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LBSU prepares for abnormally late start against BYU

The 49ers’ game against BYU set for 10:45 p.m. as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.

Freshman+Noah+Blackwell+holds+the+ball+away+from+A+Seasider+defender+in+LBSU%27s+win+at+the+Walter+Pyramid+on+Saturday.+
Freshman Noah Blackwell holds the ball away from A Seasider defender in LBSU's win at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.

Freshman Noah Blackwell holds the ball away from A Seasider defender in LBSU's win at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.

Bobby Yagake | Daily 49er

Bobby Yagake | Daily 49er

Freshman Noah Blackwell holds the ball away from A Seasider defender in LBSU's win at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.

Joshua Caudill, Staff Writer

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While you’re winding down for the night in your pajamas and preparing for bed, the Long Beach State men’s basketball team will tip off against BYU Monday night.

That’s right. As a part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, the 49ers and Cougars will not take the court at the Walter Pyramid until 10:45 p.m.

The unusually late tip-off will change and extend the pre-game routines and jitters. Even LBSU head coach Dan Monson’s schedule isn’t immune to the scheduled contest.

“I’ve got to take a nap,” said Monson. “That’s the number one thing for me. It will be an adjustment for our guys too because we’ve been practicing early in the morning, but how can you not get excited for a national televised game at home?”

LBSU (1-0) will look to avenge last season’s 95-90 loss to BYU, when Cougars’ Tyler Haws and 49ers’ Mike Caffey went head-to-head in an offensive showcase. Both players are gone now and new faces will seek to assert themselves in those roles.

The 49ers will rely on senior leader A.J. Spencer and the three transfers, guard Nick Faust, forward Roschon Prince and forward Gave Levin, to provide the bulk of scoring if they want to have any chance at pulling off the upset.

Seniors Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer, who combined for 37 points in the Cougars 85-54 victory over Utah Valley on Friday night, lead BYU (1-0) into Monday’s game.

Collinsworth is the NCAA career leader in triple-doubles while Fisher, an explosive forward, scored in double-digits 21 times last season.

BYU is notorious for their scrappy defense, solid fundamentals and the ability to grab rebounds. The Cougars rank No. 2 in the country in rebounds per game after pulling down 69 rebounds in their first contest this season.

In a game that will not air until 1:45 a.m. for basketball fans on the eastern coast, Monson’s wasn’t shy about addressing his main concerns for the late match-up with BYU.

“My biggest thing will be just for them to channel the emotion that they have,” Monson said. “Hopefully they can get some rest that day because it will be a long day waiting for that.”

Although his concerns with the late start time are mostly directed towards his players’ energy levels and says he prefers noon games, Monson insists on sticking to the same pre-game plans.

“The game routines usually start five hours before the game. We won’t meet before 4 or 5 that afternoon so that’s a long time to wait to get going,” Monson said. “Five hours before the game we watch film, shoot around for an hour and then they eat four hours before the game. That won’t change anything. “

However, the players and staff are not alone when it comes to feeling the effects of the 10:45 p.m start. Justine Conry, a junior film major, works in the university ticket office as a cashier. Some of her co-workers requested not to work the game due to a heavy class load Tuesday morning. Conry is scheduled to work the late Monday night shift.

“I have mixed thoughts on working so late,“ Conry said. “On one hand, it’s a really cool opportunity for the school and the team to be a part of this 24-hour ESPN event and I plan on personally watching the rest of the game after my shift. On the other hand, I depend on the Long Beach buses for transportation so it’s an inconvenience to work so late and have to ask for a ride home from a co-worker.”

Some of the 49ers basketball players don’t seem to mind the inconvenience. Senior guard Nick Faust is used to high profile games and premier match-ups. Before he came to LBSU, Faust played for Maryland where he took on the likes of Duke and North Carolina and their rowdy crowds provided entertaining fodder for ESPN audiences.

“To be on 24-hour access basketball you got to embrace those types of games,” Faust said. “Playing against BYU on a Monday night aired on ESPN, you know it’s going to be a battle.”

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