Monday, March 01, 2010


Vic Cegles is the Athletics Director of Long Beach State and this is the time in the LBSU sports schedule that just staying connected to his Niner sporting nation is a major challenge. Attached to his right arm is one of those high end electronics that reads email, chases scores, and does more texting than a teenager.

This week he has entries all over the athletic landscape but most of his attention is on the prize cash cow in his herd, men’s basketball. For both box office and booster pride he needs a big turnout in the stands and on the court when Dan Monson’s team hosts UC Riverside Friday night. Four thousand free tee shirts for the last, and most important, basketball game of the year. UCSB, who lost to LBSU by 20 earlier this year, will still clinch the Big West tournament top seed with Pacific and Fullerton likely finish second and third.

Now to the homeboys from the Beach. Fourth gets you one fewer game and slightly fresher players for the trophy dash. I expect Cal Poly to knock Irvine out of the tourney this weekend and tie LB at 8-8 for fourth. Then the tie-breakers would kick into effect since the Mustangs and the 49ers both split with UCSB and both were swept by UOP. The next tie-breaker is the record against the teams below, Davis and Northridge. The Niners swept both opponents and the Mustangs split with both. Win Friday night and earn that extra day off.

The BWC little dance party starts next Wednesday with the bottom four men’s and women’s teams playing a knock-out round. The LBSU women flirted with the top four but now are likely a first round combatant after not holding home court against lowly Pacific Saturday night and having to travel to top ranked Riverside this weekend.

All of this math before March madness has brought mixed reviews on the post season prospects for both teams. One fan loves the “new season” in a tourney and if each player has a personal best the Beach men would fulfill that media day projection of winning the lone NCAA automatic bid. Others, color them more cynical, quipped that unless the Beach got a bye to the second half of the championship game the season would be over soon. Film at 11.

ACTUAL DIAMOND DUST--The Dirtbags are in a nine game home stand if you include games earlier this week against USC and the exhibition with Waseda University of Japan. After an almost shocking two game sweep of Arizona (8-7 and 10-3) , this weekend brings more of PAC 10 play against visiting Washington Friday through Sunday and then a Tuesday visit from San Diego State.

Mr. Cegles was on the scene on a rainy Saturday for the dedication of the Hannah Grady tennis court and, somewhere in between showers, followed the progress of softball, water polo, golf and men’s volleyball. Some complained that she isn’t a tour prospect Grady, a mighty mite from Coventry, England who earned BWC Player of the year all four years, deserved the recognition for being a true tennis pioneer for the U.

Last add, merry olde England. Insiders say that if women’s coach Jody Wynn is able to land a very promising British basketball talent who visited the campus last weekend, an assist should go to Ms. Grady, the academic and athletic all star, and a couple of current team members who shared a cup of something with the talented prospect.

The mad scientist that is interim men’s volleyball coach Andy Read came up with this magic last weekend…he starting Bruin Beaters for the Beach consisted of Conor Eaton setting, Kirk Francis at libero, Dean Bittner at opposite, Dan Alexander and Antwain Aguillard in the middles and Jimmy Baughman and Tommy Pesotlesi on the outsides. Coach Read picked his spots with the “double-sub” move, sometimes inserting Srdjan Nadazdin for Conor and Mike Klipsch for Dean for three rotations and sometimes utilizing only Serge for blocking purposes…the wizard keeps working…

This from outside sources ...The nicknames are already flying and Eastern Washington University hasn't even begun installing its new artificial turf. The Slaughterhouse. The Blood Rug. The Bordello Bowl..

Athletic director Bill Chaves was seeking attention last month and sure got it when he announced that the turf would be red. “The uniqueness of the red field was able to generate an amazing amount of publicity. “ It also has generated donations. Michael Roos, an Eastern Washington alumnus who is a lineman for the NFL's Tennessee Titans, kicked the drive off with a $500,000 donation. ESPN broadcaster Colin Cowherd, also an EWU graduate, threw in $50,000. Note to EWU does fade, see the seats at the LBCC football stadium

Sharon Clark funeral and a tip of his cap from the Snowman, “That woman was the original Dirtbag in her office and at the ball park…that first year 1989 when we came in we had to build a whole team and we must have sent her a hundred transcripts to look at” It was both a sad and glad occasion…which reminds me that so many places I go these days I miss seeing my dear friend Dr. John Kashiwabara. The good guys leave us too soon.

Closing with ladies hoops. The coach is pulling her hair and the star has that bad foot again but I still may vote Figgy and Wynn as Big West POY and COY this season.

Blast from the past on good guard. via the all time Pyramid team...Crystal McCutcheon was one of the most successful women's basketball players in recent memory for the 9th-winningest program in the NCAA. She was tabbed as the 2006 Big West Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year after leading Long Beach State to a share of the regular season title. McCutcheon also earned first-team All-Big West Conference honors as a senior and second-team recognition as a junior.

She was one of 21 players in program history to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, accumulating 1,140 career points in her three years at The Beach. She averaged 13.6 points per game, while shooting a school-record 39.8 percent from beyond the arc...bring her back or at least sign her children--DR. DAN


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