Academics Take Center Stage On CSUN Basketball Team

Northridge, Calif. - Holiday greetings from Cal State Northridge men's basketball.

Finals are taking place this week on the CSUN campus. Finals end on Monday, Dec. 17, and the 2012-13 varsity will be able to relax from their school work, and just concentrate on basketball.

The spring semester doesn't start until January 22, 2013. Between Dec. 18 and Jan. 22, the Matadors will play nine basketball games including seven Big West Conference games.

CSUN's next game is Dec. 18 against San Diego Christian.

Tipoff is slated for 7:05 pm at The Matadome. The CSUN (7-3) vs San Diego Christian (3-3) game will be broadcast live on gomatadors.com with Bill Courtland and Alan Zinsmeister handling the broadcast duties. Live Stats and Twitter coverage will also be available at gomatadors.com.

Below is a short recap on CSUN's successful start (7-3) to the 2012-13 season.


Fast Facts

CSUN started the year, 6-0, its best start since the Matadors moved to the NCAA Division I level, and its best overall start since the 1981-82 campaign ... The CSUN vs BYU game (11/24/12) at Provo, Utah, attracted 20,900 fans, the largest crowd to ever witness a Matador basketball game ... CSUN leads the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.788) and offensive rebounding (14.40 per game) and is first in steals (9.30 spg) ... Two Matador players (Allan Guei, Ilya Ilyayev) speak foreign languages ... Guei was born in Italy, but spent his early childhood in the Ivory Coast where he learned and spoke French ... Guei moved to the United States at age nine where he had to learn a second language, English ... Ilyayev was born in Moscow, Russia ... Ilyayev speaks fluent Russian … Ilyayev, who moved to the United States at age four, holds dual citizenship ... Like Guei, Ilyayev had to learn English when he moved to the United States.   

Reserve Role
Depth has been a major strength for CSUN in 2012-13 ... While CSUN's five starters (Josh Greene, Allan Guei, Tre Hale-Edmerson, Stephan Hicks, and Stephen Maxwell) are averaging 19 minutes or more per contest, four reserve players are averaging 14.8 minutes or better per game ... Landon Drew (18.6 mpg, 6-1, 175, Freshman, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Brandon Perry (17.1 mpg, 6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca), Donovan Johnson (15.2 mpg, 6-3, 185, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) and Trevone Williams (14.8 mpg, 6-6, 225, RS Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) are all seeing extensive action ... Drew has scored in double figures in his last three games including a season-high 16 points in his last contest at Arizona State (12/8/12) ... Perry is averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game ... Perry's best game of the year included a 19-point, 12 rebound effort against Eastern Washington (11/12/12) ... Williams has scored in double figures in his last two games including a season-high eleven points at Arizona State (12/8/12) along with a season-high six rebounds ... Williams has hit 9-of-11 shots (.818) from the floor in the last two games ... And another reserve, Morgan Tilford (6-7, 200, Sophomore, Forward, Lexington, Ky) is approaching the double-digit mark in minutes played as a reserve ... Tilford is averaging 8.6 mpg ... Tilford recently scored nine points against Vanguard (12/5/12).

Triple Threat
As expected, Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) have been the team's top three players ... All three players are prominently mentioned in numerous Big West Conference statistical categories ... Hicks leads the Matadors in both scoring (18.1 ppg, #4 in the BWC) and rebounding (8.2 rpg, #3 in the BWC) ... Hicks' name is among the statistical leaders in field goal percentage (.525, #6 in the BWC), free throw percentage (.875, #4 in the BWC), steals (1.70 spg, #5 in the BWC), offensive rebounds (2.90 rpg, #5 in the BWC) and defensive rebounds (5.30 rpg, #4 in the BWC) ... Hicks has already established career-bests in field goals (9), steals (7), assists (3), and blocks (1) this year ... Hicks has scored in double figures in all ten games this year, including season-highs (25 points) at San Diego (11/15/12) and at Brigham Young (11/24/12) ... Greene has hit .923 (48-for-52, #2 in the Big West Conference) from the free throw line, and is among the league's top statistical leaders in assists (5.10 apg, #2 in the BWC), steals (1.80 spg, #4 in the BWC), and assist/turnover ratio (2.40, #4 in the BWC) ... Greene is the new school record holder with 33 straight throws ... Greene made two straight free throws against Vanguard (12/5/12) to give him 33 straight before missing on his 34th attempt ... Maxwell is averaging 12.6 (#3 on the Matadors) and 7.1 rebounds per game (#2 on the team, #10 in the BWC) ... Maxwell is shooting .538 (50-93, #3 in the BWC) from the floor ... Maxwell has shot 57 percent or better in six of the ten games.

Free Throw Facts

Last season, Cal State Northridge led the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.755, school record) ... This year, the trend continues ... The Matadors have hit .788 (186-for-236) from the charity stripe in the first ten games, including 25-of-27 (.952) against Pepperdine (11/9/12) in the season opener, seventh-best for a single game in school history ... The Matadors are ranked eleventh in the nation in free throw percentage ... CSUN has made 46 more free throws than the second-best (free throws) team in the league, UC Irvine ... CSUN has made 186 free throws compared to 140 for UC Irvine ... CSUN's starting five has hit 146-of-176 free throws for .830 ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is the CSUN free throw leader at .923 (48-for-52, #2 in the BWC) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.854, 169-for-198), is fourth-best in school history.

Age Analysis
Which NCAA Division I basketball team is the youngest in the country? ... Look no further than Cal State Northridge ... In a nationwide survey conducted by the Naval Academy media relations office, in terms of playing experience, the Matadors have 17 active players with only eleven years of collegiate basketball experience, an average of 0.65 years per player ... Three of the nation's least experienced teams hail from the Big West Conference ... Following the average of 0.65 years per player by Cal State Northridge, Dartmouth is second nationally at 0.73 years per year, followed by Navy (0.76 years), UC Santa Barbara (0.78 years) and UC Riverside (0.79 years) ... Their are NO seniors on the 17-man Cal State Northridge active roster ... Their are ONLY three juniors ... The rest of the Matador squad is either freshmen (seven) or sophomores (seven).