Team preview: Long Beach State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 31, 2005, 12:22 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Larry Reynolds is the first to admit that at one point last season, things looked pretty bleak for Long Beach State. The 49ers, missing injured starters Anthony Coleman and Louis Darby, lost 16-of-18 games, including an ugly eight-game losing streak that lasted a month.

These days, the outlook is a lot sunnier in Long Beach. The 49ers stopped the bleeding when the injured players returned in February and closed the season with a flourish, winning eight of their last 10 to squeeze into the Big West Tournament and provide a jolt of momentum heading into a season that Reynolds, the fourth-year coach, thinks will be pivotal.

"We played more like we anticipated in our last 10 games," Reynolds said. "We finished pretty strong, and that gave us some impetus going into this season."