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2011-12 Numbers: 14 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.9 spg
Larry Anderson was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Year, but his toughest opponent right now may be his own body. He missed the Big West tournament with a sprained MCL, but fully expects to suit up against New Mexico.
If he's near 100 percent, the Lobos may get a first-hand look at what the toughest non-conference schedule in America can do for a team's confidence. The 49ers didn't win over opponents like North Carolina, Louisville and Kansas, but nor were they blown out.
Anderson, for his part, was solid in those big games. He notched 17 points and six rebounds against Louisville. Fourteen points, seven assists and three steals against Kansas. Seventeen points and five rebounds against UNC. Twenty-five points and eight rebounds against San Diego State.
After all that, the Big West schedule was a cakewalk for Long Beach.
One thing that will demonstrate the condition of both Anderson's knee and Long Beach's chances to advance will be how much he tries to drive the lane. After a three-game stretch in late January, where he shot 31 free throws, Anderson only took eight trips to the foul line in his next six games.
If Anderson's standing at the line a lot on Thursday, the Lobos could be standing in line at the airport on Friday.