Holiday greetings from Cal State Northridge men's basketball ... Finals are finally over, and now the 2012-13 varsity can relax regarding 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.
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), offensive rebounding (14.40 per game) and steals (9.30 spg) ... The Matadors are second in the league in scoring (80.7 ppg) and third in assists (16.0 apg) and scoring margin (+5.9) ... 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 ... Like Guei, Ilyayev had to learn English when he moved to the United States at age four ... Ilyayev holds dual citizenship.
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 ... Johnson scored a team-high 19 points in the season opener against Pepperdine (11/9/12) ... 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).
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, Woodhall 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, #5 in the BWC), free throw percentage (.875, #3 in the BWC), steals (1.70 spg, #6 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, #1 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, #3 in the BWC), and assist/turnover ratio (2.40, #3 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, #15 in the BWC) and 7.1 rebounds per game (#2 on the team, #9 in the BWC) ... Maxwell is shooting .538 (50-93, #4 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'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 and the Big West Conference free throw leader at .923 (48-for-52) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.854, 169-for-198), is fourth-best in school history.
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).
What a difference a year makes ... Last year, CSUN employed 17 different lineups ... This year through ten games, CSUN has been consistent with the SAME starting lineup of Allan Guei (5-9, 160, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and the front line of Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca), Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Sophomore, F/C, Woodland Hills, Ca) and Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Freshman, F/C, Sheridan, Or).
San Diego Story
San Diego Christian holds a 3-3 record ... The Hawks, an NAIA school, is a member of GSAC, the Golden State Athletic Conference ... Four players average in double figures led by Andy Saharan (14.0 ppg) ... Other double-digit scorers include Raphael Rodriguez (13.3 ppg) and Kevin Dawson (12.5 ppg) ... Dawson is the team's leading rebounder (6.2 rpg).
Cal State Northridge and San Diego Christian have only met once on the basketball court ... That meeting took place on Nov. 22, 2011 with the Matadors posting a 95-68 decision over the Hawks ... Six Matador players scored in double figures led by Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) and Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) with 20 points apiece ... Hicks added nine rebounds while Greene dished out eight assists ... Cal State Northridge raced to a 49-28 halftime lead and never looked back.
Only ten games into the 2012-13 season, and already the Matador record book has undergone change ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) set a school record with 33 straight free throws over a seven game span, to break the previous record of 32 set by Markus Carr during the 2000-01 season ... Greene's 14-for-14 free throw effort in the 92-76 victory over Tulsa (11/17/12) was second-best for a single game in school history ... Greene dished out 13 assists against Eastern Washington (11/12/12), a career-best and sixth-best for a single game in school history ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) also added his name to the CSUN record book with a 9-for-10 shooting effort at San Diego (11/15/12) ... That stat proved to be the third-best effort in Matador history for a single game ... Hicks produced a career-best seven steals at San Diego (11/15/12), fifth-best for a single contest in CSUN history.
Cal State Northridge has been picked to finish eighth in the annual Big West Conference pre-season media poll ... The Matadors generated 83 points ... Long Beach State, the defending league regular season and league tournament champion, earned 13 first place votes and 194 points to emerge as the league favorite in 2012-13 ... The 49ers outdistanced Cal State Fullerton, which accumulated 164 points, and third place UC Irvine's 153 points ... The 21-member media panel tabbed Big West member Hawai'i for fourth place with 132 points followed by UC Santa Barbara in fifth place (129 points) ... Pacific was picked for sixth place (113 points) followed by Cal Poly (100 points), Cal State Northridge (83 points), UC Davis (44 points) and UC Riverside (43 points) ... CSUN's Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, RS Sophomore, F/G, Thousand Oaks, Ca), who gained Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2011-12 with a 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game average, has been named to the pre-season media all-conference team ... Also named to the pre-season team were James Ennis (Long Beach State), Vander Joaquim (Hawai'i), D.J. Seeley (Cal State Fullerton), Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) and Michael Wilder (UC Irvine).
Cal State Northridge has played 1,495 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... Since the 1962-63 season, Cal State Northridge has played 603 home games at The Matadome with a winning percentage of .656 ... In 50 seasons on CSUN's home court, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only four losing seasons ... Entering the 2012-13 season, 407 players have worn the Red, Black & White of Cal State Northridge ... Thirty-one states have been represented in years past on the Matador roster.
The 55th season of Cal State Northridge basketball has promised to be just as competitive and exciting as the previous 54 years ... Three Pac-12 Conference teams (UCLA, Arizona State, Utah), a game at Brigham Young (BYU), and the addition of Hawai'i to the Big West Conference calendar are just a few of the highly competitive games that are on the 2012-13 docket ... Thirteen home games will be played at The Matadome ... Nine of those 13 home games will be Big West Conference games includings contests against defending league champion Long Beach State (Feb. 9, 7:05 pm) and Hawai'i (March 7, 7:30 pm) ... The CSUN-UCLA game was played at the new renovated Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 28 ... The Big West Tournament is slated for March 14-16 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.