On Saturday, when Charlotte hosts Saint Joseph’s to close out the regular season, Seniors An’Juan Wilderness and Charles Dewhurst will be taking the court at Halton Arena for the last time. While these two guys have endured a difficult stretch of Charlotte basketball, they both put in a full effort for every minute they played. Both Charles and An’Juan share an honor that shines light on the struggles of the 49ers. Unfortunately, they are the last two players to participate in the post-season after the conference tournament, when Charlotte played Nebraska in the 2008 NIT.
Dewhurst came to Charlotte in 2006 out of Charlotte Latin, and after winning the dunk contest at Midnight Madness, suffered a leg injury and red-shirted his first year. Injuries became a theme of Dewhursts career, in his Sophomore season, he suffered a devastating knee injury while scoring a game tying layup in a game at Maryland. Prior to this season, a less severe knee injury kept him out of action until January. Dewhursts best games came his freshman year, which was also the best year for the 49ers in his time here, including a 12 point, 7 rebound game in a win at the #17 Clemson Tigers followed immediately by a double-double at home against the 2008 Atlantic 10 Champion Temple Owls.
Charles Dewhurst Career Highs
Points: 13 vs. Long Island
Rebounds: 11 vs. Gardner-Webb; George Washington
Assists: 5 vs. Yale; Winthrop; George Washington
Steals: 4 vs. UNCG; Yale
Blocks: 3 vs. La Salle
Field Goals Made: 5 vs. Temple; Winston-Salem State
Field Goal Attempts: 11 vs Temple
3-Point FGM: 1 three times
3-Point FGA: 1 seven times
Free Throws Made: 9 vs. Long Island
Free Throws Attempted: 10 vs. Long Island
Wilderness arrived at Charlotte in 2007 after prepping for a year at the Paterson school. He has been a mainstay of the starting line-up since his first game for the 49ers against High Point. An’Juan’s specialty over his four season has been his ability to create shots for himself by driving to the basket and finishing. An’Juan has been held back by a couple of injuries himself, a stress fracture in his foot during his Sophomore season and a calf injury the delayed the start of his Junior campaign. An’Juan has stolen the show on a few occasions, claiming the #1 spot on Sportscenter’s top plays after this 360 lay-up against Wake Forest, and by hitting this buzzer-beating game winner to put away La Salle. An’Juan has never put up consistently high scoring numbers, but his quickness and defense has kept the 49ers in many games.
An’Juan Wilderness Career Highs
21 vs. Wake Forest :Points
11 vs. Rhode Island :Rebounds
4 six times :Assists
6 vs. High Point :Steals
2 vs.Xavier :Blocks
9 vs. Wake Forest :Field Goals Made
13 vs Wake Forest; Appalachian State :Field Goal Attempts
2 three times :3-Point FGM
3 fourtimes :3-Point FGA
8 vs. Southern Illinois :Free Throws Made
12 vs. Massachusetts :Free Throws Attempted
The Green Tinted Glasses gang shares their favorite memories of our departing Seniors, Charles Dewhurst and An’Juan Wilderness:
J Felt: Dewhurst- Favorite memory of Dewhurst? Probably the same as everyone else’s: his game at Clemson in 07-08. He looked absolutely unstoppable on offense, and seemed to be extremely comfortable and confident around the basket. Shouldn’t forget his defense and rebounding were key parts to our eventual victory over a ranked Clemson team. I remember leaving that game expecting big things in the future from him, but the eventual injuries and the ill-fated experiment at point guard seemingly shattered his confidence. Huge props must be given to Dewhurst for this season though. He had every reason to leave and not come back; Charlotte didn’t offer the graduate program he wanted, his head coach had just been fired, and he was ready to put his sneakers up for good. Instead, he laced up his shoes, passed the fitness tests, overcame yet another injury, and worked his way into a starting role for the squad. His reason? He thought he owed it to his teammates to come back and help. That’s what a fifth year senior does. Thanks must be given to Dewhurst for all the years of hustle and dedication.
NLP: Dewhurst- His 12 point, 7 rebound, and one sick block performance at #18 Clemson his Freshman year.
Wilderness- His wild running game-winner against LaSalle last year.
C-Pip: Dewhurst- His double-double against Temple to start the Niners 1-0 in conference play to keep up momentum from the Clemson win(I didn’t get to see the Clemson game :sad face:).
Wilderness- His bizarre clutch free throw shooting(3 of 4) to close out the Xavier game in 2009, the first one bounced around the rim a bit, but once it dropped, we all knew that game was over.