Long Beach St Capsule

Nickname: 49ers                         Coach: Larry Reynolds
Location: Long Beach, California        Record at Long Beach St: 63-82
Conference: Big West                    Career record: 173-117
Overall Record: 24-7
Conference Record and Finish: 12-2, 1st

Seed, Region and Bid: 12, South, Automatic
Total NCAA Tournament Bids: 8
NCAA Tournament Record: 7-8
Final Four Appearances: 0
NCAA Tournament Championships: 0
Best NCAA Tournament Finish: REGIONAL FINALIST (1972)

Final ESPN/USA Today ranking: NR
Final Associated Press ranking: NR
Final Ratings Percentage Index: 79

Record vs. teams in the field: 0-2

Starters:
F -- Sterling Byrd (6-6, 215, Sr. -- 13.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
F -- Dominique Ricks (6-6, 222, Sr. -- 7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
G -- Kejuan Johnson (6-4, 195, Sr. -- 15.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
G -- Kevin Houston (5-10, 180, Sr. -- 11.7 ppg, 4.4 apg)
G -- Aaron Nixon (6-2, 219, Sr. -- 18.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg)

Key Reserves:
G -- Mark Dawson (6-9, 220, Sr. -- 5.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

(statistics before NCAA Tournament)

OUTLOOK: Their out-of-conference schedule - consecutive lopsided
losses to USC, UCLA and Temple - suggests they are outclassed,
but the 49ers have the ingredients that many teams fear in the
one-and-done format.  Long Beach has five senior starters,
averages 80 points and is not shy about hoisting up the
3-pointer.  The run-and-gun 49ers made a school-record 261 from
the arc this season, surpassing last season's mark of 256.
Therefore, if they are hot, anything is possible.  Big West
Player of the Year Nixon is averaging 24.0 points in his last
six games, capped by a 29-point, 11-rebound performance in the
conference championship game.  Their main hope is to get
Tennessee playing at their pace and hope the streak of a No. 12
seed upsetting a fifth in the NCAAs continues.

NEXT GAME: Friday vs. (5) Tennessee at Columbus, Ohio