Men’s Basketball Back In Action, Hosting Cal Poly – Long Beach State University Athletics

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See attachment for complete Long Beach State Game Notes.
 
RIGHT AWAY
• Long Beach State is back in action on Saturday, hosting Cal Poly at 4 p.m. inside of the Walter Pyramid with live coverage provided by ESPN+.
 
• A dominant night from the Traores highlighted the first meeting between the teams this season in San Luis Obispo. Aboubacar Traroe score a career-high 30 points on 14-of-17 shooting, while Lassina Traore nearly finished with his second career 20/20 night, scoring 20 points with 19 rebounds in the 89-82 win on the road.
 
• Cal Poly is winless so far in Big West play, and has lost seven straight to LBSU in Long Beach. The Mustangs are 0-11 on the road this year.
 
Aboubacar Traore has had a massive start to the league season. Traore continues to rank in the conference’s Top 5 in rebounding, assists, steals and blocks in league play, entering Saturday averaging 14.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in Big West action.
 
• The Beach closed the non-conference schedule with a record of 8-4. That was the best winning percentage for the Beach since a 7-4 record in the 2006-07 NCAA tournament season, and the most wins since an 8-3 non-conference in 1999-2000.
 
• Long Beach State stole the national spotlight with a 84-79 OT win on the road at USC. Senior Marcus Tsohonis led the team with 28 points while Jadon Jones added 18 in the win over the Trojans, the first since 2013 for LBSU and the first since 1987 in Los Angeles.
 
• Tsohonis has brought his best against the best, scoring 35 points in a win at Michigan and 28 in win at USC. The senior passed 1,000 career points scored across stretches at Washington, VCU and Long Beach State and has twice scored 30 or more in two seasons at LBSU. The team’s leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, Tsohonis set a program record with 46 points in a triple overtime win at UCSD last season.
 
NEWS & NOTES
• Long Beach State is now 10-1 when scoring 80 or more points this season, and are averaging just under that total this season at 78.6 points per game as a team behind four players averaging double figures in Tsohonis, Jadon Jones, Lassina Traore and Aboubacar Traore.
 
• The Beach returns all five starters from a season ago and returns nine letterwinners. That returning core leaves Long Beach State as one of the favorites in the conference starting the year, picked second in the Preseason Big West Coaches Poll. The Beach has also been receiving votes in the Mid-Major Top 25 throughout the season.
 
• In total, Long Beach State returns over 75 percent of their scoring and rebounding and over 90 percent of their blocked shots from a season ago, one of just a handful of about 15 programs to return over 75% of a teams scoring in the NCAA. The Beach has relied on that group this season, ranking 7th nationally in minutes continuity this season.
 
• Long Beach State legend Larry Anderson has joined the coaching staff as the team’s third assistant. One of the “Fab Four” for the Beach that started for four straight years leading to the 2011-12 NCAA Tournament appearance, Anderson is the program’s steals record holder and ranks in the Top 10 in career scoring, rebounding and assists at LBSU as one of the best all-around players to ever put on the uniform at Long Beach State.
 
• Long Beach State plays a fast, exciting brand of basketball showcased by the team’s tempo, which is one of the quickest in the nation, currently 21st in the country as ranked by Ken Pomeroy.
 
PLAYER NOTES
• Coming out of the Ivory Coast, Long Beach State’s dynamic inside duo of Aboubacar Traore and Lassina Traore ranked 1 and 2 in the rebounding for the Big West in 22-23. Reunited over 7,000 miles apart from where they met as youth national teammates and friends in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the duo have served as the starting frontcourt in the majority of games they have played together at  LBSU. Both were named to the Big West Preseason All-Conference team entering the year. The duo currently rank first and second again in the Big West in rebounding in 2023-24
 
• Long Beach State has had three 20/20 games over the last 40 years, with both Lassina and Aboubacar each garnering the achievement along with Michael Zeno in 1983. Aboubacar’s came this season with a 23 point, 22 rebound, 6 assist night in a win on the road at Cal State Fullerton, while Lassina had 22 points and 20 rebounds against UC Davis last March.
 
Lassina Traore was selected as First Team All-Big West and was chosen the Big West Newcomer of the Year after a dominant first season at the Beach. Traore also earned NABC All-District honors, finishing the season with 17 double-doubles which ranked 9th in the nation. Traore is one of just 10 returning players in the NCAA to average a double-double a season ago, and is averaging 11.7 points and 9.5 rebounds this season with 9 double-doubles on the year.
 
• As a junior, Aboubacar Traore continues to fill the stat sheet in his third season at Long Beach State. Traore, who set the modern-era record at LBSU with 23 rebounds in a game in 2021-22, and is averaging a new high of 12.1 points per game as a junior while bringing in 7.9 rebounds per game and leading the team in assists, steals and blocks. His 22 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton are the most in a single game this season in the country.
 
• Aboubacar Troare became the 5th player in program history to record 700 career rebounds and currently ranks 4th at the Beach with 729 career rebounds. He also ranks 4th in career blocked shots, and is rounding into a nightly triple-double threat. Traore has the chance to join a legendary trio of players at the Beach who have scored 1,000 points, grabbed 500 rebounds and made 300 assists in their career.
 
• With a block on the road at CSU Bakersfield, Aboubacar Traore joined LBSU career blocks leader Antrone Lee as the only other player to record 100 steals and 100 blocks during their time at the Beach, highlighting the defensive standouts. Junior Jadon Jones also has an opportunity to join that elite defensive list, as the only other player to record 100 steals and 75 blocks at Long Beach State.
 
• The Beach has four players who are on pace to reach the 1,000 career point milestone, a club with just 24 members at Long Beach State. Junior Jadon Jones is the closest at 975 career points, though the Traores and sophomore AJ George are all also on track to reach the milestone before the end of their careers at Long Beach State.
 
• The 2021-22 Big West Defensive Player of the Year, Jadon Jones has 38 steals and 17 blocks as a strong defensive presence while continuing to be a major threat from three. Averaging 11.7 points per game, Jones currently ranks 5th in program history with 186 made 3-pointers in his career and is aiming to join Jibril Hodges, Greg Plater, Casper Ware and Lucious Harris as the only LBSU players to have made 200 career 3-pointers.
 
• Graduate transfer Messiah Thompson has also given the Beach a lift at the point guard position. Thompson is averaging 7.1 points and 2.4 assists per game off of the bench, providing more quickness and experience as a great shooter and ball-handler. In his second start of the season at Cal Poly, Thompson scored nine points and passed 1,000 Division I points scored over stops at Campbell, Alabama A&M and the Beach.
 
• After an impressive debut season last year as a redshirt freshman, AJ George continues to play a major role for the Beach as a sophomore. After starting 25 games a year ago, George is averaging 9.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a consistent presence in the rotation. Starting 10 games in Big West play, George has lifted his scoring average to 10.6 points per game in league action after scoring a career-high 28 points at CSU Bakersfield.
 

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