Hicks, Greene Earn All-Big West Accolades
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Two members of the Cal State Northridge men's basketball program received All-Big West recognition as announced by the conference office prior to the start of the Big West Basketball Tournament. In addition to being named Big West Freshman of the Year, guard/forward Stephan Hicks and sophomore guard Josh Greene received Honorable Mention recognition as voted on by the nine conference head coaches.
Of the four underclassmen who were named to any of the three All-Conference Teams, two of those student-athletes compete for Cal State Northridge.
In addition to being the only first-year player to earn All-Conference honors from the Big West this season, Hicks is also the second Matador in the program's history to earn top freshman honors. Ian Boylan earned Freshman of the Year recognition shortly after the conclusion of the 2001-02 season.
"I am very excited and happy for Stephan receiving Freshman of the Year," said Northridge head coach Bobby Braswell. "From the first game of the year he worked hard, played aggressively on both ends of the court, and established himself as a future star of the Big West Conference."
In the 22 seasons that Cal State Northridge has competed at the Division I level, Hicks is the only Matador freshman who finished as the team's top scorer and leading rebounder.
In addition to his team-high 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, the seventh- and third-highest averages respectively in the Big West, Hicks' 81.3 free throw percentage was the fifth-highest in the conference. The top freshman in the Big West in all three major categories, Hicks also led all Big West freshmen with five double-doubles, five 20-point games, and six 10-rebound games.
"He was the most consistent player on our team throughout the entire season," said Braswell. "He was in the conference's top ten in three major categories, the recognition from other Big West head coaches was well deserved."
Hicks also finished his first season as a Matador ranked No. 5 in the conference with 2.79 offensive rebounds per game.
The native of Thousand Oaks, Calif. scored double figures in 23 of 28 games, including the first 16 straight of his collegiate career. Hicks recorded a team-high 26 points in CSUN's return matchup at CSU Bakersfield (1/28/12), and collected a team-high 17 rebounds in his second-ever game in a Northridge uniform at Hawai'i (11/14/11).
As was the case with his teammate Hicks, who also earned Honorable Mention for the first time in his collegiate career, Greene ended the 2011-12 campaign with the 10th-highest scoring average (12.4 ppg) and third-highest free throw percentage (83.1) in the Big West.
Said Braswell, "The other Big West Conference head coaches recognized his (Greene) talents and ability to make plays when needed. This award is well deserved, I am proud of his efforts."
The sophomore guard also added his name to three separate Northridge men's basketball all-time top ten lists with his performance this season.
Currently ranked No. 4 in the Cal State Northridge men's basketball record books with his 82.9 career free throw percentage, Greene, a sophomore from Los Angeles, Calif., is tied for No. 8 all-time with 57 three-point field goals made in a single season, and tied for No. 10 all-time with 12 free throws made in one game.
In addition to sinking 12 free throws at Cal Poly (2/15/12), Greene also recorded team-high totals with his five three-point field goals made at Pacific (2/11/12), 11 assists earned against Pacifica (12/17/11), and 26 points scored at Long Beach State (2/4/12).
Led by his effort against Long Beach, Greene scored 20 or more points in five games, and ended the season with 18 double-digit scoring efforts – 10 of which were earned in CSUN's final 11 games of the season.
"He did an outstanding job investing the time needed to improve after struggling throughout the early portion of our season. At the midway point, he started to become a more confident player, and quickly made sizable, and positive contributions to this team on a consistent basis," said Braswell.
Combined, Hicks (16) and Greene (10) finished as the team's top scorer on 26 occasions.
Hicks was also the Matadors' leading rebounder in 17 games.
Including the two, members from the Matador men's basketball team have been honored 43 times throughout the 11 seasons that Cal State Northridge has competed in the Big West.