Syracuse continues its homestand when it hosts the Long Beach State 49ers on Thursday evening. Here is a scouting report for the game:
FINDING AN IDENTITY: Coach Dan Monson’s team is one of the younger teams in the Big West Conference, with only two seniors on the team. And it hasn’t been an easy start for the 49ers with a difficult schedule that has already included games against USC, North Carolina and Arizona. That makes LBSU’s strength of schedule 38th in the nation to this point. That number will get even more impressive as the 49ers travel to the Carrier Dome to face No. 4 Syracuse before shipping off to the midwest to play No. 7 Ohio State. The good news is that after a win over Loyola Marymount, Monson finally feels like his team is settling into a groove.
“They’re starting to create a little identity,” Monson said after the game. “The biggest thing is they are starting to become a team and have an identity and stay together through the ups and downs.” That identity will help a team that is expected to compete for a Big West title and another trip to the NCAA tournament.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Senior guard James Ennis leads Long Beach State in scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg), and is settling into his role as the team’s go to scorer. He was more of a slasher and spot-up shooter last season, but this season the offense is running more through him. In a 64-59 loss to Fresno on Monday, Ennis led the way with 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. He was actually so involved that during a stretch in the second half, he scored or assisted on 9 of 10 plays.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse has won both meetings between these two teams. They last met on December 13, 2008, with Syracuse winning 79-55. Arinze Onuaku’s 17 points and six rebounds paced four different players (Rick Jackson, Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf) in double figures.
GAME INFORMATION: Thursday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m. in Syracuse. TV: ESPN2.
- Bailey: Syracuse fans ‘should be happy’ with incoming 2016 football class - February 5, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse offers Joel Honigford, Jairus Grissom, Izayah Green-May, JaVont’e Richardson - February 5, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Scout ranks Syracuse 43rd in average class stars - February 4, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse adds impressive class on 2016 National Signing Day - February 3, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: DeVaughn Cooper to choose between Syracuse, Arizona, Arizona State - February 3, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse loses out on Stewart Reese, Josh White - February 2, 2016
- Frank Howard dazzles as Syracuse rallies to defeat Georgia Tech - February 1, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Adrian Killins visits Syracuse, sets decision date - February 1, 2016
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 60, Georgia Tech 57 - January 30, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse, FSU, Mississippi State in running for elite OL Stewart Reese - January 29, 2016