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Men’s Basketball Repeats Coach, Player of the Year Kudos

No. 11 James Ennis drives against Fullerton.

No. 11 James Ennis drives against Cal State Fullerton.

Long Beach State again captured the Big West Conference regular season men’s basketball title, and head coach Dan Monson and senior guard/forward James Ennis were honored as Coach and Player of the Year, respectively.

This is the third consecutive year that the league’s head coaches picked 49ers for coach and player of the year. In its history, Long Beach State has had 12 players of the year and four coaches of the year.

CSULB’s third straight Big West crown is the first time a team has done that since UNLV won seven straight from 1982-89.

The 49ers reached the Big West Tournament quarterfinals and earned a berth in the National Invitational Tournament.

Monson tallied his 100th career victory at Long Beach State on Feb. 13 at Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers also ended the Big West season undefeated at home and have won the last 26 games in conference play in the Walter Pyramid.

Ennis, a team captain, scored 20 or more points in nine games and had seven double-doubles on the year, which led to a host of post-season honors. He and Mike Caffey joined the Big West All-Conference first team, while Tony Freeland and Keala King earned honorable mentions.

Ennis also earned accolades as a Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American, U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District IX honoree, and took part in the Denny’s Slam Dunk Championship at the State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships in Atlanta.