Bobby Braswell, Tremaine Townsend, Rob Haynes, Josh Jenkins Earn Big West Accolades

March 9, 2009

Irvine, Calif. - For the second straight season, Cal State Northridge head men's basketball coach Bobby Braswell has earned Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Senior center Tremaine Townsend, who leads the conference in rebounding, was named First Team All-Big West, while senior forward/guard Rob Haynes and senior guard Josh Jenkins gained Honorable Mention All-Big West accolades.

The Matadors overcame an early season six game losing streak and the loss of two of their top players in Josh Jenkins and Deon Tresvant, winning nine of their last 12 games. The regular season culminated with the Matadors winning their first outright Big West championship at 11-5. It marked back-to-back championships for Braswell, who led CSUN to a share of the crown with Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara last season. Braswell also reached a personal milestone by claiming career win #200 against UC Riverside on Feb. 14. In his 13th season as CSUN head coach, Braswell owns a career record of 203-180 (.530).

Townsend is trying to become the first Cal State Northridge player to lead the league in rebounding for a second straight season. Townsend is currently averaging 8.3 rebounds per game. Townsend has grabbed ten or more rebounds in eight games including a season-high 16 boards at Long Beach State (1/17/09) and 15 rebounds vs UC Irvine (1/24/09).

In addition to his rebounding exploits, Townsend is fourth in the Big West Conference in blocked shots (27, 1.00 bpg), fifth in field goal percentage (.492), eighth in steals (36, 1.33 spg) and 13th in scoring (11.1 ppg).

Haynes, a team captain, has put together an outstanding season in 2008-09. Haynes is shooting .438 (53-for-121) from three-point territory, third-best in the conference. Haynes also ranks sixth in the league in 3-pointers made per game (1.96), and has made at least one 3-pointer in 26 straight games.

Haynes has played in 116 games in four seasons at Cal State Northridge, only four short of the school record held by Jonathan Heard (2004-08).

Jenkins is trying to become the first Matador player to lead the Big West Conference in assists two years in a row. Jenkins, who was sidelined for the season after being seriously injured in an automobile accident (2/14/09), was averaging 6.1 apg. Jenkins, who has 325 assists in two seasons at Cal State Northridge to rank fourth all-time in school history, is also among the conference leaders in free throw percentage (.776, 52-for-67, #7), steals (30, 1.36 spg, #7) and 3-point field goals made (1.73, #10).

Cal State Northridge (15-13), because of its first place finish in the Big West Conference, has earned an automatic berth to the semifinals of the conference tournament on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Matadors have also earned an automatic berth to the NIT.

"We're blessed and excited to have the opportunity to play in the Big West Tournament, and a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament," said Braswell. "Obviously this has been a very difficult year in a lot of ways, and also a very emotional year. We've talked to our players on how to handle adversity. Usually it's talking about losing a couple games in a row, but with all the things that have happened to us, it's been a bigger lesson for us. But the coaching staff wanted to make sure that we told the team that we still believed in them. And despite all the things going around us, they could still be successful if they worked hard, stayed together, and played unselfish basketball. I've been blessed to have a group of guys who have bought into that and have given a great effort night-after-night. It says a lot about their character."

The 2008-09 Big West Men's Basketball All-Conference Team

First Team
Tremaine Townsend - Cal State Northridge
Josh Akognon - Cal State Fullerton
Larry Anderson - Long Beach State
Kyle Austin - UC Riverside
Chris Devine - UC Santa Barbara
Vince Oliver - UC Davis

Second Team
Joe Harden - UC Davis
Michael Kirby - Pacific
Mark Payne -UC Davis
Titus Shelton - Cal Poly
Eric Wise - UC Irvine

Honorable Mention
Rob Haynes - Cal State Northridge
Josh Jenkins - Cal State Northridge
Gerard Anderson - Cal State Fullerton
Anthony Brown - Pacific
Stephan Gilling - Long Beach State
Michael Hunter - UC Irvine
Lorenzo Keeler - Cal Poly
Bryan LeDuc - Pacific
Donovan Morris - Long Beach State
T.J. Robinson - Long Beach State
Chad Troyer - Pacific

All-Freshman Team
Larry Anderson - Long Beach State
T.J. Robinson - Long Beach State
Jacques Streeter - Cal State Fullerton
Casper Ware - Long Beach State
Eric Wise - UC Irvine

2008-09 Big West Coach of the Year
Bobby Braswell - Cal State Northridge

2008-09 Big West Player of the Year
Josh Akognon - Cal State Fullerton

2008-09 Big West Freshman of the Year
Larry Anderson - Long Beach State