By this point, fans have heard about the successes of Long Beach State and their star-guard Casper Ware; Ware is the reigning 2011 Big West Conference Player of the Year after leading the49ers to a regular-season title, averaging 17.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Ware led the charged in the upset of then-No. 9 Pittsburgh on the Panthers home floor by going off for 28 points and 6 assists; he then nearly sparked another 49ers resume-builder, but narrowly-missed out against San Diego State at The Pit, despite 26 points and 6 assists. Even against North Carolina, the 5'10" guard had 29 points.
But this diminutive guard is not alone in sparking Long Beach State's rigorous and challenging non-conference slate. Versatile swing man, 6'5" Larry Anderson (a name to remember come picking out your brackets in the spring) had 12 against Pitt, 25 against SDSU, 17 in the loss to Louisville, 17 against UNC and then chipped in 12 in the win over Xavier. The 49es also boast a 6'8" TJ Robinson playing in the middle, who is averaging a double-double on the season with 12.3 points and 10 rebounds.