February 10, 2009

Cal State Northridge Hosts Cal Poly

Feb. 10, 2009

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Game Gossip ...
Since the 1959-60 season, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly have played each other in the sport of basketball 82 times ... It is the longest running series in school history ... And that rivalry is renewed on Wednesday (Feb. 11, 7:05 p.m.) when the Matadors host the Mustangs at The Matadome ... CSUN is enjoying its longest winning streak of the season, four games, and is currently one-half game back of first place Long Beach State in the Big West Conference ... CSUN is 6-3 in league play while Long Beach State checks in at 7-3 ... The 49ers travel to UC Riverside in the only other Wednesday night game in the Big West.

Bench Barometer ...
The bench has certainly played a major role in the team's success in recent weeks ... After Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) suffered a concussion in the early minutes of the game at UCSB (1/29/09), Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard, French Caribbean, Guadeloupe) came off the bench to score 16 points and grab seven rebounds, and followed that up with an 11-point, five rebound performance in a start in the next game at Cal Poly (1/31/09) ... Since moving into the starting lineup three games ago, Vincent Cordell (6-6, 210, Junior, Forward, Huntsville, Al) has grabbed 22 rebounds, including a career-high eleven against Cal State Bakersfield (2/5/09) ... In 16 minutes off the bench in his last game vs Cal State Bakersfield (2/5/09), Therin Taylor (6-6, 185, Junior, Forward/Guard, Richmond, Ca) scored a career-high 13 points (6-for-9 from the floor) along with three rebounds ... In his last three games off the bench, Taylor has grabbed 12 rebounds in 56 minutes of play ... Players coming off the bench have scored in double figures 16 times ... The versatility of the bench has enabled Cal State Northridge to employ eight different starting lineups ... Twelve players have started at least one game this year ... Ten players are averaging 10.1 minutes per game or more.

Defensive Dialogue ...
Following a 91-87 loss to Cal State Fullerton (1/21/09), head coach Bobby Braswell made it very clear to the Matadors that "DEFENSE wins games" ... Since that time, the Matadors have won four straight games, thanks in part to their defensive intensity ... In wins over UC Irvine (74-55, 1/24/09), at UCSB (72-70, 1/29/09), at Cal Poly (79-68, 1/31/09) and vs Cal State Bakersfield (79-62, 2/5/09), CSUN has held the opposition to a .358 shooting percentage (78-for-218) ... In all four games, the Matadors have outrebounded their opponents (166-136), forced the opposition into 74 turnovers, and collected 28 steals.

Matador Memo ...
Cal State Northridge has taken over the lead in the Big West Conference in scoring offense (74.7 ppg) ... The Matadors are also first in the conference in rebounding (38.5 ppg), field goal pct. defense (.415), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.320) and steals (8.45 spg) ... Cal State Northridge remains second in the Big West in scoring margin (+2.8), rebounding margin (+3.4) and assists (14.80 apg).

Mustang Memo ...
Cal Poly is 6-14 overall and 3-7 in the Big West Conference ... Four players are scoring in double-figures led by junior guard Lorenzo Keeler (13.7 ppg), senior forward Titus Shelton (12.6 ppg), senior guard Chaz Thomas (11.8 ppg) and sophomore guard Shawn Lewis (10.3 ppg) ... Shelton, who leads the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg), is also the team leader in field goal percentage (.528) ... Cal Poly has won three of its last five games, including a 75-72 win in its last game at CSF (2/7/09).

Series Saga ...
Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly will be meeting for the 83rd time when the two teams meet on Wednesday (Feb. 11, 7:05 p.m.) at The Matadome ... The Mustangs lead the series, 43-39, although in their last meeting on Jan. 31, 2009, the Matadors recorded a 79-68 victory at Cal Poly ... Four CSUN starters scored in double figures led by Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) with 18 points and seven assists, and Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard, French Carribean, Guadeloupe) with 16 points (5-for-7 from the floor) along with seven rebounds ... The Matador defense held the Mustangs to only a .365 shooting percentage.

Fast Facts ...
Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Center, Phoenix, Az) continues to attack the boards in an attempt to win the conference rebounding title for a second straight season ... In the last seven games, Townsend has grabbed 80 rebounds (11.4 rpg) including a season-high 16 boards at Long Beach State (1/17/09) and 15 rebounds against UC Irvine (1/24/09) ... In six 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 8.7 rpg ... Townsend is averaging 12.1 ppg, second-best on the Matadors and ninth-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 13 of the 19 games he has played 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 .471 (41-for-87) from behind the arc, tops on the team and third-best in the Big West Conference ... In his last eleven games, Haynes has hit 30-of-55 shots from behind the arc for .545 ... Haynes has made at least one 3-pointer in 18 straight games ... Overall from the field, in ten of the last 13 games, Haynes has hit 50 percent or better in each game (.546, 53-for-97 in the ten games).

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 12.1 ppg (#9 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 8.7 per game (#1 in the BWC) ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (127, 6.35 apg) and fourth in steals (28, 1.40 spg) ... Jenkins checks in at 10.1 ppg.

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 375 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 198-177 (.528) ... 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 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.

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.