As a Southern California native I can honestly tell you that until 2018 the words “Wow, I want to go see a Cal State Northridge game” never came out of my mouth. Then CSUN hired Mark Gottfried, and I’ll admit it drew some interest, then I see that in the season opener a redshirt freshman by the name of Lamine Diane scored 34 points as CSUN fell at the buzzer to New Mexico. My interest had been peaked and suddenly I wanted to watch the Matadors. Northridge has some fascinating players on their roster like sharpshooter Terrell Gomez, Gottfried’s son Cameron Gottfried, and also Ron Artest III who looks just like his father. But none of them compare to the 6’7 double-double machine from Senegal. Diane is strong, nimble and quick with magnificent touch around the rim. It’s exciting to imagine what the sophomore — and our Freshman of the Year — will have in store for next season after leading all of Division I in made field goals while averaging 24.8 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game and 2.2 blocks per game.