Despite a 13-21 season, Mark Gottfried has a lot to look forward to following his first season in the San Fernando Valley. Talent will be returning to the Matadome, as the reigning Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Lamine Diane chose to stay in school, alongside high scoring guard Terrell Gomez and fellow starters Darius Brown and Rodney “Rocket” Henderson. CSUN will also have a healthy Avery Martinez and Teddy Ochieng after redshirting their freshman campaigns.
Year two in the 818 should be provide to be more fruitful, as the Matadors will be adding talent as they look to get back into the Big West title game, and, hopefully, an appearance in the Big Dance for the first time since 2009.
Ndumnya was a vital part of Capistrano Valley Christian School’s success, putting up 18.9 points to go with 13.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks during his senior campaign. Oh, he also shot 67% from the field. The Nigerian native provides the Matadors with a low cost presence, someone with the ability to deter shots at the rim and boxing out for rebounds.
All this while registering to be 6’7, shows the work rate and athleticism Ndumnya brings to a squad that needs the presence in the middle of the paint.
Lance Coleman II
Similar to Rocket, Coleman joins the Matadors from the JUCO level, transferring in from Fullerton College. A gifted scorer, Coleman has the ability to do so from all three levels, as shown by his shooting splits of 46/91/42 during his sophomore campaign en route to a state championship. Not only did he help guide his side to the championship, he was named the tournament MVP.
Coleman’s ability to knock down shots will be welcome at the Matadome, as you can never have too many shooters.
Possibly the most surprising commitment came from Hill, a combination guard from Highland High School in Lancaster. Hill provides a ton of athleticism, as shown by throwing a monster jam during the 2017-18 campaign. Hill has since improved his jumper, gaining consistency and confidence to help open up his penetrating game.
With the Matadors being guard heavy, Hill will face tough practice competition, aiding in his improvement for years to come.
Brookins will have to red shirt, transferring in from LaSalle, but provides the Matadors with an athletic big man going forward. Having played at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Brookins is no stranger to Southern California, giving him an opportunity to play in front of his family and friends.
Hopefully Diane decides to stay for his junior campaign, as Brookins would be a good fit up front with the big man.