Here is a look at Long Beach State’s (LBS) game against Nebraska from Nov. 26 and what Arizona basketball fans can expect for tonight’s game. LBS lost to Nebraska 85 – 80. LBS has played Oregon St. twice this year with each team winning one game.
#15 Deishaun Booker 6’3″ G (Jr.)
#10 Bryan Alberts 6’5″ G (Jr.)
#13 Barry Ogalue 6’5″ F (Sr.)
#0 Gabe Levin 6’7″ F (Sr.)
#5 Mason Riggins 6’8″ F (Jr.)
Off the bench: #23 Edon Maxhuni 6’2″ G (Fr.), #4 Temidayo Yussuf 6’7″ F (Jr.), #11 Jordan Griffin 6’3″ G (So.), #3 Jordan Roberts 6’8″ G (Fr.), #14 KJ Byers 6’7″ G (Jr.), #2 Javonntie Jackson 6’6″ F (So.).
Offense: LBS mainly switched between three offensive sets against Nebraska. The high pick and roll, the perimeter weave into a pick and roll, and a pass to the high post elbow with some curls and screens from there. They spread the court fairly well and looked for a lot of 1 on 1 dribble penetration and screens rolling to the basket.
Defense: LBS played straight man to man half court defense for most of the game but did sprinkle in some 3/4 court traps.
Strengths: Depth. LBS used 9-10 players throughout the game and substituted frequently keeping fresh legs in the game. They have 9 players averaging at least 11 minutes per game. Good help defense. No quit in this team–LBS was down and dominated by Nebraska for 30 minutes but kept grinding and closed the gap to 4 points late in the game. Experienced players.
Weaknesses: Poor offensive rebounding. Turnover prone–averaging 18 per game. Poor transition defense. Average to poor 3-point shooting–35% on the year but they do have 3 players shooting over 40% from distance: #11 Griffin (48%), #0 Levin (44%), and #10 Alberts (40%).
Summary: We won’t see anything new in terms of offensive or defensive styles. #5 Riggins and #0 Levin are this team’s best interior players with #4 Yussuf playing some quality minutes as well. Late in the game they looked to get the ball to Levin, mainly in the post but, at times, on the perimeter as well. #5 Riggins is a tough interior player with good strength and athleticism. The guards did not play particularly well against Nebraska but #15 Booker has good athleticism and is a very active player. #0 Levin and #10 Alberts lead the team in scoring with 15 and 13 points per game average. #0 Levin is almost averaging a double-double grabbing 9.4 rebounds per game along with his 15 points.
Keys for Arizona: Start playing like Arizona. If this is not a bounce-back game for the Cats then there probably won’t be one coming any time soon. The Cats have an advantage pretty much all across the court. LBS will play hard and does have some talent and athleticism but the Cats need not only a win but a decisive one. Defensive pressure by the Cats should create some turnovers and Ayton will once again have his way in the post. We can expect this to be a “back-to-basics” game for the Cats: Take care of the ball on offense, keep the ball in front of you on defense, take good shots, rebound, and hustle your tails off for 40 minutes.