Thursday, February 29, 2024

Men’s Basketball Prepares For Marquee Game At USC – Long Beach State University Athletics

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach State will carry a three-game winning streak into a high-profile contest on the road against USC. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, with live coverage provided on the Pac-12 Networks.
 
Game:……………………………………. Long Beach State at USC
Date:………………………………………….. Sunday, December 10
Time:…………………………………………………………………. 1 p.m.
Location:…………………………………………. Los Angeles, Calif.
Arena:………………………………………… Galen Center (10,258)
TV:……………………………………………………. Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent:…………………………… Jacob Tobey, Don MacLean
Webcast:……………………………………………. Pac-12.com/Live
Radio:………………………………………. AM 790, 22 West Radio
Live Stats:………………………………………. beachlivestats.com
 
RIGHT AWAY
• The Beach is one of just a handful of programs entering Dec. 7 to have three or more true road wins on the season, tied for third nationally after wins on the road at Michigan, DePaul and Montana State this season. On the opposite side of that is USC, who are one of 32 programs who have yet to play on the road in 2023-24.
 
• Meanwhile up the 110, USC is tentatively anticipating the debut of Bronny James, putting a national spotlight on the contest between the Beach and the Trojans. The Beach is searching for their first win at USC since 1987, and their first win since the Trojans’ last trip to Long Beach, when Mike Caffey hit the game-winner in the closing seconds during a 72-71 win in the Walter Pyramid in 2013.
 
• Long Beach State is coming off of two wins at home after eight straight away from the Walter Pyramid, grabbing wins over Sacramento State and Life Pacific. The Beach have won four of their last five games and have scored 80 or more four times as well.
 
• The Beach went 4-4 in the team’s eight-game road swing to start the year, picking up wins over DePaul, Iona, Montana State and a signature 94-86 win on the road at Michigan. Marcus Tsohonis had a game-high 35 points while Lassina Traore finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to key the win over the Wolverines. The win was the sixth victory over Big Ten competition in program history, and the first coming in a true road game as Long Beach State rallied to defeat Michigan.
 
• As part of his 35-point game at Michigan, the second 30+ scoring effort from Marcus Tsohonis at Long Beach State, the senior passed 1,000 career points scored across stretches at Washington, VCU and Long Beach State. The team’s leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, Tsohonis set a program record with 46 points in a triple overtime win at UCSD last season.
 
NEWS & NOTES
• The Beach returns all five starters from a season ago and returns nine letterwinners. That returning core leaves Long Beach State as one of the favorites in the conference starting the year, picked second in the Preseason Big West Coaches Poll. The Beach is also receiving votes in the Mid-Major Top 25 to open the season.
 
• In total, Long Beach State returns over 75 percent of their scoring and rebounding and over 90 percent of their blocked shots from a season ago, one of just a handful of about 15 programs to return over 75% of a teams scoring in the NCAA. The Beach has relied on that group this season, ranking 13th nationally in minutes continuity this season.
 
• Long Beach State legend Larry Anderson has joined the coaching staff as the team’s third assistant. One of the “Fab Four” for the Beach that started for four straight years leading to the 2011-12 NCAA Tournament appearance, Anderson is the program’s steals record holder and ranks in the Top 10 in career scoring, rebounding and assists at LBSU as one of the best all-around players to ever put on the uniform at Long Beach State.
 
• Under Dan Monson, Long Beach State now has 13 wins against Power 6 conference opponents. With the 77-73 win at DePaul, Long Beach State has won two straight games against Big East competition after a 66-65 win over Providence as part of the 2021 Wooden Legacy. The Beach has also won two straight this season against power conference foes after a nationally notable 94-86 win over Michigan.
 
• Long Beach State plays a fast, exciting brand of basketball showcased by the team’s tempo, which is one of the quickest in the nation, currently in the Top 20 in the country as ranked by Ken Pomeroy.
 
PLAYER NOTES
• Coming out of the Ivory Coast, Long Beach State’s dynamic inside duo of Aboubacar Traore and Lassina Traore ranked 1 and 2 in the rebounding for the Big West in 22-23. Reunited over 7,000 miles apart from where they met as youth national teammates and friends in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the duo have served as the starting frontcourt in the majority of games they have played together at  LBSU. Both were named to the Big West Preseason All-Conference team entering the year.
 
Lassina Traore was selected as First Team All-Big West and was chosen the Big West Newcomer of the Year after a dominant first season at the Beach. Traore also earned NABC All-District honors, finishing the season with 17 double-doubles which ranked 9th in the nation. Traore is one of just 10 returning players in the NCAA to average a double-double a season ago, and is averaging 11.6 points and 9.8 rebounds this season with 5 double-doubles on the year. 
 
• As a junior, Aboubacar Traore continues to fill the stat sheet in his third season at Long Beach State. Traore, who set the modern-era record at LBSU with 23 rebounds in a game in 2021-22, and is averaging a new high of 11.1 points per game as a junior while bringing in 6.9 rebounds per game and leading the team in assists and blocks.
 
• Aboubacar Troare became the 19th player in program history to record 500 career rebounds just under two seasons, and currently ranks 8th at the Beach with 618 career rebounds, passing Larry Anderson in the Top 10. He also ranks 7th in career blocked shots, and is rounding into a nightly triple-double threat. Traore has the chance to join a legendary trio of players at the Beach who have scored 1,000 points, grabbed 500 rebounds and made 300 assists in their career.
 
• The 2021-22 Big West Defensive Player of the Year, Jadon Jones has 24 steals and 8 blocks as a strong defensive presence while continuing to be a major threat from three. Averaging 11.2 points per game, Jones currently ranks 7th in program history with 160 made 3-pointers in his career.
 
• The duo of Aboubacar Traore and Jadon Jones are loooking to join a club of one; LBSU career blocks leader Antrone Lee as the other two players to record 100 steals and 75 blocks during their time at the Beach highlighting the defensive standouts.
 
• The Beach has four players who are on pace to reach the 1,000 career point milestone, a club with just 24 members at Long Beach State. Junior Jadon Jones is the closest at 837 career points, though the Traores and sophomore AJ George are all also on track to reach the milestone before the end of their careers at Long Beach State. Additionally, Marcus Tsohonis has passed 1,000 Division I points already this season and Messiah Thompson is close, just 18 points away.
 
• After an impressive debut season last year as a redshirt freshman, AJ George continues to play a major role for the Beach as a sophomore. Coming off of the bench this season after starting 25 games a year ago, George is averaging 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game as a consistent presence in the rotation.
 
• The starting spot vacated by George has been taken over by point guard Isa Silva, a position the Beach was light on due to injury a season ago. Silva was a consensus national Top 100 recruit coming out of Jesuit High School in Sacramento two seasons a year ago, and comes to the Beach after two years in the rotation with Stanford, playing 64 games with the Cardinal. This season, Silva has started every game and has put up 17 points and 7 assists in his last two games.
 
• Graduate transfer Messiah Thompson has also given the Beach a lift at the point guard position. Thompson is averaging 8.0 points and 2.8 assists per game off of the bench, providing more quickness and experience from the bench as a great shooter and ball-handler. Thompson will reach 1,000 career points scored over stops at Campbell, Alabama A&M and the Beach with just 18 more points this season. 
 
• Senior Amari Stroud continues to play a big role off the bench. Coming up with 9 points and 9 rebounds in just 20 minutes in his last outing, the forward averaged 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in Big West action a season ago, and is an outstanding defender and active big man who complements the up-tempo pace favored by the team.
 

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