First Place Matadors Host UC Irvine In Big West Game
This Week's Matador Men's Basketball Release
In the 46-year history of The Matadome, the Cal State Northridge basketball team has only enjoyed one home undefeated season ... That happened during the 1964-65 season when the Matadors went 11-0 ... The 2007-08 Matadors are trying to make history at home ... CSUN is 7-0 at The Matadome with six more home games ... Thursday (Jan. 31, 7:05 p.m.), CSUN hosts UC Irvine (8-11 overall, 3-3 Big West), and on Saturday (Feb. 1, 7:05 p.m.) the Titans of Cal State Fullerton (12-6 overall, 5-2 Big West) ... Cal State Northridge sits atop the Big West standings at 6-0 and 14-4 overall ... The 6-0 conference start is CSUN's best league start in school history ... CSUN is ranked 17th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll (1/28/08) ... The Sagarin poll (1/28/08) finds CSUN ranked 71st in the nation, and 85th in the RPI poll (1/28/08) ... According to the ESPN Bracketology (1/28/08), if the NCAA Tournament was to start today, the Matadors would be a 14th seed and would play Texas (#3 seed) at the Little Rock Regional.
UC Irvine holds a 20-18 advantage in the series against Cal State Northridge ... The Anteaters have won three of the last four meetings ... The lone CSUN win during that time was a 67-61 decision last year at The Matadome ... Rob Haynes came off the bench to tally 16 points while Jonathan Heard added 14 points and seven rebounds and four steals.
Bobby Braswell is in his 12th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... Braswell has coached 343 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 182-161 (.531) ... 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 365 turnovers, produced 177 steals (#1 in the Big West), and have outrebounded the opposition, 687-655 ... 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.
Cal State Northridge and several players are among the leaders in the Big West Conference ... The Matadors are #1 in field goal percentage defense (.418), scoring margin (+10.3), rebounding (38.2 rpg), offensive rebounds (12.8), defensive rebounds (25.4), blocked shots (3.6 bpg), assists (16.0 apg) and steals (9.8 spg), and #2 in scoring (80.2 ppg), and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.317) ... Tremaine Townsend, senior all-conference candidates Calvin Chitwood and Jonathan Heard are 1-5-10 in the Big West in rebounding (8.4 rpg, 6.1 rpg, 5.8 rpg) ... Townsend is #1 in defensive rebounds (6.2 drpg) while Heard is second in offensive rebounds (2.5 oprg) ... Townsend, Chitwood, and Heard are 2-4-8 in field goal percentage (.545, .518, .482) in the league ... Chitwood maintains his league lead in blocked shots (1.6 bpg) while Townsend is fourth (1.0 bpg) .. Chitwood is trying to become the first CSUN player to lead the Big West in blocked shots ... Josh Jenkins continues to lead the conference in assists (6.6 apg), third in assist/turnover ratio (1.66) and fifth in steals (1.5 spg) ... Jenkins is trying to become the first CSUN player to lead the conference in assists since Markus Carr during the 2001-02 season (5.3 apg) ... Paul Wayne is fifth in steals (1.6 spg) ... Chitwood is seventh in free throw percentage (.810) and 14th in scoring (12.1 ppg) ... Heard is tenth in rebounding (5.8 rpg), and 15th in scoring (11.8 ppg) ... Deon Tresvant is second in three-point goals per game (3.1), fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.444) and eighth in scoring (13.6 ppg) ... Rob Haynes is seventh in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.437, 31-for-71).
Four players are averaging in double figures, three players are shooting .515 or better, three players are shooting 44 percent or better from three-point territory, and two players are shooting 80 percent or better from the free throw line.
Cal State Northridge has showed signs of an improved defense in 2007-08 ... The Matadors have held the opposition to only .418 percent shooting (#1 in the Big West) and has forced the opposition into 365 turnovers in 18 games ... Cal State Northridge has collected 177 steals (#1 in the Big West) ... In only three 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 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 38.2 rebounds per game compared to 36.4 rpg for the opposition ... The Matadors are trying to break the four year stranglehold on the rebound title held by Cal State Fullerton ... The 50 rebounds at Pepperdine (11/17/07) is a Big West best this year ... Four CSUN players are averaging 4.4 or more rebounds per game, including a conference-leading 8.4 rebounds per game by junior center Tremaine Townsend ... Senior all-conference candidates Calvin Chitwood and Jonathan Heard are fifth and tenth (6.1 rpg, 5.8 rpg)) in rebounding, respectively ... 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 .. Townsend is trying to become the first player in school history to lead the league in rebounding.
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.
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
Experience counts ... Two reasons for CSUN's success this year have been the play of seniors Calvin Chitwood and Jonathan Heard, all-conference candidates ... Chitwood is averaging 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game whle Heard checks in at 11.8 points and 5.8 rpg ... In four seasons, Chitwood and Heard have played in 205 games (147 as starters) and have combined for 2,307 points and 929 rebounds).
Cal State Northridge has shown an ability to fight back from behind in several games to win ... Five of CSUN's 13 wins have been comeback affairs after being down by eight points or more ... At UC Santa Barbara (1/5/08), the Matadors battled back from a 13-point second half deficit to win, 88-84 ... At UC Riverside (1/16/08), the Matadors were down by ten points in the first half, only to comeback to score a four-point win, 66-62 ... In the season opener vs Chicago State (11/10/07), the Matadors battled back from a ten-point second half deficit to post a 96-85 win ... At Utah Valley State (12/28/07), CSUN scored a 73-65 win after being down by nine points ... At at Cleveland State (11/28/07), the Matadors were facing an eight-point deficit but came back to score a 78-68 victory.
There is no doubt the team's talented depth has contributed to the fast start in 2007-08 ... Nine players are averaging 14.2 minutes or more ... Two reserve players, Tremaine Townsend and Deon Tresvant are averaging 25.8 and 24.4 minutes per game, respectively ... Tresvant is CSUN's leading scorer (13.6 ppg, #8 in the Big West), Townsend is fourth in scoring (10.1 ppg) ... Townsend, is #1 the league in rebounding (8.4 rpg), #2 in fg pct (.544) and fourth in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) ... No reserve in school history has ever led the team in scoring or in rebounding ... That could happen this year with Tresvant and Townsend ... The last reserve to average in double figures was Gerald Rhoden during the 1996-97 season when he averaged 11.4 ppg.
In six games, the Matadors have scored 92 points or more ... The 40 field goals vs Vanguard is a Big West best in (2007-08). ... The 39-point victory (100-61) over Long Beach State (1/26/08) was the second largest margin of victory over a Big West school in the 46-year history of The Matadome ... The 100 points scored against Long Beach State (1/26/008) is the 69th time in school history that CSUN has scored 100 or more points in a game.
The Matadors have a 6-3 road record ... The last time CSUN enjoyed a winning road record was during the 2000-01 season (8-6) ... That was also the year CSUN qualified for the NCAA Tournament ... The Matadors have five more road games during the regular season.
CSUN has notched ten of its 14 wins by double-digit margins ... The margin of victory in those games is 23.2 points (845-613) ... In 2006-07, the Matadors played 31 games and had only five wins by ten or more points ... The 12 assists by John Jenkins vs CS Bakersfield (11/21/07) is a Big West best in 2007-08. ... 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).