Game Preview: Long Beach State


 

The Long Beach State University 49ers, or as they prefer to be referred to, The Beach, are back for a third consecutive year on the Tar Heels’ schedule. After playing the last two games close in Chapel Hill, UNC visits Walter Pyramid before heading out to Maui for the Invitational.

  • Before we look at LBSU’s lineup, that a gander at their court. Like we said, they’re really trying to push the whole “Beach” thing. No word yet about how annoying that will be.

  • BREAKING: We just received confirmation that the court will be extremely obnoxious. Maybe even more so on TV.
  • Last year’s Beach blazed into the NCAA tourney with a 15-1 conference record before bowing out in the first round. They did, however, give UNC a fight in Chapel Hill losing 84-78 on a mid-December Saturday as part of their toughest non-conference schedule in the country. Like Roy’s Boys, this team is completely different than the team that suited up last season. Senior Casper Ware scored a then career-high 29 points and was helped by fellow senior Larry Anderson’s 17 points. Another senior, T.J. Robinson, added 12. If anything, that LBSU squad could run with the 2011-2012 Heels. Luckily, that team is no longer there, and this year’s 49ers couldn’t crack 50 in a loss to USC on Tuesday. Sounds more manageable.
  • Jeff Ennis has now emerged from the shadows of Ware and Anderson. After averaging over 10 ppg last year, the JuCo transfer  is scoring 6 ppg more through the team’s first two contests. He also looks like he may be a match-up problem at 6’7″. It’ll just be interesting to see who gets the call for the Heels on defense. Normally this would fall on Reggie Bullock, which we wouldn’t worry about too much seeing as we trust The Sheriff on D, but we’d hate to see him working too hard on the wrong end of the floor. We need all the points we can get. At least Ennis isn’t going to be lighting it up from behind the arc. Not with that 25 percent average anyway.

  • The only other double-digit scorer on a LBSU team scoring 60 a game is sophomore guard Mike Caffey. Even with his 13 ppg, Caffey is also not shooting very highly from outside; another good sign for UNC. He’ll at least have to work for those points. 
  • If you listened to this week’s episode of the podcast you heard us talking about the amount of offense James Michael McAdoo is generating. Really we mean the amount of offense he’s attempting. He is the obvious focal point of the team right now but he’s also attempted 20 more shots than the next highest player on the team. And that person (Marcus Paige) has only attempted 17 shots. McAdoo should have a field day against a team that has not recorded a block this year and does not have a player over 6’9″. 
  • Two ships that need righting at the Beach: free throw and three point shooting. As a team UNC is 21-46 from the charity stripe. It’s called the CHARITY stripe. Only Brice Johnson and JMM are over 50 percent through two games. As for long range shooting, UNC is again dismal at 7-27 on the season. Leslie McDonald, P.J. Hairston and Paige are a combined 2-16. Gross.
The 49ers aren’t the team that’s been giving UNC a scare the last two years, but playing in the Pyramid (we assume it’s formidable because of the court) on the opposite coast in the freshmen’s first away game could be trouble. UNC needs points and solid contributions from more than just JMM.
Prediction: UNC 69, LBSU 62 in an ugly one.