• 50°

College basketball: Catawba men ready for tip-off

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Catawba’s men’s basketball team returned from a 74-65 exhibition loss at Wichita State with heads high and hearts full.

To say the least, it was a good showing. Catawba was tied with the Shockers with eight minutes left.

“There were a lot of positive things,” Catawba head coach Rob Perron said. “We were playing in front of 10,000 people, great atmosphere, but we weren’t afraid. We guarded people. Every time they got up, we responded, until that eight-minute mark. That’s when they hit a step-back 3-pointer and then a fadeaway 3, and that time we didn’t respond. But, all in all, a very cool trip for our guys.”

The next step for the rejuvenated program is this weekend’s Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Fundraiser on Nov. 9-10.

The plan is for this to become an annual event.

“It’s a chance to bring in our alumni and our parents for a great weekend,” Perron said. “They’ll get to see us play twice and they’ll get to hear a great speaker.”

Catawba will host Francis Marion in Goodman Gym at 6 p.m. on Friday. Francis Marion was 20-10 a year ago and nipped Catawba, 72-70.

There will be an “after-game get-together” from 9-11 p.m. at City Tavern.

Saturday’s activities include a 10 a.m. brunch at the Peeler Crystal Lounge, followed by the tip-off fundraiser luncheon at 11 a.m. Dr. Karl Hales will be the master of ceremonies. Bobby Lutz will be the keynote speaker.  The cost is $50 per person.

“Coach Lutz has seen basketball at all levels, big-time basketball and D-II basketball,” Perron said. “His credential speak for themselves.”

Born in Hickory 60 years ago, Lutz is a graduate of Bandys High and UNC Charlotte. He got his start as a high school coach at Parkwood High in Monroe and Bunker Hill in Claremont.

He broke into the college ranks as a Clemson assistant in 1984.

That led to runaway success as the head coach at Pfeiffer (1986-95), where he would take six straight teams to the NAIA tournament and three to the Final Four. His 1994-95 Pfeiffer team was national runner-up.

He became head coach of the Charlotte 49ers in 1998. In 12 seasons, he had 218 wins. He coached five teams in the NCAA tourney and three more in the NIT.

More recently, he made an impact in a long stint as an assistant coach at N.C. State.

Following the fundraising meal, the Indians will prepare to play UNC Pembroke at 2 p.m. Coming off a record-setting, 27-win season, UNCP is the preseason favorite in the Peach Belt Conference. The Braves lost by 18 at Ohio State last week.

Catawba was only 11-15 last season and is picked sixth in the South Atlantic Conference, but is expected to be much improved. The Indians are healthier, taller and deeper. They have impact transfers and lots of new faces.

“We’ve gotten a lot of guys back who were sitting out,” Perron said. “Now we’re getting to coach the team we thought we were going to be coaching last season, and we’ve also added a good recruiting class. With so many guys coming back, it’s almost like we’ve added two recruiting classes.”

Veterans Jameel Taylor and Malik Constantine combined for 33 points at Wichita State. They should have plenty of help this season.

Contact Jeff Childress at 704-637-4265 or jchildre@catawba.edu for information about the fundraising weekend.

Comments

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call

Crime

Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl

Crime

Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck