Highly Anticipated Basketball Season Opens For Cal State Northridge

Nov. 12, 2008

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Game Gossip ...
Here we go ... In years past, Cal State Northridge has played the role of underdogs ... This year the role has changed dramatically ... Expectations are very high this year with the return of several all-league caliber veteran players, a talented cast of reserves, another group of talented newcomers, and several redshirts who eagerly learned the Northridge system last year ... Last year, CSUN recorded a 20-10 overall record, and earned a share of the Big West Conference title with a 12-4 mark ... Five pre-season national magazines and the Big West coaches have picked CSUN to win the regular season title in the Big West ... The season begins Friday, November 14 (7:05 p.m.) when CSUN hosts Cal Lutheran at The Matadome.

Series Story ...
Cal Lutheran has never beaten Cal State Northridge in basketball ... The Matadors are 19-0 against the Kingsmen including a 10-0 record at The Matadome ... Not since Nov. 28, 1989 has Cal Lutheran played at The Matadome ... On that night, the Matadors scored a 79-63 victory as Kendell McDaniels grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, and Derrick Gathers pumped in 18 points.

Kingsmen Korner ...
Nine of the 12 players on the Cal Lutheran roster are either freshmen or sophomores ... There are no seniors ... Cal Lutheran's top scorer (14.3 ppg) and rebounder (7.7 rpg), Andy Meier, returns from a team that chalked up a 21-5 overall record last year and a first place finish (11-3) in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) ... Meier, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound junior forward, shot .543 (114-for-210) ... Rich Rider is in his 13th season as head coach at Cal Lutheran with a record of 229-121.

Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell, the 2007-08 Big West Coach of the Year, is entering his 13th season as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ... Braswell has coached 355 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 188-167 (.530) ... 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 outrebuonded 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 ... Braswell is assisted by assistant coaches Louis Wilson, Danny Sprinkle and James Blake ... Ryan Dodd is CSUN's Director of Basketball Operations.

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) ... CSUN is expected to be strong at both ends of the court ... Last year in chalking up a 20-10 record, CSUN led the league 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 was second in the league in scoring (78.0 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (.463) ... The Matadors return four of its top six scorers from a year ago.

Home Hoopla ...,
The winning ways of Cal State Northridge have certainly created a home court advantage at The Matadome ... Eight of the largest crowds since the 1999-00 season attended a Matador home game last year ... Last year, the Matadors chalked up a 10-3 record, and outscored the opposition (82.1 ppg to 66.6 ppg) ... Cal State Northridge is 15-4 in home season openers.

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.

Pre-Season Potpourri ...
Cal State Northridge is ranked 25th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 pre-season poll ... The Matadors generated 118 points, and is only one of four teams from the west to be ranked in the Top 25 among mid-major teams ... The other west teams are 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 is the only school from the Big West Conference to receive a vote in the Associated Press pre-season poll.

Pre-Season Predictions ...
Cal State Northridge is the choice of the Big West coaches and media, and five national pre-season magazines to win the Big West title ... The Matadors received eight first place votes and 64 points from the conference coaches ... UC Santa Barbara received the other first place vote and a total of 56 pionts ... Pacific was picked to finish third (48 points ) followed by Cal State Fullerton (42 points), UC Davis (28 points), Cal Poly and UC Irvine with 23 points apiece, Long Beach State (21 points) and UC Riverside (19 points) ... The Big West media poll has the Matadors atop the pre-season league standings with 173 points (14 first place votes) followed by UCSB (156 points, three first-place votes), Pacific (107 points, three first place votes), Cal State Fullerton (107 points, one first place vote), Long Beach State (96 points), UC Irvine (73 points), UC Davis (65 points), Cal Poly (54 points) and UC Riverside (49 points) ... The Sporting News, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, Lindy's College Basketball Magazine, Athlon Sports College Basketball Magazine and Basketball Times have all picked the Matadors win the Big West title in 2008-09 ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) and Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) were named to the pre-season Big West All-Conference team.

Exhibition Episodes ...
Cal State Northridge scored two victories during the exhibition portion of the 2008-09 season ... On Nov. 3, Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) scored 17 points and grabbed ten rebounds in 15 minutes of play to lead the Matadors to a 82-49 victory over La Verne ... Head coach Bobby Braswell used his entire bench of 15 players with eleven players churning out ten or more minutes ... CSUN limited La Verne to only 29 percent hsooting (16-for-55), 23 percent from 3-point territory (5-for-22), out rebounded the Leopards (57-to-23) and forced the visitors into 19 turnovers ... Cal State Northridge also recorded ten steals and 45 deflections ... In their second exhibition game (Nov. 8), Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Long Beach, Ca.) scored 19 points in 24 minutes of play to lead the Matadors to a 71-52 victory over Carroll College (Montana) ... The Matador defense again looked strong, holding the Fighting Saints to 20 percent shooting (11-for-54) and only 15 percent (5-for-23) from behind the arc.

Record Review ...
Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) and Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) begin the 2008-09 with opportunities to move up the Top 10 career ladder in the Cal State Northridge record book ... Haynes resides in eighth place at CSUN in career three-point field goal percentage (.412, 108-for-262) and tenth in career three-point goals (108) ... Tresvant sits in seventh place all-time at CSUN in career three-point field goal percentage (.413, 83-for-201) ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) resides in ninth place all-time at CSUN with 37 blocks.

Schedule Story ...
Cal State Northridge will be gathering thousands of frequent flier miles (more than 4,000 miles) during the early portion of the 2008-09 basketball schedule ... Following the regular season home opener against Cal Lutheran (11/14/08, 7:05 p.m.), the Matadors embark on a grueling six game road trek that begins at one of the toughest venues in the Pac-10, Maples Pavilion on the campus of Stanford University (Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.) ... From Palo Alto, the Matadors head south to Cal State Bakersfield (Nov. 21, 7:00 p.m.) ... Then the six game road trip kicks into high gear when CSUN travels to The Pit in Albuquerque to face another high profile national program, the New Mexico Lobos on Nov. 24 (7:00 p.m.) ... From there, the Matadors travel to relatively uncharted territory with two games in the East ... Only four other times in the previous 50 years of Matador basketball has the team ventured this far from home ... First, there is a stop on Nov. 29 (3:00 p.m. et) at Rider College which is located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey ... Two days later, the Matadors will take a 45-minute bus trip to Philadelphia to play Drexel University on Dec. 1 (7:00 p.m. et) ... On Dec. 7 (7:30 p.m.), the six-game road trip ends with a contest at UCLA ... This is the longest road trip since the 1993-94 season when the Matadors packed their suitcases for a seven game journey to UCI, St. Mary's, Colorado, Northeastern Illinois, Notre Dame, Sacramento St. and California.

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.