Cal Basketball vs. CSU Northridge Game Thread

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Time: 7:30 PM PT/10:30 PM ET
Video: Cal Bears All-Access ($)
Stream: Post links in comments (I believe Channel Surfing had a scoreboard link last year)

Pregame material: Interviews with Mike Montgomery, Brandon Smith and Allen Crabbe. Jeff Faraudo with more on Smith and his own CSUN preview.
Preseason reading: Exhibition recap, point guards, wings (shooting guards and small forwards), big men (power forwards and centers), season expectations, practice report.

Our season opener at Haas Pavilion should be the easiest game of the season and should tell us a little bit on how far these Golden Bears can max out this season. Pomeroy ranked CSU Northridge as the 255th best team based on their preliminary rankings and projected an 81-64 victory. I'd say any double digit victory shows that Cal is meeting expectations, and anything less than that probably means riding with this team will be extremely bumpy.

What's interesting is that CSU Northridge has already played a Pac-10 team. The UCLA Bruins beat them down in Pauley 83-50 last week, so it'll be a good measuring stick for how we stack up to the rest of the conference. The Matadors are extremely young and coming off a disappointing season, so it'll be important for the team to get going early.

Here's the season preview from the CSU Northridge newspaper, the Daily Sundial.

The Matadors, who finished 11-21 overall and 6-10 in the conference play a year ago, had a lack of chemistry on the court as they committed 17.5 turnovers per game and ranked last in the conference with 11.3 assists per game.

However, with the upcoming season opening Friday night at UCLA, the Matadors have rebuilt with the addition of 10 new players (eight freshmen, one junior college transfer, and one redshirt sophomore).

This year’s team is the youngest in Braswell’s 15 seasons at CSUN. He knows that it will require plenty of patience from him to coach the freshman players.

"The biggest thing for this group is getting these young guys (freshmen) to understand how hard you have to play," Braswell said. "Get them to compete hard, day in and day out. Not allow them to get out of focus and when you’re young like that, it’s hard to stay focused."

One freshman who could give Braswell less of a headache is Josh Greene from Community Charter High School. The Matadors have been pleased with Greene’s work ethic and strong showings during practice.

"Josh Greene is really competitive and he is the one player that has played really well for us, and we’re excited about what he has shown us," Braswell said.
The seven returning Matadors have been guiding the new players during the offseason workouts.

"All the guys are welcoming me and the other freshmen," guard Aqeel Quinn said. "They’re just like brothers."

So what happened against the Bruins? Here's a postgame interview with head coach Braswell and the players.

CSUN vs UCLA BBALL 11-12-10 (via Viccorona)

There will be a lot of young faces, so they'll probably easily bounce back and give it their all in Berkeley tonight. Cal better be ready to take their best shot and let their talent win through. This'll be a battle of two teams that are closer to high school than to graduation, so there might be some running and flying tonight. Regardless of the result, it should be an entertaining watch on your Tuesday night!

GO BEARS!

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