Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 7 PM PST
Quick Bite: A Matador and a Gaucho walk into a bar. Before taking their seats they look at each other and declare, “You suck!” At different tables, they sit down and begin to drink.
By the Numbers
|Quadrant 4 Game|
|Home/Away (D1)||2-9 (A)||5-2 (H)|
|Big West Conference||2-2||1-2|
|Composite National Rankings|
|DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin||269||157|
|Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)|
|Team Statistics (Overall/BWC)|
|Scoring||75 / 75.4||72 / 59|
|FG%||44% / 46%||47% / 42%|
|3Pt %||34% / 38%||33% / 32%|
|FT%||71% / 71%||75% / 75%|
|PPG Allowed (All/Conf)||79 / 75.0||66 / 57|
|FG % Defense||47% / 44%||44% / 43%|
|3Pt % Defense||38% / 33%||35% / 31%|
|Steals PG||6 / 7||5 / 8|
|Blocks PG||3 / 3||3 / 3|
|Rebounding Margin||-4 / -1||+6 / -1|
|Assists/Turnovers PG||14/13||13/12 / 9/12|
|Best win (NET)||San Francisco (99)||UT Arlington (114)|
|Worst loss (NET)||Cal Poly (313)||Beach Beach (292)|
|Trend (D1 only)
||Lost 1||Lost 2|
This will be the 60th meeting between the two teams with the Gauchos holding a 40-19 advantage. The Gauchos own a 5 game win streak in the series, having swept the season series last year and defeating the ‘Dors in the opening round of the BWT. All three games were close, intense battles with the Matadors playing much better defense than typical for them.
Mark Gottfried took over the troubled Northridge program from Reggie Theus last 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. He coaches with the cloud of an NCAA investigation hovering over his actions at his previous stop at NC State.
CSUN returns 85% of minutes played last year, the most in the conference. The most important part of the returning team, Lamine Diane, sat all but two games of the preseason and Rocket Henderson has been injured. Terrell Gomez carried the load in their absence but the Matadors struggled as no other front court player stepped up. Keep an eye on guard Elijah Harkless who has been terrific in his sophomore year.
Guard Darius Brown #10 6’1”, 180lb, Sophomore 9 ppg, 4 apg, 3.0 ATO ratio. 3 rpg, 31 mpg. Leads the team in assists and second in steals. Is shooting 47% from the field, 33% from deep
Guard Terrell Gomez #3 5’8” 160 lbs, Junior 21 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.7 rpg, 37 mpg.
Gets to the line about 4x a game and makes an astounding 93% of his freebies. A workhorse who had to carry the load while Diane was out. Leading three point shooter, with 3.6 makes per game at a 41% rate. Leads the league in made three pointers with 72. All BW 1st Team last year and, barring injury, a lock to repeat this year.
Guard Elijah Harkless #2 6’1”, 189lb, Sophomore 10 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg, 27 mpg,
Has made a huge jump from his freshman year, including garnering a BW POW award earlier this year.
An outstanding rebounder for his size, averaging over 6 per game. Leads the team in steals and is second in assists.
Forward Lamine Diane #35 6’7”, 205 lb. RS Sophomore 28 ppg, 11 rpg, 34 mpg. Missed all but two games in the pre-season due to academic ineligibility. Does just about everything well on offense, has even improved his FT shooting, at 64% after only hitting 50% last season. His moves, touch and length are all elite level. Known to take rests on defense. Reigning POY, FOY and Newcomer of the year, a first in the BW.
Forward Festus Ndumanya #11 6’7”, 220 lb Freshman 13 mpg
Limited production but has started 9 games.
Forward Lance Coleman #00 6’6”, 205 lb RS Junior 9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 27 mpg
From Fullerton JC, about half his shots are from deep (31%) and he is second in 3pt makes. Has started 6 games .
Forward Jared Pearre #25 6’9”, 190 lb. RS Sophomore 4 ppg, 4 rpg, 18 mpg.
Has started 9 games.
Guard Brendan Harrick #32 6’5”, 190lb, RS Freshman 5 ppg, 17 mpg,
Has started 8 games. Shoots 31% from deep. Great Nephew of Matador Asst Coach Jim Harrick
Center Michael Ou #30 6’9”, 230 lb Sophomore 4 ppg, 2 rpg. 11 mpg.
Has started 3 games. From China
Wing Rodney Henderson #1 6’5”, 185lb, JC Transfer Junior Team’s 3rd leading scorer last year and a good three point shooter, nicknamed Rocket. Has played only 3 games this year.
Forward Ron Artest Jr #14 6’7”, 215 lb Sophomore. 12 mpg. 2.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Has only played 12 games, starting 5 of them.
Match-up overview: It’s not the matchup it looked like it might be when these two teams were picked to finish in the top three and expected to contend for the title. Neither team is playing well and both possess losses to the either of the two worst rated teams in the conference in Poly and Long Beach. The CSUN backcourt and Diane have continued to be very productive on offense but the Matadors never found a player to help out Diane in the frontcourt and they usually lose the rebound battle. The Matador defense has been atrocious but it was last year as well and they played strong defense vs. the Gauchos in their three games so we’ll see.
On the Gauchos side, Pasternack has promised a shake up in the lineup after their flat showings the last two games What this means in the frontcourt with the incredibly tough-to-guard Diane will be interesting to see. FWIW, I predict a line-up of Max, JRoq, Cyrus, Toure and Sow to start.
Of note, in a BW scheduling quirk, UCSB plays CSUN in two of their next three games with Saturday’s home tilt vs. UCR in between. So they’ll close their year series with the ‘Dors before having played Davis, Fullerton or Irvine.
Keys to the game for the Gauchos:
· Drew Buggs destroyed the Gauchos in the last game and Darius Brown is an equally capable PG. Will a different line-up make a difference here?
· Sow & Idehen stay out of foul trouble while trying to contain Diane. Lots of help defense from Toure and Cyrus here. On the other side, attack Diane. Poly got him in foul trouble early which was key to the Mustang victory.
· Limit easy drives to the basket while rotating to the corner 3 (easier to type than to execute)
· The offense has stagnated and is no longer creating lanes in defenses. JP needs to fix this. Two of the better guards in the conference in Max and JRoq, need these two to work off of each other better than they have.
· Dominate the boards. CSUN will score and 70 points will probably not be enough this time, Gauchos will need the 2nd chance points.
Prediction: I have no idea what to expect from the Gauchos right now. CSUN is also erratic. Lets go with UCSB 76 CSUN 72. You can flip the scores, multiply by 3 & divide by 2, etc. and I won’t argue.
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