CSUN hoping late practices pay off on the road

Alonso Tacanga

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Forward Tremaine Townsend doesn’t care for the new late practice time. Fellow big man Willie Galick doesn’t like it anymore than that.

‘I’m not a big fan of it, but it’s what we got to do,’ Galick said with a smile.

The Matadors have switched up to evening practices, giving way for the men’s volleyball and women’s basketball teams to go at it before themselves. What’s wrong with a bit of camaraderie?

‘It messes up the whole eating schedule,’ Galick said.

Other than the surfacing of a few disappointed players not loving the reality that late meals have become, not much has changed since the Matadors’ last outing Saturday, a 74-55 win against UC Irvine. Senior guard Deon Tresvant and freshman reserve Dallas Rutherford have not returned to the lineup yet and any conceivable idea of when that coul happen remains concealed within Head Coach Bobby Braswell’s mind.

‘Anything can happen,’ he said Monday, regarding the players’ return date.

The only certainty at this point is that CSUN will be on the road for it next two games: Tonight against UC Santa Barbara (8 p.m.) and Saturday at Cal Poly (6 p.m.).

The Gauchos and Mustangs are eight and ninth place respectively in the nine-team Big West Conference while the Matadors are locked in a three-way tie for second. Of course, a recent home loss to seventh-place Cal State Fullerton should be enough to make CSUN have some extra respect for its neighbors of the North.

‘You can’t take any team lightly, especially in this conference,’ Townsend said. ‘Standings are up and down. No team is as bad as you think they are just because of what the standings say.’

Matador to watch:
Josh Jenkins, senior, point guard

Jenkins has come alive offensively over the past two games, averaging 18 points in 21 minutes played and making nine of 15 3-pointers. As Jenkins goes, so does CSUN. For the Matadors to move ahead of the pack in the Big West, the point guard’s offense needs to stay up.

Gaucho to watch on Thursday:
Chris Devine, senior, forward

Devine has always been a force. In his four seasons as a Gaucho, the now-senior never averaged below 12 points per season. He and his team had a rough outing in their last game, scoring only 36 points in a defeat at Pacific Saturday. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder.

Mustang to watch on Saturday:
Lorenzo Keeler, junior, guard

His Mustangs were a lifeless 0-5 in the Big West before a two-game road swing by Pacific and UC Davis resurrected them. Keeler was the main reason for this resurgence, averaging 22 points in the games. His performances made him the conference’s Player of the Week.

What did he say?

Willie Galick, CSUN forward
About not relaxing against on-paper lesser teams:

‘Everyone’s going to bring their A-game because we were picked to be No. 1 and everyone’s coming at us like we’re still No. 1. I know that’s still in the back of their minds and they still want something to prove.’