March 11, 2008

Cal State Northridge Aims For Big West Tournament Title

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March 11, 2008

Game Gossip ...
Cal State Northridge aims for its first Big West Tournament title when the Matadors begin competition on Friday (3/14/08, 8:00 p.m., ESPNU) ... By virtue of the team's first place finish in the regular season conference race, CSUN has earned a #2 seed and thus will have two byes until Friday's semifinals ... CSUN is 24th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll (3/10/08).


Television Time ...
CSUN's semi-final game at the Big West Tournament on Friday (3/14/08, 8:00 p.m.) will be televised on ESPNU.


Conference Chatter ...
CSUN has chalked up a 4-6 record in Big West Tournament play ... The Matadors' best showing was during the 2003-04 tournament when the CSUN beat Cal State Fullerton (80-70), UCSB (61-58) and Utah State (63-62) to reach the title game vs UOP ... Pacific won, 75-73.


Coaches Corner ...
Bobby Braswell, the 2007-08 Big West Coach of the Year, is in his 12th season as head coach at Cal State Northridge ... Braswell has coached 354 games in his duties as head coach, and has produced a record of 188-166 (.531) ... Braswell has guided Cal State Northridge to postseason play in each of his previous eleven seasons, reaching the conference tournament championship game on four occasions ... In past seasons under Braswell, the Matadors have prided themselves on tough defense and a productive offense ... Last year, the Matadors led the Big West Conference in rebounding margin (+6.9) and steals (8.97) ... Already this year, the Matadors have forced the opponents in 544 turnovers, produced 268 steals (#1 in the Big West, #15 in the nation), and have outrebounded the opposition, 1,078-1,051 ... Braswell's teams have been ranked in the Top 25 in steals nationally in ten of the last eleven seasons ... Braswell is assisted by second year assistant coach Louis Wilson, and newcomers Stan Johnson and James Blake ... Ryan Dodd is in his first season as Director of Basketball Operations.


League Leaders ...

Cal State Northridge and several players are among the leaders in the Big West Conference ... The Matadors are #1 in field goal percentage defense (.416), rebounding (37.2 rpg), defensive rebounds (25.5), blocked shots (3.2 bpg), steals (9.3 spg, #15 in the nation) and 3-point field goal percentage (.305), and #2 in scoring (78.3 ppg), offensive rebounds (11.8 oprg), assists (15.3 apg), and scoring margin (+7.7) ... Tremaine Townsend (Second Team All-Big West) and Jonathan Heard (First Team All-Big West) are first and eighth in the Big West in rebounding (9.5 rpg, 5.6 rpg) ... Townsend is #1 in defensive rebounds (7.2 drpg) and third in offensive rebounds (2.3 oprg) ... Heard is sixth in offensive rebounds (2.2 opg) ... Townsend and Heard are second and fourth in field goal percentage (.531, .512) in the league ... Townsend is #1 in the BWC in blocked shots (1.2 bpg) while Calvin Chitwood (Honorable Mention All-Big West) is third (1.1 bpg) .. Chitwood is trying to become the first CSUN player to lead the Big West in blocked shots ... Josh Jenkins (Honorable Mention All-Big West) continues to lead the conference in assists (6.4 apg, #9 in the nation), second in assist/turnover ratio (1.64) and fourth in steals (1.7 spg) ... Jenkins is trying to become the first CSUN player to lead the conference in assists since Markus Carr during the 2001-02 season (5.3 apg) ... Deon Tresvant (Second Team All-Big West) is third in three-point goals per game (2.8), seventh in 3-point fg percentage (.416) and tenth in scoring (14.0 ppg).


Defensive Data ...
Cal State Northridge has improved its defense in 2007-08 ... The Matadors have held the opposition to only .416 percent shooting (#1 in the Big West) and has forced the opposition into 544 turnovers in 29 games ... Cal State Northridge has collected 268 steals (#1 in the Big West) ... In only four games this year has the opposition shot 50 percent or better from the floor ... In only three games has the opposition hit 40 percent or better from three-point range.

"It all starts with defense for us. The points and totals for the game are just gravy. If we're defending, we're going to get turnovers, we're going to get easy baskets and we're going to get a lot of opportunities." CSUN head coach Bobby Braswell


Scoring Story ...
Four players average in double figures, four players are shooting .512 or better, and three players are shooting 38 percent or better from 3-point territory.


Rebounding Raves ...
Rebounding has vastly improved for Cal State Northridge in the last three seasons ... During the 2005-06 campaign, CSUN ranked last in the Big West, but improved to second-best last year, and are currently first in the Big West averaging 37.2 rebounds per game ... The Matadors are trying to break the four year stranglehold on the rebound title held by Cal State Fullerton ... Four CSUN players are averaging 4.4 or more rebounds per game, including a conference-leading 9.5 rebounds per game by junior center Tremaine Townsend (Second Team All-Big West) while Jonathan Heard (First Team All-Big West) is eighth in rebounding (5.6 rpg) ... Townsend's 22 rebounds at UC Davis (2/9/08) is a Big West best in 2007-08 ... In fact, Townsend's 22 rebounds, Calvin Chitwood's (Honorable Mention All-Big West) 18 rebounds vs Chicago State (11/10/07), and Townsend's 15 rebounds at Cleveland St. (11/28/07) and 14 vs Utah Valley State (12/5/07) are the four of the five best rebounding efforts in the Big West this year .. Townsend is trying to become the first player in school history to lead the league in rebounding.


Broadcast Barometer ...

All Matador men's basketball games can be heard live over the internet at GoMatadors.com with Bill Courtland and Alan Zinsmeister providing the broadcasting duties ... For the third-straight season, the Matadors have partnered with CSTV and the Big West Conference to present live video streaming of all league games and non-conference home contests ... Click on the Big West TV banner on the front page of GoMatadors.com for more information.


Senior Salute ...
Experience counts ... Two reasons for CSUN's success this year have been the play of seniors Jonathan Heard (First Team All-Big West) and Calvin Chitwood (Honorable Mention All-Big West) ... Heard is averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game whle Chitwood checks in at 10.7 points and 4.4 rpg ... In four seasons, Chitwood and Heard have played in 226 games (162 as starters) and have combined for 2,514 points and 1,015 rebounds.


Matador Memo ...
Cal State Northridge has shown an ability to fight back from behind in several games to win ... Five of CSUN's 20 wins have been comeback affairs after being down by eight points or more ... At UC Santa Barbara (1/5/08), the Matadors battled back from a 13-point second half deficit to win, 88-84 ... At UC Riverside (1/16/08), the Matadors were down by ten points in the first half, only to comeback to score a four-point win, 66-62 ... In the season opener vs Chicago State (11/10/07), the Matadors battled back from a ten-point second half deficit to post a 96-85 win ... At Utah Valley State (12/28/07), CSUN scored a 73-65 win after being down by nine points ... At Cleveland State (11/28/07), the Matadors were facing an eight-point deficit but came back to score a 78-68 victory.


Depth Dialogue ...
There is no doubt the team's talented depth has contributed to the team's success in 2007-08 ... Eight players are averaging 14.6 minutes or more ... A key reserve, Deon Tresvant (Second Team All-Big West), is averaging 26.0 minutes per game ... Tresvant is CSUN's leading scorer (14.0 ppg, #10 in the Big West) ... No reserve in school history has ever led the team in scoring ... That could happen this year with Tresvant ... The last reserve to average in double figures was Gerald Rhoden during the 1996-97 season when he averaged 11.4 ppg.


Team Talk ...
In seven games, the Matadors have scored 92 points or more ... The 40 field goals vs Vanguard is a Big West best in (2007-08). ... The 39-point victory (100-61) over Long Beach State (1/26/08) was the second largest margin of victory over a Big West school in the 46-year history of The Matadome ... The 100 points vs Long Beach State (1/26/008) is the 69th time in school history that CSUN has scored 100 or more points in a game.


Matador Minute ...
CSUN has notched 13 of its 20 wins by double-digit margins ... The margin of victory in those games is 22.6 points (1092-798) ... In 2006-07, the Matadors played 31 games and had only five wins by ten or more points ... The 12 assists by John Jenkins (Honorable Mention All-Big West) vs CS Bakersfield (11/21/07) is a Big West best in 2007-08.


Record Review ...
Jonathan Heard (First Team All-Big West) has tied the school record with 119 games played at Cal State Northridge ... Heard shares the record with Brian Heinle (1997-01) and Markus Carr (1998-02) ... Tremaine Townsend (Second Team All-Big West) has set a school record with 34 blocks this year ... Calvin Chitwood's (Honorable Mention All-Big West) six blocks at UW (12/22/07) is a school record and a Big West season-best (2007-08) ... CSUN has scored 220 three-pointers, #2 for a single season, 21 short of the school record (1997-98).


Home Hoopla ...
Cal State Northridge finished the 2007-08 season with a 10-3 record at The Matadome ... Nine of those victories were by double-digits ... The average margin of victory at The Matadome was (857-635) was 24.6 points.


Road Review ...
The Matadors finished the regular season with a 9-5 road record ... That was the first winning road campaign since the 2000-01 season (8-6) ... That was also the year CSUN qualified for the NCAA Tournament.


Neutral Notes ...
Cal State Northridge has played two neutral court games this year ... At the Drake (Iowa) Tournament (11/30/08 - 12/1/08), the Matadors lost a 97-74 decision to Duquesne, but came back the following night to beat North Carolina Central, 69-43.

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