The CSUN women’s basketball team has not had a winning culture over the last few years, and that’s putting it mildly. The team has had more coaches than winning seasons in the last 10 years.
The Matadors have had three coaches and only one winning season in the last six years (2004-05 season). Since then, the Matadors have a combined overall record of 36-109 and a record of 20-56 in the Big West.
Last year the Matadors finished with an overall record of 4-24, placing dead last in the Big West Conference with a 2-14 record. They were outscored by an average of 13.1 points per game, averaging almost 21 turnovers per game.
Still, if you ask the team about the previous losing seasons, they will tell you that it’s in the past.
At practice, there is an air of optimism and looseness about the upcoming 2010 season, in large part due to the offseason acquisition of a new coaching staff led by head coach Jason Flowers.
“He’s very positive and brings intensity to our practices. He never lets us give up and he has us work hard and pushes us to our limit,” said starting center Jasmine Erving. “We should be a lot better than we were in recent years. It’s a positive thing. This time we have somebody that has faith in us and has faith in the team.”
Although this upcoming season will be Flowers’ first as head coach, he is already having a positive impact on the team by preaching balance and intensity. He is not focused on the team’s losing past.
“I can’t compare this season to anything that has gone on before,” Flowers said. “The one thing I think I do bring is a level of intensity that may be a little different for some of the girls.
“We try to teach balance. We’re going to play our butts off, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to be intense and at the same time have fun doing it.”
However, if there is one area of the losing culture which Flowers and the rest of the coaching staff have contributed the most to changing, it would have to be in the Matador team’s chemistry.
Flowers, who has had multiple roles throughout his playing and coaching career, knows the importance of having a cohesive unit working toward one goal; the new motto “one team, one family” sums up the renewed team attitude.
“I’ve been on every spot on that bench. It has given me an opportunity to see things from different perspectives,” Flowers said. “Regardless of what their role is, if it’s big or if it’s small, we all come together to make one group. No one person is bigger than the entire group, including myself, and I’ve told them that from day one.
“This whole journey is about us,” Flowers said. “Once you get everybody on the same page working toward a goal, you do things few people think you can achieve.”