Before the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team heads to the court to face their next opponent, here is what you need you to know about the Big West Conference's Long Beach State 49ers:
1. Their biggest contributor is: Senior guard/forward James Ennis
Ennis is averaging 16.4 points per game through the 49ers' first seven match-ups this season, making a little over 45% of his attempts from the field. He has led the team in scoring three times in their first seven games.
He also leads the team in rebounds per game with just shy of nine boards per contest, and is the only 49er to average almost two blocks per game. Ennis has been the top rebounder for the 49ers' in two of their seven contests.
Forcing Ennis to connect from the free throw line is more favorable for him as he is shooting a little over 85% from there this season.
2. On the boards
Along with Ennis, junior forward Dan Jennings has been productive in gaining rebounds for the 49ers. He averages seven boards per game and has led the team in three of their seven match-ups.
As a team, Long Beach State has been out-rebounded in five of their seven matches.
They average 34.6 rebounds per game, while Syracuse is averaging 43.5 rebounds per game.
3. The 49ers vs. Michael Carter-Williams
As a team, Long Beach State is averaging 9.6 assists per game. Syracuse's sophomore guard Carter-Williams is attaining 9.3 assists per game on his own this season.
4. From long range
Teams that give Syracuse's 2-3 zone the most trouble are those who can connect well from beyond the arc.
So far this season, the 49ers have struggled from three-point range, making a mere 49 of their 147 attempts from distance.
They have, however, had two strong outings, where they shot better than 40% from beyond the arc. On average, they have made 33.3% of their attempts from deep over their seven-game span.
5. Play versus Top 25:
The 49ers have not shied away from playing those teams regarded among the nation's top talent, entering the Carrier Dome having faced the North Carolina Tar Heels, who were ranked 11th at the time of their match-up, and the Arizona Wildcats, who were ranked 10th.
Syracuse will be the first of two more Top 25 opponents that the 49ers will face back-to-back; after playing the fourth-ranked Orange, they will take the floor against the 7th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Long Beach State has lost both of their matches with the Top 25 by at 15 points.