Long Beach State returns home to host BYU-Hawaii on Saturday
Dec. 11, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
Long Beach State (3-6, 0-0 Big West)
4:05 p.m. -- Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Saturday, December 15, 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.
THE BEACH VS. THE SEA: Long Beach State will host BYU-Hawaii for the third consecutive year, as the Seasiders and LBSU resume their series,in which the 49ers have won the first two meetings. Two years ago, the 49ers won a fast-paced 90-83 contest, before winning by 36 last season while holding BYU-Hawaii to just 43 points. This season, the Seasiders are led by DeAndre Medlock, who at 16 points per game leads the Pacific West in scoring and is 9th overall in Division II in scoring average.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: With two games against Top 10 opponents last week, the Long Beach State strength of schedule moved up to 13th overall, as the 49ers have now played four ranked teams in 2012-13. Long Beach State has also faced five teams from the power conferences, and have one more on the schedule when the 49ers play at UCLA on December 18.
SECOND DIVISION: Under Dan Monson, this will be the eighth game against a D-II opponent; the 49ers have played two a season since 2009-10 and have compiled a 7-0 record, most recently against North Alabama in a 75-65 homecoming victory in the season opener. The closest game was against the Seasiders in 2009-10, which the 49ers won by seven points.
LAST TIME OUT | #7 Ohio State 89, LBSU 55: Junior center Dan Jennings once again led the 49ers in scoring against a top opponent, putting up 16 points and eight rebounds at No. 7 Ohio State in an 89-55 loss. The 49ers were within six points of the Buckeyes with five minutes to play in the first half, but Ohio State pulled away to take the win in the Value City Arena. James Ennis also scored in double-digits, extending his personal streak to 14 straight games in the process.
BACK TO BACK GAMES AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Twice now in 2012-13, Long Beach State has played ranked opponents in two straight games. Having already played No. 11 North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 16 in Long Beach, the 49ers then played No. 10 Arizona in Tucson, on Nov. 19. The 49ers then had a long road trip to the east, playing at No. 4 Syracuse and No. 7 Ohio State in consecutive games before returning to Long Beach. The 49ers have now played back-to-back ranked opponents under Dan Monson four times opposed to only once under any other LBSU coach. (Tex Winter; Jan 5-6, 1979). Previously, Long Beach State last played ranked opponents in back-to-back games in 2009, when the 49ers played at No. 3 Kentucky (12/23) and No. 7 Duke (12/29).
LOGGING BIG MINUTES: Running a 7-8 man rotation means there are plenty of minutes to be had, and the 49ers have three players that rank in the Top 10 in the Big West in average minutes played, led by point guard Mike Caffey, who leads the league, averaging 34 minutes per game. Senior forward James Ennis and senior guard also rank among the leaders, with Ennis averaging 32.4 minutes per and Pappageorge ranking tenth at 30.7 minutes per game. Only one other team, Hawai'i has more than one player averaging more than 30 minutes per contest.
ENNIS FILLING IT UP: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 14-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is one of the leading figures for Long Beach State. In 2012-13, Ennis has led the 49ers in scoring four times, including a game-high 18 against No. 11 North Carolina, and is tops on the team entering the week in scoring average at 15.2 points per game, ranking 9th in the Big West. Ennis is also among the Big West leaders in rebounding at 7.1 per game (8th) and blocks at 1.6 per game (4th).
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 42 assists and is averaging 9.8 points per game, second on the team. Caffey also leads the 49ers in steals with 12, and has a 1.40 assist to turnover ratio through eight games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists last week at No. 4 Syracuse.
JENNINGS IN THE POST: Junior center Dan Jennings is in his first season playing for Long Beach State after transferring from West Virginia, and has thrived lately, leading the 49ers in scoring over the past two games. On the season, Jennings is averaging 9.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and had two of his best performances of the season on the biggest stage. At No. 4 Syracuse, Jennings led the 49ers with a career high 20 points and three blocks while adding seven rebounds, and then scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards at No. 7 Ohio State. Jennings was also one point away from a double-double against No. 11 North Carolina, scoring nine points with a career-best 10 rebounds.
FINDING THE RANGE: Sophomore guard Kris Gulley shot over 50 percent in the first three games for Long Beach State, and is second on the team in shooting percentage while averaging 7.8 points per game. On Nov. 29 at LMU, Gulley tied a career-high with 12 points, shooting 66 percent and grabbing 10 rebounds, making the team's first double-double of the season, and Gulley has now shot 50% or better in six of the team's nine games this season. In 2012-13, Gulley is second on the team with 14 3-pointers, and is shooting 45.2 percent behind the arc, and 46.2 percent overall while adding 5.1 rebounds per game.
PAPPAGEORGE ON FIRE: Senior Peter Pappageorge has made the most of the opportunity to start, six straight following his insertion to the lineup at Arizona. One of the team's captains, Pappageorge scored a career high 16 points against the Wildcats, and then topped that effort with 23 points at Fresno State, leading the 49ers in a win over the Bulldogs. Pappageorge made four 3-pointers in each of those games, and leads the team with 16 3-pointers made on 32.7% shooting. He is also fourth on the team in scoring in 2012-13, averaging 8.1 points per game.