Long Beach State Men's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Long Beach State 49ers
Big West (25-8, 15-1)

Long Beach State certainly will not be intimidated by any opponent they run into during March. This is a team that has played at Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina. They also faced off against Xavier, Auburn and Kansas State in the Diamond Head Classic. This is a battle tested team that is full of upperclassmen. They have already proven that they can beat anybody, anywhere and that will continue into the tournament.

Big Wins: 11/16 at Pittsburgh (86-76), 12/22 vs Xavier (65-58), 12/23 vs Auburn (64-43)
Bad Losses: 11/26 at Montana (71-73), 12/25 vs Kansas State (60-77), 3/3 at Cal State Fullerton (74-77)
Coach: Dan Monson (5 seasons at Long Beach State)

Why They Can Surprise:
The 49er’s starting five is tough to match up against. Point guard Casper Ware is a scoring machine. He can drop 30 on anybody by knocking down some long balls and attacking the basket. Even when Ware’s shot is not falling, which does happen occasionally, he will still score by getting to the basket and getting to the charity stripe. More importantly, Ware can get everybody else involved. Larry Anderson is a big 6-5 wing who is a very consistent outside shooter and an aggressive slasher. Anderson can break down defenders and play some quality defense too, as long as his knee can hold up. James Ennis is the other wing. He has a nice mixture of size and athleticism and can shoot over smaller defenders or run around bigger defenders. The big guys on LBSU are Eugene Phelps and T.J. Robinson. The senior duo are both solid, consistent scorers in the paint, but Robinson has taken his game to the next level this season. He is a double digit rebounder as well as a double digit scorer. Robinson may not score over 20 points too often, but his presence in the paint forces the opposition to make a choice between doubling the frontcourt or leaving some shooters and slashers open on the perimeter.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The starting five may be able to compete with any team in the nation, but Long Beach State does not have much of a bench. Freshman guard Mike Caffey and senior forward Edis Dervisevic are pretty much the only players Coach Dan Monson will call upon to give his starters a break. Caffey has emerged as a fine secondary ball handler, but the scoring output drops when one of the starters comes out of the game. Dervisevic will not do much scoring either, but he is 6-8 and 250 pounds and can fill some space in the paint and block a few shots. The lack of a bench has not been much of an issue during the regular season since Long Beach State generally does a great job of staying out of foul trouble. However, it has been a long season and eventually the 49ers legs might start getting a little tired.

Probable Starters:
Casper Ware, Senior, Guard, 17.4 ppg, 3.3 apg
Larry Anderson, Senior, Guard, 14.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 5.0 rpg
James Ennis, Junior, Guard, 9.9 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.1 rpg
Eugene Phelps, Senior, Forward, 9.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
T.J. Robinson, Senior, Forward, 12.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Mike Caffey, Freshman, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 2.3 apg
Edis Dervisevic, Senior, Forward, 4.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.9 (45th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.4 (103, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (34, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (113, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (157, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.5 (115, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.3 (255, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (101, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (80, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (134, 4)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Long Beach State    2011    NIT           First Round loss to Washington State
Long Beach State    2007    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Tennessee
Long Beach State    2000    NIT           First Round loss to California
Long Beach State    1995    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Utah
Long Beach State    1993    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Illinois

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules