Game Day Preview – Cal St. Northridge


California State University at Northridge (Public)
Mascot: Matadors
Location: Northridge, CA
Enrollment: 36,200

Current Record: 1-6 (0-0 in Big West Conference)
RPI: 269         SOS: 187
Coach: Bobby Braswell (15th Season)

First Thought: This is probably one of those games that will not help UW’s RPI and SOS when they are sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble in March. Cal St. Northridge may very well end up with an RPI near 300 after they play the Big West schedule.

Best Win: 73-70 win over Pepperdine (RPI 255)
Worst Loss: 86-67 at Hawaii (RPI 328)
Last Game: 73-70 win over Pacifica College (Division III)

Synopsis: The Matadors have not played a Division I team for two weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see if they are rusty or have used that practice time effectively to turn their season around. So far, they have shown themselves to be far from threatening. They lost by 24 to Drake and by 42 to Boise State.

The Matador’s leading scorer is 6’5” freshman guard Steven Hicks, who is averaging 17.5 ppg. He is a slasher, who likes to take it to the rack. He is also leading the team in rebounding at 7.5 per game. But, he has not shown himself to be a threat from the perimeter.

Their second leading scorer is 6’0” sophomore guard Josh Green at 10 ppg. He does like to take long distance shots (every game he’s shot a minimum of six 3-pointers), but he’s only shooting 25% from beyond the arc currently.

The only other threat for the Matadors in terms of minutes played and points scored is by 5’10” senior guard Vinnie McGhee. He also loves to shoot from long distance, but also is averaging 25% from 3-point range. He is averaging 9.8 ppg.

My analysis: As a team, the Matadors are scoring 66 ppg and are well into the 200’s in almost every statistical category. This team lacks depth and looks like they will be overmatched in terms of both size and stamina against the Huskies.

This looks like one of those games where it could get ugly fast. Whether the Huskies will be able to use this game to work on some of their weaknesses, such as a half court offense or a ¾ court press will be up to Romar. I am also hoping to see this as a game where he can give Martin Bruenig and Hikeem Stewart some serious minutes, so they can work their way into the rotation more and gain some confidence. The team could use them for depth and gaining more experience will come in handy when the conference season begins.

My Prediction: UW 94 Cal St Northridge 61