Men's Basketball Opens Season Saturday Against Hawaii Pacific
Long Beach State will celebrate Homecoming festivities as well on November 9.
Nov. 4, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson has 104 wins at Long Beach State, and a win over Hawaii Pacific would move Monson into a tie for second-most in school history with Seth Greenberg. Jerry Tarkanian has the most victories as a 49er head coach, winning 122 games from 1968 to 1973.
Long Beach State has opened at home in each of the last four seasons in the Walter Pyramid, and has won two in a row. The 49ers have won three of those games, beating Alaska Anchorage 86-65 in 2009-10, and after an 81-65 loss to San Diego State, beat Idaho 69-61 in 2011-12 and won against North Alabama 75-65 last season.
Saturday marks Homecoming on the Long Beach State Campus; the 49ers are 2-0 in the last two seasons while capping Homecoming festivities.
Long Beach State is 7-0 against opponents outside of Division I under Dan Monson. The closest game came against BYU-Hawaii in 2010, a 90-83 win, while the largest win for the 49ers also came against the Sea Warriors, a 36-point 79-43 victory.
Redshirt freshman Branford Jones was injured in last season's home opener, but returns for the 2013-14 season for the 49er backcourt. Jones scored eight points with three assists in his 15 minutes of action against North Alabama.
Rob Brender returns for his fifth season of play-by-play for Long Beach State. His audio call can be found at kbeach.org and on 88.1-3 HD Radio or via the KBEACH Radio App. Additionally, live streaming can be found at bigwest.org/tv for all 49er home games.
Junior Mike Caffey received Preseason All-Big West honors, one of six players picked one season after earning First-Team All-Big West honors as a sophomore. Caffey started all 33 games for the 49ers in 2012-13, leading the team to a 19-14 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big West play. He averaged 12.0 points per game, tops among returning players, and second behind NBA Draft selection James Ennis. The junior point guard also averaged 3.8 assists per game and 4.0 rebounds per game while adding 47 steals on the year defensively.
Senior Dan Jennings is set to have a big season for the 49ers. Jennings averaged 8.4 points per game a season ago for Long Beach State, and lost 25 pounds of weight to help his endurance from a year ago, where he averaged 24.8 minutes per game. Jennings was second on the team behind Ennis in both blocked shots (29) and rebounds (204) on the year, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game.
Despite winning the regular season title outright for the last three seasons, the first Big West team to do so since UNLV in the `80s, Long Beach State was not tabbed to finish first in the Big West, but instead was picked 4th overall in a very close Preseason Media Poll. The 49ers were just one point behind third place Cal Poly and three points behind UC Santa Barbara, while also tallying five first place votes. UC Irvine was picked to finish on top, earning nine first-place votes.
Long Beach State is scheduled to play at least 12 games on national television this season, and could play as many as 17 depending on TV choices. After starting off with a game on the Pac-12 network at Arizona, the 49ers will also play on TV at Kansas State, Washington, NC State, and Missouri. Additionally, all three games of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off will be televised. Long Beach State's Dec. 19 meeting with USC will be carried live on Fox Sport Prime Ticket, as will two home games against Cal Poly and Hawaii. Additionally, five other Big West dates could feature the 49ers in "Wild Card" TV choices from the broadcast partners.
Long Beach State has won 26 consecutive home Big West games in an active streak running since the 49ers' last defeat on February 17, 2010 against Pacific. The 49ers won at home, 76-74 to close out the 2010 regular season, and have since stayed unbeaten at home over the last three years, during which the 49ers have won the regular season Big West title in each season.
Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Long Beach State ranks fourth among all 24 Division I schools in the state of California in total wins with 66 over that time. Only San Diego State (83), Saint Mary's (80) and UCLA (67) have more in the same time frame.
THIS AND THAT
Long Beach State will begin the season with 11 players ready for action. Tyler Lamb and Charles Lockett are both ineligible due to NCAA Division I transfer rules. Lamb becomes eligible at the conclusion of the fall semester, while Lockett must sit out the entire year. Senior forward Edgar Garibay is out for the year with an ACL tear, while a broken foot will sideline freshman Anson Moye for a minimum of two months.
Long Beach State will again face a grueling non-conference schedule. The 49ers will face two teams ranked in the preseason Top 10, as the 49ers will face No. 5 Arizona in their first road test on November 11. The 49ers will also play No. 9 Michigan in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on November 21. A second Top 25 team could await the 49ers in No. 15 VCU on day two of that tournament, and while unranked currently, any or all of the three teams receiving votes on the 49ers schedule could reach the Top 25 before the teams play: at Kansas State (11/17), at home against Creighton (12/3) and at Missouri (1/4). Also on the schedule are trips to Washington, NC State, and Nevada as well as a home meeting with USC in games against Power Six conferences.
Long Beach State is receiving votes themselves in a poll; Collegeinsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25, where the 49ers stood just outside of the Top 25 with 100 points. From the Big West, UC Santa Barbara was ranked 17th, while UC Irvine also received votes in the poll.
ABOUT HAWAII PACIFIC
Long Beach State won their only meeting with Hawaii Pacific, an 83-81 win as part of a trip to Hawaii during the 1985-86 season. The 49er big men had a big day against the Sea Warriors, as Jeff Nolan led the team with 20 points on 57.1 percent shooting (8-for-14), while Stafford Hamlin added 16 points for Long Beach State. George Buckner led Hawaii Pacific with 18 points.
The Sea Warriors return their top scorer from a year ago in G/F Malte Ziegenhagen. Ziegenhagen, a transfer from Tulane, averaged 14.8 points per game for Hawaii Pacific last year, starting in 18 games for the Sea Warriors. Ziegenhagen was the top scorer in both all games and in conference, and shot over 40 percent from three points one season ago (65-of-151).
Three-pointers were a big part of the Sea Warrior offense one season ago, accounting for 35% of the teams total offense. Ziegenhagen led the team with 65 makes, but in all, the team hit 211 three-pointers in 26 games, an average of over eight per game.
Ziegenhagen hails from Berlin, one of three international Hawaii Pacific players. Center Farbod Farman comes from outside of the United States, with a hometown of Mashhad, Iran, and transfered to HPU from Missouri State-West Plains, while Rema Lescelles is a redshirt freshman from Derby, England. The Sea Warriors have no players from Hawaii on the roster, recruiting from Florida, Minnesota, Alaska, and New York along with the overseas group.
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