49er Basketball To Face Tough Non-Conference SchedulePublished: July 15, 2011
CSULB men’s basketball coach Dan Monson has announced the 49ers schedule for the 2011-12 season, and for the third straight year it will feature one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country.
“We are extremely excited to be playing one of the most challenging preseason schedules in the nation, if not once again the toughest in the country,” Monson said. “We are hopeful that this ambitious scheduling will not only prepare us for the Big West season, but will enable us to understand the improvements that we need to challenge the elite teams in the country and help us elevate our game to a new level. Our goal this year is to not just play a rigorous schedule, but to have success against these teams.”
CSULB is guaranteed to face four of last year’s top 12 teams in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and five of the teams ranked in the top 25. The 49ers could also face another team that was ranked in the top 25 at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu in late December. In addition, the 49ers’ schedule features four non-conference home games, including one against a Mountain West Conference team and another against a WAC team.
In all, the 49ers are guaranteed to play seven games against teams that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and could play as many as 10, depending on the pairings at the Diamond Head Classic. LBSU will also play at least five teams that competed in the other three NCAA postseason tournaments (NIT, CBI, CIT), and could play six if they face host Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic.
The 49ers will open their season on Nov. 12 at the Walter Pyramid against Idaho on homecoming weekend. They then hit the road, playing six of their next eight games away from Long Beach, with five of those against teams ranked in the 2011 final top 25 poll.
LBSU starts the road trip playing at No. 12 Pittsburgh (Nov. 16) and No. 11 San Diego State (Nov. 19), before returning home to face Boise State (Nov. 22). The 49ers then return to the road playing at Montana (Nov. 26) and No. 22 Louisville (Nov. 28), before a home game against BYU-Hawaii (Dec. 2). They wraps up their non-conference schedule with games at No. 4 Kansas (Dec. 6), at No. 8 North Carolina (Dec. 10), vs. Eastern New Mexico (Dec. 19) and at the Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25) before starting league play at home against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 29.
The Diamond Head Classic is an eight-team tournament featuring three teams (Clemson, Kansas State, Xavier) that played in the NCAA Tournament last season, as well as three others (LBSU, UTEP, Hawaii) that qualified for one of the other NCAA postseason tournaments. Teams will play three games in four days, with the opening round taking place on Dec. 22, the semifinals on Dec. 23 and the championship round on Dec. 25.