Long Beach State Takes On Three Top 20 Opponents
Men's Basketball Release No. 2
A loaded non-conference schedule greets Big West men's basketball teams this week, including Long Beach State facing three top-20 foes on the road in No. 5 North Carolina, No. 12 Louisville and No. 16 UCLA.
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The Big West has notched six wins against Division I opponents in the early going of the 2016-17 season. UC Davis knocked off host Santa Clara and Northern Arizona at the Cable Car Classic, while Hawai‘i upended Texas State and Florida Atlantic in its own Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic. Cal State Fullerton eked out a win over Portland State in double overtime and UC Irvine earned a convincing victory against South Dakota State.
Loaded Schedule This Week
Big West teams will face several stiff tests this week – none more so than preseason media favorite Long Beach State. The 49ers, in the midst of a nine-game roadtrip, battle No. 5 North Carolina, No. 12 Louisville and No. 16 UCLA in a span of six days. The Tar Heels fly across the mainland and to the islands to take on Hawai‘i on Friday. In addition, UC Irvine travels to the Bay Area to face No. 25 California.
Additional encounters include CSUN visiting Stanford and Cal State Fullerton journeying to Washington. Both UC Riverside and the Titans are on the road against UNLV.
UC Irvine, owner of four straight 20-win seasons, has got a young squad for the 2016-17 campaign. Seven of the 12 players who have played in the season’s first two games competed in their first collegiate games. The Anteaters have seven true freshmen on their roster along with two redshirt freshmen.
Hawai‘i, which last year shared the Big West regular season title, captured the Big West Tournament championship and won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game, experienced a complete overhaul of its roster entering the 2016-17 campaign. Just three active players – Zach Buscher, Sheriff Drammeh and Brocke Stepteau – saw court time last year. UH welcomes in 10 newcomers. Three additional players boast Division I experience as transfers, including Noah Allen (UCLA), Jack Purchase (Auburn) and Larry Lewis Jr. (UT-San Antonio).
Monson Moves Up To No. 11 In Wins
Long Beach State’s season-opening 95-59 win over Cal State Los Angeles represented career victory No. 156 for head coach Dan Monson. In his 10th season at LBSU, Monson moved into a tie for 11th place on the all-time Big West career wins list with Stan Morrison, won coached at Pacific (1973-79) and San Jose State (1990-96).
Monson’s next stop is the top 10, where UC Irvine’s Bill Mulligan (1981-91) currently holds the No. 10 slot with 163 wins.
Martin Sets Rebound Record
Cal Poly junior Josh Martin pulled down 21 rebounds in the season opener against Pepperdine, setting the program’s Division I record.