Advertisement

Hawaii faces uptempo Long Beach State team

Feb. 24—LBSU coach Dan Monson, a former high school math teacher, figured out that the "first seven seconds of the clock are very valuable before a defense gets set." His strategy is to attack early in the possession.

In 15.2 seconds :—Eminem can spit out 114 words,—a Super Bowl ad would cost $3, 499, 995,—and the Long Beach State basketball team would be transitioning to defense.

"One of the quickest uptempo teams, " said Hawaii coach Eran Ganot, whose Rainbow Warriors play host to the Beach tonight in SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

LBSU coach Dan Monson, a former high school math teacher, figured out that the "first seven seconds of the clock are very valuable before a defense gets set." His strategy is to attack early in the possession.

In practices, the Beach have "pace drills."

"We try to figure out pace and play the speed we want to without going over the speed limit and turning the ball over, " Monson said.

The result is an efficient offense that averages 15.2 seconds, the ninth-fastest among Division I programs.

"I think that's one of the reasons we're playing better now, " Monson said of the Beach's five-game winning streak. "We're making easier decisions in transition. I think we're leading the league in assists (16.1 per Big West game )."

Against Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday, the Beach had 18 assists against nine turnovers. CSUB's 19 turnovers led to 25 points for the Beach.

"We're just as fast as we were earlier in the year, but we're making simpler plays and valuing the ball, " Monson said.

Although Marcus Tsohonis' 17.1 points per game come from three levels and Jadon Jordan is a sharpshooter who went 8-for-8 against UH, Aboubacar Traore and Lassina Traore are the first options. The Traore forwards are not related, but they share an affinity for post play.

"No secret we like to play inside out, " Monson said. "Like a football team, if we can establish a run game it opens up the pass for us. We think the Traores usually have an advantage on the inside against their opponents. We try to get them to get us into the paint, and they play off that."

Aboubacar Traore is hitting 58.7 % of his 2-point shots. Lassina Traore is 52.9 % inside the arc and averages 9.9 boards per game. He grabbed 19 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton.

With a bye this week, Ganot used the extra practices to "tweak " some strategies. "Obviously, people are attacking us in the paint, " said Ganot, a reference to the season-ending ACL injury 7-foot-1 Mor Seck suffered last month.

Starting center Bernardo da Silva has played extended minutes, Harry Rouhliadeff and Justin McKoy have taken turns at the 5 position, and the'Bows have sent a wing or guard to help double the post. Guards Noel Coleman, Ryan Rapp and Tom Beattie have contributed weak-side rebounding.

Ganot cautioned the'Bows need to prevent runs. In their last meeting, the Beach produced surges of 11-0 and 12-0.

"They certainly have a lot of momentum coming in, " Ganot said. "It's a great challenge, and we're looking forward to it."

Monson said : "We're finding our identity a little bit. We're finding ways to win games that aren't perfect. Hopefully, we're playing our best basketball at the right time of the year. We've had some injuries, and we're kind of banged up. We're trying to get through a tough stretch right now."

BIG WEST BASKETBALL