December 20, 2008

Cal State Northridge Faces Challenge Of San Diego State

Dec. 20, 2008

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Game Gossip ...
On the road again ... Cal State Northridge, fresh from two home victories, is on the road again to face San Diego State for a non-league game on Monday, Dec. 22, at 7:00 p.m. ... This will be the second game for Cal State Northridge against a Mountain West Conference school ... On Nov. 24, the Matadors lost a 85-74 decision in Albuquerque ... This will also be the final non-league game before the Matadors trek up to Cal State Fullerton for a Dec. 29 Big West opener against the Titans ... Game time is 7:00 p.m. ... CSUN's next home game is Jan. 2 against Pacific (7:05 p.m.) and Jan. 5 against UC Davis (7:05 p.m.).

Aztec Analysis ...
San Diego State is 8-3 overall and picked to finish as high as second in the Mountain West Conference ... Senior forward Kyle Spain sits atop the scoring leader board at 15.7 ppg and also as SDSU's top rebounder (5.6 rpg) ... Defense has certainly been a trademark for the Aztecs this year ... SDSU is among the nation's leaders in scoring defense (55.5 ppg) ... San Diego State has won 14 consecutive non-conference games vs California universities at Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl ... That includes its most recent home win, a 68-51 decision over UC Santa Barbara (12/20/08) ... Steve Fisher is in his tenth season at San Diego State with a mark of 155-133 ... Fisher also coached Michigan where he led the Wolverines to seven NCAA tournament appearances in eight full seasons, including an NCAA championship in 1989.

Series Saga ...
San Diego State holds a 17-6 lead in the series against Cal State Northridge ... The Matadors are only 3-10 in games played on the Aztecs' home court ... CSUN's last visit to San Diego State was a 80-70 loss on Dec. 1, 2001 ... The last victory at San Diego State was a 95-87 victory on March 3, 1994.

Conference Chatter ...
Cal State Northridge leads the Big West Conference in rebounding (38.4 rpg), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.289) and steals (9.0 spg) ... The Matadors are second in free throw percentage (.765), field goal percentage defense (.410).

Matador Memo ...
Three double-digit scorers lead the Matador attack ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az), has moved to the top of the scoring ladder at 12.5 ppg ... Townsend also stands on top in rebounds at 7.1 per game (#4 in the league) ... Townsend is seventh in free throw percentage (.800, 16-for-20) ... With a season-high 25 points in his last game (Pepperdine, 12/18/08), Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) is now averaging 11.2 ppg ... Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Nanaimo, BC) checks in at 11.1 ppg and second in rebounding (6.6 rpg, #13 in the league) ... Galick, who is the only player on the Matador roster to start all nine games, has scored 14 points and grabbed ten rebounds in each of his last two games against Denver (12/9/08) and Pepperdine (12/18/08) ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (51, 6.11 apg) and steals (16, 1.78 spg) ... Jenkins has 19 assists and only three turnovers in his last games ... Jenkins produced a season-high ten assists in his last game against Pepperdine (12/18/08).

Fast Facts ...
Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) now has 122 career three-pointers which is sixth-best in the Cal State Northridge record book ... Ten assists by Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) in his last game against Pepperdine (12/18/08) has now given the senior point-guard 246 career assists, ninth-best in school history ... On his 23rd birthday (11/21/08), Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) scored a team-high 15 points at Cal State Bakersfield (11/21/08) ... The 44 career blocks by Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) has moved him into sixth place all-time at CSUN ... The game at New Mexico (11/24/08) was the second trip to "The Pit" for head coach Bobby Braswell ... In 1983, as a high school coach, Braswell witnessed the classic game between North Carolina State and Houston with the Wolfpack (coached by Jim Valvano) scoring a last second basket to win the NCAA title.

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 364 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 191-173 (.525) ... 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.

Schedule Story ...
The recently completed six game road trek was the longest 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 St. and California ... The Matadors traveled to Stanford (85-103, 11/18/08), Cal State Bakersfield (65-67, 11/21/08), New Mexico (74-85, 11/24/08), Rider (72-85, 11/29/08), Drexel (47-55, 12/1/08) and to UCLA (67-85, 12/7/08) ... That six game road trip covered more than 4,000 miles.

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.

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.

Pre-Season Potpourri ...
In its pre-season college basketball issue, Sports Illustrated has predicted a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Matadors ... This recognition is just the latest in a series of lofty predictions for the 2007-08 Big West regular season tri-champions ... Cal State Northridge was ranked 25th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 pre-season poll ... The Matadors generated 118 points, and was only one of four teams from the West to be ranked in the Top 25 among mid-major teams ... The other west teams were 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.

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.

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.