Nov. 15, 2010
Home Sweet Home ... Home Cooking ... Homeward Bound ... That's what Vinnie McGhee (5-10, 165, Junior, Guard, Oakland, Ca) and Michael Lizarraga (6-7, 230, Senior, Forward, Dixon, Ca) of the Cal State Northridge basketball team are singing ... Both are returning home to Northern California where the Matadors face the defending Pac-10 champion California Golden Bears on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 pm ... McGhee prepped at McClymonds High School in Oakland (adjacent to the city of Berkeley), where he averaged nearly 16 points during his senior season to lead his team to a 28-4 overall record, a league title, the northern California Division I championship and the school's first appearance in the state championship ... McGhee hails from McClymonds High School where a number of other outstanding athletes have graduated including Bill Russell (NBA Hall of Famer), former major leaguers Vada Pinson, Curt Flood and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Jimmy Hines (Olympic gold medal sprinter), and numerous former NBA players ... Lizarraga hails from Dixon, Calif., about 90 miles east of Berkeley and just west of Sacramento ... Lizarraga's story is one of inspiration ... Lizarraga, who graduated from the California School for the Deaf in Hayward (Ca), is the ONLY deaf player competing on the NCAA Division I level, but his inspiration and hard work to compete on the major college level has earned the senior student-athlete great respect from opponents, teammates, coaches, and of course, his family and friends ... Lizarraga has played in 48 games in four seasons at CSUN ... In the 2010-11 season opener at UCLA (11/12/10), Lizarraga scored a career-high eight points along with four rebounds in 14 minutes of play ... Last year at then 10th-ranked Washington (12/6/09), Lizarraga scored a career-high eight points (4-for-5 from the floor) along with six rebounds, three blocks and two steals ... As a student at the California School of the Deaf (Hayward, Ca), Lizarraga was an outstanding three-sport athlete in football (quarterback, tight end, wide receiver), basketball and baseball (pitcher, first baseman, outfielder).
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 ... Daniel will also become more of a focal point on offense in 2010-11 ... Last year, the honorable mention BWC selection tallied 11.7 ppg, second-best on the team ... Daniel scored in double-digits in 20 games, including five games in which he scored 20 or more points ... 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 both players are healthy and both are projected starters ... McLemore tallied ten points, four rebounds and three steals at UCLA (11/12/10) ... McLemore scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds in 20 minutes of play as a starter in CSUN's 85-81 overtime victory over Redlands in an exhibition game (11/6/10) ... Lyles started at point-guard against Redlands and responded with 12 points, five assists, three steals and no turnovers in 27 minutes ... Raymond Cody (6-5, 190, Senior, Guard, Lancaster, Ca), a projected 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 teams than CSUN ... 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, Josh Greene (6-0, 175, Freshman, Guard, Lakeview Terrace, Ca) with five points and three steals in 21 minutes, Frankie Eteuati (6-10, 185, Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) with five points and two blocks in eleven minutes, and Aqeel Quinn (6-4, 190, Freshman, Guard, Lawndale, Ca) with four points, two rebounds and a steal in seven minutes ... This is the youngest team head coach Bobby Braswell will coach as he begins his 15th season as head coach at CSUN.
The 2010-11 season marks the 53nd edition of CSUN basketball ... The Matadors began NCAA Division I competition during the 1990-91 campaign ... Since the program's inception in 1958-59, CSUN has posted an all-time record of 688-737 (.483) ... In the 1,425 games that CSUN has played since the inaugural 1958-59 campaign, the Matadors have scored 105,181 points.
Challenging is always the trademark of the CSUN basketball schedule, and this year is no exception ... CSUN starts 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 ... Later this month (Nov. 25-28), CSUN will compete 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 ... Virginia Tech returns its Top-10 scorers and will be a contender in the Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) ... CSUN is guaranteed three games in the 76 Classic ... The second round game will be against either DePaul or Oklahoma St. on Nov. 26 ... Game time will be either 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. ... The third-round game opponent (11/28/10) will be determined by CSUN's record in the first two games ... This is the fourth year of the 76 Classic which is hosted by the Big West Conference and ESPNU ... UC Irvine (2007), CS Fullerton (2008) and Long Beach State (2009) have been the other Big West representatives in the 76 Classic.
Lenny Daniel (6-8, 205, Senior, Forward, Richmond, Va.) has a chance to break the school record for career blocks ... Entering the 2010-11 season, Daniel has collected 44 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
A major rebuilding situation awaits the California Golden Bears in 2010-11 ... Cal lost four quality starters to graduation from its Pac-10 championship team (24-11 overall, 13-5 Pac-10) including guard Jerome Randle who averaged 18.6 ppg, guard Patrick Christopher who tallied 15.6 ppg and forward Theo Robertson at 14.2 ppg ... The Golden Bears also graduated their top rebounder, forward Jamal Boykin at 6.7 ppg ... Only five lettermen return including starting guard Jorge Gutierrez, who averaged 4.7 ppg last year ... The Golden Bears, who competed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, are picked to finish seventh in a Pac-10 media pre-season poll ... Cal's only pre-season exhibition game resulted in a 106-76 victory over Sonoma State (11/10/10) ... Allen Crabbe (6-6, 190, Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) paced Cal with 22 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field, including 4-for-4 from behind the arc and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe ... Gary Franklin (6-2, 180, Freshman, Guard, Santa Ana, Ca) added 17 points and four assists ... Four Cal starters tallied in double-figures ... Mike Montgomery is in his third year as head coach at California with a mark of 46-22 ... His career record (28-plus years at Montana, Stanford and Cal) is 593-266.
California holds a 4-1 advantage in the series with Cal State Northridge ... Initially, the Golden Bears held a 5-0 lead against the Matadors including their latest encounter on January 22, 1995 when Cal's Tony Gonzalez scored 18 points and grabbed ten rebounds to lead the Golden Bears to a 76-65 victory at The Matadome ... Because of NCAA violations, Cal later forfeited that game ... Gonzalez later decided to forego his career as a basketball player to become a future Hall of Fame tight end with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons ... The other four meetings in the series have been played on Cal's home court, Haas Pavilion ... The last meeting in Berkeley resulted in a 93-63 Cal win on February 7, 1994 ... Cal has won all four meetings in Berkeley by an average of 20 points per game.