Team preview: Cal State Northridge

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

For a few days last November, Bobby Braswell's wildest dreams seemed to be coming true.

His young Cal State Northridge team, virtually devoid of seniors and proven scorers, opened its season with a stunning upset at USC. Two days later, the Matadors defeated Tulsa.

Eventually, the Matadors' youth caught up with them in an 11-17 season that included 13 double-digit losses, but that opening stretch gave their coach a glimpse of what they could do. And with practically everybody back, Braswell expects to see a lot more of it this season.

"It definitely is a motivation for us,'' Braswell said. "Our guys come here with an idea every year that we want to battle for a chance to win the Big West championship. That's what our goal is this year. Last year we didn't play well and we lost some games. A lot of it had to do with a lack of experience and a freshman point guard. Now we're a year older and we've got some other pieces in the puzzle, so we're hoping we're going to be good this year.''

For that to happen, Northridge must deal with its one significant loss. Top scorer Mike Efevberha left to try his luck in the NBA draft -- he went un-drafted -- and will be difficult to replace. Fortunately for Braswell, he has a number of options and some proven firepower to work with.