Long Beach State’s Best in Big West? UC Davis Says, “Wait a Minute!”

Posted: October 18, 2016 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2014-15, AVC Men's BB 2016-17, D1
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Larence dunkThe NCAA Article on the Big West conference says Long Beach State State is the best team BUT says UC Davis Aggies could be the “sleeper team’ who could steal the  conference away from the 49ers.  AVC’s Lawrence White now a senior with the Aggies AGREE’S.

Best team: Long Beach State 49ers

This conference could be the 49ers’ to win, with Hawaii not being postseason eligible on top of losing most of its top players. They will need a couple of players to step up, but they should have the talent to do it; thanks to a pool of talent from Loyola Marymount.

Gabe Levin (0) and the 49ers could be primed for a tournament return.

Mark Dolejs | USA TODAY Sports Images

Gabe Levin (0) and the 49ers could be primed for a tournament return.

Two players who transferred from Loyola Marymount are due to make a big impact for Long Beach State this year. One is Gabe Levin, who should serve as a stretch four. The other is Evan Payne, the former leading scorer for the Lions who sat out last year due to the transfer.

Payne could be huge this year, putting his volume scoring ability to good use by playing off the ball while Bibbins takes point-guard duties. His presence could also be a big boost for Bibbins, much like Faust was last season.

Sleeper team: UC Davis Aggies

UC Davis was not part of the conference’s “Big Four” from a year ago, instead limping to a 6-10 conference record and just 11-19 overall.

However, that is just one year removed from a 2014-15 campaign in which the Aggies went 25-7 and 14-2 in conference play, winning the regular-season crown before being stunned in their first tournament game.

Brynton Lemar will have to step up as a scorer for UC Davis.

Brian Losness | USA TODAY Sports Images

Brynton Lemar will have to step up as a scorer for UC Davis.

So while coach Jim Les can’t simply replace the contributions of All-American honorable mention Corey Hawkins from that season, he has still shown the ability to put together a team capable of winning a lot of games.

The Aggies bring back Brynton Lamar and Darius Graham, two players who averaged double-digit scoring last year, and ges a boost from sixth-year senior J.T. Adenrele, an undersized but aggressive forward who should be the team’s primary rebounder.

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