Game Preview: Long Beach State


Who: #23 UW (3-2) vs. Long Beach State (3-3)

Where: Hec Edmundson Pavilion

When: 8pm PST

Coverage: FSN Northwest

By: Griffin Bennett

With the holiday weekend behind us, it’s time for the Huskies to move on from the disappointing outing in Maui. The rest of the non-conference remains, starting with the Long Beach State 49ers. The Huskies can’t afford to lose in upset fashion, so the team will need to be mentally ready to play Tuesday night. The 49ers aren’t anywhere near a top 25 team, but they also aren’t a team that the Huskies could just blindly walk all over. Hopefully, Romar will have this team hungry to destroy the rest of the teams and get to Pac-10 play without anymore blemishes.

49ers 101:

If balance is your thing, then the 49ers are your team. While no one on their bench plays more than 16 minutes, their starting 5 all score in double digits while all playing 30+ minutes. Their best player on the court is T.J. Robinson who is their leading scorer (13.3 ppg) and leading rebounder (10.5 rpg). Robinson, at 6’8” and 215 pounds, is their best big body and is a good force down low. Also in the paint is 6’6” forward Eugene Phelps who averages 10.8 ppg and 5.7 ppg.

On the wing, you have 6’6” Larry Anderson who doesn’t have much of a shooting touch as he’s only made 6/18 threes. Anderson is more of a board-crasher who averages 12.8 ppg and 5.7 rpg. The remaining guards are the 5’10” point, Casper Ware, and 6’1” senior shooting guard, Greg Plater. They average 13.2 ppg 5.0 apg and 11 ppg 2 apg respectively.

Their only bench player who plays significant minutes is Tristan Wilson. He doesn’t do much on the stat line while explains the minutes for the starters. Another reserve, Edis Dervisevic, has been injured and probably won’t play on Tuesday.

PG: Casper Ware – 5’10”

SG: Greg Plater – 6’1”

SF: Larry Anderson – 6’6”

PF: Eugene Phelps – 6’6”

C: T.J. Robinson – 6’8”

Huskies win if:

  • They aren’t still thinking about Maui. They have to look forward and not think about “what if”.
  • They get out in the open court and tire out the 49ers starting line. Without a bench to speak of, the Huskies should have a field day out there.
  • They limit the offensive rebounds and win the battle of the boards by 10+. While they might win with less, it won’t be pretty.
  • They show up playing an average game. Nothing fancy will be needed from the Dawgs on Tuesday night. If everyone plays the way they’re expected to, then a victory should be easy.

Huskies lose if:

  • They’re sloppy and aren’t focused. Too much turkey leftovers all weekend could do the trick. I know Romar will have these guys whipped into shape, but in case they aren’t they could be caught off guard.
  • The 3-ball goes ice cold. If the Huskies have another 3-16 day, the score could get close and anything could happen.
  • Aziz and MBA get in early foul trouble and UW loses their post presence for the majority of the game.

Bottom line, this game shouldn’t be too difficult. I fully expect the Huskies to want to get the bad taste of Maui out of their mouth and replace it with the taste of blowout victory. I’m sure players who had less-than-impressive Maui’s (like IT, MBA, Venoy) will want to start anew. With Scott Suggs out with a strained MCL and Venoy is still bothered by a sore tailbone. I will be watching to see how the Wilcox/Ross rotation works out with Suggs now sidelined.

I fully expect the Husky scoring parade to pick up where it left off. UW wins 98-61.