December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays From Cal State Northridge Basketball

Dec. 24, 2008

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Game Gossip ...
Not so fast if you're waiting to see the Cal State Northridge basketball team play at home ... It's time for another road game ... Not since the 1991-92 season has CSUN played eight of their first eleven games on the road ... The Matadors now travel to Cal State Fullerton open the Big West Conference season on Monday, Dec. 29, at 7:05 p.m. ... This is the third straight year CSUN has opened the league season on the road ... The Matadors finally return home on Jan. 2 against Pacific (7:05 p.m.) and Jan. 5 against UC Davis (7:05 p.m.) ... Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton shared the conference regular season title last year with UC Santa Barbara at 12-4 ... The Titans went onto to win the Big West Tournament title and gained the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament ... This year, the Matadors are picked to win the conference title in a pre-season vote of the league coaches ... Cal State Fullerton is picked to finish fourth behind CSUN, UCSB, and Pacific.

Fullerton Facts ...
Cal State Fullerton is 6-6 overall and 4-0 at home ... The Matadors will face the challenge of one of the nation's top offensive players, senior guard Josh Akognon, who is averaging 25.8 ppg ... On Dec. 21, Akognon was averaging 25.5 ppg, third-best in the nation behind Davidson's Stephen Curry (30.0 ppg) and Chicago State's David Holston (26.4 ppg) ... Akognon recently scored a career-high 41 points at Hawai'i, only six short of the school record set by Bruce Bowen vs Bethune-Cookman in 2006 ... Akognon has made an incredible 52 three-pointers in 140 attempts, fourth-best in the nation ... Akognon is also among the nation's leaders in free throw percentage (.905, 67-for-74) ... Bob Burton is in his sixth year as head coach at CSF with a record of 98-66 (.598).

Series Saga ...
Cal State Fullerton leads the series with Cal State Northridge, 32-24 ... However, the Matadors scored one of its biggest wins and played perhaps its best game of the 2007-08 campaign at CSF with a 82-74 decision ... Five CSUN players chalked up double-digit in points including a game-high 19 by Jonathan Heard ... Three players came off the bench to combine for 34 points (Rob Haynes and Deon Tresvant with 12 points each, and Calvin Chitwood with ten points) ... CSUN held the Titans to only 37 percent shooting, and dominated the boards (48-36) ... Tremaine Townsend grabbed 14 rebounds while Heard added ten caroms ... The victory broke a eight-game losing streak in games against Cal State Fullerton ... The 56-game series against CSF is the fourth-longest in school history.

Fast Facts ...
Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) will be playing in his 100th game for Cal State Northridge when he takes the court at Cal State Fullerton (12/29/08, 7:00 p.m.) ... Since returning to his familar role last year as a reserve, Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) is averaging 14.8 ppg ... During that span, Tresvant has scored in double figures in four of those five games ... Last year, Tresvant led the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) as a reserve in all 30 games ... Matador opponents have attempted 127 more free throws, and have made 88 more free throws ... Rob Haynes (6-4, 185, Senior, Guard, Cerritos, Ca) now has 124 career three-pointers which is sixth-best in the Cal State Northridge record book ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Guard, Albuquerque, NM) has collected 249 career assists, ninth-best in school history ... Tresvant has 106 three-pointers in two seasons at CSUN, only four short of tying Trenton Cross (1994-98) in tenth place in the school record with 110 ... The 46 career blocks by Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) has moved him into sixth place all-time at CSUN, and only two short of catching Tom Samson (1993-97) in fifth place with 48.

Matador Memo ...
Three double-digit scorers lead the Matador attack ... Deon Tresvant (6-0, 170, Senior, Guard, Long Beach, Ca) with 43 points in his last two games, has moved atop the scoring ladder at 11.9 ppg ... Tresvant has a team-leading 23 three-pointers and the overall field goal leader at 43 ... Tremaine Townsend (6-9, 225, Senior, Forward, Phoenix, Az) is second in scoring at 11.2 ppg ... Townsend stands on top in rebounds at 7.0 per game ... Willie Galick (6-8, 225, RS Junior, Nanaimo, BC) checks in at 10.4 ppg and second in rebounding (6.3 rpg) ... Galick is the only player on the Matador roster to start all ten games ... Josh Jenkins (5-10, 185, Senior, Albuquerque, NM) is #1 in the Big West in assists (58, 5.80 apg) and steals (18).

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 365 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 191-172 (.523) ... 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.

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.

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.

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.

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