December 6, 2007

A Matador Minute with Junior Guard Tonicia Tademy


A Matador Minute with Junior Guard Tonicia Tademy

Recently, junior guard Tonicia Tademy sat down with the Cal State Northridge media relations staff to discuss the ongoing women's basketball season. A transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, Tademy has provided an immediate impact for the Matadors, averaging 7.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. In fact, Tademy, despite being 5-5, has led the Matadors in rebounding the last three games and scored a season-high 16 points against Portland on Nov. 25.

Despite the team's early struggles, Tademy is confident in the team's ability to turn things around with the beginning of the Big West Conference season looming. She believes the team's season rests in its ability to use its defense as a catalyst for success.

1. What are your thoughts about the upcoming game against Montana?
"We need to go up there and just play our game. We need to make the easy plays, like lay-ups, and force Montana into playing the game at our tempo. The motto I use is: Go hard or go home. We just need to keep going and keep playing hard."

2. What type of mindset does a guard need to have to be an effective rebounder?
"You just have to want it. Rebounding is not determined by how big or small a player is. It is all about just getting the ball. To be honest, I hardly ever box out, to the dismay of my coaches, but like I said, it's all about getting the ball."

3. What is the difference between playing the point guard and shooting guard position?
"When I am playing point guard, I have to be a leader on the court and tell people where I want them to go. As a shooting guard, I am a little freer to get open and look for my shot. I have always played point guard; this season is the first time that I have played at shooting guard."

4. Is there a certain player that you try and mold your game after?
"That's easy: LeBron James. He's a beast. He goes hard all the time and he has really turned around the culture surrounding his team."

5. What have you learned so far from Coach Schulz and the other coaches?
"It's been a different, but good, experience. There is not too much yelling at practice, which is something I'm not necessarily used to. I am used to people getting on me for my mistakes and then dealing with it. The coaches here are a little more motherly and do a great job of teaching."

6. Who do you look to on the team during crunch time?
"I know that if the team needs a basket, that it is on me to try and figure out a way to get the team the lift they need. I also look to Katrina Thompson because she gives the team a spark. If the team needs something, whether it's a basket or a rebound, we know we can count on Katrina to get it done."

7. Have you ever wished you were taller so that you could play up front?
"Not really. I like playing in the backcourt. Well, I do like to play with my back to the basket because it allows me to use some of my different moves. But, I also like playing guard because you get to run."

8. What is driving force of motivation for the team as it enters conference play?
"It all starts on defense. We know that if we get stops on defense, it is only going to hype us up. We want to make an imprint on the conference and knock it out and to do so, it needs to start on the defensive side of the ball."

"I think others may doubt us after the start that we've had, but we know that we are capable of accomplishing. Now it is just a matter of going out there and informing everyone else."

9. What would you say to the CSUN community as to why they should attend women's basketball games?
"I would tell them that it is exciting. We play every minute of every game hard and they won't see any lolly-gagging from the Matadors. I'd tell them that if they want to see some good action, to come out and support us. We are going to play hard and fast."

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?
"I think I would like to get into coaching, maybe back at Mt. San Antonio. Obviously, if I could still keep playing, I would, but I think of myself as a leader and I want to show young women how it's done."

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