Homecoming For Long Beach State Up Next On Saturday In Walter Pyramid
Long Beach State will play one final exhibition before the start of the regular season.
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Long Beach State vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
TV Talent: None
Radio: KBEACH.org; HD 88.1-3
Radio Talent: Jason Schwartz
Webcast: Beach Vision
Live Stats: beachlivestats.com
• Long Beach State has won six straight games under the university’s Homecoming label as the first home game of the Men’s Basketball season, and all six have been sellouts of the Walter Pyramid as the Beach opens the 2017-18 campaign against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday.
• Homecoming festivities will include the annual alumni tailgate pregame, as well as the unveiling of a number of new features in the Walter Pyramid, including new LED lightstands, the Courtside Sand Bar, new graphics across the entirety of the west wall and the resumption of beer and wine sales within the building.
• Long Beach State is a perfect 3-0 against Cal State Dominguez Hills in the three meetings between the two teams. All three of those games came in a three-year stretch under Wayne Morgan’s tenure, as the Beach survived a 59-56 scare in 1998 before winning comfortably in each of the next two seasons.
• Last Monday, Long Beach State hosted CSU Bakersfield in a charity exhibition, with all proceeds from the game going to the Resilience Fund of the Community Foundation of Sonoma County. Barry Ogalue had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but the Runners ultimately won the exhibition 63-55.
• Long Beach State returns six players who made three or more starts last season, led by forward Temidayo Yussuf, who made 28 starts followed by Gabe Levin, who started all 16 games of the non-conference slate before an injury ended his season early.
• Yussuf went on to earn second-team All-Big West honors last season, joining Levin as returners who have earned the honor, as Levin won in 2015-16. Despite this being the fourth year in the program for both players, the two have yet to play a Big West game together.
• In 2016-17, Temidayo Yussuf led the Big West in field goal percentage over conference play at .578 and averaged 13.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game over league action, ultimately earning second-team All-Big West honors. Yussuf is the top scorer that finished the season among returners for the Beach, averaging 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds on the year.
• Gabe Levin had an outstanding start to the season, putting up three double-doubles, including two against back-to-back ranked opponents in North Carolina and Louisville. Scoring in double-figures in 12 games, Levin led the team in rebounding, but suffered a knee injury prior to conference play missed the remained of the season after undergoing successful surgery.
• Barry Ogalue was a great sparkplug off of the bench, and his development throughout the year showed as the Yuba CC transfer started the both games of the Big West Tournament for the 49ers. His 7-for-7 night was the second-best postseason shooting performance ever for the Beach, and he closed the season averaging 5.0 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
• Mason Riggins and Quentin Shropshire are upperclassmen who will play a key role for depth among the frontcourt alongside Levin and Yussuf. Riggins has started 27 games in his career at Long Beach State, and returns in the best shape of his career after shooting a career-best 54.5 percent last season. Shropshire, a former track and field athlete at the Beach, has made the most of his minutes, earning a spot in the rotation to finish out the year in 2016-17.
• A trio of sophomores also return for the Beach with a full year under their belts. Jordan Griffin, LaRond Williams and Javonntie Jackson combined to start in 15 games as freshmen and all three played in 25 or more games a year ago.
• Graduate Transfer Bryan Alberts will likely play a big role for the Beach in the upcoming season. Alberts spent three years at Gonzaga, redshirting for one season before starting in ten games during the 2015-16 season. As a sophomore, Alberts played in 24 games for the Zags, and reached the National Championship game, which is the furthest any player to wear an LBSU uniform has gone in the postseason.
• Minutes at the point guard position look to be split between two newcomers this year, as junior college transfer Deishuan Booker and freshman Edon Maxhuni have both impressed coming into the season. Booker averaged 9.8 points and 6.4 assists per game last season at the College of Southern Idaho, and was one of just seven players at the Juco level to make more than 200 assists last year. Meanwhile, Maxhuni brings extensive experience at the youth international level with Finland, and looks to compete for time on the floor right away as well.
• Other newcomers poised to play a big role in the upcoming season are junior KJ Byers and freshman Jordan Roberts. The two versatile players can each play multiple positions, and bring great athleticism to the Beach. Byers was one of the nation’s blocked shots leaders at the junior college level despite playing primarily on the perimeter, while Roberts was selected as the CIF Division II Player of the Year out of Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield.
• The roster is rounded out by three more additions. Breamon Richard has a long history with the program, after formerly spending one season as a manager with the team. He then went on to star at Long Beach City College for two seasons, and has returned to the Beach after leading the Vikings in scoring last season at 20.4 points per game. Milos Apic is a 6-10 stretch forward from Serbia who joins the Beach as a freshman after two years in the United States and Sandy Springs Friends School. Finally, Jaice Gardner also joined the team for his freshman season in 2017-18, but a preseason injury has the possibility to hold the 6-4 forward out for the season.
• The two frontcourt stars for the Beach also have a career milestone within reach, as they aim to join 23 other former 49ers as 1,000 point scorers at Long Beach State. It would take a big year from Gabe Levin in his final campaign, but doable, while Temidayo Yussuf is 560 points away from the milestone with two years of eligibility remaining.
THIS AND THAT
• Through 67 seasons of Long Beach State Men’s Basketball, the program has recorded 986 wins, leaving the 2017-18 team needing 14 wins to record the 1,000th victory in program history.
• For the last four years, Long Beach State has had over 20 games broadcast nationally through its TV partners, and set a record last season with 27 of the team’s 34 games being available on national television. In 2017-18, Long Beach State may have as many as 16 games televised in the regular season, and will have every game available to view via live stream.
• Long Beach State is continuing its partnership with 22 West Media (formerly KBEACH) to provide online and HD radio broadcasts of every single game this season. In addition, LBSU has also entered into an agreement with AM 830 to broadcast 12 games this season over-the-air, the first time in over ten years that Beach Basketball has regularly been on AM radio in Los Angeles.
• Head Coach Dan Monson is the winningest coach at Long Beach State, with more victories than basketball luminaries such as Jerry Tarkanian, Tex Winter, and Seth Greenberg who have also coached at the Beach. He is also one of just active coaches nationally to begin the year as his program’s wins leader. Now with 105 conference wins in 10 seasons, Monson is the 7th coach in Big West history to record 100 conference wins. Under Monson, Long Beach State has also made the postseason in four out of the last six seasons.
• Over the past eight seasons, Long Beach State has ranked no lower than sixth in the nation in non-conference strength of schedule, and the Beach has ranked in the top four in each of the last six years, including leading the nation both in 2012-13 and in 2015-16.
• Long Beach State will once again play a tremendous non-conference slate, facing three teams that begin the season in the Top 10 in No. 2 Michigan State, No. 5 Arizona and No. 10 West Virginia all on the road. The Beach will also face Missouri in a neutral site game on Thanksgiving, and the Tigers begin the season receiving votes.
• While the schedule is still tough, the travel is very different. Last season, Long Beach State traveled over 23,000 miles in the preseason, and the team’s nine-game road swing totaled over 15,000 miles. LBSU’s total travel in the non-conference in 2017-18 is less than that trip alone, with its longest travel swing just under 7,000 miles as part of the Advocare Invitational in Orlando.
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