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Long Beach State 49ers Preview/Open Thread

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The UW men’s basketball team looks to extend their win streak to 3 games on Tuesday night.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Tuesday, 11/22/16

Tip-Off Time: 8:00pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Network

Radio: Komo 1000

Long Beach State Statistics:

Record: 1-4

Points For per Game: 70 ppg

Points Against per Game: 89.2 ppg

Strength of Schedule: 1st

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 102.2 (167th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 101.8 (147th)

Line: Washington -12.5

Long Beach State Starting Lineup:

F- Roschon Prince, Jr. 6-6, 235: 6.4ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.4apg, 44% FG, 90.9% FT

Only two players on the 49ers average more than 20 points a game so Prince will be one of several undersized big men as part of the rotation. The biggest outlier in his statistical performance is that Roschon is yet to record either a steal or a block this season so he’s not going to force a lot of turnovers on defense. He’s a very good free throw shooter so the UW big men will have to play him straight up to avoid giving up freebies.

F- Gabe Levin, Jr. 6-7, 215: 12.2ppg, 7.8rpg, 0.8apg, 42.1% FG, 45% FT, 26.7% 3pt

Levin leads the team in both points and assists however he is not a good shooter, converting only 45% of free throws and 26.7% from deep. His defensive rebounding percentage is significantly higher than anyone on UW so boxing him out will be important in order to secure second chance opportunities.

G- Jordan Griffin, Fr. 6-3, 165: 6.4ppg, 1.6rpg, 0.4apg, 41.4% FG, 42.1% 3pt

Griffin is the only player on the Niners to have an above average Offensive Rating per kenpom.com. He’s the only true deep threat on the team, shooting 42.1% from beyond the arc, so it’s going to be important for whoever is on Griffin to not lose track of him on the perimeter as the Huskies have done frequently in the first three games.

G- Evan Payne, Jr. 6-1, 190: 10.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 0.8apg, 31.3% FG, 93.3% FT, 27.3% 3pt

Payne takes almost one third of the shots for Long Beach State which may not be advisable given his poor shooting percentages. However, he has been very good from the line so it will be important for the Dawgs to play close to him without fouling.

G- Justin Bibbins, Jr. 5-8, 160: 7.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 4.2apg, 29.2% FG, 100% FT, 26.3% 3pt

Bibbins is the pure point guard for the team. He averages more than double the number of assists of anyone else but can be turnover prone, averaging nearly 3 per game. Justin keeps up the trend of players being good from the free throw line but terrible from the field which means, yep you guessed it, UW has to tone down the fouls.

The Outlook

Unlike Northern Arizona, Long Beach State will not have to adjust to Washington’s athleticism. The 49ers have played by far the toughest schedule in the country with consecutive road games at Wichita State, North Carolina, Louisville, and UCLA before tonight. Unsurprisingly, the closest game in that stretch was a 26 point loss. That schedule is suicidal and hopefully it pays off for them come Big West season but this team has to be a little bruised and battered.

In Long Beach’s favor, no one plays more than 29 minutes per game and ten different players get more than 10 minutes so expect a lot of bodies shuffled in and out to help keep them fresh. Both the offensive and defensive statistics are atrocious for the 49ers but that should be expected for a Big West team that has played 80% of their games against top-25 teams. UW can’t look at the record or the statistics however and assume this will be yet another blowout. The Niners came up to Seattle in the NIT last March and gave them a run for their money so I expect them to be confident despite the schedule.

As noted in the analysis of the starters, the 49ers make a lot of their free throws and are deep so the Dawgs have to play conservatively if the refs are calling things too tightly. This is not the game to get into a fouling war. Ultimately, this is a good barometer game for UW. The transitive property doesn’t work in sports, but if the Dawgs want to show they have the talent to make a run at the tournament then winning this game by 20 will go a long way. I think right now this team is a step below that so a 10-15 point win is more achievable.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 93, Long Beach State 49ers- 81