Nov. 23, 2010
Back to the rigors of NCAA Division I play ... Following a convincing 109-66 victory over Vanguard University (an NAIA school) last Saturday (11/20/10), Cal State Northridge is one of eight schools competing in the prestigious 76 Classic (Nov. 25-28) at the Anaheim Convention Center ... How tough is this tournament? ... Five of the eight teams competed in post-season (NCAA Tournament and NIT) competition last year ... This year's tournament field, in addition to Cal State Northridge (1-2), includes Stanford (3-0), UNLV (3-0), Oklahoma State (3-0), Murray State (2-1), Tulsa (2-1), DePaul (1-1) and Virginia Tech (2-1) ... The seven other teams (not including CSUN) in the 76 Classic have a combined record of 16-4 ... Stanford, Oklahoma State and UNLV are each 3-0, Murray State, Tulsa and Virginia Tech are each 2-1, and DePaul is 1-1 ... Cal State Northridge faces #24 Virginia Tech of the ACC in a first round game on Thursday, November 25, at 11 a.m. ... The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU ... The Matadors will face either DePaul or Oklahoma State in a second-round game on Friday (11/26/10) at either 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. ... Depending on CSUN's results in the first two games, the Matadors will complete tournament play on Sunday (11/28/10) in a TBA game ... The Matadors will be entering new territory when they face Virginia Tech ... Cal State Northridge has never faced a school from the powerful ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference).
It is indeed a small world ... West meets East when Cal State Northridge plays Virginia Tech in the first round of the 76 Classic on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center ... Matador head coach Bobby Braswell, who is in his 15th season at Cal State Northridge, served as an assistant coach at Long Beach State under then 49er head coach Seth Greenberg for two seasons (1990-91 & 1991-92) ... Greenberg now is the head coach at Virginia Tech ... Braswell, in all, was an assistant coach for three seasons (1989-90 to 1991-92) and helped Long Beach State to two post-season appearances in the NIT including the 1991-92 campaign (18-12) ... Long Beach State compiled a 52-38 mark during Braswell's three seasons with the 49ers, including a 23-9 record in 1989-90.
Cal State Northridge returns one starter who is expected to be one of the top players in the Big West Conference ... Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va) collected a single season school record 44 blocks and led the league in that category (1.52 bpg) ... Daniel also ranked third in the Big West with 7.8 rebounds per game ... Last year, the honorable mention BWC selection tallied 11.7 ppg, second-best on the team ... Daniel scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in his last game against Vanguard (11/20/10) ... Daniel provides an inside scoring threat while Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 165, Junior, Guard, Oakland, Ca), whose 53 (1.65 pg) three-pointers ranked ninth in the conference, provides scoring from the outside ... Six returning players started at least five games last year ... Rashaun McLemore (6-5, 205, Senior, G/F, Richmond, Va) and Dathan Lyles (5-11, 175, Senior, Guard, Lima, Oh) battled injuries last year, but are healthy this year ... McLemore currently leads the team in scoring (15.7 ppg, #7 in the Big West Conference) ... McLemore has scored in double-digits in all three games this year including a career-high 24 points along with five rebounds at California (11/16/10) ... Lyle is the team's starting point-guard and has dished out 17 assists (#1 in the BWC) in his first three games ... Against Vanguard (11/16/10), Lyle collected a career-high in points (16), assists (9) and steals (4) against Vanguard (11/20/10) ... Raymond Cody (6-5, 190, Senior, Guard, Lancaster, Ca), a starter at the off-guard position, scored a team-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and 6-of-7 free throws against Redlands (11/6/10) ... Eight freshmen players have been added to the CSUN roster ... Another new player, John Hayward-Mayhew (6-8, 220, Junior, Eugene, Or), grabbed a team-high seven rebounds at UCLA (11/12/10) ... Bryce Smith (6-5, 205, Sophomore, Guard, Woodland Hills, Ca) is another new addition after redshirting last year after transferring from San Diego State.
CSUN fans will definitely need a game program to keep track of this year's group ... Ten new players, including eight freshmen, join forces with seven returning lettermen to make up the 17-man 2010-11 CSUN varsity roster ... CSUN only has ten years of NCAA season experience, three of those seasons by senior Michael Lizarraga ... Only Cal State Fullerton (6 years) and UC Riverside (7 years) have younger Big West Conference teams than CSUN ... Josh Greene (6-0, 175, Freshman, Guard, Lakeview Terrace, Ca) is emerging as one of the top players on the team after scoring 17 points (10-for-11) along with three assists against Vanguard (11/20/10) ... Aqeel Quinn (6-4, 190, Freshman, Guard, Lawndale, Ca) scored eight points (3-for-4 from the floor, 2-for-3 from behind the arc) at California (11/16/10) ... In the 2010-11 season opener at UCLA (11/12/10), the freshmen contributions included Thomas Jacobs (6-7, 205, Freshman, Forward, San Diego, Ca) with four rebounds in 15 minutes, Frankie Eteuati (6-10, 185, Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) with five points and two blocks in eleven minutes ... Allen Jiles IV (6-4, 190, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) had five points, two rebounds and a steal in 13 minutes against Vanguard (11/20/10) ... This is the youngest team head coach Bobby Braswell will coach as he is in the midst of his 15th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge.
Challenging is always the trademark of the CSUN basketball schedule, and this year is no exception ... CSUN started the years with two games against Pac-10 schools at UCLA (L, 53-80, 11/12/10) and at California (11/16/10, 7:30 pm) ... In Bobby Braswell's previous 14 years as head coach at CSUN, the Matadors have scheduled at least one Pac-10 school in 13 of those years ... The Pac-10 opponents have included Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, UCLA, Washington and Washington State ... CSUN is competing in the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center ... Five of the eight teams in the 76 Classic reached the post-season (NCAA Tournament or NIT) in 2009-10 ... CSUN's first game will be against nationally-ranked Virgina Tech on Nov. 25, 2010 (11 a.m.) on ESPNU ... This is the fourth year of the 76 Classic which is hosted by the Big West Conference and ESPNU ... UC Irvine (2007), Cal State Fullerton (2008) and Long Beach State (2009) have been the other Big West representatives in the 76 Classic.
Cal State Northridge is #1 in the Big West Conference in scoring (74.0 ppg) and assists (16.7 apg), and second in steals (10.3 spg) ... Michael Lizarraga, the only deaf basketball player competing on the NCAA Division I level, is #1 in the BWC in field goal percentage (.750) while Dathan Lyles is #1 in assists (5.7 apg) ... Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va.) has a chance to break the school record for career blocks ... Daniel has collected 45 blocks, seventh-best in school histroy ... The school record is held by Thomas Shewmake (2003-07) with 82 ... Daniels' 44 blocks last year was a single season school record.
CSUN is hoping to continue a couple positive trends from a year ago ... CSUN broke two single season records for free throw attempts with 933 and free throws made with 624 ... The 933 free throw attempts broke the old mark of 868 (26 games) set during the 1966-67 season ... The 933 free throw attempts were ranked fourth nationally behind Kansas State (29-8) with 1,098, Morgan State (27-10) with 983, and Kentucky (35-3) with 971 ... The Matadors made 624 free throws, 14th-best in the country ... The old school record was 613 set during the 2000-01 season ... Kansas State (29-8) led the nation with 734 free throws made ... The 49 free throw attempts against Seattle (1/11/10) and Cal State Fullerton (2/13/10) were third-best for a single game in school history ... The final Big West overall stats from 2009-10 showed CSUN was first in rebounding (37.9 rpg), second in scoring (71.3 ppg) and blocked shots (99, 3.1 bpg), and third in steals (239, 7.5 spg) and three-point field goal pct. defense (.345).
Five Cal State Northridge men's basketball games will appear on ESPN's family of networks and Fox Sports Net ... CSUN's first round game at the 76 Classic against Virginia Tech at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday, November 25, will be televised live on ESPNU at 11 a.m. ... The following day (Saturday, Nov. 26), the Matadors contest against either DePaul or Oklahoma State will be televised live on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU at either 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. ... On Sunday (Nov. 28), Cal State Northridge's game at the 76 Classic will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU ... CSUN's opponent will be determined based on their previous games against Virginia Tech, DePaul or Oklahoma State ... One Big West Conference game will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Prime) ... That game will be CSUN's home contest against Cal Poly on Saturday, January 22 ... Game time at The Matadome is 1:00 p.m. ... CSUN's game at Denver (12/4/10, 4:30 pm mt) will be televised on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain ... CSUN will have other opportunities to be on television during the 2010-11 season ... The ESPN Brackbuster games that are slated either Friday (Feb. 18), Saturday (Feb. 19) or Sunday (Feb. 20) will be on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU ... The semi-finals of the Big West Tournament on Friday, March 11, will be televised on ESPNU ... The Big West Championship game will be seen on ESPN2 ... The Big West Tournament will be held this year at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Tickets are still available for the 76 Classic on Nov. 25-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center ... Cal State Northridge will face nationally-ranked Virginia Tech in a first round game on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. ... The Matadors are guaranteed two other games on Nov. 26 and 28 ... Cal State Northridge will face either DePaul or Oklahoma State in the second round ... Fans can purchase tickets through www.ticketmaster.com or call Ticketmaster at 714-704-2000 ... For more information, go to 76Classic.com
Virginia Tech embarked on the 2010-11 season ranked #21 in the Associated Press Top 25 and #23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll ... The #21 ranking is the highest pre-season ranking by a Virginia Tech team since the start of the 1984-85 season when the Hokies were ranked 15th ... Virginia Tech is picked to finish second in the ACC behind top-ranked Duke in a media pre-season poll ... Virginia Tech is currently 2-1 with a 70-60 victory over Campbell (11/12/10) and a 92-70 decision over UNC Greensboro (11/21/10) ... Their only loss was a 73-57 decision at third--ranked Kansas State (11/16/10) ... Malcolm Delaney (6-3, 190, Senior, Guard, Baltimore, Md) is the team's scoring leader (21.7 ppg) ... In his last game against UNC Greensboro (11/21/10), Delaney scored 23 points (8-for-12 from the floor, 6-for-6 free throws) along with four assists and four steals ... At third--ranked Kansas State (11/16/10), Delaney scored 22 points along with five assists and three steals ... Delaney is 25-of-26 from the free throw line for .962 ... Delaney leads the team in assists (11) and steals (7) in the three games ... Other double-digit scorers are Dorenzo Hudson (6-5, 220, Senior, Guard, Charlotte, NC) at 13.0 ppg and Jeff Allen (6-7, 230, Senior, Forward, Washington, D.C.) at 12.0 ppg ... Allen is the team leader in rebounding (8.87 rpg).
This will be the first meeting between Cal State Northridge and Virginia Tech ... In fact, this is the first time in school history that Cal State Northridge has faced an ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) team.