I'm a featured columnist who takes pride in having a dual persona. I can be a team's best supporter and harshest critic at the same time because I always have high expectations for the teams I follow, from preps to college to the pros.
First off, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos were picked in the preseason Big West Media and Coaches' Preseason Polls to finish first and defend their title.
They did that, winning by the score of 64-56.
The team they defeated? Long Beach State. The same Long Beach State side they prevailed over at the Anaheim Convention Center last year.
The same Long Beach State side that picked the worst time to shame itself, choking in grandiose fashion before a sparse crowd at the Honda Center, cavernous when the Ducks aren't in town (although that is set to change with the West Regional rolling in for a few days).
The same Long Beach State side I have this heavy dose of good old vitriol against.
Shame on you, Long Beach, for failing to execute your game plan. Shame on you for failing to finish inside the post. Shame on you for failing to finish outside the line.
Bad passes, the inability to adjust and a lack of firepower from Casper Ware, T.J. Robinson, Eugene Phelps, Larry Anderson and senior leader Greg Plater is a recipe for disaster.
This 49er team could lose to Long Beach Poly on a bad night. Now granted, Long Beach Poly is one of the best prep teams in the state of California, and even though they did lose to Santa Ana Mater Dei on the same day in the CIF Southern California Regionals, one would think that Poly could have done better than this Beach side in stopping Orlando Johnson and Jaime Serna.
Johnson scored 23 points while Serna added 14.
As for the 49ers, when I see a team shoot 28.8 percent from the floor as well as 23.5 percent from beyond the arc, I doubt that Long Beach should even bother with this NIT ordeal. What's the point?
Oh, and where was the bench for Long Beach State? Brandon Nevens and Edis Dervisevic only had two points each.
Long Beach State did not live up to the plaudits they received. I knew the sloppy play against UC Irvine in the quarterfinals and the mess against UC Riverside in the semifinals was going to haunt them sooner of later.
To the great umbrage of those bleeding black and gold, it came at a time where they could have redeemed themselves for their shortcomings last year.
If you were to ask me if this year's Long Beach State side is better than last year's, I would laugh in your face and answer, "No."
Not by a country mile. Anybody who dares think that this Long Beach State 2010-11 men's basketball season is a success deserves to be Beach-slapped.
Why? It's simple. Long Beach State has not learned their lesson from last year, and this is why I am rendering their season a failure, a wash and a disgrace, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Because of this, it is my hope that the Beach gets crushed in the first round of the NIT.
A 20-, maybe 30-point loss to a major-conference side, random at that, whose bracket bubble got burst by the rich old white boys known as the NCAA Division I Selection Committee.
Makes sense, really. After all, dear reader, what is the point of Long Beach State taking part in any postseason tournament if they can't even win their own conference tournament?
You figure it out from here.