Let's Play ... The highly anticipated 2013-14 Cal State Northridge team will officially be unveiled on Friday, Nov. 8, when the Matadors host Hope International University in the season opener ... Tipoff is 7:00 pm ... The Matadors. under first year head coach Reggie Theus, has undergone a complete makeover since last year ... Nine new players have joined six returnees to comprise the 15-man varsity roster ... The scoring, rebounding and assist trio of Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, and Stephen Maxwell will return to lead the CSUN scoring and rebounding attack.
"We want to make the Northridge community, the University, the student body, the faculty and staff proud of the product we put out on the basketball court. The Matadors will be the hardest playing team in the Big West Conference. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
CSUN head coach Reggie Theus
Ghizal Hasan and Alan Zinsmeister will serve as the radio voices for CSUN basketball this year ... Their live broadcasts can be heard on gomatadors.com ... Hasan has served the previous two seasons as the voice of women's basketball for Cal State Northridge ... Zinsmeister begins his tenth season as color commentator for CSUN.
CSUN has only faced Hope International once in the 55-year-history of Matador basketball ... On December 1, 2005 at the Matadome, CSUN scored a decisive knockout of the Royals, 117-55 ... Five CSUN players scored in double figures led by Mike Efevberha, who scored a career-high 33 points ... Efevberha added five assists and three steals ... Jonathan Heard and Terrell Jones came off the bench to score 17 and 16 points, respectively ... Austin Waggener led Cal State Northridge with eleven rebounds ... The 62-point victory over Hope International remains the third-largest margin of victory over an opponent in school history ... Only a 116-42 victory (74 points) over UC Santa Cruz (11/22/80) and a 117-51 (66 points) decision over Bethany College (12/7/02) remain as the only other largest--of-margin of victory in school history.
Hope International University, located in Fullerton, Ca., returns two of its top four scorers from last year's team that chalked up a 26-8 record ... Jeremy Kilgore (5-11, 170, Senior, Guard, Corona, Ca) provided the leading scoring touch for the Royals last with a 15.1 points per game average ... Forty-two of his baskets came from behind-the-arc ... Austin Sanford (6-5, 205, Junior, Forward, Carson, Ca) averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season ... Sanford shot .563 (142-for-252) from the floor along with a team-leading 33 blocks ... Garrett Neilan (6-4, 180, Sophomore, Guard, Downey, Ca) is expected to be another top scorer for Hope International after averaging 8.4 points per game along with 4.1 caroms per game ... Hope International competes as a NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school as well as a member of the Golden State Athletic Conference ... Bill Czech is in his fifth season as head coach at Hope International.
Cal State Northridge played one exhibiiton prior to the regular season opener against Hope International (Nov. 8, 7:00 pm) ... The Matadors defeated Cal State Los Angeles, 82-67 ... Four players scored in double figures led by Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) with 21 points along with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in 35 minutes ... Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Woodland Hills, Ca) added 17 points and eleven rebounds in 34 minutes ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, Forward/Guard, Thousand Oaks, Ca) chipped in 16 points while Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Sophomore, Forward, Sheridan, Or) had ten points and 12 rebounds ... Four players tallied 30 or more minutes ... Landon Drew (6-1, 175, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), CSUN's starting point-guard, dished out eight assists ... The Matadors held Cal State Los Angeles to only 38 percent shooting, and 26 percent from the three-point territory ... CSUN hit 25-of-32 free throws.
"Our objective is to make a student-athlete successful not only at CSUN but in life. This is the start of their journey. We want to make the Northridge community, the University, the student body, and the staff proud of the product we put out on the basketball court."
Reggie Theus, CSUN head coach
Stephen Maxwell comes from a family that stresses academics ... Maxwell has two sisters who have gained outstanding academic distinction in the classroom ... Jessica Maxwell graduated from Occidental College and earned her Ph.D in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University ... Jessica is now a visiting assistant professor in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California's (Berkeley) Department of Art History ... Tiffany Maxwell is a highly successful costume designer/stylist specializing in custom, handmade garments primarily for stage and music videos in Los Angeles ... Maxwell's brother, Kevin, is an accomplished singer from the swing and jazz era (like Frank Sinatra) and is currently recording a CD ... Stephen Maxwell, a Communications major, gained Big West All-Academic honors last year.
"My mom reminds me every day about the important of an education. She cares more about education than anything. I really admire her for that."
CSUN junior forward Stephen Maxwell
Dave Yanani is a legendary coach in the Los Angeles who not only enjoyed success on the high school level but also coached collegiately at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Northridge ... Yanani gave CSUN head coach Reggie Theus his first job in coaching as a volunteer assistant at Cal State Los Angeles in 2002-03.
"Reggie discovered he loved coaching so much. He had a love for teaching, interacting and communicating with the players. He showed his competitive side as a teacher. Reggie embraced his coaching role on the team.
Dave Yanai, former Cal State Los Angeles head coach
Trevone Williams won uniform #30 last season to honor his late uncle, Trevone Castleberry .. Williams has changed his uniform to #10 this year to honor his late father, who wore that uniform number when he was a star athlete at Crenshaw High School and Antelope Valley College.
"#30 is still in my heart for my late uncle but #10 is 'home' to honor my best friend, my dad. From the time I wake up, and during the course of the day, I think about my dad."
CSUN sophomore forward Trevone Williams
J.J. Thomas, a junior forward, hails from Opelousas, a small town in Louisiana ... Thomas can cook with several specialities that include crawfish etouiffee, jambalaya, shrimp creole, and gumbo.
"Opelousas (La.) is the spice capital of the world and the center of Zydeco music. Southern people are warm and friendly. People from the South want to make you feel at home."
CSUN junior foward J.J. Thomas
Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) has switched his uniform number from #0 to #1 ... Greene has scored 990 points in his three-year career with Cal State Northridge ... Ten more points would give him 1,000 points ... That would make Greene the 16th player in the 55-year history of CSUN basketball to reach that milestone ... Landon Drew (6-1, 175, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) graduated from Fairfax High School ... One of his high school teammates was Reggie Theus' son, Reggie Jr., who is a freshman basketball player at the University of South Carolina ... Landon's father, Larry, is the head coach of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks ... Amir Garrett (6-6, 210, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is a left-handed pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization ... Garrett's fastball has been clocked at 96-miles per hour ... Aaron Parks (6-3, 198, Freshman, Guard, Baltimore, Md) had never visited California before taking a basketball recruiting trip from his East Coast home in Baltimore (Md) to the West Coast, specifically the campus of Cal State Northridge ... Chris Pompey, CSUN assistant coach, played football at the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 ... One of his teammates was quarterback Dan Marino, who later enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins.
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball programs, has enjoyed a major overhaul that will make the 51-year-old building enjoyable for CSUN fans ... An extensive multi-million dollar makeover has included a new court, video boards, new graphics, new scoreboard, new sound system, high definition cameras, a live video production studio, new seats and bleachers, VIP floor seating, air conditioning, and the improvements go on-and-on ... Matador fans attending games will be thoroughly impressed ... The Matadome has endured a few dull, mundane names; Matador Gym, Northridge Gym, San Fernando Valley State Gymnasium ... The Matadome was once called KPE100 (Kinesiology Physical Education 100) ... During the first four years of collegiate men's basketball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors had to play their home games at several high schools in the San Fernando Valley including Granada Hills, Monroe and Birmingham High Schools ... In the 51-year history of the Matadome, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only five losing campaigns.
Cal State Northridge has played 1,517 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... Since the 1962-63 season, Cal State Northridge has played 613 home games at The Matadome with a winning percentage of .649 ... In 51 seasons on CSUN's home court, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only five losing seasons ... A total of 416 players have worn the Red, Black & White of Cal State Northridge ... Thirty-one states have been represented in years past on the Matador roster ... This year's 15-man roster will feature ten players from the Southern California area (Robert Cid, Landon Drew, Devonte Elliott, Amir Garrett, Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, Kevin Johnson, Stephen Maxwell, K.J. Smith, Trevone Williams), one player from Louisiana (J.J. Thomas, Opelousas), one player from Maryland (Aaron Parks from Baltimore), one player from Nevada (Ben Vozzola from Las Vegas), and player from Oregon (Tre Hale-Edmerson from Sheridan), and one player from Pennsylvania (Dominique Youmans from Philadelphia).
The 56th season of Cal State Northridge basketball season will be as exciting as the previous 55 years ... For the past eight seasons, Cal State Northridge has played at least one Pac-12 school ... This year is no exception ... On Nov. 12, CSUN travels to the Galen Center to face the USC Trojans ... The trip to USC will begin a six game road trip that will take to team (following the USC game) to Fresno State (11/16/13, 7:00 pm) and four games at the Central Michigan Tournament (Nov. 21-26) ... Fourteen home games will be played at the Matadome in 2013-14 ... Big West Conference play will start at home with a Jan. 9 (7:00 pm) encounter against UC Davis ... The conferene season will end at home against four-time league champion Long Beach State on March 6 (7:05 pm) ... As Cal State Northridge starts its 56th year of intercollegiate basketball competition, the Matadors have played 215 colleges and universities that have represented 43 states ... Geographically, Cal State Northridge has played as far west as Hawai'i and as far east as New Jersey (played in Rider College in 2008-09).
Cal State Northirdge has been tabbed to finish seventh in the Big West Conference basketball pre-season media poll ... The Matadors generated 89 points ... UC Irvine is picked to win the league title with 183 points followed by UC Santa Barbara (167 points), Cal Poly (165 points), Long Beach State (164 points), UC Davis (114 points) and Hawai'i (110 points) ... CSUN is picked for seventh place followed by Cal State Fullerton (57 points) and UC Riveside (31 points) ... According to Athlon Sports Magazine, CSUN is predicted to finish second in the Big West Conference ... Athlon picked UC Irvine to win the conference followed by CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal Poly, Hawai'i, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
Cal State Northridge will be a popular commodity on television in 2013-14 ... CSUN's trip to USC (Nov. 12, 8:00 pm) will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks ... Cal State Northridge, expected to be a contender in the Big West Conference, will be featured on Prime Ticket in two games during the 2013-14 season ... The Big West Conference, in partnership with Prime Ticket (the official regional telecast home of the Conference) announced the 2013-14 men's basketball television schedule ... Both Matador games on Prime Ticket will be played at the renovated Matadome ... In all, eight conference games will be televised on Prime Ticket ... On Saturday, January 18, CSUN will host UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m. The Gauchos, in past years, have been a contender for post-season honors ... Again in 2013-14, UCSB will be a title contender that features perhaps the finest player in the league, forward Alan Williams ... Then on Saturday, February 22, CSUN hosts UC Irvine in a 7:30 p.m. contest ... The Anteaters, in all the pre-season basketball magazines, have been tabbed as the team to beat in the conference ... The other six home games at the Matadome will be played at 7:00 p.m. ... Five regular season Big West contests will be aired nationally on ESPN2 and ESPNU ... All matchups will be determined utilizing a "Wild Card" format which ESPN will make its selections three-to-four weeks prior to the event ... Three CSUN games are on the docket as candidates for "Wild Card" games ... They include Cal Poly at Cal Poly on Jan. 16; CSUN at UC Riverside on Mar. 1; and Long Beach State at Cal State Northridge on Mar. 6 ... During the previous five seasons, Cal State Northridge basketball was featured prominently on television (32 times to be exact), including games on CBS, Fox Sports Net and ESPNU ... During CSUN's march to the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09, Matador games were televised a school record nine times.
"Having two CSUN televised men's basketball games among the eight conference games on Prime Ticket is huge for our program. It speaks to the increasing credibility and excitement of the new era of Matador basketball. Home games against formidable opponents UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine will be highly entertaining for our fans and supporters."
Dr. Brandon Martin, CSUN's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics