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Gilberto Manzano

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Senior Kenny Daniels and the Matadors begin preseason play tonight against Cal Lutheran. Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / Sundial File Photo

Senior Kenny Daniels and the Matadors begin preseason play tonight against Cal Lutheran. Photo Credit: Jonathan Pobre / Sundial File Photo

For the upcoming 2009-10 season the Matadors return three starters from last year’s tournament team that almost got the upset against powerhouse Memphis in the first round. Head coach Bobby Braswell has already made it clear that Kenny Daniels, Willie Galick and Mark Hill will remain in his first unit, but who are the other two players?

When asked who those two players are, coach Braswell simply said, “I don’t know yet.”

Tonight the men’s basketball team welcomes Cal Lutheran University for an exhibition game at the Matadome. Braswell will use this game to get a sense of who the rest of his starters are and who will see minutes off the bench.

On Halloween the Matadors had a scrimmage with Lenny Daniel and Rashaun McLemore both being in the first unit. Both Daniel and McLemore are Richmond, Va. products and transferred from junior colleges with impressive resumes. Daniel averaged 17.5 points per game with eight rebounds last year for Coffeyville Community College. McLemore played last season for Frank Phillips College and averaged 17.6 points per game and was also named team MVP.

Look for Daniel and McLemore to be in the starting lineup against the Kingsmen but they are not locked in to be starters for the season opener against No. 7 Purdue.

The exhibition game seems to be a tryout for the Matadors in showing Braswell what they can do in a game. It’s easy for players to impress people in practice or a scrimmage, but can they flaunt their skills in a game.

“I feel I can contribute real good. I’m very athletic, I run the floor, get a lot of highlight reels and rebounding,” Daniel said about what he brings to CSUN.

Last season the Kingsmen finished second in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Cal Lutheran has the two top scores in the SCIAC last season, forward Andy Meier and guard Kyle Knudsen. Meier averaged 16.3 points and Knudsen scored 16.2 points per game.

Northridge shouldn’t have trouble with Cal Lutheran since they are a Divison-III school. Expect many Matadors to score in double digits.

“There is no pressure in this game and I’m just seeing it as an extended practice,” Braswell said about the exhibition match.

Senior Vincent Cordell is a candidate for one of the starting jobs. Last season Cordell had starter like minutes coming off the bench. Look for Braswell to give Cordell plenty of minutes and let him make his case for a starting spot.

After tonight’s game the Matadors have one more exhibiton before the season kicks off. The will host The Masters College on Saturday.