January 1, 2008

Matadors Open Big West Season at Cal Poly, League Favorite UCSB


Matadors Open Big West Season at Cal Poly, League Favorite UCSB
This Week's Matador Men's Basketball Release



Game Gossip ...
The 2007-08 Matador basketball season really now gets down to serious business ... It's the opening of the Big West season, and CSUN travels to Cal Poly (1/3/08, 7:00 p.m.) and to league pre-season favorite UC Santa Barbara (1/5/08, 7:00 p.m.) ... It is the second straight season that CSUN has opened the Big West season on the road ... At 8-3, the Matadors are off to their best start since 1988-89 campaign when they started 9-2 ... The 2007-08 Big West coaches pre-season poll predicts the Matadors to finish sixth with UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, CSUN's first two opponents to finish atop the league standings ... Cal Poly is currently 5-7 while UCSB chalked up the league's best non-league record at 11-2 ... Since joining the Big West in 2001-02, the Matadors best finish was tied for third during the 2001-02 (11-7 record) season and the 2004-05 campaign (12-6 record).

Series Story ...
The series against Cal Poly is the oldest in CSUN hoops history, 79 games ... The Mustangs hold a 43-36 advantage, including winning three of the last four meetings dating back to the 2005-06 season ... CSUN has won three of the last five meetings on Cal Poly's home court, Mott Gym ... However last year at Cal Poly, the Matadors dropped a 86-70 verdict despite 22 points and eight rebounds from Calvin Chitwood ... Rob Haynes added 12 points while Jonathan Heard chipped in with eleven ... Two nights later at UCSB, the Matadors ended the regular season with a 75-59 loss ... Chitwood again led CSUN scorers with 21 points along with five rebounds ... Alex Harris led UCSB with 25 points while Chris Devine added 16 points and six rebounds ... UCSB has dominated the series against the Matadors, winning 26 of 34 games ... CSUN is 1-7 on UCSB's home court, the Thunderdome.

Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell is in his 12th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... Braswell has coached 336 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 176-160 (.524) ... Braswell has guided Cal State Northridge to postseason play in each of his previous eleven seasons, reaching the conference tournament championship game on four occasions ... In past seasons under Braswell, the Matadors have prided themselves on tough defense and a productive offense ... Last year, the Matadors led the Big West Conference in rebounding margin (+6.9) and steals (8.97) ... Already this year, the Matadors have forced the opponents in 222 turnovers, produced 100 steals (#2 in the Big West), and have outrebounded the opposition, 444-412 ... Braswell's teams have been ranked in the Top 25 in steals nationally in ten of the last eleven seasons ... Braswell is assisted by second year assistant coach Louis Wilson, and newcomers Stan Johnson and James Blake ... Ryan Dodd is in his first season as Director of Basketball Operations.

League Leaders ...
Cal State Northridge and several players are among the leaders in the Big West Conference ... The Matadors are #1 in rebounding (40.4 rpg), offensive rebounds (14.3), defensive rebounds (26.1), field goal percentage defense (.416), blocked shots (4.8 bpg), and #2 in scoring (79.5 ppg), rebound margin (+2.9), assists (14.9 apg) and steals (9.1 spg) ... Tremaine Townsend and senior all-conference candidate Calvin Chitwood are 1-2 in the Big West in rebounding (9.1 rpg, 6.2 rpg) ... Townsend, Chitwood and senior all-conference candidate Jonathan Heard are 2--4-7 in field goal percentage (.522, .505, .495) in the league ... Townsend is fourth in blocked shots (1.4 bpg) ... Josh Jenkins continues to lead the conference in assists (5.8 apg) while Chitwood maintains his league lead in blocked shots (2.1 bpg) .. Chitwood is trying to become the first CSUN player to win the league's blocks per game title ... Chitwood is second in free throw percentage (.848) and tenth in scoring (12.2 ppg) ... Heard is sixth in steals (1.5 spg), eighth in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and 11th in scoring (12.5 ppg) ... Deon Tresvant is fourth in three-point goals per game (2.18) and 15th in scoring (11.1 ppg) ... Jenkins is fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.55).

Scoring Story ...
Four players are averaging in double figures, three players are shooting .505 or better, two players are shooting 38 percent or better from three-point territory, and two players are shooting 80 percent or better from the free throw line.

Defensive Data ...
Cal State Northridge has showed signs of an improved defense in 2007-08 ... The Matadors have held the opposition to only .416 percent shooting (#1 in the Big West) and has forced the opposition into 222 turnovers in ten games ... Cal State Northridge has collected 100 steals (#2 in the Big West) in the ten games ... In only two games this year has the opposition shot 50 percent or better ... In only three games has the opposition hit 40 percent or better from three-point territory.

Rebounding Raves ...
Rebounding has vastly improved for Cal State Northridge in the last three seasons ... During the 2005-06 campaign, CSUN ranked last in the Big West, but improved to second-best last year, and are currently first in the Big West averaging 40.4 rebounds per game compared to 37.5 rpg for the opposition ... In eight of the eleven games, the Matadors have outrebounded its opponents ... The 50 rebounds at Pepperdine (11/17/07) is a Big West best this year ... Four CSUN players are averaging 5.0 or more rebounds per game, including a conference-leading 9.1 rebounds per game by junior center Tremaine Townsend ... Senior all-conference candidate Calvin Chitwood is second at 6.2 rpg ... Chitwood's 18 rebounds against Chicago State (11/10/07) is a Big West best in 2007-08 ... In fact, Chitwood's 18 rebounds, and Tremaine Townsend's 15 rebounds at Cleveland State (11/28/07) and 14 vs Utah Valley State (12/5/07) are the three best rebounding efforts in the Big West this year.

Broadcast Barometer ...
All Matador men's basketball games can be heard live over the internet at GoMatadors.com with Bill Courtland and Alan Zinsmeister providing the broadcasting duties ... For the third-straight season, the Matadors have partnered with CSTV and the Big West Conference to present live video streaming of all league games and non-conference home contests ... Click on the Big West TV banner on the front page of GoMatadors.com for more information.

Mustang Memo ...
Cal Poly is 5-7 with a 3-1 home record ... Trae Clark leads the Mustang attack at 9.8 ppg ... Matt Hanson is the team's leading rebounder (6.1 rpg).

Gaucho Gossip ...
UC Santa Barbara is 11-2 with a 6-0 home record ...
Alex Harris leads a trio of double-digit scorers at 22.4 ppg ... Harris has been the team's leading scorer in eleven of the 12 games ... Harris has hit 33-of-62 three-point attempts (.532), and is 78-of-95 from the free throw line for .821 ... Ivan Elliott leads UCSB in rebounding (5.7 rpg).

History Hoopla ...
The 2007-08 season marks the 50th season of intercollegiate basketball at Cal State Northridge ... During the previous 49 years, Cal State Northridge has produced several great teams, and numerous great players ... A history of many of the great moments in CSUN baskeball history is availiable on the Northridge website at www.gomatadors.com

Dynamic Duo ...
Jonathan Heard and Calvin Chitwood were expected to be the dominant 1-2 scoring punch for Cal State Northridge this year, and the two senior all-conference candidates are off to good starts after eleven games ... Chitwood and Heard have played a total of 193 games in four seasons, and a combined 135 starts ... Heard is the team leader in scoring (12.5 ppg, #10 in the Big West) while Chitwood is 11th (12.2 ppg) ... Chitwood is the league leader in blocked shots (2.1 bpg), second in rebounding (6.2 rpg), second in free throw percentage (.848) and fourth in field goal percentage (.505) ... Heard is sixth in steals (1.5 spg), seventh in field goal percentage (.495) and eighth in rebounding (5.8 rpg) ... Heard has scored in double figures in nine of the eleven games whlie Chitwood has eight double-digit point games ... Chitwood has been the scoring leader in four games while Heard in two games ... Chitwood has grabbed ten or more rebounds in two games including an 18-rebound effort in the season opener against Chicago State (11/10/07) ... In the 2007-08 season opener, Heard and Chitwood combined for 51 points and 26 rebounds to help the Matadors to a 96-85 victory over Chicago State (11/10/07) ... Heard scored a career-high 29 points (fourth-best in the Big West this year), including 19 in the second half, while Chitwood added 22 points ... Chitwood added to his all-around great numbers with a career-high 18 rebounds (ten offensive rebounds), four blocks and three steals in 38 minutes of play ... In addition to his career-high 29 points, Heard added three steals, one block and an assist in 35 minutes of action ... Combined in four seasons at Cal State Northridge, Chitwood and Heard have scored 2,174 points and grabbed 859 rebounds.

Depth Dialogue ...
There is no doubt the team's talented depth has contributed to the fast start in 2007-08 ... Nine players are averaging 14 minutes or more ... Two reserve players, Tremaine Townsend and Deon Tresvant are averaging 26.0 and 22.9 minutes per game, respectively ... Tresvant is third in scoring (11.1 ppg), Townsend is fourth in scoring (10.4 ppg) ... Townsend, is #1 the league in rebounding (9.1 rpg), #2 in fg pct (.522) and fourth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg).

Team Talk ...
The 49-point margin of victory (94-49) vs Vanguard (12/20/07) is the ninth-largest in school history ... The 43 points given up against NC Central (69-43, 12/1/07) is the sixth fewest for a game in school history ... In five games, the Matadors have scored 92 points or more ... The 40 field goals vs Vanguard is a Big West (2007-08).

Footnote Facts ...
CSUN has notched six of its eight wins by double-digit margins ... In 2006-07, the Matadors played 31 games and had five wins by ten or more points ... The 12 assists by John Jenkins against Cal State Bakersfield (11/21/07) is a Big West best in 2007-08 ... The 28 free throws and the 39 free throw attempts against Chicago State (11/10/087) are Big West bests this year ... Calvin Chitwood's 18 rebounds against Chicago State (11/10/07) is a Big West best in 2007-08 ... Chitwood's six blocks at Washington (12/22/07) is a school record and a Big West season-best (2007-08).