Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Long Beach State vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs Long Belch City, Game 2
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7 PM PST
***Senior Night***
The 3rd place Gauchos, with consecutive blowout victories over Hawaii and Fullerton, host 7th place Long Belch City who are coming off an OT victory over Riverside and a 2pt win over CSUN.  This game closes out a three game home stand and is the last home game of the season for UCSB.  Special thanks and appreciation to Seniors Jariesse Blackmon, Ami Lakoju, Max Kupchak and Grad Student Armond Davis.

By the Numbers                                                             

 Quad 4 Game
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Record 11-18 19-8
Home/Away (D1) 3-12 (A) 10-2 (H)
Big West Conference 5-8 8-5
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 241 148
NET 245 150
SOS (NET) 140 300
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 245 130
Defense 223 206
Scoring 75.1  /  75.6 73.7  /  69.2
FG% 42.8  /  44.2 45.7  /  43.0
3Pt % 34.8  /  33.6 33.7  /  32.8
FT% 68.5  /  68.9 71.4  /  71.7
PPG Allowed 77.1  /  78.1 65.1  /  65.9
FG % Defense 44.5  /  45.9 42.2  /  45.6
3Pt % Defense 33.4  /  37.3
29.5  /  31.5
Rebounding Margin  -1.4  /  -0.8 +7.0  /  +3.9
Best win (NET):  @ UCI (92)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ CSUN (285)
Trend: LBCC has won two in a row and 3-5 but all three wins have come against the bottom of the BW, and two of those were in OT.  They lost at UC Davis who lost TJ Shorts to injury after 15 minutes and at Fullerton by just 3.

LBCC-UCSB History/Game 1 Recap
This will be the 128th meeting between the schools with the 49ers holding a 67-60 advantage. UCSB won the first game this year, at the Pyramid, 82-71 and own a one game winning streak in the series.  Armond Davis was a force with double-double of 24 points on 2-3 from deep and 11 boards. Mclaughlin added 15 points and Sow 14 on 6-7 shooting.  Both Ramsey and Heidegger dished 6 assists.  Deishaun Booker led the way for Long Belch with 25 points, 12 coming from the FT line.  Maxhuni and Byers added 13 & 12 respectively.  UCSB led most of the first half but LB closed strong and continued the start of the 2nd half to come back from being down as much as a dozen to take the lead.  After some back & forth, a McLaughlin jumper put the Gauchos ahead for good with 9:43 remaining.
Head Coach:  Dan Monson, the dean of the Big West, is in his 12th season at Long Beach.  After great success earlier 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 196-195 overall and 117-69 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.

Belch City has a 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.  Senior Forward Temi Yussuf who did not play in the first game, is back but not producing like he was before his injury.  Monson has been juggling things a bit with a different starting lineup each of the past three games.

Possible Starters
Guard Deshuan Booker #15  6’’3” 170lbs, Senior, JC Transfer  18.1 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.1 rpg  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 1.4 steals per game.  He is shooting 37% from three in 32 minutes per game.  Does turn it over a lot, 115 on the season (4.1 pg)
Guard Bryan Alberts #10  6’5” 200 lbs, RS Senior. 10.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 28 mpg  Third leading scorer, leads the team in three point makes at a .380 clip
Guard Drew Cobb #3  6’4” 205 lbs, Sophomore 16 mpg. Sometime starter, not a major scoring threat but does shoot .500 from the field.  Tied for 2nd in assists.
Wing Jordan Roberts #2   6’8”, 195 lb, Sophomore, 6.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 20 mpg
Forward/Center Mason Riggins #5  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  6.7 ppg (62% from the field) and 5.4 rpg, 26 mpg.  Leads the team in offensive rebounds, an abysmal FT shooter, 36% from the line 

Key Reserves
Forward/Center Temi Yussuf  #4  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  11.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg, 22 mpg.  Leading rebounder, second on team in FT attempts, making 66%.  Missed 5 games with a bone bruise and is not producing like he was before the injury.  When healthy, one of the top bigs in the conference
Forward KJ Byers #14  6’7”, 195 Senior, JC Transfer,  7.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 23 minutes of play.  Sometime starter.  Team’s 2nd leading rebounder.  Will shoot from deep, .294
Guard Edon Maxhuni  #23  6’2”, 185 lb, Sophomore  7.2 ppg 18 mpg. Excellent three point shooter, second in makes and tops in %, 42.2 Has started 10 games, tied for second in assists.
Guard Jordan Griffin #11 6’3”, 165 Junior,  3.4 ppg, shoots mostly from deep, .326  8 mpg.
Wing Demetrius Mims #13  6’6”, 180 Freshman, minimal stats & plays little but their fans are excited about him.
Guard Ron Freeman  #1  6’6”, 180 lb. RS Junior.  Played only 8 games.

Match-up overview:
By the numbers and by trends, this game is UCSB’s for the taking.  Belch City does not play good defense and the Gaucho offense has put up 79 and 82 in their first two games of this homestand, their offense is clicking and should continue to do so Thursday.  It should be a high-scoring affair as LB also leads the league in offense.  The Gauchos did hold them to 7pts below their average in game one.  LB does not rebound well while the Gauchos are 2nd in the conference in rebounding margin.  The Gauchos should also win the turnover battle, Belch leads the league in turnovers while UCSB has the fewest.  One thing they do well is get to the line; they are first in the league in FT attempts, led by Booker who leads the country in FT makes and sports an outstanding 90% from the line. 

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Control the paint.  Temi is back but not quite with the same mobility as before but still gives LB more depth in the post.  UCSB has successful when they can get scoring out of the post to open up things outside.  Riggins has done a solid job filling in for Temi but I’ll take Gaucho depth of Sow, Ami & Idehen over Riggins & Temi. 
·       Defending the drive and dish. I look at Fullerton games one and two and how different our defense was between the two.  If we defend LB like we did Fullerton, we win. Booker is as good as any of Fullerton’s elite guards but at least there’s just one of him.
·       Guard penetration.  Ramsey, Max, JRoq and Davis can all drive and penetrate.  LB defense should allow this to continue.  So many weapons, try and stop them all.  Love the way Max has been playing of late.  He is keeping the ball moving, he is doing a terrific job of penetrating defenses and dishing or getting a lay-up.  And taking the deep shot when its available.  I think he and the team are finding their groove in working together.

Prediction:  Funny things can happen in rivalry games but I think only UCSB will be laughing this time, Gauchos 84 Belchers 69.

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