Holiday greetings from Cal State Northridge men's basketball ... Cal State Northridge has been no stranger to playing in big arenas and big crowds in 2012-13 ... Earlier this year (11/24/12), the Matadors played before a soldout crowd of 20,900 fans (the largest crowd to ever witness a CSUN basketball game) at Brigham Young (BYU), followed by a Nov. 28 game vs UCLA at the new Pauley Pavilion (13,800) ... CSUN now travels to the largest arena in the Pac-12 Conference, the 15,000 seat Jon M. Huntsman Center to face the University of Utah on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 ... Game time is slated for 8:30 pm (MT) ... CSUN will face another 7-foot player in Utah center Dallin Bachynski ... Dallin's older brother is Jordan Bachynski, who scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 12 shots in Arizona State's (12/8/12) 87-76 win over CSUN ... Dallin Bachynski is 7-feet-0, 248 pounds ... Jordan Bachynski is 7-foot-2, 250-pounds ... 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 now and Jan. 22, the Matadors will play eight basketball games including seven Big West Conference games ... The Matadors will play its final non-league game (at Utah) before the start of the Big West Conference season on Dec. 29 at Hawai'i ... The CSUN (8-3) vs Utah (7-3) game will be broadcast live on gomatadors.com with Alan Zinsmeister handling the broadcast duties ... Live Stats and Twitter coverage will also be available at gomatadors.com ... The game will also be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
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 18 minutes or more per contest, four reserve players are averaging 15 minutes or better per game ... Landon Drew (18.4 mpg, 6-1, 175, Freshman, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Brandon Perry (17.2 mpg, 6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca), Trevone Williams (15.3 mpg, 6-6, 225, RS Freshman, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) and Donovan Johnson (15.2 mpg, 6-3, 185, Freshman, G/F, Los Angeles, Ca) are all seeing extensive action ... Drew has scored in double figures in three of the last four games including a season-high 16 points at Arizona State (12/8/12) ... Perry is averaging 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game ... Perry's best game of the year included a 22-point (7-for-8 from the floor), five block effort vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) ... Williams has scored in double figures in his last three games including a season-high 13 points vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) along with a season-high six rebounds ... Williams has hit 14-of-19 shots (.737) from the floor in the last three 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 9.4 mpg ... Tilford scored a season-high nine points vs Vanguard (12/5/12), and a season-high five rebounds vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12).
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 team in both scoring (17.7 ppg, #4 in the BWC) and rebounding (8.5 rpg, #3 in the BWC) ... Hicks' name is among the statistical leaders in field goal percentage (.515, #5 in the BWC), free throw percentage (.859, #3 in the BWC), steals (1.81 spg, #6 in the BWC), offensive rebounds (3.00 rpg, #5 in the BWC) and defensive rebounds (5.45 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 eleven games this year, including season-highs (25 points) at San Diego (11/15/12) and at BYU (11/24/12) ... Greene has hit .926 (50-for-54, #1 in the Big West Conference) from the free throw line, and is among the league's top statistical leaders in assists (5.09 apg, #2 in the BWC), steals (1.82 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 vs Vanguard (12/5/12) to give him 33 straight before missing on his 34th attempt ... Maxwell is averaging 12.4 (#3 on the Matadors, #15 in the BWC), 7.1 rebounds per game (#2 on the team, #9 in the BWC) and shooting .529 (54-102, #4 in the BWC) from the floor.
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 .773 (208-for-269) from the charity stripe in the first eleven games, including 25-of-27 (.952) against Pepperdine (11/9/12) in the season opener, seventh-best for a single game in school history ... At the start of the week, CSUN was ranked fourth in the nation in free throw percentage ... CSUN's starting five has hit 157-of-192 free throws for .818 ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Junior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is the CSUN and the Big West Conference free throw leader at .926 (50-for-54) ... Greene's career free throw percentage (.855, 171-for-200), 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 eleven 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).
Utah holds a 7-3 record, and a 6-1 mark on its home court, the Hunstman Center (15,000) ... Jarred DuBois (6-3, 172, Graduate Student, Guard, Inglewood, Ca) and Jordan Loveridge (6-6, 230, Freshman, Forward, West Jordan, Ut) are the team's top scorers at 13.8 and 11.7 points per game, respectively ... Loveridge is the team's top rebounder at 7.2 boards per game ... Dallin Bachynski (7-0, 248, Sophomore, Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is averaging 7.1 rpg ... Dallin's older brother, Jordan, recently scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 12 shots in Arizona State's 87-76 victory over Cal State Northridge (12/8/12).
Utah leads the series against Cal State Northridge, 6-0 ... All six games have been played at Utah's Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) ... Not since Dec. 19, 2003 has CSUN played Utah ... On that date, the Utes recorded a 73-57 decision ... The seventh largest crowd (14,394) to ever watch a CSUN game saw Utah record a 75-58 victory at the Huntsman Center on Dec. 14, 1991.
Only eleven 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 ... Brandon Perry's (6-7, 275, Freshman, Center, Fresno, Ca) five blocked shots vs San Diego Christian (12/18/12) is second-best for a single game in school 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).
At the start of this week, Cal State Northridge was fourth in the nation in free throw percentage (.788) ... Entering Friday's game at Utah, the Matadors are shooting .773 from the charity stripe ... CSUN leads the Big West Conference in free throw percentage (.773), offensive rebounding (14.63 per game) and steals (9.36 spg) ... The Matadors are second in the league in scoring (81.8 ppg) and third in assists (16.45 apg) and scoring margin (+8.1) ... 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 ... 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 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.