NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Basketball season is right around the corner and CSUN women's basketball coach Jason Flowers is excited. Entering his fourth season at the helm of the Matadors, Flowers believes this season's squad is his most talented since taking over the program.
Last season, the Matadors finished 16-16 overall and 9-9 in the Big West Conference. During the season, CSUN recorded a historic victory at UCLA and picked up its first postseason victory since 2009. Northridge also started its Big West Conference season with a 4-0 record, its best start to league play since joining the league.
This year, CSUN returns eight letterwinners and four starters. The Matadors will play their first four games on the road and host their fourth annual Thanksgiving Basketball Classic.
Q: How has practice gone thus far?
A: "As a whole, the coaching staff has been pleased with the first week of practice. Our veteran players have done a good job of establishing our culture. We just have to keep working as we near the start of the season."
Q: What are your thoughts on the Big West Conference for the upcoming season?
A: "I believe the league continues to improve with each season I have been a part of it. The programs are doing a better job recruiting. There are several teams that probably feel that they have a good chance to win the conference and that is always a good thing for competition."
Q: What about this season's schedule?
A: "I think this year's non-conference schedule will be challenging. We open with four-straight games on the road against four quality opponents. However, we are an experienced team now and I think it will be good for our group to have that challenge because good teams win on the road. Our home opener is against BYU, one of the top programs in the west. Top to bottom, our non-conference slate should be challenging."
Q: How about the Thanksgiving Tournament?
A: "Once again, I think the San Fernando Valley will be treated to four outstanding games over the Thanksgiving holiday. Hampton is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance while Utah State participated in the WNIT. Santa Clara is a program that we've faced the past two years and are familiar with. It should be another great tournament."
Q: Are you getting ready for Matador Madness, October 18 in The Matadome?
A: "Our team is excited to get out there and feed off the energy and excitement the event is sure to generate. With all the changes and success currently going on at CSUN, energy on campus seems to be high and that is certainly a good thing."
Q: How have the upgrades to The Matadome helped?
A: "The improvements and renovations to The Matadome reflect the commitment this university has made towards athletics. Our squad, just like I am sure the other three teams that use The Matadome as their home court, is excited to be playing in an environment that continues to improve each year."
Q: What effects do you see the institution of a 10-second clock having on NCAA women's hoops?
A: "It's hard to say at this point. I don't think it will affect us that much because we are a team that likes to go out there and set the tempo. I think it will have some effect, but I also don't recall having seen a lot of teams taking 15 seconds to pass halfcourt over the past few seasons."
Q: Who are the team captains this year and what have they done to earn the designation?
A: "Our captains this year are juniors Ashlee Guay and Cinnamon Lister. Both have done a great job since the spring of leading by example. They encourage their teammates to match their efforts and were head and shoulders above everyone else as far as being leaders of this team."