Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

Men’s basketball schedule drops, features multiple games versus top teams

The LBSU men’s basketball schedule was recently released and The Beach has some big-time games to mark on your calendars. The season first opens up with a visit from Cal Lutheran on Thursday, Nov. 2, which will be the only home game that month.

The Beach will embark on a long road trip starting on Nov. 6 in Portland, before they get set to visit some of the NCAA’s top teams. They’ll head south a week later to face off against San Diego State University on Nov. 14, who’s coming off of an impressive run to the Final Four from last March.

“I know Lamont [Butler], we grew up together, one of my good friends I am always excited to go up against him,” junior guard Jadon Jones said. “Plus they have a great gym, and they had a great season last year. I am excited to get a chance to play them.”

Later that same week, The Beach will travel to Ann Arbor for a date with the Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 17. It will be the second time they’ve faced off and the first time the two teams have met since 2013 and Michigan is coming off a down year to their standards, missing the NCAA tournament.

They also lost their star center, Hunter Dickinson, to Kansas in the transfer portal and forward Jett Howard to the Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA draft. Nonetheless, this will be one of the more highly anticipated matchups of the year, as Michigan has revamped its roster in the transfer portal and always has one of the best recruiting classes in the country.

“[I’ve] never been over there, they are obviously historically a very good team. So I am excited for the challenge,” Jones said.

From there, LBSU heads down to Fort Myers, Florida to participate in the Gulf Coast Showcase, where they will be playing three games. The first is against Illinois State on Nov. 20. The next two games of that tournament are yet to be determined.

The road trip comes to a conclusion on Nov. 26 against Montana State, before they head back home to the Walter Pyramid on Dec. 2 to face Sacramento State.

Just before conference play begins, The Beach will be met with arguably their toughest challenge, as they will travel up the freeway to battle USC. The Trojans are one of the nation’s most hyped-up teams, with some top NBA hopeful prospects in freshmen guards Isaiah Collier and Bronny James.

Senior center Jeffery Yan noted how there is an opponent he has already flagged and is looking forward to this year.

“Definitely Michigan and USC, especially USC, they’re ranked high this year. It sounds pretty big on social media,” Yan said. “They got a couple of big names on their team this year, we know we have the ability to beat them every year, we just got to do it.”

03/02/2023 - Long Beach, Calif: Long Beach State men's basketball senior center Jeffrey Yan goes up for a layup in a game against CSU Bakersfield inside the Walter Pyramid.
03/02/2023 - Long Beach, Calif: Long Beach State men's basketball senior center Jeffrey Yan goes up for a layup in a game against CSU Bakersfield inside the Walter Pyramid. Yan looks forward to facing USC and the University of Michigan this upcoming season. Photo credit: John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics.

Conference play in the Big West starts out on the road on Dec. 28 against rival Cal State Fullerton.

“For me, personally, Fullerton every year, Fullerton and Irvine are definitely on our radar. Looking forward to beating them every time,”the Senior center said.

The Black & Blue Rivalry between The Beach and UC Irvine is also a set of games to look out for. The Anteaters come to Long Beach State on Jan. 25, and LBSU heads to UCI on March 2.

To be the best, you must beat the best. The two games against UC Santa Barbara will also be important. UCSB was both the regular season and Big West tournament champions this past year. Long Beach lost both closely contested games to them in the 2022-23 season.

“The thing about our conference is that everyone is kind of different. So it’s just exciting to get different challenges and play different people. I see us as the top dog, so they should be excited to play us,” Jones said.

Long Beach State, with the addition of some newcomers via the transfer portal and returning pieces, looks to be a big threat to make a run this year, and to hopefully be dancing in March.

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