Oct. 28, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
In a survey of media members throughout the league, the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team was picked ninth with 42 points in the Big West Women's Basketball 2010-11 Preseason Poll. Fueled by the arrival of new head coach Jason Flowers and his staff, the Matadors are optimistic that they will prove the skeptics wrong come the arrival of Big West basketball.
"We're looking forward to getting better all year and seeing how good we can be by the time conference rolls around," Flowers said. "At the end of the day, everybody has to show up and play."
The Matadors return 11 letterwinners and four starters from a season ago. Junior Jasmine Erving earned All-Big West Second Team honors after averaging 13.6 points and 5.5 rebounds. Sophomore Janelle Nomura also returns after an All-Big West Freshman season that saw her average 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds and assists.
UC Davis was tabbed the preseason favorite, receiving 16 first-place votes and 210 points overall. Cal Poly edged UC Riverside, 183-182, for second and third respectively, while UC Santa Barbara was pegged fourth with 164 points.
Cal Poly's Kristina Santiago, the 2009-10 Big West Player of the Year, highlights the 2010-11 Preseason All-Confernece Team. She is joined by Mikah Maly-Karros (UCI), Paige Mintun (UCD), Alyssa Morris (UCR), Megan Richardson (CSUF) and Mekia Valentine (UCSB).
Northridge opens the 2010-11 Big West season with a roadtrip to face Pacific (Dec. 31, 2 p.m.) and UC Davis (Jan. 2, 2 p.m.). The Matadors' league home opener is on Jan. 5 against Long Beach State at 7 p.m.
Flowers and company start the 2010-11 season at home with a game against Pepperdine on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The Matadors then continue their busy November with a trip to the Hawaiian Islands to compete in the Jack in the Box Raibow Wahine Classic with Hawai'I, Oregon State and Eastern Michigan.
On Thanksgiving Weekend, CSUN hosts the Holiday Inn of Woodland Hills Thanksgiving Basketball Classic 2010. Northridge welcomes Wichita State, Wyoming and Tennessee-Chattanooga for two games at The Matadome on Nov. 26 and 27. The Matadors' conclude the month with a Nov. 30 home game against LMU at 7 p.m.
Still, the focus of the day was the preseason prognostications and Flowers was not disheartened by the early opinions of his Matadors.
"The day these preseason polls matter is the day we should cancel the season," Flowers added.