Sports

Tough road lies ahead for 49er men

For the second consecutive season, the road to the NCAA tournament will be difficult for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team.

Head coach Dan Monson’s squad will once again take part in one of the nation’s more grueling nonconference slates in the upcoming 2010-11 season. LBSU released its schedule on Thursday and will have 13 home games this year – it had 11 in its 2009-10 campaign – but only five home contests come in non-Big West Conference action.

The 49ers most high-profile o for the 49ers will once again come on the road, however, as they are set to take on Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Dec. 11. The Tar Heels have a long list of former players that have gone on to NBA success, with Michael Jordan’s name holding the top spot.

UNC boasts the No. 1 incoming recruit in Harrison Barnes and the No. 3 recruiting class overall, according to ESPN.com.

“Our philosophy is still to schedule extremely difficult early,” Monson said in a press release. “I think there were certain rewards for having the best strength of schedule in America in the preseason last year.

“We also want to make sure we don’t go overboard, and this year is a good compromise of having a lot of challenges along the way but not all top 10 caliber teams.”

The home portion of the nonconference schedule is highlighted by games against San Diego State and Loyola Marymount University. The contest against SDSU will be the 49ers’ season opener and will coincide with homecoming festivities on Nov. 13.

The Aztecs earned an 11-seed in the NCAA tournament last March, after winning the Mountain West Conference tournament. They were eliminated by the University of Tennessee in the first round of the tournament.

SDSU finished with a 25-9 overall record last year and is expected to return all five of its starters next season.

LBSU will also travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands to take part in the Paradise Jam from Nov. 19-22. The 49ers’ first-round opponent will be Clemson, a team that defeated LBSU 87-79 in last year’s 76 Classic tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Just like last season, The Beach will have a neutral site contest in Anaheim (Dec. 18) when they square off with Saint Mary’s as part of the John R. Wooden Classic at the Honda Center. UCLA will play Brigham Young University in the Wooden Classic’s other game.

In all, the 49ers will take on six 2010 NCAA Tournament participants, with the possibility of playing a seventh (Xavier) at the Paradise Jam.

 

2010-11 nonconference schedule
Date Opponent Location
Nov. 13 San Diego State (Homecoming) Home
Nov 15 San Francisco State
Home
Nov. 19-22 Clemson (Paradise Jam) Away
Nov. 27 Loyola Marymount Home
Nov. 30 Washington Away
Dec. 2 BYU Hawaii Home
Dec. 5 Boise State Away
Dec. 7 Utah State Away
Dec. 11 North Carolina Away
Dec. 18 St. Mary’s (Wooden Classic) Away
Dec. 21 Arizona State Away
Feb. 19 ESPN BracketBuster Home

 

2010-11 Big West Conference schedule
Date Opponent Location
Dec. 28 UC Santa Barbara Away
Dec. 30 Cal Poly
Away
Jan. 5 Cal State Northridge Home
Jan. 8 UC Irvine Home
Jan. 12 UC Davis Home
Jan. 15 Pacific Home
Jan. 19 Cal State Fullerton Away
Jan. 22 UC Irvine Away
Jan. 26 Pacific Away
Jan. 29 Cal State Fullerton Home
Feb. 10 UC Davis Away
Feb. 12 Cal State Northridge Away
Feb. 16 UC Riverside Home
Feb. 24 Cal Poly Home
Feb. 26 UC Santa Barbara Home
March 2 UC Riverside Away

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