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Burning days in Charlotte: Lutz feeling the heat

Charlotte men’s basketball head coach Bobby Lutz has a lot on the line in the 2009-10 season. His team looked quite promising on paper going into last season but only managed to post a disappointing 11-20 record, including a sub-par 5-11 conference record. In Lutz’s defense, the team did suffer several key injuries that may have been aided last years debacle.

Not surprisingly, Charlotte fans are sick of the excuses and want to see results. Charlotte’s Athletic Director Judy Rose expects to see a turnaround next season, and is confident that Lutz, who guided Charlotte to the NCAA tournament in 5 of his first 7 seasons, will be able to do so.

The 49ers recently switched from Conference USA to the Atlantic 10 in hopes of competing on a bigger stage. A team that was a regular atop the CUSA standings during Lutz's first few years has had major trouble acclimating to the tougher A-10 schedule. A good reason for the 49'ers struggles could be the difficulty Lutz faces in recruiting recruiting the southern states due to the recruit’s unawareness of many Atlantic 10 teams.

Lutz is optimistic of the 2009-10 season, citing that this year’s 49er team is the best he has seen in awhile. It boasts an improved front line and increased depth on the bench. The team will lose top scorer Lamont Mack and leading rebounder Charlie Coley but highly touted freshman Shamarr Bowden returns from broken kneecap injury that side lined him for most of the year.

After not making the tournament for 4 straight years, Lutz will be under the watchful eyes of the administration and fans who are eager for the program to return to its haday of NCAA tournament apperances.