CSUN Finally Home To Face UCD In Big West Season Opener
Complete Press Release - CSUN vs UC Davis
Cal State Northridge is finally back home after a road trip to Stephan F. Austin (12/30/13) and at South Dakota (1/2/14) that lasted ten days in the artic, snowy conditions that hampered the Midwest and the Northeast of the country ... The ten-day road trip was the longest journey in the 56-year history of the Matador program ... Thursday's game against UC Davis (1/9/14, 7:00 pm) will be on ESPN3 ... Because ESPN has exclusive rights, the game will not be seen on BigWest.tv but live stats and Twitter updates will be available throughout the game on gomatadors.com ... Thursday's game could be a milestone for Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, Guard/Forward, Thousand Oaks, Ca) ... Hicks only needs two rebounds to become the 15th player in school history to grab 500 or more reobunds ... Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) is the new school record holder for career three-pointers ... Greene currently has 187 shots made from beyond the arc.
There is still time to purchase mini-plans for men's and women's basketball for Matador basketball ... Each Mini-Plan offers two reserved tickets for each designated men's basketball game and two general admisison tickets for each designated women's basketball game ... Each mini-plan is $65 each ... To purchase your Mini-Plan, call the Associated Students Ticket Office at 818-677-2488 ... A $4 handling fee will be added to all phone orders ... The January 2014 Mini-Plan includes the following games - Men's Hoops vs UCD (1/9/14, 7:00 pm); Women's Hoops vs Cal Poly (1/16/14, 7:00 pm); Men's Hoops vs UCSB (1/18/14, 7:30 pm); Women's Hoops vs Long Beach State (1/25/14, 4:00 pm); and Men's Basketball vs UC Riverside (1/30/14, 7:00 pm) ... The February 14 Mini-Plan includes the following games - Women's Hoops vs Hawai'i (2/1/14, 4:00 pm); Men's Hoops vs CSF (2/8/14, 7:00 pm); Men's Basketball vs Cal Poly (2/13/14, 7:00 pm); Men's Hoops vs UC Irvine (2/22/14, 7:30 pm); and Women's Hoops vs CSF (2/27/14. 7:00 pm).
CSUN, under first year head coach Reggie Theus, has 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) return to lead the CSUN scoring and rebounding attack ... Greene, Hicks and Maxwell have collectively played a total of 244 games, scored 3,222 points, grabbed 1,247 rebounds, dished out 387 assists and recorded 264 steals.
CSUN is ranked among the top schools in several cartegories in the Big West Conference ... The Matadors are atop the league in free throw percentage (.755), and steals (7.9 SPG), second in three-point field goal percentage (.387) and third in rebound margin (+3.9).
"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 are the radio voices for CSUN basketball this year ... Their live broadcasts can be heard on gomatadors.com ... Hasan served the 2012-13 season as the voice of women's basketball for CSUN ... Zinsmeister begins his tenth season as color commentator for CSUN.
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 15 games, Cal State Northridge is hitting .755 (302-for-400) from the charity stripe, tops in the Big West Conference ... In six games, CSUN has hit 80 percent better ... The Matadors are currently ranked 14th in the nation.
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 105 games in three-plus seasons at CSUN with a career free throw percentage of .846 (third-best in school history) ... Hicks has played in 70 games (65 as a starter) in three seasons with the Matadors with a free throw percentage of .797 (330-414), ninth-best in CSUN history.
Cal State Northridge has chalked up a 8-7 record in 2013-14 ... Cal State Northridge has won four games by six points or less ... The Matadors have lost three games by seven points or less ... CSUN has chalked up a 5-1 home record at the Matadome ... Shooting has been a strength at .497 (167-for-336) during that six-game homesstand ... In the season home opener against Hope International (11/8/13), CSUN set a school record with a .970 free throw shooting percentage ... 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.
"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 roduct we put out on the basketball court."
Reggie Theus, CSUN head coach
Cal State Northridge holds a 10-8 lead in the series against UC Davis ... The Aggies, however, have won the last three games against the Matadors including a 74-71 verdict last year at the Matadome ... UCD has also won four of the last five games against CSUN ... On the good side, CSUN has won nine of the last ten games against UCD at the Matadome ... Cal State Northridge had won the last eight games against UC Davis on the Matadors' home court until a 74-71 loss last year ... CSUN is 12-2 against the Aggies at the Matadome.
UC Davis enters Thursday's game against Cal State Northridge with a 5-10 record ... The Aggies have won two of their last three games ... Josh Ritchart (6-9, 235, G/F, Senior, Auburn, Ca) and Corey Hawkins (6-3, 195, Junior, Guard, Goodyear, Az) are among the top leaders in the scoring in the conference in scoring at 17.3 and 17.1 ppg, respectively ... The team's third double-digit scorer is Ryan Sypkens (6-4, 195, Senior, Guard, Elk Grove, Ca) at 11.5 ppg ... Sypkens set a school record with ten three-pointers against Simpson College (1/2/14) ... Sypkens' 49 three-pointers are tops the Big West Conference ... Ritchart is the team's top rebounder at 6.6 rpg.
With only 12 players on the roster, everbody is getting a chance to play ...Three starters are averaging 30 minutes or more per game, respectively ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, G/F, Thousand Oaks, Ca) and Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) each check in at 32.6 mpg (#4 in the BWC) while Stephen Maxwell (6-7, 220, Junior, Forward, Woodland Hills, Ca) has played 30.8 mpg (#9 in the BWC) ... Hicks has played in 32 or more minutes in eleven of the 15 games ... That included 41 of 45 minutes in CSUN's 80-77 overtime victory over Austin Peay (11/22/13) ... Greene has charted 30 or more minutes in 12 games while Maxwell has clocked 32 or more minutes in eight games ... Two other starters are each averaging 25.0 minutes per game or more ... They are Tre Hale-Edmerson (6-9, 215, Forward, Center, Sheridan, Or) at 27.5 mpg and Landon Drew (6-1, 175, Sophomore, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) at 25.0 mpg ... Seven of the 12 players are averaging in double-digits in minutes played.
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 ... At CSUN's game at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi (12/20/13), a large group of family and friends drove six hours from Opelousas, La. to Corpus Christi, Tx., including his mom, dad and his little brother to watch J.J. play.
"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) set a school record for career three-pointers at Stephen F. Austin (12/27/31) ... Greene hit two second-half three-pointers to give him 183 to break Ian Boylan's old record of 182 set from 2001-05 ... Greene's record breaker came with 5:57 in the second half against the Lumberjacks ... Greene currently has 187 three-pointers ... Entering the game against UC Davis (1/2/14), Greene has attempted 484 career three-pointers, second-best in the school record book, and only 13 short of catching Boylan's school record of 497 ... Greene has scored 1,212 points in his four-year career at CSUN, becoming only the 16th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau in the 56-year history of Matador basketball ... Greene's 1,212 career points are eighth-best in school history ... Greene has attempted 938 field goal attempts, eighth-best in school history ... Greene's career free throw percentage is .846 (297-51) is third-best in the Matador record book ... Greene has dished out 285 career assists, seventh-best in Matador annals ... Greene has played 2,826 career minutes (26.9 mpg), seventh all-time ... Stephan Hicks (6-6, 200, Junior, Guard, Thousand Oaks, Ca) also joined the 1,000 points club with 20 points against Southern Utah (12/3/13) ... Hicks is the 17th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau ... Hicks has scored 1,111 points, 13th-best in school history ... Hicks' 15.9 career ppg average is eighth-best in school history ... Hicks tied a school record with a perfect 12-for-12 effort from the free throw line against Austin Peay (11/22/13) ... Hicks has 330 career free throws, fifth-best in school history ... Hicks' .797 career free throw percentage is ninth-best in the Matador record book ... Tre Hale-Edmerson tied a school record with six blocks against La Sierra (12/1/13) and against Morgan State (12/27/13) ... Edmerson, in just his second season, already has 59 career blocks, seventh-best in school history.
Josh Greene (6-0, 180, Senior, Guard, Los Angeles, Ca) has switched his uniform number from #0 to #1 ... 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 announced crowd of 14,770 to watch CSUN at Fresno State was the seventh-largest crowd to watch the Matadors play ... The school record remains 20,999 when CSUN traveled to Brigham Young (11/24/12).
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball programs, has enjoyed a major overhaul that makes 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 1,532 games since the start of the basketball program in 1958-59 ... A total of 422 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 16-man roster feature eleven players from the Southern California area (Robert Cid, Landon Drew, Devonte Elliott, Amir Garrett, Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, Kevin Johnson, Stephen Maxwell, Kevin Rutledge, 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), one 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 began a six game road trip that took the team to Fresno State (11/16/13) 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) ... Cal State Northridge started its 56th year of intercollegiate basketball competition in 2013-14 ... During that time, 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 Northridge 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.