Long Beach State continues road swing at Fresno State
The 49ers will play their former conference rivals for the first time in 20 years.
Nov. 21, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
Fresno State (3-1, 0-0 Mountain West)
1 p.m. -- Save Mart Center (15,596)
Sunday, November 25, 2012
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 plays Fresno State this weekend for the first time since the 1992-93 season this weekend, a stretch of 20 years between the two schools. Fresno State enters the game with a 3-1 overall record, and has defeated three Big West teams, winning at UC Riversid 39-30, at home against Pacific 66-61, and most recently on the road at Cal Poly 76-67.
FORMER CONFERENCE FOES: From 1958 to 1992, the 49ers and Bulldogs met twice a year as members of the same conference, first as the CCAA, then as the PCAA, and then finally as the Big West before Fresno State left to join the Western Athletic Conference. This is the first time the teams have met since the season directly after the Bulldogs' departure, when the 49ers won 82-61 in Fresno on December 30, 1992.
BACK TO BACK: Fresno State and Long Beach State have engaged in a scheduling quirk, putting together a home-and-home package in the same season. Sunday, the team's will play in Fresno, and then on December 3, the Bulldogs will return the trip as the team's play in Long Beach. This setup marks the first time since the beginning of the conference play era that the 49ers have played the same non-conference team twice in the same season.
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 three-times, including a game-high 18 against No. 11 North Carolina, and is tops on the team in scoring average at 16.8 points per game, ranking 8th in the Big West
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 shot over 50 percent in the first three games for Long Beach State, and is leading the team in shooting percentage while averaging 9.3 points per game. In 2012-13, Gulley leads the team with ten 3-pointers, and is shooting 55.6 percent behind the arc, and 54.2 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 lettermen off the 2011-12 team and two lettermen 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.
LAST TIME OUT | #10 Arizona 94, LBSU 72: A slow start doomed the 49ers in a high-scoring game in Tucson, even while Long Beach State hit 14 3-pointers, led by Peter Pappageorge who hit four on the way to a career high 16 points. James Ennis scored 17 points off of the bench to lead the team and extend his double-figure scoring streak to nine straight games. Mike Caffey had a career high seven assists, and the 49ers had four players in double-figures, but Arizona nearly doubled the 49ers on the glass 41-23, and shot 53.6 percent to hold off the 49ers.
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