We’ve known that Long Beach State was heading towards some roster upheaval for a few weeks now, but the news will soon become official: five players from last year’s team will not be on the roster next season.
The three biggest names: Keala King, Tony Freeland and Deng Deng. They’re 49er careers are caput.
A report from the Press-Telegram doesn’t paint a pretty picture on the status of the program:
Sources close to the program said there was tension, if not dissension, during the season, and it spilled over badly down the stretch when teams with less talent beat the 49ers because they had discipline. It all melted down in an NIT loss at Baylor, a 112-66 disaster in which Monson unloaded the bench in the second half and there were words among players after the game.
There’s much more in the article linked above, and it goes a long way towards explaining just what went wrong with a team that had the talent to win a game in the NCAA tournament.
Part of the problem, according to Bob Keisser, who penned the article, was that LBSU head coach Dan Monson brought in four transfers at the same time this season in an attempt to replace the talent he lost after the 2011-2012 season. On paper, it looked great. But the underlying issues that some of the newcomers brought along with them ended up tearing the team apart.
And really, this is what should be expected when teams build a roster with the castoffs of other programs. There’s usually a reason that things didn’t work out at their previous school. If anything, this should help you appreciate how much Fred Hoiberg has been able to accomplish the past two years with the roster that he had at Iowa State.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.