Knights to watch
Point guard Dylan Haig
Haig, a junior, is the lone returning starter for a Knights team that finished at the top of the Independent School League in 2012-13.
Defensively, he has very quick hands and can force opposing guards into a lot of turnovers. His experience will be key as Northridge again plans to run a lot of match-up zone, according to coach Will Rey.
Although Haig has improved his shooting range since last season, his primary goal on the offensive end is to get his teammates involved.
“He’s the kind of player that gauges his own success on his ability to make the players around him better,” Rey said.
Shooting guard Mike Kane
Kane moves into the starting 2-guard slot in 2013-14 after playing key minutes off the bench as a junior.
The leading goal scorer on Northridge’s soccer team, he’s a very quick guard with the ball-handling skills to take pressure off of Haig at times. He has 3-point-shooting range and is always a threat to score from the perimeter.
Defensively, Kane can provide pesky on-ball pressure up and down the court against opposing backcourts.
“He brings a lot of speed and toughness to the lineup,” Rey said.
Center Matt Brown
At 6-foot-6, Brown will be key to the interior play for the Knights. His combination of size and skill will allow Northridge to play more of an inside-out style than they have in recent seasons.
“Because we have a little more size we’ll be able to throw the ball inside some more … and do more in the post than in the past,” Rey said.
At center, the junior will be asked to anchor the middle of the zone, keeping opponents out of the paint and off the glass.
“He’s long, he can block shots and he can grab rebounds,” Rey said.
Opposing coach’s take
They lost a lot of good players, but coach [Will] Rey always coaches them well … Northridge has never had a down year since I’ve been here … [Offensively] they test your defensive patience … They kind of lull you to sleep on the perimeter and wear you down … Dylan [Haig] will be huge for them. I thought he was one of the best point guards in the conference last season.
2012-13 Record: 21-4 overall, 11-1 Independent School League
2013 Playoffs: Lost in regional final of Class 2A to North Shore Country Day
Head Coach: Will Rey, 10th season
Projected starting five: jr. PG Dylan Haig, sr. SG Mike Kane, sr. SF Steve Leazer, sr. PF John Penner, jr. C Matt Brown.
Game to watch: Northridge at North Shore Country Day, 6 p.m. Dec. 4. This will be Northridge’s first chance to avenge a 41-37 loss in the regional final.