Monday, February 4, 2019

CSUN vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. CSUN, Game 1
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 7 PM PST
Overview:  It can be said that the Gauchos played at full strength for the first time this season as Max Heidegger played like the All Big West Player he was a year ago in the Gauchos 21 point romp over the Warriors in Hawaii.  They return home to take on the young and improving Matadors who are led by Freshman Phenom and POY candidate Lamine Diane. 

By the Numbers                                                             
Quadrant 4 Game
csun xxx logo.jpg
UCSB logo small.png
Record 10-13 16-5
Home/Away (D1) 3-6 (A) 7-1 (H)
Big West Conference 4-3 5-2
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 266 129
NET 273 140
SOS (ESPN BPI) 338 337
CBS Preseason Rank 343 288
SI Preseason Rank 312 185
Preseason Poll Pick 9th 4th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 120 99
Defense 338 190
Team Statistics (Overall/BWC)
Scoring 78.0  /  72.5 75.0  /  69.3
FG% 47.0  /  43.3 46.0  /  41.9
3Pt % 37.0  /  36.0 34.9  /  35.5
FT% 70.1  / 64.8 69.8  /  66.4
PPG Allowed  80.7  /  75.6 64.7  /  64.3
FG % Defense 44.9  /  42.0 40.8  /  44.3
3Pt % Defense
38.8  /  38.7
28.8  /  30.5
Rebounding Margin  -2.3  /  -4.3 +7.5  /   +3.0
Best win (NET): Pepperdine (away, 161)
Worst Loss (NET): Portland (home, 315)
Trend:  The Matadors are 4-3 in Big West play but two of those wins are against Poly and the other two vs. UCR & LB.  Against the top half of the conference they are 0-3 though they did have an 18 point lead on Irvine. 

UCSB- CSUN History
This will be the 57th meeting between the two teams with the Gauchos holding a 37-19 advantage.  The Gauchos swept the series last year and own a 2 game winning streak.  The Gauchos defeated the Matadors in the first game between the schools in 1959 and the Matadors returned the favor the following season.  UCSB’s longest win streak is 8, from 1969-1976 and the Matador’s longest is 4 from 2009-2010.
Head Coach
Mark Gottfried took over the troubled Northridge program from Reggie Theus this year.  He has the deepest pedigree of all Big West coaches and this is true even if you don’t consider his lead assistant is former UCLA & Pepperdine coach Jim Harrick.  He won a National Championship as an assistant under Harrick at UCLA and has numerous NCAA tournament appearances and victories in lengthy stints at NC State, Alabama and Murray State. 
CSUN has one of the youngest rosters in the country and one of the thinnest.  Gottfried has only gone 7 deep in the past few games.  Youth and a lack of depth goes far to explain why the Matadors have given up several big leads this season.  So with the negatives out of the way, the Matadors have two excellent players in Freshman Darius Brown and JC transfer Rocket Henderson and two All-Big West Level players in Terrell Gomez and Lamine Diane. To expand upon Chiefstinkyfinger's favorite theme, the talent in Northridge this year is not limited to the porn industry.

Probable Starters
Guard Darius Brown  #10 6’1”, 180lb, Freshman  8.0 ppg, 5.6 apg, 3.3 ATO ratio. 3.1 rpg, 31 mpg.  Leads the team with 36 steals, is shooting .458 from the field.  Would be a FOY candidate if not for his attention-grabbing teammate. 
Guard Terrell Gomez  #3 5’8” 160 lbs, Sophomore  19.5 ppg, 2.8 apg, 38 mpg.  Gets to the line about 4x a game and makes 86% of his freebies.  A workhorse who is shooting an impressive 48% from the field including .438 from deep.   Leads the league in made three pointers with 81.  Second in the Big West in scoring.  Reigning FOY.
Wing Rodney Henderson  #1 6’5”, 185lb, JC Transfer Junior  12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 27 mpg.  A good three point shooter, is second on the team in makes, .349  Nicknamed Rocket.
Forward Lamine Diane  #35  6’7”, 205 lb. RS Freshman  24.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 36 mpg.  Leads the league in scoring and rebounding, also ranking in the top ten in these categories nationwide.  Does just about everything well except hit his free-throws, just 51% on 165 attempts.  His moves, touch and length are all elite level.  Is the POY favorite and if any other player wins it will be a travesty.
Forward Jared Pearre  #25  6’9”, 190 lb. RS Freshman 3.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 16 mpg.  Has been filling in for the injured Michael Ou. 
Key Reserves
Guard Cameron Gottfried #15  6’3”, 190 lb.  GT  5.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 26 mpg.   Coach’s son, the Grad Transfer provides some rare senior leadership on this young roster.  Was at NC State for two years previously but did not play.  Got little PT prior at Siena College.
Forward Ron Artest Jr  #14  6’7”, 215 lb  Freshman.  16 mpg.  Has only played 5 games, may not have been eligible earlier.  I’ve seen him play a bit and he is physical & a hard worker, but not that skilled
Center Michael Ou  #30  6’9”, 230 lb  Freshman  4.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg. Was starting but is out with an injury right now.  From China

View from a Matador fan:  pending

Match-up overview:  As mentioned, the Matadors have top level talent but little depth, especially in the five position. They boast the best offense in the conference but their defense is horrible and the Gauchos should score a ton.  JP could go a couple directions with this.  Go with a big line-up where CSUN does not have the front-court to stop Sow/Idehen/Lakoju or go with a fast-paced game with frequent substitutions.  Regardless, CSUN does not rebound well and UCSB crashing the boards as they have all year should translate more scoring opportunities for the Gauchos.  CSUN usually hangs for ¾ of the game before wearing out and UCSB’s depth should lead them to a victory

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Sow takes advantage.  Can we get a repeat of his game vs. Hawaii please?
·       Diane is way too much for any one player.  Will be interesting to see who JP sticks the defensive assignment to. Sow may be the best but could get some quick fouls this way.
·       Pressure the Matadors early.  Their guards are terrific but JP has been extending the defense to good effect the past couple games and constant pressure should work to wear CSUN out.
·       Max integration project, complete? How great was it to see his perimeter shot finally fall with regularity.  When he is on and the rest of the starters are playing to their capabilities, UCSB should not lose in BW play.

Prediction:  CSUN’s talent will likely keep this close for a while but the Gauchos have so much more depth and are finally firing on all cylinders.  UCSB 88 CSUN 72

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