After Long Beach State (4-6) defeated Stanford (4-6) Sunday, the Daily 49er sports editor and men’s basketball beat writer compiled a breakdown of the team’s performance.
1. The Long Beach State men’s basketball team came into Sunday’s game with a fast start. The 49ers got over Saturday’s blowout loss to Fresno State and kept up with Stanford from the jump. Head coach Dan Monson praised his team for keeping its focus and responding well in less than 24 hours after Saturday’s loss.
2. The 49ers have had foul trouble early on in games. Senior forward Gabe Levin, who is a major key to the team’s success, is having a problem with contesting shots. Although Levin played 27 minutes, he only managed to stay on the floor for seven minutes in the first half. Stanford took advantage of that as it led 29-27 at the halftime.
3. The lack of rebounding kept the team’s opponents in games. The 49ers were outrebounded 37 to 24 on Sunday, giving up 13 offensive rebounds to the Cardinal. Second chance opportunities kept Stanford in the game, scoring 14 points with the extra opportunities. The 49ers post players need to make box outs a priority instead of trying to out-jump opponents.
4. Long Beach was not afraid to keep shooting 3-pointers even if they are not falling, shooting 3-of-11 in the first half. However, the 49ers finished the game shooting 10-of-22 beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Jordan Griffin earned his first start of the season and scored a career-high 21 points.
5. It seemed that Monson was satisfied with today’s starting lineup of Deishuan Booker, Griffin, Bryan Alberts, Levin and Mason Riggins. However, the team’s bench had a problem as they only contributed six points in the contest. It remains to be seen what the issue is with senior guard Barry Ogalue, but the team will need his scoring abilities off the bench in order to win the Big West.
Conclusion: Long Beach State is in good standing even though its record moved to 4-6 after Sunday’s victory. The team has played many well known programs, which has been a good challenge in the pre-season. If the 49ers can remain confident and together as a team, be prepared for them to do well in conference play and possibly make a run for the Big West Conference tournament title.