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Basketball Long Beach State

PREVIEW: Long Beach State Men’s Basketball Regular Season Opener Tonight At Portland

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State basketball for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Nelson Farris.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State men’s basketball for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Arline & Mike Walter.

It’s fair to assume this Long Beach State men’s basketball season is going to be very high scoring. The Beach has a bunch of returning players who can get points all over the floor, but the question is whether or not they can stop anyone.

This 2023-24 season starts with a huge defensive test for LBSU as it travels to Portland tonight for the regular season opener. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“We want to be better defensively than we were last year,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said. “We’re not going to press as much, even though we’re still going to be uptempo offensively. We have to get back and make people earn baskets. Early in the game we’ve caused havoc, but it’s been fools gold.”

Defensive stoppers like junior guard Jadon Jones thinks that adjustment has been easy for him after a lifetime of being surrounded by basketball. He showed that with six steals in the exhibition win over Cal Lutheran last week.

“The (defensive) activity to me has always been kind of natural, just having instincts, knowing the passing lanes, seeing the next pass,” said Jones, who led the Beach with 45 steals and 22 blocks last season. “Knowing the game of basketball like knowing the angles and how to position your hand, I’ve been taught that from an early age.”

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Jones and other returning starters Marcus Tsohonis, Aboubacar Traore and Lassina Traore are being joined by transfer point guards Isa Silva and Messiah Thompson, so Monson thinks a true alpha dog has yet to emerge. 

“As a coach you can’t just anoint someone your leader, your captain or the guy who is going to take the last shot,” Monson said. “All of those positions are earned. As these guys gain confidence in each other it will happen organically.”

The Beach is starting the season on an eight-game road trip that starts at Portland where they’ll face the Pilots for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The game will be broadcast on the WCC Network.

Portland is led by two-time All-West Coast Conference guard Tyler Robertson and Penn State transfer Jalen Pickett. They were the only Division I players to average at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists per game last season.

Long Beach State Men’s Basketball Beats Cal Lutheran In Exhibition
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.