What a difference a year makes. In last year's (exhibition) opener, it took a buzzer-beating 3 point shot by Mustafa Abdul-Hamid for the Bruins to prevail in a game that foretold the struggles that would face the squad in the following weeks, including an embarassing loss in the regular season opener against Cal State Fullerton. Tonight, the Bruins started the game with a 15-0 run and never looked back en route to an 83-50 victory against Cal State Northridge. Reeves Nelson led the team with 17 points, despite sitting out much of the first half with foul trouble. Tyler Honeycutt added 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Lazeric Jones scored 15 points in his Bruin debut. Although he scored 'only' 8 points on 4-10 shooting, from the wonderful quality and camera angles of BruinTV, Malcolm Lee looked more comfortable in his role on this year's squad. While overshadowed by Reeves and the debut of Joshua Smith, Brendan Lane had a nice debut and return from ankle surgery, scoring 5 points and blocking 3 shots while leading the team with 8 rebounds.
While Reeves and Tyler H led the scoring efforts, the newcomers to Westwood made their presence felt against Northridge. As in the two exhibition games, Lazeric Jones started the game at point guard. Although not against the strongest of competition, Jones' play did support his status as the Bruin starting point guard, finishing tied for a team-high 4 assists with just 1 turnover in 23 minutes, along with 15 points (6-7 shooting) and 2 steals. Tyler Lamb had his moments coming off the bench, with 7 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and a rebound in 20 minutes. While not a newcomer to Westwood, Anthony Stover did make his varsity debut tonight, shedding last year's redshirt to block 4 shots, as well as score 3 points and a pair of rebounds in his 16 minutes on the floor. ...Oh, some guy named Joshua Smith also played tonight. Joshua started at center and played 20 minutes, scoring 9 points and grabbing 7 rebounds (4 offensive), though limited by his 4 fouls (something to watch for as the season goes on).
Not everything came up roses tonight, however satisfying the final score was. While Honeycutt finished with a pretty 15/6/3 line, he also turned the ball over 7 times. While Tyler was the leading offender, the team combined to turn the ball over 22 times (3 of which were committed by walk-ons). While Zeke Jones used this game to make his case to stay in the starting 5, Jerime Anderson started this season right where he left off last spring. Playing 16 minutes off the bench, he accrued the vaunted triple-single (1 point, 1 assist, 1 rebound), while turning the ball over 3 times and confirming the feelings of Bruins Nation and the judgment of Coach Howland in starting Zeke at the onset of the season. While Lane and Smith had a good evening on the boards, the team as a whole only outrebounded CSUN by 1 (39-38 final rebounding margin), with CSUN taking 18 offensive rebounds.The Bruins next game is Monday night @ Pauley against Pepperdine, 8pm Pacific on ESPNU (and presumably streaming on ESPN3.com). As always, please feel free to post any extended thoughts on tonight's game as a fanpost. This is your postgame thread.