Northridge, Calif. – Never in its 54-year basketball history has Cal State Northridge had a player from Opelousas, La.
They do now.
CSUN's newest addition to the Matador basketball family is J.J. Thomas, a talented 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard/forward who is heading west to the Matador campus after spending the past two seasons (2010-11, 2011-12) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, according to Matador head coach Bobby Braswell.
"We are extremely excited to have J.J. join our program, said Braswell. "He will bring a level of toughness and tenacity that be invaluable to our program. He brings (NCAA) Division I experience and maturity that will benefit our young guys. On the court, he can score inside-and-out, and is a great rebounder. He'll have a great career as a Matador."
Thomas will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the upcoming 2012-13 campaign because of NCAA transfer rules.
While at UL, Thomas played in 49 games, 30 as a starter. During his freshman season in 2010-11, Thomas led the team in scoring (11.3 ppg) to become the first UL freshman in ten years to garner All-Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors, and All-League accolades.. His top scoring games included a career-high 28 points against South Alabama, 25 points against Western Kentucky and 22 points against Louisiana-Monroe.
His rebound-high included 16 boards against Arkansas-Little Rock.
In the last eleven games of the 2010-11 campaign, Thomas averaged 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. His best rebounding game in his freshman season was 16 boards at Arkansas-Little Rock.
Thomas topped the Ragin' Cajuns with 104 field goals in 2010-11. He registered a team-best six double-doubles and ranked second in rebounds at 6.2 boards per game.
Prior to the 2011-12 campaign, Thomas was picked as a pre-season all-conference selection. Thomas ended the year with an 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game average. That included 20 points against Arkansas State, and 19 points and nine rebounds against Bowling Green.
Thomas helped the Ragin' Cajuns to a 27-11 record in two seasons in Sun Belt Conference play.
And before we end this story, where exactly is Opelousas, La? At only 7.5 square miles, Opelousas is the most densely populated incorporated city in Louisiana, located at the junction of Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 190 in the lower central section of the state of Louisiana.
Founded in 1720, Opelousas is Louisiana's third oldest city. The city is known as "the spice capital of the world" and the center of zydeco music.
Matador Memo …
Cal State Northridge will play three Pac-12 teams in 2012-13 and each of those games will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks … The hoops game at UCLA on Nov. 28 will be televised at 9:00 pm; The Dec. 8 game at Arizona State will be televised at 11:00 am; and the Dec. 21 game at Utah will be televised at 7:30 pm