UK-Long Beach State Preview

What do we know about the Long Beach State Dirtbags?  “The Beach” happens to have the second largest enrollment of any university in the great state of California at over 36,000 students.  The school is located in Los Angeles County.  Notable Long Beach State alumni include Steve Martin and Steven Spielberg.  The city of Long Beach is also the hometown of west coast rap legends Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg.  These illustrious members of “213” are known for doing things the “LBC” way.

Lets move on to basketball.  The 49ers last appearance in the NCAA tourney was after the 06-07 season.  They went 24-8 that year and won the Big West Conference tournament.  Last year they posted a 15-15 record.  The 49ers return 4 starters from that squad, all of whom were freshman last year.  “The Beach” is off to a 6-5 start this season.  Don’t let their record fool you, though.  These west cost riders have played some very stiff competition.  They have lost  to Notre Dame, West Virginia, Clemson, and Texas.  They beat a solid Utah State team.  LBSU also has a victory over UCLA this season, but then again, who doesn’t?  Their leading scorer is forward T.J. Robinson, who averages a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.  Stephan Gilling is their 3pt specialist.  Larry Anderson is another guy to watch for.  He is very athletic and considered to be the top NBA prospect in the Big West Conference.

Although “The Beach” is a talented team, they don’t stand a chance against the vaunted Wildcats.  The Cats may come out a little rusty after their great performance in capturing 2,000 wins Monday, but I think we will quickly recover from any hangover as the game moves on.  UK will wear LBSU out inside.  Look for Patterson, Cousins, and Orton to have a field day.  Long Beach lacks size, and will be exploited by the Cats. I predict our trio of bigs will score 40+ points and dominate the boards.  Our guards will face some talented players, but Wall, Bledsoe, and Liggins will not be slowed down by any means.  Look for Wall to destroy their 5-9 point guard Casper Ware.  I think Wall will put up a smooth 20 points and 8 dimes, while Bledsoe will outmuscle Gilling and chip in 15.  I would like to see Miller follow up his 11 point outing Monday night with another double-digit effort as well.  For my fellow gamblers out there; I am playing UK -21 today.  I predict the Cats take this one by 25-30 points.


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