Saturday, January 26, 2019

UCSB vs. LBSU Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Long Beach City College, Game 1
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 7 PM PST
The 2nd place Gauchos are coming off a 21 point loss at Fullerton, their worst defeat of the season.  The 49ers have lost two straight in conference play and sit tied for 5th with Hawaii at 2-2.

By the Numbers                                                             
 Quadrant 3 Game   LB City.jpg UCSB logo small.png
Record 8-12 14-4
Home/Away (D1) 4-2 (H) 3-4 (A)
Big West Conference 2-2 3-1
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 318 135
NET 217 140
SOS (ESPN BPI) 266 326
CBS Preseason Rank 281 288
SI Preseason Rank 271 185
Preseason Poll Pick 7th 4th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 218 96
Defense 216 238
Scoring 75.9 76.9
FG% 42.9 47.6
3Pt % 35.8 34.5
FT% 70.1 70.8
PPG Allowed 77.4 63.7
FG % Defense 44.1 39.
3Pt % Defense 31.4
Rebounding Margin  -2.1 +9.8
Best win (NET):  @ UCI (134)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ CSUN (266)

LB-UCSB History
The Gauchos take on their most often played opponent in what will be the 127th meeting between the schools with the 49ers holding a 67-59 advantage. The teams first faced off in 1952 with the Gauchos winning the first 8 meetings, Long Beach finally breaking through with a victory in 1959.  Long Beach’s longest win streak in the series is 10, stretching from 1995 through 1999. The teams split the series last season with Long Beach winning by 1 in the last game in Santa Barbara.
Walter Pyramid 
The unique Pyramid opened in 1994 and seats 5,000.  The 49ers are averaging 2,304 fans per game

Head Coach:  Dan Monson, the dean of the Big West, is in his 12th season at Long Beach.  After great success early in his LB career, the 49ers won the conference regular season his third through 5th seasons, his teams have leveled off to 3rd and 4th place finishes.  He has taken the 49ers to one NCAA tournament, in 2012 where as a 12 seed they lost a competitive first round game to New Mexico.  He has lost in the BWT final three times. His record at LB stands at 193-189 overall and 114-63 in BW play. 
Dan is the son of long-time college coach Don Monson who took Idaho to the Sweet 16 in 1982 and later coached Oregon.  Dan is most famous for putting Gonzaga on the map in 1999 taking the Zags to the Elite 8 before bolting to Minnesota.

City College returns a lot from last year’s team, minus the terrific Gabe Levin. They have a nice mix of veteran leadership and young talent; three Seniors and two sophomores are starting right now while  their main reserves are two upperclassmen and a sophomore.  Their depth has taken a bit of a kit with the loss of Guard Ron Freeman and  Senior Forward Temi Yussuf who, if is healthy and plays, will be a huge challenge for Sow.

Probable Starters
Guard Deshuan Booker #15  6’’3” 170lbs, Senior, JC Transfer  17.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 7.25 FT attempts, per game at 89.7%  Booker has been terrific for the 49ers and is an all BW candidate.  He’s increased his scoring output by over 5ppg over last year and is great on defense with 1.5 steals per game.  He is shooting 40% from three in 29 minutes per game.
Guard Bryan Alberts #10  6’5” 200 lbs, RS Senior. 10.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 28 mpg  Leads the team in three point makes at a .386 clip
Guard Drew Cobb #3  6’4” 205 lbs, Sophomore 12 mpg.  New to the starting line-up, over .500 from the field, 0-4 from deep.
Wing Jordan Roberts #2   6’8”, 195 lb, Sophomore, 5.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 19 mpg
Forward/Center Mason Riggins #5  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  5.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg, 25 mpg.  Leads the team in offensive rebounds, an abysmal FT shooter, .352 from the line 

Key Reserves
Forward KJ Byers #14  6’7”, 195 Senior, JC Transfer,  8 ppg and 5.8 rpg in 21 minutes of play.  Team’s 2nd leading rebounder.  Playing starter minutes and has started 8 games.
Guard Edon Maxhuni  #23  6’2”, 185 lb, Sophomore  17mpg. Excellent three point shooter, second in makes and tops in %, 46.4 Has started 7 games.
Guard Jordan Griffin #11 6’3”, 165 Junior,  4.5 ppg, shoots mostly from deep, .303  10mpg.
Forward/Center Temi Yussuf  #4  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  12.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg, 23 mpg.  Second on team in FT attempts, making 66% Has not been playing recently, recovering from a bone bruise.  Was starting before.
Guard Ron Freeman  #1  6’6”, 180 lb. RS Junior.  Had been starting and averaging 6.7 ppg

View from a 49er fan.
ccman flaked so grabbed this from the LB board; credit to their fan LBHoops:
"The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and Long Beach State 49ers meet Saturday in college basketball action at the Walter Pyramid.

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos look for another win after winning eight of their last 10 games. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are averaging 75.3 points on 46.6 percent shooting and allowing 64.4 points on 40.7 percent shooting. Ar'Mond Davis is averaging 14.4 points and 5.5 rebounds while Devearl Ramsey is averaging 12.1 points and 3.5 assists. JaQuori McLaughlin is the third double-digit scorer and Amadou Sow is grabbing 6.3 rebounds. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc and 70.2 percent from the free throw line. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are allowing 28.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 39.3 rebounds per game. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos have lost four of their last six road games. 

The Long Beach State 49ers could use a win after splitting their last six games. The Long Beach State 49ers are averaging 75.8 points on 42.9 percent shooting and allowing 77.4 points on 44.1 percent shooting. Deishuan Booker is averaging 17.2 points and 4.6 assists while Temidayo Yussuf is averaging 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds. Bryan Alberts is the third double-digit scorer and KJ Byers is grabbing 5.8 rebounds. The Long Beach State 49ers are shooting 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 70.1 percent from the free throw line. The Long Beach State 49ers are allowing 31.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38 rebounds per game. The Long Beach State 49ers have won five of their last six home games. 

The Gauchos are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Saturday games, 15-6 ATS in their last 21 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big West. The 49ers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss. The Gauchos are 8-19 ATS in the last 27 meetings. The over is 4-1 in 49ers last 5 overall. The under is 9-4 in Gauchos last 13 overall. 

The Long Beach State 49ers have won six of the last eight meetings against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Long Beach State is also winning its home games by an average of 2.5 points this season, while UC Santa Barbara is losing on the road by an average of 3.4 points. The Gauchos have been extremely impressive when it comes to covering numbers on the road dating back to last season, but this is a true pick em game and Long Beach State has the ability to control the pace of games like this at home. I'll give the slight edge to the 49ers at home, even though the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are the better team overall.

Match-up overview:
A difficult to predict match-up in that we have two teams that have been inconsistent of late.  Will the Gauchos bounce back or continue their road woes?

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Jariesse Blackmon.  Not really discussed but he hasn’t been quite the same since injuring his ankle.  We need the early-season Blackmon, especially when Byers is in.
·       Defending the drive and dish better.  We were destroyed by Fullerton’s ability to penetrate our perimeter defense and get shots in the paint.  Booker is as good as any of Fullerton’s elite guards but at least there’s just one of him. 
·       Control the paint.   For the first game in a while, we did not come out ahead in rebounding and, Sow struggled.  UCSB is successful when they can get scoring out of the post to open up things outside.  Riggins has done a terrific job filling in for Temi.  Get him in foul trouble and UCSB should control the paint, assuming Temi is still out.
·       Max integration project, continued. Took a step back vs. Fullerton, keep trying Max. It will come.

Prediction:  I really think this could go either way and just about any result is possible.  I’ll cop-out and go with the odds makers on this one, Gauchos by 2, 76-74.

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