Matadors have one last stop before UCLA

Alonso Tacanga

The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs have an annual road trip, one they like to call the ‘Rodeo Road Trip’ ‘- in honor to the rodeo that invades the AT’amp;T Center in February of every year.

In the nearly-month-long outing, the Spurs travel through numerous cities, pay visits to about seven to nine rivals and usually go back to Texas having come together as a team.

It’s safe to say that’s not happening with the Matadors.

CSUN embarked on a six-game road trip after its season-opening home win against Cal Lutheran and hasn’t seen a victory since. Northridge has made stops at Stanford (103-85), Cal State Bakersfield (67-65), New Mexico (85-74) and Rider (85-72) and each game has drawn different conclusions from the players and Head Coach Bobby Braswell. The deductions that matter most at the moment, though, are the ones left after the Matadors’ last outing Saturday.

Rider, in Braswell’s words, ‘out-toughed’ and ‘out-hustled’ Northridge. CSUN allowed the Broncs to shoot nearly 50 percent in the first half and was out-rebounded 46-35 for the game. If the season-low 16 turnovers were sure to please the coach, it’s even surer that the team’s effort has him shaking his head, again.

As far as effort goes, it’s been there – according to Braswell – but inconsistently. The coach was displeased vs. Cal Lutheran. Then, he was satisfied against Stanford. He went back to unhappy mode against the Roadrunners only to tweak his stance positively three days later at the Lobos.

It was back to no-no against the Broncs. Will the trend continue, meaning energy won’t be missing tonight at Drexel?

The Spurs, who have won three out of the last six NBA championships, never got out of their rodeo trip without at least an even record. That’s out of the question for the Matadors at this point with only two games to go before they come back to The Matadome, but tonight is definitely their best chance at getting at least one win out of this whole deal.

Date: Today
Time: 4 p.m.
Where: Daskalakis Athletic Center, Philadelphia
Series: Never met before

Interesting Fact: The Dragons’ most recognized alumnus is Malik Rose, who currently plays with the Knicks in the NBA. Rose, a 6-foot-7 forward who led Drexel to its only NCAA Tournament win in 1996, won championships with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003 before joining New York in 2005 via trade.

Matador to watch:
Deon Tresvant, guard, senior

The Matador put up points in his previous outings before almost going scoreless ‘- if not for a late three-point shot ‘- against Rider. Tresvant is explosive. He hasn’t lost that. He’s just taking too many threes. On Saturday, he went 1-8 from beyond the arc. The guard needs to drive more and get himself to the line. As he admitted, once he sees the ball go in the hole, his confidence will go up. Either that or perhaps it’s time for him to go back to being the bench spark he was last season when he lead CSUN in scoring at 13.9 ppg.

Dragon to watch:
Scott Rodgers, guard, senior

Rodgers is a three-year starter in the Dragons’ backcourt. He’s scored 13 points in both of Drexel’s games this season, including one on the road against No. 21 Georgetown. The guard doesn’t put up spectacular numbers in any categories; he’s just steady and reliable. He’s the kind of player the Matadors are missing at this point, someone who’s been there since the beginning, an indisputable team leader. Rodgers along with his teammate of four years, Tremayne Hawthorne, will be looking to make the Colonial Athletic Association’s name respected.

What did he say?

Bobby Braswell, CSUN Head Coach
On the team’s state: ‘…To be honest, we’ve haven’t been good defensively all year. We’re still in the process of trying to find ourselves…’