January 19, 2009

Cal State Northridge Hosts Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 19, 2009

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Game Gossip ...
It's a bit of a quirk in the Big West Conference schedule ... Although Cal State Northridge has still not played league games against Cal Poly, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, CSUN will complete their regular season league games against Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at The Matadome (7:05 p.m.) ... Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton opened the 2009 Big West season on Dec. 29 with the Matadors recording a 90-64 victory ... Saturday (Jan. 24, 7:05 p.m.), CSUN hosts UC Irvine.

Matador Memo ...
Cal State Northridge continues to lead the Big West Conference in rebounding (37.7 rpg), field goal percentage defense (.422), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.316) and steals (8.40 spg) ... The Matadors are second in the league in assists (14.80 apg).

Titan Talk ...
Cal State Fullerton is 8-10 overall and 2-4 in the Big West ... Senior guard Josh Akognon continues to be among the nation's leaders in scoring (23.4 ppg) ... Akognon has tallied an amazing 71 three-pointers ... Akognon can also make free throws, hitting .903 (84-for-93) from the charity stripe, tops in the Big West ... Gerard Anderson leads Cal State Fullerton rebounders (5.9 rpg).

Series Saga ...
Cal State Fullerton has dominated the series against Cal State Northridge ... The Titans have chalked up a 32-24 advantage over the Matadors, due in part to the fact that the Titans have won nine of the last eleven meetings ... Cal State Fullerton has won the last five games at The Matadome including a 80-72 decision last year on CSUN's home floor ... However, Cal State Northridge recorded its second biggest margin of victory in the 2008-09 season with an impressive 90-64 decision at Cal State Fullerton (1/29/08) ... Rob Haynes recorded a career-high 18 points (6-for-8 from the floor, 4-for-6 from 3-point territory) and played a great defensive game against CSF's leading scorer Josh Akognon, who was held to a season-low eight points (3-for-13 from the floor) ... Willie Galick recorded career-highs in points (17, 7-for-8 from the floor) and rebounds (13) ... The Matadors hit .596 from the floor.

Fast Facts ...
Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Center, Phoenix, Az) is attacking the boards in an attempt to win the conference rebounding title for a second straight season ... In the last two games (UC Riverside, Long Beach State), Townsend has grabbed 28 rebounds (12 at UC Riverside, and a season-high 16 boards at Long Beach State) ... In four games this year, Townsend has grabbed double-digits in rebounds ... Last year, Townsend became the first player in CSUN history to lead the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg) ... This season, Townsend has moved to the top of the rebounding leading board in the conference at 8.1 rpg ... The 48 career blocks by Townsend has moved him into a fifth place tie in the CSUN record book with Tom Samson (1993-97) ... Townsend is averaging 12.4 ppg, second-best on the Matadors and eighth-best in the league ... Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) has quietly put together an excellent season in 2008-09 ... Haynes has scored in double-digits in ten of the 15 games including a career-high 18 points (6-for-8 from the floor, 4-for-6 from behind the arc) at Cal State Fullerton (12/29/08) and another 18 points against UC Davis (1/5/09) ... Haynes, a team captain, is shooting .443 (31-for-70) from behind the arc, tops on the team and seventh-best in the Big West Conference ... In eight of the last nine games, Haynes has hit 50 percent or better in each game (.543, 38-for-70 in the nine games) ... In his last seven games, Haynes has hit 20-of-38 shots from behind the arc for .526 ... Haynes has made at least one 3-pointer in 14 straight games ... Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Forward, Nanaimo, British Columbia), who is the only Matador player to start all 15 games, has collected three double-doubles (points-rebounds) ... That included career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (13) at Cal State Fullerton (12/29/08) ... Galick, who is averaging 10.6 ppg, is averaging 6.2 rebounds per game (#7 in the Big West) ... In the last three games, Josh Jenkins (5-10l 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) has dished out 31 assists with only seven turnovers.

Northridge Notes ...
With Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) indefinitely away from the team tending to legal matters, Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) has taken over the scoring lead among active players at 12.4 ppg (#8 in the BWC) ... Townsend posted career-highs in points (25) and field goals (11) in a recent game against UC Davis (1/5/09) ... Townsend stands on top in rebounds at 8.1 per game (#1 in the BWC) ... Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Nanaimo, BC) checks in at 10.6 ppg and second in rebounding (6.2 rpg, #7 in the BWC) ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (97, 6.47 apg) and fifth in steals (22, 1.47 spg).

Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell, the 2007-08 Big West Coach of the Year, is in his 13th season as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ... Braswell has coached 370 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 194-176 (.524) ... Braswell has guided Cal State Northridge to post-season play in each of his 12 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 forced the opponents into 557 turnovers, produced 274 steals (#1 in the Big West, #15 in the nation), and outrebounded the opposition, 1,113-1,092 ... Braswell's teams have been ranked in the Top 25 in steals nationally in eleven of the last 12 seasons.

Pre-Season Predictions ...
Cal State Northridge is the choice of the Big West coaches and media, and five national pre-season magazines to win the Big West title ... The Matadors received eight first place votes and 64 points from the conference coaches ... UC Santa Barbara received the other first place vote and a total of 56 points ... Pacific was picked to finish third (48 points ) followed by Cal State Fullerton (42 points), UC Davis (28 points), Cal Poly and UC Irvine with 23 points apiece, Long Beach State (21 points) and UC Riverside (19 points) ... The Big West media poll has the Matadors atop the pre-season league standings with 173 points (14 first place votes) followed by UCSB (156 points, three first-place votes), Pacific (107 points, three first place votes), Cal State Fullerton (107 points, one first place vote), Long Beach State (96 points), UC Irvine (73 points), UC Davis (65 points), Cal Poly (54 points) and UC Riverside (49 points) ... The Sporting News, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, Lindy's College Basketball Magazine, Athlon Sports College Basketball Magazine and Basketball Times have all picked the Matadors win the Big West title in 2008-09 ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) and Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) were named to the pre-season Big West All-Conference team.

Pre-Season Potpourri ...
In its pre-season college basketball issue, Sports Illustrated has predicted a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Matadors ... This recognition is just the latest in a series of lofty predictions for the 2007-08 Big West regular season tri-champions ... Cal State Northridge was ranked 25th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 pre-season poll ... The Matadors generated 118 points, and was only one of four teams from the West to be ranked in the Top 25 among mid-major teams ... The other west teams were Gonzaga (#1, 754 points), St. Mary's (#3, 616 points), and San Diego (#8, 481 points) ... For the first time in school history, the Matadors received a vote in the pre-season Associated Press men's basketball poll ... Cal State Northridge was the only school from the Big West Conference to receive a vote in the Associated Press pre-season poll.

Schedule Story ...
The recently completed six game non-league road trek was the longest since the 1993-94 season when the Matadors packed their suitcases for a seven game journey to UC Irvine, St. Mary's, Colorado, NE Illinois, Notre Dame, Sac. St. and Cal ... CSUN traveled to Stanford (85-103, 11/18/08), Cal State Bakersfield (65-67, 11/21/08), New Mexico (74-85, 11/24/08), Rider (72-85, 11/29/08), Drexel (47-55, 12/1/08) and to UCLA (67-85, 12/7/08) ... The six game road trip covered more than 4,000 miles.

Team Talk ...
Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az), Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca), Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) and Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) lead a chorus of eight talented letter winners plus the influx of four new recruits and four redshirts in 2008-09 ... Townsend led the Big West in rebounding (9.8 rpg) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg) while Jenkins led the conference in assists (191, 6.4 apg) ... Tresvant led the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) despite the fact he didn't start one game last year ... Haynes is a three-year starter who provides offensive firepower from behind the three-point line ... There is plenty of veteran experience from such players as Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard, Les Abymes, Guadeloupe), Tony Osunsanmi (6-4, 190, Junior, Forward, Ontario, Ca), Therin Taylor (6-6, 185, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Ca) and Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Sophomore, Forward, Dixon, Ca.) ... Four redshirts are expected to play a lot of minutes this year ... This quartet includes Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Forward, Nanaimo, B.C.), Jermaine Smith (6-9, 230, RS Junior, Center, Irvington, NJ), Mark Hill (5-11, 175, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Matthew Wallace (6-2, 170, RS Freshman, Junior, Los Angeles, Ca) ... The list of new players includes Vincent Cordell (6-6, 210, Junior, Forward, Huntsville, Al), Xavier Crawford (7-0, 220, Junior, Center, Richfield, Mn), Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Junior, Forward/Guard, St. Louis, Mo) and Dallas Rutherford (6-2, 175, Freshman, Guard, Northridge, Ca) ... Last year in chalking up a 20-10 record, CSUN led the BWC in holding the opposition to only .419 shooting, .307 in 3-point field goal percentage defense, steals (274), rebounding (37.1 rpg) and blocked shots (3.23 bpg) ... CSUN returns four of its top six scorers from a year ago.

Graduated Gossip ...
All four seniors on last year's 20-10 Matador team are doing just fine ... Calvin Chitwood is playing professional basketball in Japan, while Jayme Miller is playing professionally in Holland, while Jonathan Heard is playing professionally in Finland ... Rai Colston is an assistant basketball coach at Chaminade High School in Woodland Hills ... Chitwood is playing for Niigata Albirex BB ... Chitwood, a four-year starter, ended his CSUN career as the school's #10 all-time leading scorer (1,170 points) ... Heard, who ended his four-year Matador career as the school's #3 all-time leading scorer (1,362 points) and #9 all-time rebounder (534), is playing for Team LoKoKo in Finland ... Miller, who started all 30 games in 2007-08, and provided strength and leadership during his senior season, is playing for Aris Friesland (Holland) in the Dutch Professional League ... During their tenure at Cal State Northridge, Chitwood, Heard, Miller and Colston combined to play 350 games, score 3,065 points, and grab 1,311 rebounds.

Television Time ...
Last year, Cal State Northridge was on television a school record eight times ... That included games on ESPNU and Fox Sports Prime Ticket ... This year's schedule finds the Matadors on television six times ... That includes four games on Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Dec. 7 at UCLA, Jan. 31 at Cal Poly, Feb. 14 vs UC Riverside, Feb. 28 vs Long Beach State), and two games on ESPNU (Jan. 29 at UC Santa Barbara, Feb. 18 at UC Irvine) ... For the fourth 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 www.gomatadors.com for more information.