Pre-season Poll Picks 49ers to Place Second in Men’s Basketball

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T.J. Robinson is joined by teammate Casper Ware on the Long Beach State preseason all-league team.

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in a vote of the Big West Conference’s media, while LBSU juniors T.J. Robinson and Casper Ware were named to the preseason all-league team.

The 49ers received 180 points and two first-place votes, trailing only preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara’s 204 points and 20 first-place votes. Pacific received the remaining first-place vote and finished with 161 points. Long Beach State returns four starters, including Ware and Robinson, from a team that finished 17-16 and advanced to the championship game of the Big West Tournament.

Robinson was named to the preseason all-conference team after being named first-team All-Big West as a sophomore after leading Long Beach State in scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 ppg). He finished the regular season as just one of 20 Division I players to average a double-double, while leading the Big West with 17 double-doubles. The 49er forward scored more than 20 points seven times during the season, while finishing with 30 double-digit scoring games and 17 double-digit rebounding games. He also led the Big West Conference in rebounding and field goal percentage (.520), while finishing eighth in scoring. Robinson ranked in the top 20 in the country in both rebounds per game and double-doubles. His 332 rebounds were the third most ever by a 49er and the most since the 1960-61 season, while his 216 free throw attempts were the most in school history. He also earned second-team All-District 9 honors from the NABC and was a member of the Big West Conference All-Tournament Team.

Ware was named to the preseason all-conference team after earning second-team All-Big West honors last year after averaging 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He finished the season with four 20-point games, 20 double-digit scoring games and one double-double. Ware led the Big West Conference is assists, the first 49er to do so in 37 years, and steals, while finishing sixth in free throw percentage (.784) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.56). His 159 assists were the fifth most in a season at LBSU and his 69 steals ranked third on the single-season list. Ware also was named the Big West Conference Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com and earned a spot on the Big West Conference All-Tournament team.

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