Friday, March 16, 2012
Sports Illustrated has a way of putting the mush on things. They featured Jeremy Lin not once but in two consecutive issues and now with a new director on Broadway, the Lin-Sanity show might go on a hiatus. While I was watching my alma mater, Long Beach State, play in the tournament, my weekly Sports Illustrated arrived in the mail. I quickly ripped through the magazine and there on page 50 was a huge picture of Caspar Ware and an article attached that was called, "Beware The Sleeper." I looked up from this article and the score was 20-20 in the first half of the Long Beach State-New Mexico game. Two things ran through my head, the first one was, I have never seen a feature article in Sports Illustrated on Long Beach State athletics, ever, and the second thought was, great, the 49ers have now been mushed. And they were.
New Mexico went on to beat the 49ers 75-68 and advance to the next round of the tournament. The 49ers played a solid game but I knew this was going to be difficult without a healthy Larry Anderson. He tweaked his knee a few weeks ago and when he came on the court he was obviously hobbling. He is the Scottie Pippen on this 49ers team. You needed him to win. Caspar Ware went 5 of 19 from the floor and he was unable to take a breather in the second half. It definitely showed late in the second half with New Mexico up 62-61 and Ware missed the front end of a one-and-one. This is when the floor tilted towards New Mexico.
Not to say that they didn't give it a valiant effort. Long Beach had a two point lead late in the second half but the Lobos went on an 11-5 run that put them up 70-66 with a 1:52 left. There was nothing left for the 49ers to do.
Caspar Ware, Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson was Dan Monson's first recruiting class when he took over the program in 2007. With all three of these players seniors, I would like to wish them good luck and thank you for bringing a competitive brand of basketball to the Pyramid over the past four years.