Friday, January 10, 2020

LBSU vs. UCSB Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Long Beach Preview
Saturday, January 11, 2019, 7 PM PST
Quick Bite:  After opening their season on the road against the softest team in the conference, UCSB returns home to face the second softest team in Beach City Beach, or whatever they’re calling themselves this hour.  The 49ers are more dangerous as they have some talent and they defeated Providence & played UCLA tougher than UCSB did, but they have trended downward since and were shellacked by CSUN in their opener.

By the Numbers:                                                  
Quadrant 4
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Record (D1 only) 3-11 10-4
BWC 0-1 1-0
Home/Away vs D1 0-8 (A)  5-1 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 299 124
NET 275 141
SOS (ESPN BPI) 16 331
Preseason Poll Pick 7th 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 292 62
Defense 306 226
Offense:                 Scoring 68.6 73.7
FG% 43% 48%
3 PT Makes/Attempts 6.2/17.7 6.4/18.9
3Pt % 35% 34%
FT Makes/Attempts 12.2/17.9 15/20
FT% 68% 75%
Defense:           PPG Allowed 79.4 66.3
FG % Defense 46% 45%
3Pt % Defense 35% 36%
Steals PG 6.7 4.7
Blocks PG 3.4 3.0
Rebounding Margin -4.4 +7.1
Assists/Turnovers PG 11.5/17.1 14.1/12
Best win (NET) Providence (81) UT Arlington (144)
Worst loss (NET) Seattle (254) Rice (235)
Trend (D1 only)
Lost 3 Won 5

LB-UCSB History/Last season summary
This will be the 129th meeting between the schools with the 49ers holding a 68-60 advantage. UCSB has played LB more than any other school. LB upset the Gauchos in Santa Barbara last season and have a one game winning streak.
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 thru 5th place finishes.  He has taken the 49ers to one NCAA tournament, in 2012, when 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. With a young roster this year and bad record, no seat is hotter in the Big West than Monson’s with LB fans on a mission to see him fired.

Roster:  Youth is being served in Long Beach as Monson was mandated by AD Andy Fee to stop relying on transfers which had imbued the program with too much instability.  LB actually got off to a decent start with a competitive game against UCLA and victories over Providence and USD before the wheels fell off.

Possible Starters
Guard Colin Slater #14  6’1”, 190 Junior.  11.2 ppg, 1.8 apg, 30 mpg. 
Solid 3 point shooter (40%) and shoots over 80% from the line. Transfer from Tulane
Guard Michael Carter  #1  6’5”, 175 lb, Sophomore. 12.9 ppg, 3 apg, 27 mpg.
Transfer from Washington. Excellent in getting to the line where he makes 86% of his attempts Leads team in assists, steals and FT attempts.  Also leads in 3 point attempts but is shooting just 29% from deep. Turns the ball over a lot, 3.7 per game.
Wing Chance Hunter #31   6’6”, 200 lb, Sophomore, 13.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 41% from deep and 45% overall, 26 mpg.  Transfer from Cerritos JC.  Team’s leading scorer and top three point shooter.  Second on team in getting to the line but shooting just 58% from the stripe.
Forward Romelle Mansel #13  6’9”, 230 lb, Freshman   4.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 17 mpg
Center Joshua Morgan  #24  611”, 195lb, Freshman  8.3 ppg, 63% from the field, 5.8 rpg, 25 mpg
Is a candidate for BW FOY award, leads team in rebounding and is an excellent shot blocker with 33 on the season.  Has good hands.
Key Reserves
Guard Drew Cobb #3  6’4” 205 lbs, Junior 5.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 21 mpg
Excellent defender. Missed several games due to injury.
Wing Jordan Roberts  #2   6’9”, 200 lb, Junior  3.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 19 mpg
Guard Max De Geest  #10 6’3”, 185 Freshman, 4.7 ppg, 18 mpg, 33% from deep
From New Zealand.  Has started 5 games
Guard Jordan Griffin #11 6’3”, 165 Senior  4.6 ppg, 44% from deep, 11 mpg
Center Trever Irish  #32  7’0”, 230 lb, Sophomore (JC Transfer)   9 mpg
Has dealt with injuries last couple years

Injured:  None

Match-up & Prediction:  I was able to watch parts of a couple of Long Beach’s games early in the season and at that time thought they might contend for the BW title this year. Lots of talented newcomers playing well together.  But they have regressed mightily and lack fundamentals.  The talent is still there of course but their defense is porous and the offense unstructured.  As with Poly, if UCSB plays to their standard potential, it is an easy victory for the Gauchos.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Take advantage of LB’s defensive breakdowns; good perimeter passing & screens will open up the defense more readily than with other opponents.  Lots of mid-range and next to the bucket looks should be available.
·        LB has two solid wings in Michael Carter and Chance Hunter.  Cyrus, JRoq and Toure have been excellent with their defense for the past 10+ games and they will need to keep that going.  As with Poly, LB can be dangerous from deep so protecting the perimeter is key.
·        Attack Morgan in the post. He is skilled and a great shot blocker but Sow & Idehen are much stronger.  They should be able to body their way down on the block but need to avoid offensive fouls.  How much they can take advantage here will depend how the refs call the game.

Prediction:  UCSB 81  LB 63

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