leading up to the trip and those three games.
Charlotte went 13-17 in 2011-12, dropping six of their final seven games including an 80-64 loss to Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
With Butler and VCU joining the conference to make 16 teams, the work required to grab one of those 12 conference tournament berths becomes even tougher.