Long Beach State Men's Basketball 2013 NIT Tournament Capsule

Long Beach State 49ers
Big West (19-13, 14-4)


This is not the same Long Beach State team that made the NCAA Tournament last season, but they may be just as good. Coach Dan Monson brought in a lot of talented transfers and had a few players down the bench who were ready to step up. Team chemistry could have become an issue, especially with a couple transfers becoming eligible in the middle of the season, but the 49ers pulled it all together during Big West to win another conference crown.

Big Wins: 11/25 at Fresno State (69-61), 12/29 Pacific (67-63), 2/2 Cal Poly (50-48),
Bad Losses: 12/3 Fresno State (59-64), 2/07 at Hawaii (73-94), 3/02 at UC Irvine (69-72)
Coach: Dan Monson (6 seasons at Long Beach State)

Why They Can Surprise:
The 49ers have a great starting five. James Ennis and Mike Caffey are the holdovers from the 2011-2012 campaign and have emerged as the leaders on the floor. Ennis is an amazing all-around scorer who can knock down the long ball or use his 6-6 frame to attack the basket. The senior leads the squad with 16.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest. Having a big wing that can be such an asset defensively is a big plus for the Long Beach State defense. Caffey is a quality shooter too, but he does most of his scoring by attacking the basket. Caffey also feeds the other scorers on the team with his 3.8 assists per game. Keala King, who spent some time at Arizona State, is another big guard who can score in bunches. King still needs to work on his outside shot, but he is a good passer and has the size and strength to get to the basket. Tony Freeland and Dan Jennings round out the starting five. Freeland has made a big scoring impact in the paint since becoming eligible in December. Jennings, at 6-9 and 255 pounds, is the big body in the paint who can be a nuisance on the offensive glass and help Ennis in the shot blocking department.

Why They Can Disappoint:
When Freeland and King were on the floor, the 49ers got a little better on the glass, but not enough. The 49ers have a lot of size on the perimeter, but they do not have much depth in the paint. Freeland is not a particularly strong rebounder and Jennings can only do so much. The depth behind those two pretty much begins and ends with 6-7, 236 pound junior Kyle Richardson. Players like Kris Gulley and Deng Deng gained some valuable experience when Coach Monson was without Freeland and King, but they are big wings, not true forwards. Long Beach State can win with a big wing playing at the four spot, but they must take care of business in the rebounding department or second chance points will send them home early…again.

Probable Starters:
Mike Caffey, Sophomore, Guard, 12.3 ppg, 3.8 apg, 4.1 rpg, 1.5 spg
Keala King, Junior, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 5.0 rpg
James Ennis, Senior, Guard, 16.7 ppg, 2.1 apg, 6.9 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.3 bpg
Tony Freeland, Junior, Forward, 11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Dan Jennings, Junior, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Deng Deng, Freshman, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Kris Gulley, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Peter Pappageorge, Senior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 1.5 apg
Kyle Richardson, Junior, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.7 (117th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (269, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (122, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (179, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (98, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (163, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.9 )273, 8)
Rebound Margin: -1.7 (244, 9)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (216, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (281, 10)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to New Mexico
2011    NIT        First Round loss to Washington State
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Tennessee
2000    NIT        First Round loss to California
1995    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Utah
1993    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Illinois

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules