Dec. 5, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Long Beach State at North Carolina State
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Time: 2 p.m. EST (11 p.m. PST)
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Arena: PNC Arena (19,700)
TV: Fox Sports Net
TV Talent: Tom Werme, Steph Ready
Radio: KBEACH.org; HD 88.1-3
Radio Talent: Rob Brender
Webcast: WatchESPN App
Live Stats: longbeachstate.com
Long Beach State travels to North Carolina State in search of the program's first win against a member of the "old guard" of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 49ers do own a victory against a current member of the league, however, following the team's 2011 memorable win at No. 9 Pitt. The Panthers joined the ACC this season.
Mike Caffey set a career high with 28 points against Washington, and was just shy of a double-double by tying a career-high with nine assists against the Huskies. On the season, Caffey ranks sixth in the Big West with 16.0 points per game, and is third in assists with 37 on the year.
Dan Jennings is second in the Big West in rebounding, even after playing three ranked opponents on the season already. The senior is averaging just under a double-double with 12.1 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game on the year.
Mike Caffey and Dan Jennings each scored over 20 points Saturday at Washington, the first such effort for the 49ers since the UCLA game last season on Dec. 18, 2012. The pair has scored in double-figures together in six of nine games this season.
The two-point guard lineup that the 49ers have utilized the last two games has paid off for the 49ers in terms of ball control. With both Mike Caffey and Branford Jones in the starting lineup, Long Beach State has had just 45 turnovers in the last four games, an average of just over 11 per game.
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 leads the 49ers in scoring with 16.0 points per game, and has scored over 20 points three times on the year. Caffey is also leading the team with 37 assists, and is third in rebounding with 4.2 boards per game.
After scoring 12 points against Loyola Marymount, junior A.J. Spencer has secured a spot in the starting lineup, scoring in double-figures in six of the last seven games. The junior college transfer scored a career high 14 points against VCU, and is third on the team with an 9.1 ppg average.
Originally serving as a backup to Mike Caffey, Branford Jones forced his way into the starting lineup as an extra ball-handler against VCU, and responded with a breakout game, scoring 19 points in 37 minutes with just one turnover against VCU's havoc defense. The redshirt freshman is continuing to showcase much of the promise the guard showed before going down with an ankle injury in the first game of the year last season. Jones currently ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.3 points per game and is second on the team with 18 assists.
Junior college transfer David Samuels has played well in his first few games at the Division I level, averaging 6.6 points per game while placing second on the team in rebounds with 5.8 per game behind senior Dan Jennings.
THIS AND THAT
Long Beach State's strength of schedule is also objectively among the highest - the 49ers currently rank as having the No. 8 SOS as ranked by kenpom.com,
The 49ers' eight-game skid is the longest since the 2007-08 season; Long Beach State lost the final eight games of Monson's first campaign, and dropped the first two the next season in a 10-game losing streak over two years.
Unlucky is the only word for it -- the 49ers have lost all three games that the team has shot over 50% thus far in the season, contributing to the teams overall record, in a mark that is an outlier in performance.
ABOUT NC STATE
NC State continues a run of seven straight home games at PNC Arena by hosting Long Beach State; the sixth of the seven. NC State has gone 5-1 at home this season, with the lone loss coming against North Carolina Central in overtime, 82-72.
The Wolfpack lost their only game on the road this season, dropping a 68-57 decision at Cincinatti.
6-8 forward Ty Warren is leading NC State on the season, averaging 22.6 points per game while grabbing 7.4 boards per game, leading the Wolfpack in both categories. Warren also has 14 steals to lead NC State in a third category, and is shooting 53.7 percent from the field on the season while averaging 34 minutes per contest.
Warren entered the week ranked 19th in scoring in the nation and also ranked in the Top 100 in shot attempts - 59th overall in the country.
Saturday's game marks the first meeting between the two teams since the 1978-79 campaign. Tex Winter brought the 49ers to Raleigh, but despite 18 points from Michael Wiley, Long Beach State dripped a 100-73 decision as all five starters for the Wolfpack scored in double-figures.
Long Beach State hosts another marquee home game on December 19, when cross-town rival USC comes to the Walter Pyramid. Fox Sports Radio's Petros and Money Show will be broadcasting live from the arena at Noon, and the game will begin at 7:30 p.m., carried live on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. The Trojans are making their sixth appearance in Long Beach, and the first since 2001.
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