Charlotte 49ers coach Alan Major says Florida Atlantic plays like an “international team.”

That’s no coincidence. Charlotte’s opponent Thursday at 7 p.m. in Halton Arena has four foreign players on its roster, including leading scorer Pablo Bertrone, a guard from Argentina, and leading rebounder Justin Raffington of Germany.

“They’re very skilled and crafty,” Major said of the Owls (7-13, 2-3 Conference USA). “There’s almost a 30-year-old’s intelligence to their game.”

Florida Atlantic’s style isn’t unique to C-USA, a league the 49ers (12-7, 3-3) returned to after eight seasons in the Atlantic 10.

“It’s a little more up-tempo, a guard’s league,” Major said. “There’s a lot of drive and kick, not as much power ball as the Atlantic 10. That had become almost a mini-version of the Big 10, with more of a smash-mouth style. The floor is more spread open (in C-USA).”

The 49ers haven’t fully adjusted to C-USA’s style, evidenced by a current two-game losing streak. They often play with two post players – 6-foot-10 center Mike Thorne and 6-9 power forward Willie Clayton – on the floor at the same time. That has inhibited their ability to defend some of the league’s more wide-open teams.

“In the A-10, we’d see a power forward who might be 6-foot-8, 240 (pounds),” said Major. “Now he’s 6-foot-6, 215 (in C-USA). We might play a more traditional lineup with two big men, like we do with Willie and Mike.”