Can you believe it is only one month till college basketball starts again? Well I am so excited and cannot wait for the Big West and the rest of the NCAA to get back into action.
Over this next month, here at UCSB Gauchos Blog we will be previewing the Big West, UCSB, and the NCAA. The first eight previews are on all of the Gaucho's Big West rivals. The first one is 2010 Big West Tournament runner-up (I still enjoy saying that) Long Beach State.
Long Beach State
The 49ers are coming off a disappointing season even though they came within five points of making the NCAA Tournament. They went 17-16 after a grueling non-conference schedule which included Duke, Texas, West Virginia, and Notre Dame. Then in conference play they were very inconsistent even though they had the best talent overall in the Big West with Casper "The Friendly Ghost" Ware, TJ "Mr. Double-Double" Robinson, and Larry "LAX" Anderson.
They got the #3 seed in the Big West Tournament and beat Cal Poly and then Pacific to reach the title game. Then they lost to UCSB 69-64 in the title game.
So this season they bring back most of their key players. They are losing three-point specialist Stephan Gilling and two big men up front. They bring in loads of talent this year with Jacob Thomas, Shelton Boykin, and Nick Shepherd. Thomas is the #32 shooting guard according to ESPN.com while Boykin is the #25 small forward.
The schedule this year doesn't get any easier this year. They have San Diego State (home), Paradise Jam Tournament, Washington (away), North Carolina (away), and Arizona State (away). Their first conference game is at UCSB on ESPNU.
It should be the Gauchos and the 49ers neck and neck this year for the Big West Championship!
Will Brew and Casper Ware will be two of the top point guards in the Big West!