Men’s basketball team trying trying to find groove

It’s been two weeks since head coach Dan Monson took to the Walter Pyramid floor with Mike Caffey, Dan Jennings and the rest of the Long Beach State men’s basketball team, and early indications are that chemistry is there, but the quality of play has plenty of room for improvement.

“I do like them,” Monson said. “I think they’re good young men; they want to do the right thing, but to think that we’re ready for the preseason is a little bit naïve.”

The 49ers still have five weeks before their season opens against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 9, but progress has been slow up to this point, Monson said.
LBSU had its first scrimmage Saturday, and there was a lot of “slippage” and “breakdown,” Monson said. Such mistakes are to be expected at this point in the season, though, especially on a team that is missing six players from last year.

“Right now we’re right where probably a new team is,” Monson said, “still pretty basic and trying to get a few foundations built.”

Assistant coach Vic Couch out on medical leave

The 49ers will be without a key member of their coaching staff this year, as longtime assistant coach Vic Couch is on medical leave for an unknown condition.

Monson said Couch, who has been an assistant of Monson’s since he coached at Minnesota, is seeing “some of the best specialists in the country trying to get it figured out.”

“His health is much more important than any basketball game,” Monson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him that they get it resolved.”
While the temporary loss of Couch will certainly be felt, Monson said the rest of his staff is more than capable of making up for Couch’s absence.

“It’s just like you tell players on the court: somebody’s going to sprain an ankle or somebody’s going to foul out, and somebody has to step up,” Monson said. “I feel fortunate that I’ve got other guys that are stepping up, and that allows Vic [Couch] to just concentrate on being healthy.”

Garibay, Moye out with injury

Senior forward Edgar Garibay is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and freshman guard Anson Moye will miss a significant amount of time with a broken foot, Monson said.

Garibay tore his ACL and had successful surgery on his knee Thursday, Monson said. It was the third torn ACL and second knee surgery for Garibay, who transferred to LBSU from Loyola Marymount last year. The 6-11 senior was expected to make significant contributions to the team this year after missing most of the 2012-13 season.

“His knee is just not holding up, and we’re more worried about his overall health than playing basketball,” Monson said.

Moye also had a rough start to his LBSU career, as he now has a screw in his foot and may miss the entire season, Monson said. The freshman guard from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif., averaged 4.92 points per game as a senior in high school.