Matador Minute with Jason Flowers --- Women's Basketball
It’s a busy time for third-year Cal State Northridge women’s basketball head coach Jason Flowers. With a two-year old running rampant around the house and a new class of freshmen arriving on campus, Flowers is a strikingly calm presence amid the frantic energy around him. Of course, training camp and the season beckon in just over three months and by that time Flowers figures his pace will pick up markedly.
Things figure to be a little different in 2012-13 for CSUN, Flowers and the Matadors. There will not be much sneaking up on opponents after a 17-14 overall record, a second-place finish in the Big West Conference and in guiding the nation’s best turnaround.
Q: What were your goals in creating the 2012-13 schedule?
A: “In order to get better, there always need to be challenges. We wanted to create situations where we challenged ourselves, hence the games at Oklahoma, Arizona and UCLA. And with the challenges, we fully expect our student-athletes to respond.”
Q: Now that the freshmen are starting to arrive on campus, how excited are you to usher in a new class of student-athletes?
A: “Freshmen are always entertaining and being on campus for the first time can be a lot like being a kid on Christmas morning. They bring enthusiasm, energy and excitement and that becomes pervasive in the people around them. Whether it’s the first workout, practice, team meeting or game, it’s all new and represents a new period in their lives. As student-athletes, they need to find out what needs to be done to be successful and how they will contribute to that process. As coaches, we need to help in that transition and make sure they are making the right decisions.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the continued development of the Big West Conference?
A: “I’m not very good at forecasting the future. The scores and the games will all play themselves out. What I can say is the league continues to improve. And because of that, we are focused on the student-athletes in our program and getting better every day.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the returning players to the team in 2012-13?
A: “It is all about growth and development, and not just on the basketball court. We want to make our student-athletes better people and better basketball players. We want them to be ready to be successful. Our group of sophomores has undergone quite a metamorphosis from where they were a year ago. And that’s exciting because they are really just starting on the path of the rest of their lives.”
Q: And what are your thoughts on your class of three seniors?
A: “They have all had different journeys that have led to one singular path. Two of these young women have been at CSUN for their whole career and experienced the ebb and flow of both hard and good times. Our third senior took her own journey to get to Northridge, taking her across the country before she came back to California. Ultimately, they’ve all taken different paths to get to their senior season, but they have also grown as basketball players and people along that route.”
Q: With the Olympics quickly approaching, how do you see Team USA fairing in London?
A: “I think USA Basketball has been the flagship and the standard bearer for women’s basketball for a while. Young women in the United States are blessed with more opportunities than young women from other parts of the world. That shows itself on the court when it comes to competition. For me personally, it’s going to be a little different not to be at the games. I have had the good fortune to be an accessory at the past two games and it’s always great to see athletes from across the world all come together in competitive spirit. Getting to watch it on TV will result in some great family time.”
Q: Speaking of family time, how has the athletic development of your son Jayce progressed?
A: “Well Jayce just turned two so he’s a bit of a terror right now. He loves his sports and can go from shooting hoops to grabbing a bat to picking up a golf club in the blink of an eye. He’s really just soaking up everything around him.”
Q: Describe your feelings in seeing CSUN women’s basketball alumni succeed once they’ve left the program?
A: “We’ve been blessed to have some great student-athletes. I think you judge a tree by the fruit it leaves and while it may take 10-15 years after college to truly judge all the results, it is very exciting to see our young women experience success so quickly. That speaks to their character and to that of their parents. We hope to continue to grow and develop young women who will be successful both on and off the court.”
Q: What are your thoughts on all the new upgrades at The Matadome?
A: “The upgrades and improvements going on at The Matadome demonstrate the commitment that the university is making towards athletics. More importantly, it represents a commitment to our student-athletes and the campus community by enhancing the experience of events.”