Men’s Basketball Finishes Homestand Saturday

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach State is back in the Walter Pyramid this weekend, hosting St. Katherine in the final home game of the team’s early home stand, and the final home game for the Beach until December 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., with live coverage provided by ESPN+.
 
Game:……………………….. Long Beach State vs. St. Katherine
Date:……………………………….. Saturday, November 19, 2022
Time:…………………………………………………………………. 4 p.m.
Location:………………………………………….. Long Beach, Calif.
Arena:……………………………………….. Walter Pyramid (4,200)
TV:…………………………………………………………………… ESPN+
TV Talent:…………………………………. Matt Brown, Dave Miller
Webcast:………………………………………………………….. ESPN+
Radio:……………………………………………………. 22 West Radio
Live Stats:………………………………………. beachlivestats.com
 
RIGHT AWAY
• Senior Joel Murray continues to lead Long Beach State in scoring this season at 14.3 points per game, while each of Long Beach State’s five starters throughout the year have scored in double figures this season. Last time out, Aboubacar Traore scored 14 points with 11 rebounds in his first double-double of the season, supplementing 21 points from Murray, but the Beach fell 70-57 in the team’s home opener with Montana State.
 
Lassina Traore, Jadon Jones and Joel Murray each finished in double-figures for the Beach on the road Friday, but No. 8 UCLA proved to be to much in Pauley Pavilion for LBSU in a 93-69 defeat.
 
• The Beach opened the season with a key non-conference road win, traveling to Riverside and coming away with a 79-64 win over California Baptist. Lassina Traore debuted with a double-double, leading the way for LBSU with 13 points and 12 rebounds but the Beach saw nine of the ten players in action Monday score five or more points on the way to the win. Jadon Jones shared in the team lead with 13 points as well, while Tone Hunter dished out six assists in his Division I debut.
 
• Three starters return for Long Beach State from a squad that captured the 2021-22 Big West regular season title. Senior Joel Murray was the leading scorer in the Big West a season ago after averaging 16.7 points per game, and will serve as the team leader in the backcourt in coming season. Joining him from the starting lineup are sophomore Jadon Jones, who returns as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year a season ago and rebounding wizard Aboubacar Traore.
 
• The University and Long Beach State Athletics would like to remind fans that there are no remaining COVID-19 restrictions on entering the Walter Pyramid. Long Beach State’s Fan Guidelines and Clear Bag Policy are still in effect; anyone attending Men’s Basketball games at Long Beach State can find that information at www.longbeachstate.com/fanguidelines.
 
PLAYER NOTES
Joel Murray was chosen for the six-player Preseason All-Big West team, highlighting the big expectations this year for the senior. The league’s leading scorer a season ago at 16.7 points per game, Murray also averaged 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Beach, leading the team in scoring on 17 occasions. Those efforts led to him being selected First Team All-Big West last season in addition to becoming the first player from LBSU since Nick Faust in 2016 to be selected for NABC All-District honors, one of ten players recognized from the Big West and the WCC.
 
Jadon Jones was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Year, the third for the Beach. Jones finished the conference season in the league’s Top 5 in both steals and blocks, while also contributing heavily on the offensive end. A Long Beach native, Jones was third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game, and he averaged 4.3 rebounds, tied for second on the team while making 66 3-pointers on 37.1 percent shooting. Jones also earned Honorable Mention All-Big West, and with a trio of 3-pointers at California Baptist, became the 18th player at LBSU to hit 100 career 3-pointers and will rapidly climb that list this season.
 
Aboubacar Traore was the breakout player for the Beach a season ago as a true freshman, earning Honorable Mention All-Big West honors. Averaging 9.9 rebounds per game in league play, best in the Big West, Traore finished the year averaging 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game along with a team-high 41 blocks. His seven double-doubles were the second-most in the Big West. After one week in the 2022-23 campaign, Traore is third in the Big West in rebounding at 9.0 per game.
 
• Traore set a modern-era record in rebounding for LBSU in the team’s game at UC Riverside, grabbing 23 boards in the win. It was the third-most rebounds in a game in school history, and the most since 1961. Traore was one of just five players to record multiple games of 20 rebounds in the nation last year, joining National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky and Armando Bacot of North Carolina along with two others.
 
Tobias Rotegaard is the other returning regular for Long Beach State. A sophomore, Rotegarrd played in 32 games a season ago, and was fourth on the team in 3-pointers made on the year, shooting 33.3 perccent from behind the arc. Starting for the first time against UC San Diego a year ago, the Norwegian set a career-high with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in a signature performance.
 
• Also returning for the Beach is Jeffrey Yan. Long Beach State’s most veteran player, Yan is back for his fifth season with the program in the best shape of his career, and looking to contribute even more than last season, where he featured in a career-high 16 games for the Beach.
 
• An interesting twist of fate reunites one of Long Beach State’s two Division I transfers with a high school teammate and friend, as Lassina Traore joins Aboubacar Traore at the Beach. Lassina played with mid-major powerhouse Saint Louis last season, but the big man will come to the Beach with three seasons of eligibility remaining to play with his Ivory Coast and hometown compatriot over 7,000 miles away. In two games played at Long Beach State, Lassina now has a pair of double-doubles, giving a glimpse with one in the team’s Biola exhibition before leading the Beach in scoring and rebounding in the team’s win at California Baptist.
 
• The Beach also brings in a veteran Division I guard in Marcus Tsohonis. Tsohonis has played at two schools previously, spending the 2021-22 campaign with VCU after playing for two seasons at Washington. A proven scorer, his best season came in the 2022-21 season, when he played in 23 games for the Huskies and averaged 10.4 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field.
 
• Along with the Division I transfers, Long Beach State has brought in a trio of impact junior college transfers. Tone Hunter is a prolific scoring guard from Las Vegas, who averaged 17.8 points per game as a true freshman at Garden City CC. Chayce Polynice is a 6-11 junior who averaged 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game at the College of Southern Idaho, and Amari Stroud is another big man who averaged 16.6 points and 10 rebounds per game last season at Hancock CC in Santa Maria, Calif.
 
• The Beach also has a trio of high school freshman joining the program. Jason Hart Jr. was a first-team All-CIF selection out of St. Bernard HS as a point guard, while Maddox Monson is a 3-point sharpshooter from Los Alamitos HS. Shaumba Ngoyi is another international player who comes to the Beach from Kinshasha, DR Congo as a 6-9 freshman.
 
• The Beach has two planned redshirts on the season, as newcomers Matt Fegurgur and Shaumba Ngoyi will sit out during the 2022-23 campaign.
 
THIS AND THAT
• Long Beach State was picked to finish third in the Big West in the preseason coaches poll as announced by the conference office this week. The Beach picked up a first place vote, and was at at the top of the poll in total points with the preseason favorites UC Santa Barbara and just behind Hawai’i, who were picked to finish second.
 
• Long Beach State continues to have an outstanding record in the Walter Pyramid. In the past 12 years, the Beach has piled up a 121-37 record at home, winning nearly 80% of their games in the iconic building. Per Ken Pomeroy, Long Beach State also sports the best home court advantage in the Big West.
 
• Head Coach Dan Monson is the winningest coach at Long Beach State, with more victories than basketball luminaries such as Jerry Tarkanian, Tex Winter, and Seth Greenberg who have also coached at the Beach. The Beach now has over 1,000 wins in program history, with Monson having won over 200 of those games. Monson also captured his 400th career win over three stops at Gonzaga, Minnesota and the Beach Feb. 8 at home against Cal State Fullerton. Monson also claimed his fourth Big West Coach of the Year award for his efforts in leading the Beach to the 2021-22 Big West regular season title.
 
• The Monson family legacy continues here at the Beach, as a third generation of the family joins the coaching ranks. Dan Monson‘s father Don Monson was a Division I head coach as well, leading Idaho and Oregon. Now, in addition to Maddox Monson joining the program as a walk-on, MiGuire Monson is also collaborating with the coaching staff in 2022-23 as a Graduate Assistant.
 
• In terms of legacy, the Beach also has a pair of sons of NBA veterans on the team. Jason Hart Sr.  was a standout point guard at Syracuse before a ten-year NBA career, and is currently the head coach of the NBA G-League Ignite. Olden Polynice, father of Chayce Polynice played college ball at Virginia and was a Top 10 NBA Draft Pick. Polynice then played for 15 years in the NBA, scoring over 8,000 career points with 7,000 career rebounds.
 
• Long Beach State signed one recruit during the fall window. Varick Lewis, a shooting guard out of Elk Grove, Calif, was rated as the #22 prospect in the state of California by ESPN. Playing for Monterey Trail HS, Lewis averaged 23.0 points per game as a junior, ranking in the top 10 in scoring in the San Joaquin Section while also averaging over six rebounds, three assists and three steals per game.
 





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