49ers visit USC Tuesday, host #11 North Carolina Friday
Nov. 12, 2012
TELEVISION: Both Tuesday's game at USC and Friday's game against North Carolina will be broadcast nationally. The Pac-12 Networks will carry the USC game with Paul Sunderland handling play-by-play duties and Breven Knight providing color commentary. ESPNU will televise the North Carolina game with Dave Flemming on play-by-play and Sean Farnham providing analysis.
49ERS OPEN SEASON WITH WIN OVER NORTH ALABAMA: Long Beach State opened the 2012-13 season with a 75-65 win over North Alabama at the Walter Pyramid last Saturday. Senior James Ennis paced the 49ers with 19 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Kris Gulley and freshman Deng Deng added 11 points in their debuts as 49ers.
LONG BEACH STATE AGAINST THE PAC-12: Long Beach State enters Tuesday night's game at USC with a 17-44 record against teams currently in the Pac-12 Conference, including a 5-7 record against USC. The 49ers last win over a Pac-12 team came on Nov. 29, 2009, when they beat UCLA 79-68 in the `76 Classic in Anaheim.
LONG BEACH STATE AGAINST THE ACC: The 49ers will be looking for their first win ever against an ACC team on Friday night. Long Beach State has a 0-6 all-time record against the league with five of the six games being played in the Dan Monson Era. LBSU is 0-2 against North Carolina, Duke and Clemson. None of the previous games were played in Long Beach.
LONG BEACH STATE PICKED TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT BIG WEST TITLE: Long Beach State earned 13 first-place votes and 194 points to emerge the favorite for the 2012-13 Big West men's basketball title, according to the annual preseason media poll. The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points with six first-place votes, and third-place UC Irvine's 153 points and one first-place vote. The 21-member media panel tabbed new Big West member Hawaii for fourth place with 132 points, followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth (129). Picking up the lone remaining first-place nod was Pacific, which tallied 113 points for sixth place in the poll.
ENNIS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG WEST TEAM: James Ennis was named to the preseason All-Big West Conference Team by the league's media. Ennis, the 49ers lone returning starter from the 2011-12 club that finished 25-9 overall, earned All-Big West Honorable Mention recognition last season after averaging 10.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The 6-7 guard/forward also ranked No. 2 in the conference in steals (1.6 spg).
CAFFEY WILL PILOT THE 49ERS: Sophomore guard Mike Caffey takes the reins of the 49er offense replacing two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year Casper Ware at point guard. As a true freshman, Caffey averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists in 21.8 minutes per game. The Riverside, Calif. product finished with a 1.76 assist-to-turnover ratio, handing out 76 assists while only turning the ball over 43 times in 2011-12. Caffey scored nine points and grabbed five boards in LBSU's opener against North Alabama.
49ERS ALSO RETURN FOUR PLAYERS WITH DIVISION I EXPERIENCE AT LBSU: In addition to James Ennis and Mike Caffey, the 49ers also return two more letterman off the 2011-12 team and two letterman from the 2010-11 team who redshirted last year. Senior Peter Pappageorge and sophomore Nick Shepherd helped LBSU advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, while juniors Kyle Richardson and Jerramy King contributed to the 49ers' 2011 NIT team.
49ERS WILL COUNT ON A HANDFUL OF DIVISION I TRANSFERS: While Long Beach State only returns six players with experience playing at the Division I level at LBSU, the 49ers can count on four other players who transferred to Long Beach from other Division I schools. Three of those players, Dan Jennings (West Virginia), Tony Freeland (DePaul) and Keala King (Arizona State) joined the 49er program after spending two years at Power Six Conference schools. The fourth, Edgar Garibay, played at Loyola Marymount. Jennings, who transferred to Long Beach State before last season and redshirted for the 49ers, is eligible to play when LBSU opens the season Saturday. The other three transferred midway through last season and will be eligible after the first semester. Freeland and King have appeals pending with the NCAA which if approved would allow them to play immediately.
TALENTED GROUP OF REDSHIRTS NEWCOMERS ROUND OUT THE 49ERS ROSTER: Sophomore Kris Gulley headlines a group of redshirts and freshmen who should help Long Beach State during the 2012-13 season. Gulley, who transferred to LBSU before the 2011-12 season from a junior college in Kansas, is battling for playing time at the wing position opposite of James Ennis. He is joined in the backcourt by true freshmen Branford Jones (out 8-12 weeks with leg injury suffered in opener), Deng Deng and Javion Watson. While Watson is expected to redshirt, Deng should be a part of the 49er rotation. Jones was the 49ers back-up point guard before suffering a leg injury in the second half of the North Alabama game that will force him to miss at least 8-12 weeks. Redshirt freshman Gatete Djuma and true freshman Brian Smith add depth in the post for the 49ers. Smith is expected to redshirt.
Branford Jones OUT 8-12 WEEKS AFTER SUFFERING LEG INJURY IN SEASON OPENER: True freshman point guard Branford Jones is out at least 8-12 weeks after injuring his lower leg during the season-opening win against North Alabama. Jones was hurt in the second half when a Lions' player took out his leg while diving for a loose ball. Before getting hurt, Jones was impressive in his first collegiate game scoring eight points (4-of-7 shooting), grabbing three boards and handing out a team-high three assists in just 15 minutes of action. Long Beach State's other back-up point guard, junior Jerramy King, missed the North Alabama game with a shoulder injury.
49ERS BOAST NATION'S SECOND LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK: Long Beach State will take a 23-game home winning streak into the North Carolina game on Friday. The winning streak is tied for the second longest in the country with Kansas, after LIU-Brooklyn had its 27-game home winning streak snapped in its opener. LBSU trails only Kentucky (52). The 49ers finished the 2011-12 season with 12 straight wins after ending the 2010-11 season with 10 home wins in a row. The 49ers have also won 17 straight Big West home games dating back to a 74-52 loss to Pacific on Feb. 17, 2010.
49ERS FACE ONE OF NATION'S TOUGHEST NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULES, INCLUDING GAMES AGAINST FIVE OF THE NATION'S PRESEASON TOP 13 TEAMS: Long Beach State heads into the 2012-13 season with a non-league schedule that few teams can match. The 49ers, who had the nation's top rated non-conference schedule the last three seasons according to a couple websites, will play five teams ranked in the top 13 of both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches preseason polls. The 49ers will face No. 4 Ohio State, No. 9 Syracuse, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 12 Arizona and No. 13 UCLA. LBSU will play 11 games before Big West Conference action begins, with those opponents combining for a 211-124 (63 winning percentage) record last season. Five of the 49ers' 10 opponents won at least 20 games, with three winning more than 30 games.