Nobody said winning on the road is easy ... Cal State Northridge is in the midst of a six-game road trip ... The next stop takes place at Fresno State when CSUN faces a sellout crowd of 15,596 at the Save Mart Center ... It is the season home opener for the Bulldogs ... Former Bulldog star, Paul George, who now stars for the NBA's Indiana Pacers, has teamed up with Fresno State and a Fresno radio station to buy tickets and issue them to the community to insure a sellout ... The Matadors. under first year head coach Reggie Theus, have undergone a complete makeover since last year ... Nine new players have joined six returnees to comprise the 15-man varsity roster ... The scoring, rebounding and assist trio of Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca), Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, Guard/Forward, Thousand Oaks, Ca), and Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Thousand Oaks, Ca) will return to lead the CSUN scoring and rebounding attack ... Greene, Hicks and Maxwell have collectively played a total of 205 games, scored 2,592 points, grabbed 1,044 rebounds, and dished out 338 assists.
"We want to make the Northridge community, the University, the student body, the faculty and staff proud of the product we put out on the basketball court. The Matadors will be the hardest playing team in the Big West Conference. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
CSUN head coach Reggie Theus
Ghizal Hasan and Alan Zinsmeister will serve as the radio voices for CSUN basketball this year ... Their live broadcasts can be heard on gomatadors.com ... Hasan has served the previous season as the voice of women's basketball for CSUN ... Zinsmeister begins his tenth season as color commentator for CSUN.
CSUN and Fresno State renew their longstanding rivalry that began during the 1959-60 season ... The Bulldogs have posted a 25-6 advantage over the Matadors ... CSUN's last meeting in Fresno resulted in a 69-66 decision on Nov. 30, 1999 ... That game was held at FSU's old home, Selland Arena ... Brian Heinle came off the bench to score a team-high 25 points along with six rebounds and four assists.
Fresno State is 1-1 ... Their season opening victory at UC Irvine (11/8/13) was dramatic ... Allen Huddleston's running jumper just past mid-court landed through the hoop to record a 97-97 overtime victory over the Anteaters ... Four days later, the Bulldogs dropped a 75-54 decision at Pittsburgh ... Three FSU players average in double figures led by Paul Watson (18.0 ppg), Marvelle Harris (17.5 ppg) and Cezar Guerrero (16.5 ppg) ... Tyler Johnson is the team leader in rebounds (8.0 rpg) ... Rodney Terry is in his third season at Fresno State with a 25-40 record.
With only eleven players on the roster, everbody is getting a chance to play ... Four of CSUN's starters are averaging 32 minutes or more ... Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Woodland Hills, Ca) and Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) are each averaging 36 minutes per game whlie Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Sophomore, Forward, Sheridan, Or) checks in at 33 mpg, while Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) is averaging 32.0 mpg ... Eight of the eleven players are averaging in double-digits in minutes played.
Free Throw Facts (Part #1)
Over the past two seasons, Cal State Northridge has demonstrated its strength from the free throw line ... In 2011-12, the Matadors broke the school record with a .755 season free throw percentage ... Last year, CSUN shot .733 from the charity stripe, fourth-best for a single season in school history ... In the season opener against Hope International (11/8/13), the Matadors hit 32-of-33 free throws (.970), a school record and sixth-best for a single game in NCAA history ... After two games, Cal State Northridge is hitting .857 (60-for-70) from the charity stripe.
Free Throw Facts (Part #2)
Two of CSUN's strength on the free throw line starts with Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) and Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, Guard/Forward, Thousand Oaks, Ca) ... Greene has played in 92 games in three-plus seasons at CSUN with a career free throw percentage of .849 (third-best in school history) ... Hicks has played in 57 games in two-plus seasons with the Matadors with a free throw percentage of .806 (262-325), seventh-best in CSUN history.
CSUN set a school record with a .970 free throw shooting percentage as the Matadors opened the 2013-14 season with a hard-earned 86-74 victory over Hope International (11/8/13) ... The free throw effort was also sixth-best for a single game in NCAA history ... CSUN hit 32-of-33 free throws to erase the old school record of .944 (17-for-18) set at Cal State Dominguez Hills on January 28, 1989 ... Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Woodland Hills, Ca) hit 11-of-11 free throws and Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) connected on 8-of-8 free throws to help CSUN to the free throw record ... CSUN led by as much as 19 points, 62-43, with 10:25 left in the game ... Maxwell produced a game-high with 23 points along with 12 rebounds ... Greene collected 16 points to give him 1,006 for his career, the 16th player in Matador history to record that plateau ... The Matadors, however, dropped a 95-79 decision at USC (11/12/13) ... Despite a Trojan roster that included two seven-footers, and a 6-foot-10 forward, CSUN outrebounded the Trojans, 39-37, and on the offensive boards, 19-10 ... Maxwell produced his 16th career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds ... Greene led both teams with 19 points along with four assists and three steals.
"Our objective is to make a student-athlete successful not only at CSUN but in life. This is the start of their journey. We want to make the Northridge community, the University, the student body, and the staff proud of the product we put out on the basketball court."
Reggie Theus, CSUN head coach
Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Woodland Hills, Ca) comes from a family that stresses academics ... Maxwell has two sisters who have gained outstanding academic distinction in the classroom ... Jessica Maxwell graduated from Occidental College and earned her Ph.D in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University ... Jessica is now a visiting assistant professor in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California's (Berkeley) Department of Art History ... Tiffany Maxwell is a highly successful costume designer/stylist specializing in custom, handmade garments primarily for stage and music videos in Los Angeles ... Maxwell's brother, Kevin, is an accomplished singer from the swing and jazz era (like Frank Sinatra) and is currently recording a CD ... Stephen Maxwell, a Communications major, gained Big West All-Academic honors last year.
"My mom reminds me every day about the importance of an education. She cares more about education than anything. I really admire her for that."
CSUN junior forward Stephen Maxwell
Dave Yanani is a legendary coach in the Los Angeles area who not only enjoyed success on the high school level but also coached collegiately at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Los Angeles ... Yanani gave CSUN head coach Reggie Theus his first job in coaching as a volunteer assistant at Cal State Los Angeles in 2002-03.
"Reggie discovered he loved coaching so much. He had a love for teaching, interacting and communicating with the players. He showed his competitive side as a teacher. Reggie embraced his coaching role on the team."
Dave Yanai, former Cal State Los Angeles head coach
Trevone Williams (6-6, 225, Sophomore, Forward, Los Angeles, Ca) worn uniform #30 last season to honor his late uncle, Trevone Castleberry .. Williams has changed his uniform to #10 this year to honor his late father, who wore that uniform number when he was a star athlete at Crenshaw High School and Antelope Valley College.
"#30 is still in my heart for my late uncle but #10 is 'home' to honor my best friend, my dad. From the time I wake up, and during the course of the day, I think about my dad."
CSUN sophomore forward Trevone Williams
J.J. Thomas (6-6, 220, Junior, Opelausas, La) hails from Opelousas, a small town in Louisiana ... Thomas can cook with several specialities that include crawfish etouiffee, jambalaya, shrimp creole, and gumbo.
"Opelousas (La.) is the spice capital of the world and the center of Zydeco music. Southern people are warm and friendly. People from the South want to make you feel at home."
CSUN junior foward J.J. Thomas
Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) has switched his uniform number from #0 to #1 ... Greene has scored 1,025 points in his three-plus-year career with Cal State Northridge, becoming only the 16th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau in the 55-year history or Matador basketball ... Landon Drew (6-1, 175, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) graduated from Fairfax High School ... One of his high school teammates was Reggie Theus' son, Reggie Jr., who is a freshman basketball player at the University of South Carolina ... Landon's father, Larry, is the head coach of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks ... Amir Garrett (6-6, 210, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is a left-handed pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization ... Garrett's fastball has been clocked at 96-miles per hour ... Aaron Parks (6-3, 198, Freshman, Guard, Baltimore, Md) had never visited California before taking a basketball recruiting trip from his East Coast home in Baltimore (Md) to the West Coast, specifically the campus of Cal State Northridge ... Chris Pompey, CSUN assistant coach, played football at the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 ... One of his teammates was quarterback Dan Marino, who later enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins.
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball programs, has enjoyed a major overhaul that will make the 51-year-old building enjoyable for CSUN fans ... An extensive multi-million dollar makeover has included a new court, video boards, new graphics, new scoreboard, new sound system, high definition cameras, a live video production studio, new seats and bleachers, VIP floor seating, air conditioning, and the improvements go on-and-on ... Matador fans attending games will be thoroughly impressed ... The Matadome has endured a few dull, mundane names, Matador Gym, Northridge Gym, San Fernando Valley State Gymnasium ... The Matadome was once called KPE100 (Kinesiology Physical Education 100) ... During the first four years of collegiate men's basketball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors had to play their home games at several high schools in the San Fernando Valley including Granada Hills, Monroe and Birmingham High Schools ... In the 51-year history of the Matadome, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only five losing campaigns.
Cal State Northridge has played 1,519 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... Since the 1962-63 season, Cal State Northridge has played 614 home games at The Matadome with a winning percentage of .649 ... In 51 seasons on CSUN's home court, the Matadors have produced 41 winning seasons, five .500 seasons and only five losing seasons ... A total of 420 players have worn the Red, Black & White of Cal State Northridge ... Thirty-one states have been represented in years past on the Matador roster ... This year's 15-man roster will feature ten players from the Southern California area (Paul Cid, Landon Drew, Devonte Elliott, Amir Garrett, Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, Kevin Johnson, Stephen Maxwell, K.J. Smith, Trevone Williams), one player from Louisiana (J.J. Thomas, Opelousas), one player from Maryland (Aaron Parks from Baltimore), one player from Nevada (Ben Vozzola from Las Vegas), and player from Oregon (Tre Hale-Edmerson from Sheridan), and one player from Pennsylvania (Dominique Youmans from Philadelphia).
The 56th season of Cal State Northridge basketball season will be as exciting as the previous 55 years ... In the past eleven seasons, Cal State Northridge has played at least one Pac-12 school ... This year is no exception ... On Nov. 12, CSUN traveled to the Galen Center to face the USC Trojans ... The trip to USC begins a six game road trip that will take to team (following the USC game) to Fresno State (11/16/13, 7:00 pm) and four games at the Central Michigan Tournament (Nov. 21-26) ... Fourteen home games will be played at the Matadome in 2013-14 ... Big West Conference play will start at home with a Jan. 9 (7:00 pm) encounter against UC Davis ... The conference season will end at home against four-time league champion Long Beach State on March 6 (7:05 pm) ... As Cal State Northridge starts its 56th year of intercollegiate basketball competition, the Matadors have played 215 colleges and universities that have represented 43 states ... Geographically, Cal State Northridge has played as far west as Hawai'i and as far east as New Jersey (played in Rider College in 2008-09)
Cal State Northirdge has been tabbed to finish seventh in the Big West Conference basketball pre-season media poll ... The Matadors generated 89 points ... UC Irvine is picked to win the league title with 183 points followed by UC Santa Barbara (167 points), Cal Poly (165 points), Long Beach State (164 points), UC Davis (114 points) and Hawai'i (110 points) ... CSUN is picked for seventh place followed by Cal State Fullerton (57 points) and UC Riveside (31 points) ... According to Athlon Sports Magazine, CSUN is predicted to finish second in the Big West Conference ... Athlon picked UC Irvine to win the conference followed by CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal Poly, Hawai'i, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
"No Big West team can match the off-season buzz created by the Matadors, who hired former NBA Star Reggie Theus as head coach. Theus, who guided New Mexico State to an NCAA bid in 2006-07, will bring the up-tempo style he learned playing under Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV. He also spent two seasons as head coach of the Sacramento Kings."
Athlon Sports Magazine
Cal State Northridge will be a popular commodity on television in 2013-14 ... CSUN's trip to USC (Nov. 12, 8:00 pm) was televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Networks ... CSUN, expected to be a contender in the Big West Conference, will be featured on Prime Ticket in two games during the 2013-14 season ... Both Matador games on Prime Ticket will be played at the renovated Matadome ... On Saturday, January 18, CSUN will host UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m. ... UCSB will be a title contender that features perhaps the finest player in the league, forward Alan Williams ... Then on Saturday, February 22, CSUN hosts UC Irvine in a 7:30 p.m. contest ... The Anteaters, in all the pre-season basketball magazines, have been tabbed as the team to beat in the conference ... The other six home games at the Matadome will be played at 7:00 p.m. ... Five regular season Big West contests will be aired nationally on ESPN2 and ESPNU ... All matchups will be determined utilizing a "Wild Card" format ... ESPN will make its selections three-to-four weeks prior to the event ... Three CSUN games are on the docket as candidates for "Wild Card" games ... They include Cal Poly at Cal Poly on Jan. 16; CSUN at UC Riverside on Mar. 1; and Long Beach State at Cal State Northridge on Mar. 6 ... During the previous five seasons, Cal State Northridge basketball was featured prominently on television (32 times to be exact), including games on CBS, Fox Sports Net and ESPNU ... During CSUN's march to the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09, Matador games were televised a school record nine times.
"Having two CSUN televised men's basketball games among the eight conference games on Prime Ticket is huge for our program. It speaks to the increasing credibility and excitement of the new era of Matador basketball. Home games against formidable opponents UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine will be highly entertaining for our fans and supporters."
Dr. Brandon Martin, CSUN's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics