Daily 49er

A troubling season has a bright future ahead of it

Long Beach’s underwhelming season will soon be over.

Long+Beach+State+women%27s+basketball+head+coach+Jeff+Cammon+%28right%29+and+Laura+Dinkins+%28left%29+were+unhappy+about+a+call+in+Saturday%27s+game+against+UC+Irvine+at+the+Walter+Pyramid.+
Long Beach State women's basketball head coach Jeff Cammon (right) and Laura Dinkins (left) were unhappy about a call in Saturday's game against UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid.

Long Beach State women's basketball head coach Jeff Cammon (right) and Laura Dinkins (left) were unhappy about a call in Saturday's game against UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid.

Joseph Kling

Joseph Kling

Long Beach State women's basketball head coach Jeff Cammon (right) and Laura Dinkins (left) were unhappy about a call in Saturday's game against UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid.

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Nobody knew how the Long Beach State’s women’s basketball season was going to look after a catastrophic offseason that saw head coach Jody Wynn leave. Things only got harder when replacement head coach Jeff Cammon was issued the responsibility to pick up recruits at the very last second. With only eight games left in the season, the team’s overall record stands at an abysmal 2-20.

LBSU (2-20, 0-8 Big West) is currently three games away from tying its worst season in program history. With the team’s recent play there is no doubt that the 49ers will surpass their previous worst year in 2010-2011, where  they finished with a record of 8-23. This will go down as the worst year in the program’s history, but things can only go up from here.

The lack of experience on the floor has been the cornerstone of the team’s failure. Alongside looking completely out-skilled night in and night out, it was obvious from the start that this would be a year of development.

For senior guards Jessica Gertz and Cecily Wilson, this is a completely new challenge after being on top, winning the Big West championship last year.

Cammon had the difficult task of bringing players in at the very end of recruiting season, but was lucky enough to pick up talented freshmen center Emma Merriweather and guard Shanaijah Davison.

Merriweather stands at 6 foot 5 and is the perfect player for the coaching staff to build the team around. She possesses the strength to bully other players and with a little work on her skills she will become impossible to guard.

Through an offseason of training, Merriweather’s presence could turn things around for the team, and give them a lethal force down low.

Davison has proven to be a natural scorer, but it is up to her to take on the traditional point guard role. She has Kobe-esque qualities in her game, where she feels the need to take over on the offensive side of things. Once she is able to get her teammates involved the game will come to her, and she will be able to play her best.

Throughout the 22 games this season, the 49ers have been able to get points on the board, but their defense has been atrocious. This comes from miscommunication on the floor and overall lack of awareness. Defenders will let the person they are guarding blow by and there will be no help to protect the basket. Defense wins games, and it will be up to the coaching staff to prioritize it in the offseason.

The upside to half of the team being freshmen is the ability to grow together. While the team may not win now, in two or three years it may be a different story. Once the chemistry finally kicks in, this 49ers team can become a powerhouse in the Big West.

One of Cammon’s favorite expressions is “growing pains,” and that is exactly what they team is going through right now. Once the women’s basketball team gets past that, the Big West better be ready.

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