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Oregon State Basketball: Cal State Northridge Matadors Preview (Game 1)

The fighting Mark Gottfrieds come to Corvallis.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-0)

  • Head Coach: Mark Gottfried (2nd Season)
  • Top Performer: N/A
  • Points For: N/A
  • Points Against: N/A
  • Last Game/Streak: 81-74 Win vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills (Exhibition)
  • Conference Affiliation: Big West Conference

The Skinny

Picked to finish third in the Big West preseason poll, Cal State Northridge (known more commonly as CSUN), is a much more formidable opponent than they may appear to the average spectator.

The Matadors return four starters and 92% of their scoring offense from a year ago, anchored by forward Lamine Diane, who last season was the only player in the history of the Big West Conference to claim Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards all in the same season. A native of Senegal and product of Findlay Prep High School, Diane has been one of the most transformative talents in all of mid-major basketball, who still somehow is sitting below the radar nationally.

Joining Diane to give CSUN a balanced inside-out duo is Terrell Gomez, who despite his 5’ 8” frame averaged 19.2 points per game a year ago to earn his own All-Big West First Team accolade. Gomez is a lethal shooter, who broke the Matadors’ program all-time record with 117 made three-pointers in 2018-2019 and expects to carry even more of the load on both ends of the floor this year.

Outside of their two stars, Mark Gottfried has a few more reliable pieces that will undoubtedly make their impact felt in this one, led by Rodney Henderson Jr. and Darius Brown II, who averaged a combined 18.9 points, 8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per contest last season. But ultimately, like most initial contests of any season, this match-up will come down to which team is ready to take the floor and which squad comes together quicker in their debut.

Either way, college basketball is back people. Let’s just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Player To Watch

NCAA Basketball: Big West Conference Championship
CSUN forward Lamine Diane is already drawing comparisons to former mid-major stand-out and now NBA star, Pascal Siakam.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Lamine Diane (Forward - RS Sophomore)

While Lamine Diane’s name isn’t too well known on a national scale (yet), he might go down as one of the best players in the history of the Big West Conference. He averaged a stunning 24.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in his rookie campaign and should begin to receive attention from NBA personnel in the coming months. A huge performance in a season opener could go a long way for a player like Diane to put the pressure on those watching from the next level.

Game Info

  • Date: Tuesday, November 5th
  • Time: 8:00 PM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network