Although the upcoming season hasn’t begun for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team, there’s already some buzz about two new players who will suit up in black and gold for the 2019-20 season.
Two players gave a verbal commitment this week to attend Long Beach on scholarship next year. A commitment from 7-foot center Trever Irish came first via Twitter from his junior college assistant coach Sunday. Irish is entering his second season at Central Arizona College after averaging 14 points and eight rebounds per game in his first year.
After finishing high school in Lewiston, Maine, the center attended Valley Prep Academy in Arizona. It’s common for players today to attend prep school for a year after high school in order to develop their skill and gain more experience before attending college.
With Long Beach senior forwards Temidayo Yussuf and Mason Riggins graduating after this season, the addition of Irish will fill a big hole for Long Beach. Men’s basketball donors and supporters will finally get a big center they’ve coveted for many seasons, as Long Beach has had teams that are considered “undersized” at the forward and center position for the past few years.
The second commitment for Long Beach came from Rodney “RJ” Rhoden, a high flying 6-foot-5-inch guard out of Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, FL. The news broke Monday night from Verbal Commits, and was announced by Rhoden himself via twitter Wednesday morning. Rhoden’s roster spot next season will likely replace current redshirt senior guard Bryan Alberts. While Alberts’ sharp shooting and experience will be missed, Rhoden brings athleticism, size and the ability to get to the basket at the guard spot.
Per NCAA policy, head coach Dan Monson cannot comment on any recruits until they have officially returned a signed National Letter of Intent. The next signing window for basketball opens in November.
This season, Long Beach will be loaded with talent at the guard position with Alberts, Ron Freeman, Jordan Roberts and Demetrius Mims. With Rhoden coming to Long Beach next season in addition to Freeman, Roberts and Mims returning, Long Beach State has many seasons of elite guard play ahead.