On the road, AGAIN ... Willie Nelson, the country western singer, would be a big fan of Cal State Northridge basketball ... For the seventh time in ten games, the Matadors will be playing away from their home court, The Matadome, this time for a non-league contest at Arizona State on Saturday, Dec. 8 (Noon, mst) ... This will be the second of three contests against a Pac-12 opponent this year ... On Nov. 28, CSUN traveled to UCLA ... CSUN will also play at Arizona State (Dec. 8, Noon, mst) and later this month, Dec. 21 to be exact, a non-league contest at the University of Utah ... Cal State Northridge is no stranger to playing a Pac-12 school ... In each of the past ten seasons, CSUN has played a Pac-12 opponent at least once during that season ... Not since the 1991-92 season has Cal State Northridge played a Pac-12 opponent three times in one season ... The Matadors have played every school in the Pac-12 Conference with the exception of the University of Arizona ... The CSUN (7-2) vs Arizona State (7-1) game will be broadcast live on gomatadors.com with Alan Zinsmeister handling the broadcast duties ... Live Stats and Twitter coverage will also be available at gomatadors.com ... The game will also be televised on the Pac-12 Networks ... CSUN is ranked 24th in this week's CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll.
CSUN started the year, 6-0, its best start since the Matadors moved to the NCAA Division I level, and its best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign ... The 7-2 record to start the year is the best since the 1988-89 season when the Matadors were 9-2 ... The last time CSUN recorded a win over a Pac-12 team was against USC on Nov. 20, 2005, 81-76 ... The CSUN vs BYU game (11/24/12) at Provo, Utah, attracted 20,900 fans, the largest crowd to ever witness a Matador basketball game ... Depth has been a strength for CSUN ... Nine players are averaging 13 minutes or more per game ... Five players are averaging 19 minutes or more per contest ... CSUN leads the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.786) and offensive rebounding (14.67 per game) and is first in steals (9.89 spg) ... Two Matador players (Allan Guei, Ilya Ilyayev) speak foreign languages ... Guei was born in Italy, but spent his early childhood in the Ivory Coast where he learned and spoke French ... Guei moved to the United States at age nine where he had to learn a second language, English ... Ilyayev was born in Moscow, Russia ... Ilyayev speaks fluent Russian.
As expected, Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodhall Hills, Ca) have been the team's top three players ... All three players are prominently mentioned in numerous Big West Conference statistical categories ... Hicks leads the Matadors in both scoring (18.1 ppg, #4 in the BWC) and rebounding (8.0 rpg, #3 in the BWC) ... Hicks' name is among the statistical leaders in field goal percentage (.538, #3 in the BWC), free throw percentage (.865, #4 in the BWC), steals (1.78 spg, #6 in the BWC), offensive rebounds (3.00 rpg, #5 in the BWC) and defensive rebounds (5.00 rpg, #7 in the BWC) ... Hicks has already established career-bests in field goals (9), steals (7), assists (3), and blocks (1) this year ... Hicks has scored in double figures in all nine games this year, including season-highs (25 points) at San Diego (11/15/12) and at Brigham Young (11/24/12) ... Greene has hit .920 (46-for-50, #2 in the Big West Conference) from the free throw line, and is among the league's top statistical leaders in assists (5.22 apg, #3 in the BWC), steals (2.00 spg, #3 in the BWC), and assist/turnover ratio (2.6, #2 in the BWC) ... Greene is the new school record holder with 33 straight throws ... Greene made two straight free throws against Vanguard (12/5/12) to give him 33 straight before missing on his 34th attempt ... Maxwell is averaging 13.7 (#2 on the Matadors) and 7.4 rebounds per game (#2 on the team, #6 in the BWC) ... Maxwell is shooting .563 (49-87, #2 in the BWC) from the floor ... Maxwell has shot 57 percent or better in six of the nine games ... In the last three games, Maxwell has hit 19-of-30 shots for .633.
Free Throw Facts
Last season, Cal State Northridge led the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.755, school record) ... This year, the trend continues ... The Matadors have hit .786 (176-for-224) from the charity stripe in the first nine games, including 25-of-27 (.952) against Pepperdine (11/9/12) in the season opener, seventh-best for a single game in school history ... The Matadors are ranked eleventh in the nation in free throw percentage ... CSUN has made 39 more free throws than the second-best (free throws) team in the league, Cal State Fullerton ... CSUN has made 176 free throws compared to 137 for CSF ... CSUN's starting five has hit 136-of-164 free throws for .829 ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is the CSUN free throw leader at .920 (46-for-50, #2 in the BWC) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.852, 167-for-196), is fourth-best in school history.
Which NCAA Division I basketball team is the youngest in the country? ... Look no further than Cal State Northridge ... In a nationwide survey conducted by the Naval Academy media relations office, in terms of playing experience, the Matadors have 17 active players with only eleven years of collegiate basketball experience, an average of 0.65 years per player ... Three of the nation's least experienced teams hail from the Big West Conference ... Following the average of 0.65 years per player by Cal State Northridge, Dartmouth is second nationally at 0.73 years per year, followed by Navy (0.76 years), UC Santa Barbara (0.78 years) and UC Riverside (0.79 years) ... Their are NO seniors on the 17-man Cal State Northridge active roster ... Their are ONLY three juniors ... The rest of the Matador squad is either freshmen (seven) or sophomores (seven).
CSUN set a wrecking ball to the record book with its 120-69 victory over Vanguard (12/5/12).
* The 51-point margin of victory was the seventh-largest in school history.
* The 120 points scored by CSUN was the third-most in school history.
* The .672 shooting percentage (45-for-67) was fifth-best for a single game in he 55-year history of Matador basketball.
* The 45 field goals scored were ninth-best for a single game in Matador history.
* The 32 assists were third-best for a single game in Matador history.
* The seven blocks against Vanguard were ninth-best in shool history.
What a difference a year makes ... Last year, CSUN employed 16 different lineups ... This year through nine games, CSUN has been consistent with the SAME starting lineup of Allan Guei (5-9, 160, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and the front line of Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) and Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Freshman, F/C, Sheridan, Or).
Sun Devil Spotlight
Arizona State is 7-1 ... The seven wins include a 83-68 win over Arkansas (11/23/12) ... ASU is 6-0 at Wells Fargo Arena ... Four players average in double figures led by Jahii Carson at 18.3 ppg ... Carson has also dished out a team-leading 43 assists ... Carrick Felix checks in at 15.5 ppg ... Felix is shooting .590 from the floor ... Jonathan Gilling, Jordan Bachynski and Felix are averaging 7.9, 7.3 and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Arizona State has won all four meetings in the series.
Only nine games into the 2012-13 season, and already the Matador record book has undergone change ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) set a school record with 33 straight free throws over the last seven games, to break the previous record of 32 set by Markus Carr during the 2000-01 season ... Greene's 14-for-14 free throw effort in the 92-76 victory over Tulsa (11/17/12) was second-best for a single game in school history ... Greene dished out 13 assists against Eastern Washington (11/12/12), a career-best and sixth-best for a single game in school history ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) also added his name to the CSUN record book with a 9-for-10 shooting effort at San Diego (11/15/12) ... That stat proved to be the third-best effort in Matador history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at San Diego (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history.
Cal State Northridge has been picked to finish eighth in the annual Big West Conference pre-season media poll ... The Matadors generated 83 points ... Long Beach State, the defending league regular season and league tournament champion, earned 13 first place votes and 194 points to emerge as the league favorite in 2012-13 ... The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points, and third place UC Irvine's 153 points ... The 21-member media panel tabbed Big West member Hawai'i for fourth place with 132 points followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth place (129 points) ... Pacific was picked for sixth place (113 points) followed by Cal Poly (100 points), Cal State Northridge (83 points), UC Davis (44 points) and UC Riverside (43 points) ... CSUN's Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca), who gained Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2011-12 with a 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game average, has been named to the pre-season media all-conference team ... Also named to the pre-season team were James Ennis (Long Beach State), Vander Joaquim (Hawai'i), D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton), Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) and Michael Wilder (UC Irvine).
Cal State Northridge has played 1,486 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... There will be three doubleheader games along with the Matador women's basketball team this year ... The dates are Nov. 9, Dec. 5 and March 7 ... On Nov. 9, the Matador women played Portland followed by the men's game against Pepperdine ... On Dec. 5, the CSUN women played USF followed by the men's contest against Vanguard ... On Mar. 7, the Matador women play Cal State Fullerton at 5:00 pm followed by a 7:30 pm contest for the men's team against Hawai'i ... The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team is the pre-season favorite to win the Big West Conference title ... Since the 1962-63 season, Cal State Northridge has played 603 home games at The Matadome with a winning percentage of .656 ... In 50 seasons on CSUN's home court, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only four losing seasons ... Entering the 2012-13 season, 407 players have worn the Red, Black & White of Cal State Northridge ... Thirty-one states have been represented in years past on the Matador roster.
The 55th season of Cal State Northridge basketball promises to be just as competitive and exciting as the previous 54 years ... Three Pac-12 Conference teams (UCLA, Arizona State, Utah), a game at Brigham Young (BYU), and the addition of Hawai'i to the Big West Conference calendar are just a few of the highly competitive games that are on the 2012-13 docket ... Thirteen home games will be played at The Matadome ... Nine of those 13 home games will be Big West Conference games includings contests against defending league champion Long Beach State (Feb. 9, 7:05 pm) and Hawai'i (March 7, 7:30 pm)