November 16, 2008

Cal State Northridge Faces Challenge Of Pac-10 Power Stanford University

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Nov. 16, 2008

Northridge, Calif. - 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.

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.). This is the longest road trip since the 1993-94 season when the Matadors packed their suitcases for a seven game journey to UC Irvine, St. Mary's, Colorado, Northeastern Illinois, Notre Dame, Sacramento State and California.

Travel Time ...
Following the game at Stanford (Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.), 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.

Bay Area Bios ...
Four Cal State Northridge basketball players have ties to the Bay Area ... Therin Taylor (6-6, 185, Junior, Forward, Richmond, Ca) hails from Richmond where he played at Kennedy High School and Merritt College ... Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Sophomore, Dixon, Ca), who is the only deaf player competing at the NCAA Division I level, graduated from the California School For The Deaf in Hayward ... Jermaine Smith (6-9, 230, Junior, Center, Irvington, NJ) played at Ohlone College in Fremont ... Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 165, Sophomore, Guard, Oakland, Ca) graduated from McClymonds High School in Oakland ... McGhee, who was the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year last year at Sacramento State, has transferred to Cal State Northridge and is redshirting this year.

Northridge Notes ...
Sixteen points (7-for-12 from the floor), five steals and four assists by Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) helped propel Cal State Northridge to a season-opening 73-62 victory over Cal Lutheran (11/14/08) ... Tony Osunsanmi (6-4, 190, Junior, Forward, Ontario, Ca) came off the bench to produce a career-high 14 rebounds.

Series Story ...
Stanford has won all three games against Cal State Northridge, all by double-digit margins (85-67 in 1976-77, 80-59 in 1991-92, 89-58 in 1993-94) ... All three games have been played at Stanford's Maples Pavilion.

Stanford Saga ...
Since the 1998-99 season, Stanford has played in nine NCAA Tournaments and one appearance in the NIT ... Last year, the Cardinal chalked up a 28-8 overall record and advanced to the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" ... Stanford was ranked as high as seventh, and produced a 16-1 record at Maples Pavilion ... Stanford opened its 2008-09 season with a 75-67 victory at Yale (11/14/08) ... Lawrence Hill (6-8, 220, Senior, Forward, Glendale, Az) led the Cardinal with 22 points (8-for-11 from the floor) and eleven rebounds ... Anthony Goods (6-3, 200, Senior, Corona, Ca) added 19 points (4-for-7 from 3-point territory) along with four steals and four rebounds.

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 356 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 189-167 (.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.

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.

Radio Review ...
All CSUN basketball games will be broadcast live via the internet at www.gomatadors.com ... Go to the front page of the CSUN website, click the calender section, look for the CSUN basketball game speaker icon, and click the icon ... You can also access the game at www.ibsu.net ... Bill Courtland will serve as the play-by-play voice for the Matadors for the third straight year ... Working as color commentator again this season is Alan Zinsmesiter, a six-year veteran of CSUN basketball broadcasts.

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.

National Notes ...
As the 2008-09 basketball season kicks into high gear, Sports Illustrated, in its pre-season college basketball preview edition, has predicted a berth in the NCAA Tournament for Cal State Northridge ... Sports Illustrated has predicted the 45 automatic bids and at-large picks that will round out the tournament field, and the prestigious national magazine ranks Cal State Northridge 51st in the nation ... Cal State Northridge is the only Big West school ranked among the nation's top 65 teams, and one of only 12 teams from the West that are included in the pre-season list.

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 points ... 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.

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.