View Full Version : Western KY, Northridge, Riverside

08-29-2007, 04:46 PM
Cal State Northridge
The Matadors celebrate their 50th season of men's basketball and 18th at the Division I level. Such a milestone will be greeted with the return of the top three scorers from last year, including senior wing Jonathan Heard (13.5 ppg, 1,020 career points). ... Northridge has become a much better rebounding team of late, improving from the league's worst in 2005-06 to second-best with a 38.8 average last season. ... The Matadors are always one of the league's more athletic sides, having proved it by leading the conference in steals each of the past four seasons. All five returning letter winners had at least 22 steals last season and combined for 149 steals.


UC Riverside
Hopefully, Jim Wooldridge knows what he's getting himself into. The veteran has been hired to rebuild the struggling Highlanders program, meaning he is the fourth head coach in the past four seasons. Wooldridge has a career record of 312-237 over 19 seasons at stops like Central Missouri State, Texas State, Louisiana Tech and, most recently, Kansas State. ... Senior guard Larry Cunningham is a career 1,000-point scorer and will be joined on the perimeter by junior Chris Johnson and sophomore Charles Jim-George. ... Injuries led to issues inside last year, when UC Riverside ranked last among conference teams in rebound margin and blocks. The Highlanders also allowed opponents to shoot 53.7 percent inside the 3-point line.


Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers seem to have the easiest time of any Belt team in accumulating talent, and the 2007 incoming class is a continuation of Darrin Horn's long-running recruiting streak. Horn nabbed 6-10 center D.J. Magley out from under Oklahoma and Iowa, and 6-5 swing Steffphon Pettigrew was Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky after averaging 33.6 ppg as a prep senior. But offensive firepower isn't the problem: WKU missed out on the national postseason for only the second time since 2001 despite a 22-11 record, and lackluster defense (46.3 percent field-goal defense, 11th in the SBC) was to blame. Can the new guys provide some stops?

08-29-2007, 07:28 PM
Sounds like the 1st GAS game could be a high scoring shootout - glad my DirectTV carries ESPNU - hope the coaching staff can develop a good defensive strategy for the other 2 games - likely Texas Tech and hopefully Butler.

Butler Guy
08-30-2007, 05:49 AM
I'm hoping that your boys don't overlook them, in their preparation, and come out expecting a really competitive game. As a proxy, I suppose, you can think of Western Kentucky as a more talented St Mary's-type of team.

08-30-2007, 06:15 AM
The thing that makes me confident against them is that they're a run-and-gun team who, apparently, doesn't have the best D in the world. Against teams like that, GU usually does pretty well. With all the weapons, this season's squad should be able to run and gun with anyone. It's slow-down D that might be more troublesome.

08-30-2007, 06:38 AM
Zags do well against teams that are offensive orientated:

See Texas and UNC last year.

The teams they have trouble with are the teams that dictate tempo, slow the game down, and play a deliberate style from the half court.

See Butler and Washington State last year.

I think the Zags matchup well against a very good WKU team. Further, the Tennessee Vols are highly regarded and rightfully so. Still, their offensive nature makes me believe that the Zags matchup well with them too.

08-30-2007, 01:03 PM

Gonzaga better have its 3 point line defense in good shape.......

Butler Guy
10-12-2007, 06:02 AM
Courtney Lee of Western Kentucky. (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0710/cbk.seniors/content.9.html)