New Mexico vs. Cal State Northridge: Game Preview, TV & Radio Schedule, Livestream, More
Paul Weir’s Lobos take on Mark Gottfried‘s Matadors in an early away game at the Matadome.
Can the Lobos win early on the road?
WEEK 1: New Mexico Lobos (0-0, 0-0 Mountain West) vs. California State University, Northridge Matadors (0-0, 0-0 Big West)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 6 — 8:00 PM MT/7:00 PM PT
WHERE: Matadome; Northridge, Los Angeles, CA (2,400)
STREAM: CSUN Sports Network
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads 5-0
The New Mexico Lobos head to California’s San Fernando Valley to take on the California State Northridge Matadors for their first game of the 2018-2019 college basketball season.
A team rated 120 in KenPom’s preseason college basketball ratings, the Lobos will be significantly favored to come out ahead of the Matadors (who are rated 336 by KenPom’s preseason metrics) in their season debut, even if it is on the road.
But it won’t be a given.
The Matadors are led by new hire Mark Gottfried, who was previously a six-year head coach at North Carolina State. While at NC State, Gottfried led the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four years with the program, two of which resulted in Sweet 16 finishes.
The Matadors return a solid point guard in 2017-2018 Big West freshman of the year Terrell Gomez, who should help facilitate things on the offensive end. As a freshman, Gomez averaged 11.7 points per game and 3.6 assists per game and played a hefty 34.1 minutes per game.
Lobo head coach Paul Weir says that an early road win is critical and that a lack of early road games last season became “like a monkey on [the team’s] back”.
“Last year – January 17 I believe – at UNLV . . . that was our first road win so it was obviously a really long haul of road games throughout November December and January. So this is an opportunity for us to hopefully go on the road and start our season off the way we would like. . .it’s just kind of a way we’re attacking it and just trying to get our season started on the right foot”.
Notably, the Lobos will be without freshman point guard Drue Drinnon who suffered an ankle injury early during the Lobo scrimmage against NAU. Carlton Bragg is also likely to sit out for the game. While Weir is hopeful that the NCAA will accept Bragg’s waiver to play starting on Nov. 6 before the game, he noted that he would rather wait for the right decision to be made by the committee than pressure them to make a decision.
However, there is good news for the Lobos. Senior guard/forward Dane Kuiper will be able to participate in Tuesday’s opener. The 6-7″ Lobo suffered a shoulder injury during New Mexico’s cherry/silver scrimmage, but imaging tests showed no serious injury.
Even with a reduced arsenal, the Lobos should have plenty of firepower to get the season off to the start Paul Weir is looking for. Expect New Mexico to move on to 6-0 all time against the Matadors.