Daily 49er

Men’s basketball shooting guard and small forward breakdown

LBSU has some experience to compete at the wing this season.

Long+Beach+State+senior+Barry+Ogalue+drive+in+the+paint+in+Monday%27s+game+against+CSU+Bakersfield+at+the+Walter+Pyramid.+
Long Beach State senior Barry Ogalue drive in the paint in Monday's game against CSU Bakersfield at the Walter Pyramid.

Long Beach State senior Barry Ogalue drive in the paint in Monday's game against CSU Bakersfield at the Walter Pyramid.

Christian Gonzales

Christian Gonzales

Long Beach State senior Barry Ogalue drive in the paint in Monday's game against CSU Bakersfield at the Walter Pyramid.

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With the men’s basketball season starting Saturday at the Walter Pyramid, we continue our look at the 49ers position by position. Introducing eight returning players, new personnel on the team should give fans some different play styles this season. Here is a breakdown of what the wings can contribute to this year’s team.

 

#10 SG Bryan Alberts (Junior): Coming to Long Beach as a transfer from Gonzaga University in Washington, Alberts brings in plenty of experience with a winning team to the Beach. Originally from Village Christian High School in Northridge, Alberts spent the last three years at Gonzaga and graduated in that time. Head coach Dan Monson credits his relationship with Gonzaga head coach Mark Few for being able to land the graduate transfer. The California native brings an offensive threat to a 49er team in dire need of perimeter shooting. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard has size to go with a good looking three-point stroke. He will have an opportunity to play immediately in a Long Beach backcourt that has no returning starters. Look for Alberts to be a leader on this year’s team.

NBA Comparison: Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs

 

 

 

#11 SG Jordan Griffin (Sophomore): One of eight returning players from last year’s team, the 6-foot-3 sharpshooting Griffin is in for a statement year. Last year he struggled to get consistent minutes, adjusting to the Division I level as he averaged three points per contest. Expect Monson to utilize Griffin’s three-point shooting more this year as one of Long Beach’s biggest weaknesses will be the outside shot. While Griffin didn’t get consistent minutes last year, he did flash in some impressive games. The freshman scored 11 points in 17 minutes during a game at North Carolina and made various starts against top opponents such as New Mexico State and UCLA.

NBA Comparison: Kyle Korver, Cleveland Cavaliers

 

 

 

#21 SF Jaice Gardner (Freshman): After earning all-league honors as a senior at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Gardner comes to the Beach as a walk-on. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound forward averaged a double-double in his senior season, posting 14 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Lancers. Gardner has yet to be seen in a 49er uniform after sitting out during the Black and Gold scrimmage and charity exhibition game against CSU Bakersfield.

NBA Comparison: Dante Cunningham, New Orleans Pelicans

 

 

 

 

#2 SF Javonntie Jackson (Sophomore): Hailing from Compton, the 6-foot-6, 190-pound Jackson brings toughness and athleticism to a 49er team searching for its identity. Last season, Jackson played in 30 games while earning nine starts at the wing position. Jackson boasts some of the most powerful dunks out of anyone on the team, and is a relentless defender. Monson plugged him into the starting lineup against teams such as Wichita State, North Carolina and Louisville for his size and defensive abilities. Jackson’s biggest flaw is his shot and ball control, but that won’t be his role on the team. Expect Jackson to get transition buckets and steals on the defensive end.

NBA Comparison: Thabo Sefolosha, Utah Jazz

 

 

 

#3 SF Jordan Roberts (Freshman): Roberts is the most highly-touted of the four freshman joining Long Beach this season. Expect Roberts to miss some time in the beginning of the season as he deals with a broken toe. However, don’t overlook the 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward out of Bakersfield. Roberts attended Ridgeview High School, leading his team to a league championship and Division II section championship during his senior year. The athletic scoring-forward averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game in a monster final season that included a 50 point and 40 point game. Monson has high hopes for the freshman, who seems to be the clear-cut small forward of the future for Long Beach State.

NBA Comparison: Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs

 

 

#13 SF Barry Ogalue (Senior): The 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior brings some of the most in-house experience to the group of LBSU shooting guards and small forwards. Entering his third year at the Beach after spending his first season as a redshirt, Ogalue will look to make an immediate impact. He improved the most from start to finish out of any player on the roster last season, leading to two starts in the Big West Tournament last year. While he only averaged five points and nearly two rebounds per game, the senior brings a solid presence and the ability to score smoothly in transition. His shot always looks a bit questionable, but usually the ball finds its way in. Ogalue posted a career high in points last year with 21 points in 27 minutes against The Master’s University, as well as a strong performance against Hawai’i with 16 points. Be ready to see a lot of the swingman in big games this season.

NBA Comparison: Otto Porter Jr., Washington Wizards

 

 

#14 SF KJ Byers (Junior): One of Long Beach’s most intriguing players could very well be Byers, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward out of Panola College in Texas. Byers is a lanky, athletic forward who can jump out of the gym and make highlight reel blocks on the defensive end. Last season, he averaged seven points and nearly five rebounds a game for the No. 13 ranked junior college team in the nation. Byers also averaged 2.5 blocks per game, which was 13th in the country. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, the junior brings added depth to the perimeter while quite possibly coming in as one of the team’s best defensive players. Byers can pose a distinct mismatch for traditional power forwards if Monson decides to go with a smaller, quicker lineup in certain situations this season. Don’t be surprised if he catches many people’s attention with some impressive plays.

NBA Comparison: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets

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1 Comment

One Response to “Men’s basketball shooting guard and small forward breakdown”

  1. BigFire on November 1st, 2017 1:31 pm

    Thanks for this article, it was very informative. Please keep the basketball articles coming.

    [Reply]

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