The Long Beach State men’s basketball team was chosen to finish sixth in the Big West Conference media poll.
The Beach garnered 141 points, passing California State University, Bakersfield (117), California State University, Northridge (102), California State University Fullerton (95) and California Polytechnic State University (54). University of California Irvine was chosen to take first place in the Big West Conference, as it gathered 270 points and 18 first-place votes out of a possible 28.
The Beach will be led by junior guard Chance Hunter, who made the conference’s preseason all-conference team. Hunter, who was named a Big West honorable mention last year, led the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game, scoring 444 points altogether in 32 games.
In addition to being second on the team in rebounds per game, Hunter averaged five each game, grabbing 160 boards while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.
Other notable players returning to the Beach are third-year guard Michael Carter III (12.2 PPG, 365 points scored in 30 games played) and fourth-year guard Colin Slater (10.2 PPG, 315 points scored in 31 games played).
Senior guard Isaiah Washington, who transferred from Iona College, should also provide offensive depth for the Beach.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association approved a waiver for Washington Tuesday morning to be immediately eligible for the 2020-21 season.
Long Beach opens its season on the road at University of California, Riverside on Sunday, Dec. 27. The Highlanders were slated to finish fifth in the Big West in the media poll, garning 160 points.