January 4, 2008

Matadors Face Big West Favorite UCSB at The Thunderdome


Matadors Face Big West Favorite UCSB at The Thunderdome

This Week's Matador Men's Basketball Release




Game Gossip ...
The 2007-08 Big West season is only one game old, and already there is an early season showdown between two of the league's finest teams, Cal State Northridge and league pre-season favorite UC Santa Barbara ... The Matadors are 9-3 overall, 1-0 in the Big West, winners of four of six games on the road, and winners in three of their last four games ... CSUN will test the Gauchos who are 12-2 overall, 1-0 in the conference and 7-0 at the Thunderdome ... The Matadors arrive at UCSB after a resounding 80-59 victory at Cal Poly (1/3/08), their biggest win ever at Mott Gym ... It was also the second biggest conference road win since CSUN joined the Big West during the 2001-02 season ... Senior all-conference candidate Jonathan Heard collected his first double-double of the season with 17 points and a season-high eleven rebounds, while another senior all-conference candidate, Calvin Chitwood, added 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks ... Deon Tresvant and Tremaine Townsend combined for 26 points off the bench while Josh Jenkins collected eleven assists ... Cal State Northridge will be trying to win back-to-back conference road games, something they haven't accomplished since the 2004-05 season when they won at UC Irvine and at Long Beach State ... The Matadors will also be trying to do something they haven't accomplished since the NCAA Tournament season in 2000-01; win back-to-back road games to start the conference year ... In 2000-01, the Matadors won at Weber State and at Sacramento State to start the Big Sky Conference season en route to the league title (13-3) and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Series Story ...
UC Santa Barbara has dominated the series against the Matadors, winning 26 of 34 games ... CSUN is 1-7 on UCSB's home court, the Thunderdome ... Last year at UCSB, the Matadors ended the regular season with a 75-59 loss ... Chitwood 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.

Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell is in his 12th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... Braswell has coached 337 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 177-160 (.525) ... 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 239 turnovers, produced 111 steals (#2 in the Big West), and have outrebounded the opposition, 487-445 ... 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 (40.6 rpg), offensive rebounds (14.0), defensive rebounds (26.6), field goal percentage defense (.410), blocked shots (4.7 bpg), and #2 in scoring (79.5 ppg), rebound margin (+3.5), assists (15.5 apg) and steals (9.3 spg) ... Tremaine Townsend and senior all-conference candidates Calvin Chitwood and Jonathan Heard are 1-2 in the Big West in rebounding (8.9 rpg, 6.3 rpg, 6.3 rpg) ... Townsend, Heard and Chitwood and are 2--3-7 in field goal percentage (.536, .509, .495) in the league ... Townsend is second in blocked shots (1.3 bpg) ... Josh Jenkins continues to lead the conference in assists (6.3 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 fifth in free throw percentage (.838) and 12th in scoring (12.3 ppg) ... Heard is third in rebounding (6.3 rpg), ninth in steals (1.3 spg), and ninth in scoring (12.9 ppg) ... Deon Tresvant is fourth in three-point goals per game (2.33) and 13th in scoring (11.5 ppg) ... Jenkins is third in assist/turnover ratio (1.42).

Scoring Story ...
Four players are averaging in double figures, three players are shooting .509 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 .410 percent shooting (#1 in the Big West) and has forced the opposition into 239 turnovers in 12 games ... Cal State Northridge has collected 111 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 40.6 rebounds per game compared to 37.1 rpg for the opposition ... In nine of the 12 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 4.7 or more rebounds per game, including a conference-leading 8.9 rebounds per game by junior center Tremaine Townsend ... Senior all-conference candidates Calvin Chitwood and Jonathan Heard are third 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.

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 195 games in four seasons, and a combined 137 starts ... Heard is the team leader in scoring (12.9 ppg, #9 in the Big West) while Chitwood is 12th (12.3 ppg) ... Chitwood is the league leader in blocked shots (2.1 bpg), fifth in free throw percentage (.838), second in rebounding (6.3 rpg), and seventh in field goal percentage (.495) ... Heard is fourth in field goal percentage (.505), ninth in steals (1.4 spg) and second in rebounding (6.3 rpg) ... Heard has scored in double figures in ten of the 12 games whlie Chitwood has eight double-digit point games ... Chitwood has been the scoring leader in four games while Heard in three 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 2,205 points and grabbed 877 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 25.3 and 23.2 minutes per game, respectively ... Tresvant is third in scoring (11.5 ppg), Townsend is fourth in scoring (10.3 ppg) ... Townsend, is #1 the league in rebounding (8.9 rpg), #2 in fg pct (.536) and second 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 seven of its nine 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).

Pre-Season Points ...
Cal State Northridge is picked to finish sixth in a poll of coaches and media by the Big West Conference ... The Matadors generated 31 points in the coaches poll ... UC Santa Barbara is picked to win the conference with 58 points followed by Cal Poly (52), Pacific and Cal State Fullerton each with 48 points followed by Cal State Northridge (31), UC Davis (20), Long Beach State (14) and UC Riverside (11) ... In the media poll, UC Santa Barbara collected 152 points followed by Cal Poly (138), Cal State Fullerton (114), UC Irvine (109), Pacific (92), Cal State Northridge (76), Long Beach State (52), UC Davis (43) and UC Riverside (34).







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