Friday, November 9 at 11:00 PM ET
Coverage: Pac-12 Network
The Long Beach State 49ers face a tall order when they make the short trip north to Pauley Pavilion on Friday for their season opener against the UCLA Bruins.
Long Beach State 49ers
The Long Beach State 49ers hope to improve their 15-18 record from last season (9-7 in the Big West Conference), when they lost against the eventual conference tournament champion Cal State Fullerton Titans in the quarterfinals. Long Beach State is after their first winning season since 2012-13 but they will have to replace last year's leading scorer Gabe Levin (18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds).
Point guard Deishuan Booker (10.6 points and 4.6 assists) and Bryan Alberts (11.3 points per game) are back but they will be the smaller team on most nights because they didn't really replace Levin's post presence, so expect them to go small and fast. Long Beach State showed what their retooled offensive approach can do when they earned a 73-70 exhibition win at Cal State Bakersfield on October 27, with Bakersfield native Jordan Roberts leading the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The UCLA Bruins opened the season with a 96-71 rout against the Fort Wayne Mastodons last Tuesday. Kris Wilkes led UCLA with a career-high 27 points along with 10 rebounds, 7-foot-1 freshman Moses Brown had a double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds, disrupting things down low and making 9 of 10 shots and Jaylen Hands added 18 points and seven assists. The Bruins turned the ball over 15 times and made just 8 of 17 free-throws but they outrebounded the Mastodons 52-28.
The Bruins are averaging 96.0 points per game (45th in the nation), they grab 52.0 rebounds per game (21st), dish out 22.0 assists per game (23rd) and allow 71.0 points per game (156th). Kris Wilkes leads UCLA with 27.0 points to go along with 10.0 rebounds, Moses Brown is averaging 19.0 points and a team-best 17.0 rebounds and Jaylen Hands adds 18.0 points and a team-best 7.0 assists.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The Long Beach State 49ers are:
11-26 ATS in their last 37 games against Pac-12 conference opponents
8-20 ATS in their last 28 games against a team with a winning straight up record
3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600
1-4 ATS in their last five road games
2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings with the UCLA Bruins
2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings in UCLA
The UCLA Bruins are:
4-0 ATS in their last four games against Big West Conference opponets
6-1 ATS in their last seven home games
Long Beach State will have a faster, more perimeter-oriented offense this season but they may struggle to replace Levin early despite having plenty of experience on their roster and size could be a real factor in favor of an UCLA team that was dominant against Fort Wayne despite 15 turnovers and poor shooting at the free-throw line.
NCAA Basketball Pick: UCLA 1st half -9 (-110) at Jazz Sports