Long Beach State heads to No. 12 Arizona for another televised contest
The 49ers will play their second straight game against a ranked opponent.
Nov. 18, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
Long Beach State (1-2, 0-0 Big West)
#12 Arizona (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
6 p.m. -- McKale Center (14,538)
Monday, November 19, 2012
Long Beach State's game with No. 12 Arizona will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Paul Sunderland will call the action while Don MacLean will provide analysis.
THE 49ERS ON THE INTERNET:
Rob Brender will provide play-by-play for the fourth consecutive season. All games can be heard on longbeachstate.com.
A MATCHUP RENEWED:
Long Beach State will play Arizona this Monday in the first meeting between the two teams since the 1995 season, and just the third time ever. The prior to meetings were in 1990 and in 1987, with the Wildcats winning all three games against the 49ers. The only current Pac-12 teams that Long Beach State has played fewer times are Oregon (2) and Washington (2).
BACK TO BACK:
Having played No. 11 North Carolina last Friday in Long Beach, the 49ers now face No. 12 Arizona, giving the team back-to-back matches against ranked opponents. It is the first of two times the 49ers will likely play two straight ranked teams, looking ahead two weeks when LBSU travels to Syracuse and Ohio State, ranked No. 8 and No. 4 respectively. Monday's game with Arizona marks the first time that Long Beach State has played two straight ranked foes since 2009, when the 49ers played at No. 3 Kentucky (12/23) and No. 7 Duke (12/29). Outside of the postseason, the 49ers have played back-to-back ranked opponents three times under Dan Monson and only once under any other coach. (Tex Winter; Jan 5-6, 1979)
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). In 2012-13, Ennis has led the 49ers in scoring twice, including a game-high 18 against No. 11 North Carolina, and is tops on the team in scoring average at 16.7 points per game.
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. This season, Caffey leads the 49ers with nine assists and is averaging 13.3 points per game, second on the team.
FINDING THE RANGE:
Sophomore guard Kris Gulley has shot over 50 percent in the first three games for Long Beach State, leading the team in shooting percentage and averaging 8.3 points per game. In 2012-13, Gulley leads the team with seven 3-pointers, and is shooting an unreal 70 percent behind the arc, and 69 percent overall.
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.
UNC JUST SIXTH RANKED TEAM TO VISIT WALTER PYRAMID:
When No. 11 North Carolina came to Long Beach State on November 16, it was just the sixth time in the Pyramid's history that a ranked team has played in the building against LBSU (and the second in the Dan Monson era). The 49ers are looking for their first win over a ranked team in the Pyramid after losing the first five games and falling 78-63 to the Tar Heels. UNC was the second-highest ranked team to play in the building behind only No. 4 Stanford in 2000. LBSU is 7-20 all-time against ranked teams at home. The 49ers are 18-75 in all games against ranked teams, including 4-21 in the Monson era.
49ERS SECOND-LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK SNAPPED:
Long Beach State took a 23-game home winning streak into the North Carolina game on Friday, November 16, which was tied with Kansas and only behind Kentucky for the longest in the nation. However, the 49ers 78-63 loss snapped that streak, which began in February of 2010. 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.
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