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Long Beach State 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Long Beach State 49ers - SEC (20-11, 10-6)

Seed: #12 - South Region

Big Wins: 2/10 at UCSB (68-67), 2/14 at Cal State Fullerton (94-84), 2/8 at Cal Poly (80-77)

Bad Losses: 12/2 at Temple (49-74), 1/13 at Cal State Northridge (83-90), 1/25 at UC Irvine (84-88)

Last NCAA Appearance: 1995, First Round loss to Utah

Coach: Larry Reynolds (First NCAA appearance)

Probable Long Beach State Starters:

  • Kevin Houston, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 4.4 apg

  • Kejuan Johnson, Senior, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 3.6 apg, 4.1 rpg

  • Aaron Nixon, Senior, Guard, 18.6 ppg, 3.1 apg, 4.9 rpg

  • Sterling Byrd, Senior, Forward, 13.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg

  • Dominique Ricks, Senior, Forward, 7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg


Key Roleplayers for Long Beach State:

  • Louis Darby, Senior, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg

  • Tim Island, Freshman, Guard, 2.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg

  • Artis Gant, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg

  • Mark Dawson, Senior, Center, 5.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 bpg


Why They Can Surprise:
Long Beach State employs an uptempo game, where they will spread out the defense and look for a cutting lay-up or a three ball. And they have a senior trio of guards who are not afraid to chuck up the long ball. Aaron Nixon leads the way with 18.6 points per game. Nixon has the size and strength to get to the basket and that is a valuable tool for the 49ers when they get stuck in a half-court offense.

Kejuan Johnson and Kevin Houston are solid scorers as well and extremely dangerous beyond the arc. The three senior guards each average at least three assists per game and, while it may look chaotic, they usually run Coach Larry Reynolds’ offense with control.


Why Long Beach State Can Disappoint:
The defense is not that great and LBSU will look to simply outscore their opponents. They can play well on the defensive end in spurts, but it is the rebounding that is a long-term problem. The surprising Sterling Byrd is practically a fourth guard and will shoot the long ball, but he leads the team with 6.7 rebounds per contest. Dominique Ricks is undersized at 6-6 and, while he is a scrappy rebounder, will get out reached by taller opponents. At 6-9, Mark Dawson is the only option off the bench that can help under the basket.

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Who To Watch:
The clutch Nixon is the star, but the entire team is experienced. Long Beach State’s top seven scorers are seniors and this is the year for the 49ers. The attacking offense is a difficult match-up for any team and as long as LBSU can control the tempo of the game, they can control the game.


By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 80.3 (9th in nation, 2nd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 73.8 (279, 8)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.3 (124, 5)

Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (163, 4)

Free-Throw Percentage: 70.2 (138, 4)

Rebound Margin: -0.5 (203, 6)

Assists Per Game: 14.3 (108, 5)

Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (115, 4)


Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Virginia


> Check out the 2008 NCAA Tournament preview from College Sports Fans.

> Find more coverage of the 2007 NCAA Tournament online from College Sports Fans.


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