Scouting Report: Northridge

Cal State Fullerton is coming off a loss to Loyola Marymount and it's not going to get any easier as the Titans will host Northridge. The game is the Big West Conference opener for both teams.

Despite losing to LMU on the road, Northridge is a much better team than the Lions, both in shooting and in athleticism. They will certainly be able to match up better against Pape Sow.

CSUN's starting center Chris Davis puts in 13.5 points per game and is second in rebounds at 5 per game. If Davis has trouble containing Sow, CSUN will bring in big-body freshman Thomas Shewmake (10 ppg, 4 rpg), a very capable backup.

CSUN has five guys averaging 10 points or more per game and another -- junior forward Ian Boylan -- who is at 9.9.Boylan was expected to be the top Matador on this year's team but, as it stands right now, he barely makes the top five. He was Big West Freshman of the Year back in 2001-02.

Boylan has struggled this year hitting only 40% of his shots and 36% from three point territory but he is leading the team in minutes played at 32 a game.

CSUN's best player, Etoagwara Onyenegecha, has only played two games due to not being eligible during his first semester after transferring from San Francisco CC. According to head coach Bobby Braswell, "He is a very skilled and versatile athlete that can shoot from the perimeter or score from the post."

In those two games Eto is shooting 67% from the floor, including hitting 2 of three on three-pointers. He is averaging 19.5 points a game to go along with 4 rebounds.

As usual, expect the Titans to try to contain a more athletic Northridge team by playing mostly zone. LMU surprised the Titans by playing a zone and that was quite effective, so you would have to expect CSUN to try the same, at least until Cal State Fullerton proves they can beat it.

Northridge is currently riding a two game win streak after demolishing Lafayette (#24 ranked mid major) at home. Reports were the Matadors were playing with a very high intensity and confidence. The Titans, on the other hand, are on the other side of the coin. After losing to LMU Bob Burton stated, "What bothered me was that we didn't play with any intensity. We didn't play smart or tough, and that's a bad combination."

TitanCentral.com Spin: A brand new season starts on Saturday and the Titans somehow, someway need to pull out a win at home. Last time they played this poorly at home was against Sacramento State and they came back to beat Pepperdine on the road. Northridge is hot and the TItans will need to play better defense and also play with more enthusiasm if they want to start the new year on the right track.

 

Game 10: Northridge
Saturday, January 3, 2004 @ Titan Gym

Rankings CollegeRPI Massey Sagarin
Cal State Fullerton (4-5, 0-0) 248 234 204
Northridge (4-4, 0-0) 212 175 148
The Line: CSUN by 5 (TitanCentral.com estimate)

Here are the projected starting lineups:

Pos Cal State Fullerton Northridge
PG Bobby Brown 6-1, 170 Michael Scott 6-0, 185
SG Derick Andrew 6-2, 180 Joseph Frazier 6-2, 185
SF Anthony Bolton 6-7, 190 Ian Boylan 6-6, 215
PF Hardy Asprilla 6-5, 225 Eto Onyenegecha 6-6, 204
C Pape Sow 6-10, 250 Chris Davis 6-9, 230
First off the Bench
  Zakee Smith 6-0, 175 Thomas Shewmake 6-10, 250
  Yaphett King 6-4, 235 Davin White 6-1, 185
  Babacar Camara 6-10, 250 Terrell Jones 6-5, 185
  David Warsaw 6-4, 200 Sergei Lepiashinski 6-2, 205
  Brian Pruitt 6-6, 225    
         
 

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