Aloha from the Hawaiian Islands where Cal State Northridge arrives at its next road destination ... CSUN has been no stranger to away games in 2012-13 ... Eight of the team's 12 games this year have been away from home including road stops to Salt Lake City (Utah) and Provo (BYU), Utah, Tempe (Arizona State), Arizona and San Diego (USD) ... CSUN now travels to its longest distance of the regular season at the University of Hawai'i in the Big West Conference opener for both schools ... The date is Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 7:30 pm (HT) ... That translates to 9:30 pm (PT) on the West Coast ... There will be no live internet radio coverage of the game, but Live Stats and Twitter coverage will be available at gomatadors.com ... The game will be televised to the Honolulu area on OC Sports ... Television details are available at hawaiiathletics.com ... The spring semester doesn't start until January 22, 2013 so between now and Jan. 22, the Matadors will play seven Big West Conference games ... CSUN is ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.770) and tenth nationally in scoring (81.3 ppg) ... CSUN has won 100 percent of the time this season (4-0) after recording 30 or more field goals made ... CSUN has won 83 percent of the time (5-1) when Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) has scored 19 points or more, and 82 percent of the time (9-2) when Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) grabs five rebounds or more.
CSUN won its ninth game (76-71 at Utah) of the year on Dec. 21, 2012, a winning feat the basketball program has not accomplished this quick in the 55-year history of Matador basketball ... CSUN's 76-71 victory at Utah (12/21/12) was the team's first victory over a Pac-12 school since Nov. 20, 2005 when the Matadors recorded a 81-76 overtime verdict at USC ... The Matadors were down 21 points, 49-28, at halftime ... It was the biggest come-from-behind victory for Bobby Braswell in his 17 seasons as head coach at CSUN ... In addition to the win at Utah, CSUN has scored wins over four other Pac-12 schools including California, Oregon, UCLA and USC in school history ... The 6-0 start to the 2012-13 season was the best in school history since CSUN began NCAA Division I play in 1990-91, and the best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
Depth has been a major strength for CSUN in 2012-13 ... While CSUN's five starters (Josh Greene, Allan Guei, Tre Hale-Edmerson, Stephan Hicks, and Stephen Maxwell) are averaging 18 minutes or more per contest, four reserve players are averaging 14 minutes or better per game ... Landon Drew (18.8 mpg, 6-1, 175, Freshman, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Brandon Perry (16.8 mpg, 6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca), Trevone Williams (15.8 mpg, 6-6, 225, RS Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) and Donovan Johnson (14.5 mpg, 6-3, 185, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) are all seeing extensive action ... Drew has scored in double figures in four of the last five games including a season-high 19 points at Utah (12/21/12) ... Drew has hit a team-leading .455 (15-for-33) from three-point territory which also ranks fourth-best in the Big West Conference ... Drew is second-best in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.7 ... Perry is averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game ... Perry's best game of the year included a 22-point (7-for-8 from the floor), five block effort vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) ... Perry leads the team in blocks (13, 1.1 bpg, #7 in hte BWC) ... Williams has scored in double figures in three of the last four games including a season-high 13 points vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) along with a season-high six rebounds ... Williams has hit 16-of-25 shots (.640) from the floor in the last four games ... Johnson scored a team-high 19 points in the season opener against Pepperdine (11/9/12) ... And another reserve, Morgan Tilford (6-7, 200, Sophomore, Forward, Lexington, Ky) is approaching the double-digit mark in minutes played as a reserve at 9.2 mpg ... Tilford scored a season-high nine points vs Vanguard (12/5/12), and a season-high five rebounds vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12).
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, Woodhill 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 team in both scoring (17.8 ppg, #3 in the BWC) and rebounding (8.5 rpg, #3 in the BWC) ... Hicks' name is among the statistical leaders in field goal percentage (.532, #4 in the BWC), free throw percentage (.864, #3 in the BWC), steals (1.83 spg, #3 in the BWC), offensive rebounds (2.92 rpg, #6 in the BWC) and defensive rebounds (5.58 rpg, #3 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 12 games this year, including season-highs (25 points) at San Diego (11/15/12) and at BYU (11/24/12) ... Twice this year, Hicks has been named Big West Player of the Week ... Greene has hit .929 (52-for-56, #1 in the Big West Conference, #19 in the nation) from the free throw line, and is among the league's top statistical leaders in assists (4.75 apg, #2 in the BWC), steals (1.67 spg, #4 in the BWC), and assist/turnover ratio (2.40, #4 in the BWC) ... Greene is the new school record holder with 33 straight throws ... Greene made two straight free throws vs Vanguard (12/5/12) to give him 33 straight before missing on his 34th attempt ... Maxwell is averaging 12.1 (#3 on the Matadors), 6.9 rebounds per game (#2 on the team, #9 in the BWC) and shooting .528 (57-108, #5 in the BWC) from the floor.
Free Throw Facts
Last season, CSUN led the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.755, school record) ... This year, CSUN has hit .770 (218-for-283) from the charity stripe including 25-of-27 (.952) vs Pepperdine (11/9/12), seventh-best for a single game in school history ... CSUN has made a league leading 218 free throws, 43 more than second place Cal State Fullerton ... CSUN's starting five has hit 164-of-199 (.824) free throws ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is the conference free throw leader and 19th in the nation (.929, 52-for-56) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.856, 173-for-202), is third-best in school history.
Last year, CSUN employed 17 different lineups ... This year through 12 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).
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).
Vander Joaquim (6-10, 245, Senior, Center, Luanda, Angola) leads UH (6-5) in both scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounds (8.1 rpg).
Hawai'i holds a 6-1 advantage over CSUN ... That included a 86-76 decision last year (11/14/11) ... Stephan Hicks (6-7, 200, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca) scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds ... CSUN's lone victory in the series took place at Hawai'i on Dec. 3, 1998 (The Matadors posted a 89-79 victory).
Only 12 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 a seven game span, 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 ... Brandon Perry's (6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca) five blocked shots vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) is second-best for a single game in school 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).
CSUN leads the Big West Conference in steals (9.67 spg) ... CSUN is second in the league in scoring (81.3 ppg, #10 in the nation), scoring margin (+7.8), free throw percentage (.770, #9 in the nation) and third in assists (16.42 apg) ... Two CSUN 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 ... Like Guei, Ilyayev had to learn English when he moved to the United States at age four ... Ilyayev holds dual citizenship ... CSUN started the year, 6-0, its best start since CSUN moved to the NCAA Division I level, and its best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign.
CSUN set a wrecking ball to the record book with its 120-69 victory over Vanguard (12/5/12) ... The 120 points scored by CSUN were the third-most in school history ... The 32 assists were third-best for a single game in Matador history ...The .672 shooting percentage (45-for-67) was fifth-best for a single game in he 55-year history of Matador basketball ... The 51-point margin of victory was the seventh-largest in school history ... The 45 field goals scored were ninth-best for a single game in Matador history ... The seven blocks against Vanguard were ninth-best in school history.