Oct. 8, 2008
Los Angeles, Ca - Every year, the Los Angeles Athletic Club and the John Wooden Award host the 13 Southern California Division I men's basketball programs at the annual Tip-Off Luncheon.
Cal State Northridge head coach Bobby Braswell along with the head coaches of the 12 other colleges and universities (UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, San Diego State, University of San Diego, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Long Beach State gave more than 200 guests on Wednesday afternoon a sneak preview of what's to come during the 2008-09 basketball season.
Practice for the Matadors starts on Oct. 17, and Cal State Northridge will be the favorites to capture the Big West Conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in their NCAA Division I history.
"We were blessed to have a great season last year," said Braswell, who coached the Matadors to a 20-10 overall record and a share of the Big West regular season title (12-4) with Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara.
Cal State Northridge returns nine lettermen, five seniors and three starters. The list includes Josh Jenkins (Honorable Mention All-Big West, #1 in assists, 6.4 apg), Deon Tresvant (Second Team All-Big West, leading scorer at 13.9 ppg), Tremaine Townsend, a second team All-Big West selection, who led the conference in rebounding (9.8 rpg) and blocked shots (1.3 bpg), and three-year starter Rob Haynes.
"We're excited about the season," said Braswell who is entering his 13th season at the helm at Cal State Northridge. "We think we have the opportunity to be competitive. Everybody knows that you are only one injury away from not being very good. We're hoping and praying that we can be healthy. We're hoping that everybody comes out to watch us at The Matadome this year."
Braswell, the 2007-08 Big West Coach of the Year, also commented on the challenging schedule that awaits the Matadors in 2008-09.
"We probably have one of the toughest schedules we will play in a long time," said Braswell. "We play at Stanford, at UCLA, at San Diego State, and at New Mexico. We think this will be a great challenge for our team. It will be a great opportunity to see where we are."