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November 30, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Scouting report: Long Beach State

Dan Jennings anchors Long Beach State's front line. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY)

Dan Jennings anchors Long Beach State’s front line. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY)

Scouting report: Long Beach State
Game info: 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000 capacity).

TV: Pac-12 Networks (Jim Watson and Lamar Hurd).
Radio: 950-AM KJR (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).

Record: 1-6.
2012-13 record: 19-14 overall, 14-4 (first in Big West).

Stats/schedule: Click here.

Game notes: Long Beach State and Washington.

Coach: Dan Monson is no stranger to the Pacific Northwest. The Spokane native and former Idaho football player began his college basketball coaching career at Gonzaga and compiled a 52-17 record in two years that included a NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 1999. He departed that year and took over at Minnesota where he was 118-106 in eight years. He resigned after a 2-5 start in 2006. Monson resurfaced at Long Beach State and enters his seventh season with the 49ers. He has a 105-97 record at LBSU and 275-220 overall.  In 2002, Washington offered Monson the coaching job, but he declined. The Huskies hired Lorenzo Romar.

Prediction: The 49ers were picked to finish fourth in the nine-team Big West preseason media poll.

Series: Washington leads 2-0 in a series that began Nov. 26, 2007.

Last meeting: C.J. Wilcox drained six three-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points to lead Washington to a 102-75 win on Nov. 30, 2010 at Hed Ed. Seven Huskies scored in double figures, including Isaiah Thomas who had 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. Washington raced out to a 19-6 lead with 11:48 remaining in the first half. The Huskies led 44-28 at halftime. LBSU never got closer than 13 points (62-49) in the second half and UW led by as many as 31 points.

Previous game: Long Beach lost 52-38 to Kansas State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The 49ers were held to just 19 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc. Long Beach State trailed 25-13 at halftime and got no closer than 13 points in the second half. The 38 points was a season low.

Mike Caffey is Long Beach State's leading scorer. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY)

Mike Caffey is Long Beach State’s leading scorer. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

— Junior point guard Mike Caffey is the only returning starter. He leads LBSU in scoring (15.0 points per game), assists (3.9) and steals (2.0). He’s been the leading scorer in four of three games, including a 27-point outing in the season opener. He’s been the top assist man in six games. He’s third on the team in rebounding (4.4).

Caffey was voted to the preseason all-Big West team after nearing first-team all-conference honors last season.

— Forward Dan Jennings is nearly averaging a double double (11.0 ppg. and 9.3 rpg.). He had his best game (27 points) last season against UCLA. The 6-9 senior started his career at West Virgina and played two seasons with the Mountaineers before transferring to LBSU. He started 30 of 32 games last season.

OVERVIEW:

— Long Beach State won the Big West regular-season title last season and advanced to the NIT, but Monson kicked off two starters Tony Freeland and Keala King and reserve G/F Deng Deng during the offseason due to misconduct.

— This season has been a complete mess for the 49ers partly because they are breaking in three new starters. They won their opener, but are riding a six-game losing streak.

— For some reason, Monson also put together an insanely difficult non-conference schedule that included games against three ranked teams, including then No. 6 Arizona, No. 10 Virgina Commonwealth and No. 14 Michigan all on the road. the 49ers also play No. 20 Creighton next week. Ken Pomeroy ranks LBSU’s strength of schedule ninth among 351 Division I teams.

— Here’s a link to video highlights from LBSU’s 91-57 loss to Arizona.

— Redshirt freshman guard Branford Jones is LBSU’s best three-point threat. He’s connected on 10 of 23 shots behind the arc. Jones tallied a career-high 19 points this season. He sat out last season due to a leg injury.

— LBSU is starting two junior-college transfers David Samuels and A.J. Spencer.

— Help is on the way for the 49ers. Tyler Lamb, who transferred from UCLA, should be eligible in late December. During his last full season with the Bruins, the 6-5 guard averaged 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a sophomore.

STARTING LINEUP:

F – Dan Jennings, 6-9, 245, Jr., 11.0 ppg., 9.3 rpg., 61.1 FG%
F – David Samuels, 6-7, 220, Jr., 6.3, 5.4, 30.0 FG%
G – A.J. Spencer, 6-3, 200, Jr., 8.1, 2.9, 80.0 FT%
G – Branford Jones, 6-1, 185, Rfr., 7.4, 1.6, 2.1 apg.
G – Mike Caffey, 6-0, 175, Jr., 15.0, 4.6, 3.9

KEY MATCHUP:

— Washington sophomore guard Andrew Andrews did a nice job defensively Tuesday against Montana’s leading scorer Kareem Jamar, who finished with 16 points and seven assists. Andrews will likely draw the matchup versus Caffey who is just as versatile as Jamar.

Comments | More in Scouting reports | Topics: Long Beach State

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