First Place Cal State Northridge Travels To UC Irvine
Feb. 16, 2009
Cal State Northridge is on a roll ... Playing its best basketball of the 2008-09 season, Matadors have won a season-high six straight games ... During that span, the Matadors have averaged 74.7 ppg while holding the opposition to only 62.3 ppg ... The Matadors have held the opposition to a shooting percentage of .377 (119-for-316) and have outrebounded the opposition in all six games during the current winning streak ... The Matadors now turn their attention to UC Irvine (8-17 overall, 5-7 Big West) on Wednesday (2/18/09) at 8:00 p.m. at the Bren Center... The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185. Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) is resting in stable condition at the California Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering injuries in a single car accident last Saturday night (2/14/09) ... Jenkins, a passenger in the vehicle, will remain in the hospital for several more days ... The driver in the accident was killed ... Jenkins' injuries will keep him out of action for an undetermined amount of time ... "Obviously, we're thankful that Josh is alive," said head coach Bobby Braswell ... "This is a big blow to our team at this point of the season, but more importantly he's alive and we pray that he will have a speedy and full recovery." ... Jenkins was leading the Big West in assists (134, 6.1 apg) and was one of the team's leading scorers (10.2 ppg).
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 a season-high six 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), vs Cal State Bakersfield (79-62, 2/5/09), Cal Poly (67-55, 2/11/09) and UC Riverside (77-64, 2/14/09), CSUN has held the opposition to a .377 shooting percentage (119-for-316) ... In all six games, the Matadors have outrebounded their opponents (236-197), forced the opposition into 105 turnovers, and collected 45 steals.
Depth has certainly played an important role in the team's recent success ... Players coming off the bench have scored in double figures 19 times ... The versatility of the bench has enabled Cal State Northridge to employ ten different starting lineups ... Thirteen players have started at least one game this year ... Ten players are averaging 10.9 minutes per game or more ... In their last game (vs UC Riverside, 2/14/09), Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM), Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Center, Phoenix, Az) and Rodrigue Mels (6-3, 180, Senior, Guard/Forward, French Caribben, Guadeloupe) combined for 45 points, 15 rebounds, ten assists and five steals off the bench in a 77-64 win over the Highlanders ... Previous to that game (2/11/09, vs Cal Poly), Mark Hill (5-10, 175, Junior, Los Angeles, Ca) came off the bench to start for an injured Jenkins and responded with six points, four assists and two steals in 27 minutes in a 67-55 win ... Against the Mustangs, Willie Galick (6-8, 225, Junior, Forward, Nanaimo, B.C.) and Tony Osunsanmi (6-4, 190, Junior, Forward, Ontario, Ca) came off the bench and responded with 17 rebounds, eleven for Galick and six for Osunsanmi ... 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), Mels came off the bench to score 16 points and grab seven rebounds, and followed with an 11-point, five rebound effort in a start in the next game at Cal Poly (1/31/09).
Cal State Northridge is ranked first in several team categories including rebounding (38.1 ppg), field goal pct. defense (.415), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.315) and steals (8.50 spg) ... Cal State Northridge remains second in the Big West in scoring margin (+3.7), rebounding margin (+3.5) and assists (14.68 apg).
UC Irvine is 8-17 overall and 5-7 in the Big West Conference ... Three UCI players are averaging in double-figures led by Eric Wise (13.3 ppg), Michael Hunter (11.5 ppg) and Kevin Bland (10.5 ppg) ... Bland leads UCI in rebounding (7.0 rpg).
UC Irvine holds a 21-20 advantage in a series that dates back to the 1966-67 season ... The Anteaters have won the last three meetings at The Bren Center including a 82-66 decision last year ... Earlier this year (1/24/09) at The Matadome, Cal State Northridge scored a 74-55 victory as Willie Galick (6-8, 225, Junior, Nanaimo, B.C.) came off the bench to score a game-high and career-high 19 points (11-for-14 from the free throw line) along with a career-high eleven rebounds in 37 minutes of play ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) added 17 points while Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Center, Phoenix, Az) collected a game-high 15 rebounds.
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 nine games, Townsend has grabbed 96 rebounds (10.7 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 8.6 rpg ... Townsend is averaging 11.8 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 21 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 .453 (43-for-95) from behind the arc, tops on the team and third-best in the Big West Conference ... In his last 13 games, Haynes has hit 32-of-63 shots from behind the arc for .508 ... Haynes has made at least one 3-pointer in 20 straight games ... Overall from the field, in ten of the last 15 games, Haynes has hit 50 percent or better in each game ... Junior forward Kenny Daniels (6-4, 210, Junior, Forward, St. Louis, Mo), like Haynes, has also quietly put up some good numbers this year ... A starter in 17 games, Daniels has scored in double figues in his last nine games to raise his season average to 7.2 ppg ... Daniels is among the team leaders in shooting at .590 (59-for-100).
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 11.8 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 8.6 per game (#1 in the BWC) ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (134, 6.09 apg) and fourth in steals (30, 1.36 spg).
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 377 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 200-177 (.531) ... 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.
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.
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.
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.