#73 Long Beach State 49ers: College Basketball 111 in 111


long beach state cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

In search of their fourth straight Big West Conference title, the Long Beach State 49ers have a lot of turnover on their roster due to the transfer of several key players from a year ago.  Still, LBSU will be the team to beat in the Big West.

Last Season: 1st, 14-4 in Big West, 19-14 overall
Predicted Big West Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Dan Jennings (Sr)/Nick Shepherd (Jr)/Edgar Garibay (Sr)
F: David Samuels (Jr)/Christian Griggs-Williams (Jr)
G/F:Kris Gulley (Jr)/Travis Hammonds (Fr)
SG: A.J. Spencer (Jr)/Javion Watson (Fr)/Tyler Lamb (Jr)
PG:Michael Caffey (Jr)/Branford Jones (Fr)/Desmond Ross (Fr)

Gone: G/F-James Ennis, SG-Peter Pappageorge, F-Tony Freeland (transfer), SG-Kaela King (transfer), G/F-Deng Deng (transfer-Cal State Bakersfield), F-Kyle Richardson (transfer-Portland State), PF-Gatete Djuma (transfer)

2013-2014 Outlook:
With six rotation players gone from a year ago, playing time will be up for grabs.  One constant will be returning point guard Michael Caffey who did an admirable job replacing Casper Ware last season.  With more responsibility as the floor leader, Caffey did tend to force the issue a little too often and struggled shooting the ball so he will need to play a little smarter this season.

There is competition among several players to see who will flank Caffey on the wing.  Redshirt freshmen Branford Jones and Javion Watson figure to compete with junior college transfer A.J. Spencer for the starting two guard spot.  UCLA transfer Tyler Lamb will certainly provide a boost once he becomes eligible after the first semester.  The lengthy Kris Gulley would figure to start at the three while freshman Desmond Ross and Travis Hammonds might see minutes hard to come by.

Up-front, Don Monson will rely heavily on Dan Jennings who has slimmed down since transferring to LBSU from West Virginia.  He is still a physical force inside and should become more of a focal point in the 49ers offense this year.  Returning players Nick Shepherd and Edgar Garibay played sparingly last season but are in line for more court time since Long Beach State doesn’t boast a ton of size on their roster.

Expect JUCO transfers David Samuels and Christian Griggs-Williams to battle for the starting power forward spot.  Samuels brings more athleticism to the floor while Griggs-Williams provides Monson with another strong body in the paint who could play some five if needed.

One thing is for sure, the Long Beach State 49ers will undoubtedly be battled tested by the time conference play rolls around.  Munson has once again lined up a brutal non-conference slate for his team that could feature as many as eight games versus teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.  That has become commonplace for LBSU the past few seasons and usually serves them well once league play tips-off.

Player to Watch: Tyler Lamb
He is without question the x-factor for LBSU this year.  The 6-5 shooting guard started 32 games as a sophomore but with the influx of freshmen arriving at UCLA last season, decided to transfer after the first game of the season.  He will not become eligible for the 49ers until the completion of the first semester but will add some proven scoring on the wing alongside Caffey.  Lamb is athletic when attacking the tin but can also stroke it from deep.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 at Arizona
11/17 at Kansas State
11/21 vs. Michigan (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/22 vs. VCU/Florida State (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/21 vs. Georgetown/Northeastern/Kansas State/Charlotte (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/30 at Washington
12/3 vs. Creighton
12/7 at N.C. State
12/19 vs. USC
12/28 at Nevada
1/4 at Missouri

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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