Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

LBSU gearing up for No. 11 North Carolina

After a lackluster performance Tuesday night at Southern California, the Long Beach State men’s basketball team will need to adjust in a hurry if it hopes to contend in Friday’s historical showdown with North Carolina.

The Beach (1-1) will host the eleventh-ranked Tar Heels (2-0) in front of what is expected to be the largest crowd in Walter Pyramid history.

After committing 44 turnovers over its first two contests and shooting a woeful 28.6 percent from the field in an 18-point loss to the Trojans, LBSU will have to clean things up against one of the nation’s elite programs.

Head coach Dan Monson said Friday’s game not only means a lot to the team, but to the school and community as a whole.

“I think it’s huge,” he said. “I just want to thank [North Carolina] for doing it. They have so much more to lose than we do. It’s such a bigger game for our guys. It’s a big event for the community, a big game for our program.”

Monson added that Tuesday night’s 62-44 loss wasn’t as disappointing as the scoreboard indicated, and the team can learn from the tale of two halves.

“This was a great game for us to be able to watch on film and work on things and get better today,” he said.

Point guard Mike Caffey reiterated the positives from the game against USC, saying the first half could be used as a blueprint for how to contend with top teams.

“We just have to play like we did in the first half [against USC],” he said. “If we play the whole game we can hang with anybody. The key to Friday is working hard the whole game.”

Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo has led North Carolina so far this season, averaging 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds over the first two games. His contributions are key to the Tar Heels being 10th in the nation in rebounding with an average of 52 boards a night.

McAdoo was also a preseason Wooden Award nominee, a designation given at the end of the season the best player in college basketball.

North Carolina has won five national championships (tied for third most all-time) with its most recent coming in 2009.
Tip-off is set for 8:10 p.m. and the game will also be televised on ESPNU.

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