Men's Basketball At Utah State Saturday For First Mountain West Road Game

Jan. 2, 2014

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Next Game:           

Sat., Jan. 4            Utah State (10-3,0-1)           

Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)

RADIO:  KLIV 1590 AM; KSJS 90.5 FM           

7:00 p.m. MST

SPARTANS TO PLAY FIRST MOUNTAIN WEST ROAD GAME:  San José State goes on the road this weekend to face Utah State in the Spartans' first Mountain West road game.  Both schools joined the Mountain West on July 1, 2013, after playing in the Western Athletic Conference. 

Both schools are also looking for their first Mountain West win after losing their respective games on Wednesday.  The Spartans fell at home to Nevada, 62-50, while Utah State lost at Air Force, 73-72.

TICKETS:  Tickets for all San José State men's basketball tickets may be purchased by visiting the Spartan Ticket Office, calling (408) 924-SJTX, at any Ticketmaster outlet, on the web at www.sjsuspartans.com, or at The Event Center Box Office.

LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com.

RADIO COVERAGE:  All San José State men's basketball games are broadcast on KSJS, 90.5 FM, and can be heard on ksjs.org.  Saturday games can be heard on KLIV, 1590 AM, and at kliv.com.   Justin Allegri calls the action for the Spartans.

VIDEO COVERAGE:  All home San José State men's basketball games can be see on the Mountain West Network at www.themw.com and at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos.

The Utah State game can be seen at www.utahstateaggies.com and www.themw.com.

FACEBOOK/TWITTER:  Follow the Spartan men's basketball team (@SJSUMBB) and all San José State athletics teams on the web.  Join the official SJSU Spartans page on Facebook and read the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.  

ABOUT UTAH STATE:  The Aggies enter Saturday night's game with a 10-3 overall record and an 0-1 Mountain West record.  The team fell at Air Force, 73-72, Wednesday night in the school's first-ever Mountain West game.  Four Aggies scored in double figures, led by Preston Medlin with 19 points.

Head coach Stew Morrill is in his 16th year at Utah State with a 375-132 school record.  He is in his 28th year as a head and has a 594-270 coaching record.  Morrill started his head coaching career at Montana (1987-1991), then moved to Colorado State (1992-98) before coming to Utah State in 1999.

Three Aggies average double-digit points, led by Medlin and Spencer Butterfield at 14.2 points per game.  Medlin leads the team with 33 three-point field goals made and 50 assists.  Butterfield is the team's top rebounder with 85, 6.5 per game.  Kyle Davis averages 10.1 points per game and has a team-best 20 blocked shots.

Utah State leads the overall series, 50-21, and has won the past 12 games in the series.  The Aggies won last year's meeting in Logan, 66-60, on January 11, 2013.  D.J. Brown scored 16 points, while Chris Cunningham had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.  San Jose State last won a game in the series during the 2007-08 season with a 70-67 win at The Event Center on February 18, 2008.  Chris Oakes led the Spartans with 21 points and 12 rebounds. San Jose State's last win in Logan came during the 1981-82 season at 55-47, on February 25, 1982.

NEW SPARTAN HEAD COACH DAVE WOJCIK:  San José State head men's basketball coach Dave Wojcik is in his first year at the helm of the program.  He spent the past three seasons as the associate head coach on Leon Rice's staff at Boise State.  Wojcik recorded her first head-coaching win on November 20, 2013, with an 83-77 win at Pepperdine.

Wojcik and his brother Doug, head coach at the College of Charleston, are one of seven pair of brothers to be head coaches at Division I.  

WINNING STREAK ENDED:  With the loss to Nevada Wednesday night, the Spartans four-game winning streak came to an end.  San Jose State had not won four consecutive games since the 2010-10 season when they won four straight home games in February - Montana State (77-73), Weber State (62-46), New Mexico State (72-70 OT) and Louisiana Tech (72-60).

LAST TIME OUT:  In the school's first Mountain West men's basketball game, the Spartans scored a season-low 50 points in a home loss to Nevada, 62-50, on Wednesday, January 1.  Devante Wilson led the team in scoring with 18 point.  Chris Cunningham added 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.

A six-minute Spartan scoring drought in the second half allowed Nevada to take the lead for good.  San José State led 35-31 with 15:57 left in the game before going cold from the field over the next six minutes.  The team took just two shots during that time before Cunningham made a shot at the 9:57 mark as the team trailed 41-37.

San José State was held to just 5-of-20 from three-point range.  All four of Wilson's made baskets came from behind the three-point line as he went 4-for-7.  The only other Spartan to make a three-pointer was D.J. Brown who was 1-for-2 and scored five points in the game. 

SOMEONE GETS FIRST MOUNTAIN WEST WIN:  When San Jose State and Utah State play Saturday night, one team will come away with their first Mountain West win in school history.  Both schools joined the conference on July 1, 2013, after playing in the Western Athletic Conference.  Both teams also lost their first Mountain West contest.  The Spartans fell at home to Nevada, 62-50, while Utah State lost at Air Force, 73-72.

CONFERENCE OPENERS:  For the first time since 2010, San José State opened the conference portion of the schedule at home with the 62-50 loss to Nevada.  The last time the Spartans opened the conference schedule at home came during the 2009-10 season when the team won 78-75 over Idaho on January 4, 2010, when San José State was a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

The Spartans are also looking to open the road portion of the conference schedule with a win for the second consecutive season.  San José State opened the WAC portion of the 2012-13 schedule on the road with a 72-55 win at Texas State on December 29, 2012.  In that game, Chris Cunningham had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while D.J. Brown had eight points and four rebounds.

JAMES ETCHES HIS NAME INTO SAN JOSÉ STATE HISTORY:  Freshman Jalen James recorded just the second triple-double in San José State history with his 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 72-68 win at Houston on December 7.  James joins Brandon Hawkins who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Notre Dame de Namur on Dec. 18, 2001.

James is only the third Mountain West player to record a triple-double - Mark Dickel (UNLV), 17 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists on Nov. 19, 1999; and Justin Williams (Wyoming) 10 points, 15 rebounds, 12 blocks on March 10, 2006.

HOME, SWEET HOME:  After playing eight of its first nine games of the season on the road, the Spartans just completed a four-game homestand. San José State was the only Mountain West team to have a perfect home record (4-0) heading into conference play.  The Spartans defeated Cal State Fullerton, 81-59, on November 23, UC Davis, 89-85 (3OT) on December 18, Westminster, 73-66, on December 21, and Pacifica, 87-59, on December 28.

THREE-OVERTIME GAME CLUB:  With San Jose State's three-overtime game against UC Davis on December 18, the Spartans are one of 11 teams nationally to have played a triple-overtime game this season.  Through December 29, six games have gone to three overtimes, the latest being the San Jose State-UC Davis game.  Drexel has played in two triple-overtime games.

FRESHMAN COMES OFF BENCH TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING:  Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 213 points, 16.4 points per game.  He has played in all 13 games this season, but started just one (Weber State).  He has led the team in scoring in eight games this year, coming off the bench in seven of those games. 

Of the top-150 scorers nationally through December 29, Muhammad is 136th and is one of just seven freshmen on the list.  He is listed in the top-150 in seven categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 12/29)

Points/Game            136th            17.3 ppg

3-pt FG/GM            23rd            3.17 pp

3-pt FGM            30th            38

3-pt FGA            55th            85

3-pt Pct.            33rd            44.7

Free Throw Pct.            136th            83.3%

Total Points            146th            208

Muhammad scored a season-high 28 points in a three-overtime win against UC Davis.  He leads the team in three-pointers, making 38 of his 88 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 51-of-61 attempts (83.6%). 

The last freshman to lead San José State in scoring was Stony Evans who averaged 9.9 points during the 1983-84 season (276 points in 28 games).  That team, coached by Bill Berry, finished the season 10-18.  Evans also led the team in rebounding with 176, 6.3 per game.

COMEBACK KIDS, NEVER COUNT THEM OUT:  In four of the six Spartan wins this season, San José State has overcome double-digit deficits for the win.  The largest deficit was 19 points against UC Davis (32-23 and 47-28) in an 89-85, three overtime win at The Event Center.  San José State trailed Westminster (45-32) before winning 73-66.  On the road Houston led by as many as 15 (22-7) before the Spartans won 72-68, and Pepperdine led by 14 (40-26) before San José State outscored then in the second half (49-33) en route to the 83-77 win. 

Since 2002, San José State has overcome a deficit of 13 points or more for the win in 13 games.  Twice, the team has had to overcome a 19-point deficit, and three games went to at least one overtime before the Spartans won.

-19            vs. UC Davis (2nd half)            89-85 (3OT)            12/16/13

-19            at CSU Bakersfield (1st half)            78-70            1/23/12

-18            vs. New Mexico State (1st half)            93-84            1/23/10

-18            at Portland State (1st half)            76-73 (OT)            12/28/07

-17            vs. South Dakota State (2nd half)            77-71 (OT)            12/30/07

-15            at Houston (1st half)            72-68            12/7/13

-15            vs. Coppin State (1st half)            81-66            12/29/11

-14            at Pepperdine (1st half)            83-77            11/20/13

-14            vs. UTSA (1st half)            72-66            11/30/11

-14            vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (2nd half)            65-57            11/14/01

-14            vs. Tulsa (1st half)            76-69            1/27/05

-13            vs. Westminster (2nd half)            73-66            12/21/13

-13            vs. Rice (2nd half)            58-57            3/5/02

THREE-POINT SHOOTING RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION:  San José State ranks in the top-10 in three three-point shooting categories nationally (through Dec. 29).  The Spartans are sixth in three-point field goals per game at 10.2 (Charleston Southern #1 at 11.7), sixth in three-point field goal attempts at 332 (Youngstown State #1 at 369) and eighth in three-point field goals made at 122 (Creighton #1 at 136).

QUINTUPLE OF SCORERS:  For the first time since the 2010-11 season, San José State had five players score 10 or more points in a game.  Against Pacifica on December 28, Rashad Muhammad led the Spartans with 19 points, followed by Jaleel Williams with 14 points, Chris Cunningham and Devante Wilson each with 13 points, and Matt Pollard with 10 points.

UNDEFEATED DECEMBER:  San José State began the new year with a four-game winning streak after going undefeated in the month of December - defeating Pacifica (87-59) on the 28th, Westminster (73-66) on the 21st, UC Davis on the 18th (89-85, 3OT) and Houston on the 7th (72-68). 

Since the 1996-97 season, the Spartans have recorded a better-than .500 record in nine Decembers.

1996-97            7-1            2009-10            5-2

1998-99            5-2            2010-11            4-3

2000-01            5-2            2012-13            5-2

2003-04            4-3            2013-14            4-0

2008-09            4-2

TWO SPARTANS, 20+ POINTS IN A GAME:  Twice this season, two San José State players have scored 20 or more points in a game.  The latest came in a win over UC Davis as Rashad Muhammad scored a career-best 28 points, and Devante Wilson added a season-best 22 points.  At Pepperdine, Jaleel Williams led the Spartans with a career-best 22 points, while Wilson scored 20 points in his first start of the season. 

QUARTET OF SPARTAN SCORERS:  In five of the 13 games this season, a quartet of San José State scorers have recorded double-digit scoring games.

Milwaukee - Muhammad 17, James 12, Williams, 11, Mitchell 10

N. Illinois - Williams 13, Brown 12, James 11, Muhammad 11

Pepperdine - Williams 22, Wilson 20, Muhammad 14, Brown 14

CS Fullerton - Muhammad 17, Brown 17, Wilson 16, Cunningham 13

UC Davis - Muhammad 28, Wilson 22, Cunningham 13, Thornton 12 

MOUNTAIN WEST Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Jalen James was named the Mountain West Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 9, after his triple-double performance at Houston.  James was honored along with Cameron Bairstow of New Mexico.

James recorded career highs of 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 38 minutes of play at Houston.  He was 3-for-4 from the field including 2-for-2 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.  His four made free throws came in the final 17 seconds of the game to secure the victory.

James is one of six players nationally this year to record a triple-double and the only freshman to accomplish this feat.

THREE-POINT GAME RECORDS SET OR TIED THIS SEASON:  The Spartans have tied or set two three-point game records for most made and most attempted in a game.

The team tied the three-pointers made in a game record twice this season.  The team made 14 in two wins this season, at Pepperdine and at Houston, tying the record set against Louisiana Tech on January 13, 2005.

With 40 three-pointers attempted as a team on November 17, the Spartans set a single-game record for the most three-pointers attempted in a game.  San José State was 10-for-40 from three-point range against James Madison at the NIU Invitational.  The 40 attempts breaks the old record of 32 (10-of-23) shot against Boise State on January 6, 2011.  The 2011 game went four overtimes, and ironically, current Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik was an assistant coach for Boise State that night.

The 40 three-point attempts also tied the Mountain West record set on March 1, 2003, as Utah played at New Mexico. 

WILLIAMS MAKING AN IMPACT IN JUNIOR SEASON:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams has scored 151 points in 13 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game. He scored a career-best 22 points in the team's first win of the season at Pepperdine.  Williams added 20 points against Santa Clara and led the team in scoring against Westminster with 18 points.

Williams also recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Pacifica.  He was 5-for-8 from the field in the game, including 1-for-3 from three-point range, and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.

CUNNINGHAM GRABBING BOARDS:  Chris Cunningham has recorded three double-doubles this season - 13 points and 10 rebounds versus CS Fullerton; 10 points and a season-high 14 rebounds at Weber State; and 18 points and 11 rebounds against Westminster.  Cunningham has 11 double-doubles in his Spartan career.  He leads the team in rebounding at 7.2 per game.  He also has a team-high 14 blocked shots.

DISHIN' OUT THE ROCK:  Two Spartans have 40 or more assists on the season.  D.J. Brown has 46 assists, while Jalen James has dished out 41 assists this season.  Brown dished out six assists at Santa Clara and at Weber State, while James had 10 assists at Houston.

ROAD-WEARY TRAVELERS:  The Spartans played eight of its nine games to start the 2013-14 season on the road or at a neutral site.  The squad started the season by playing across town at Santa Clara, traveling to DeKalb, Ill., for three games, busing to Pepperdine, then flying to Portland and to Utah to face Weber State.  If you were driving to the games, below would be the number of miles (according to geobytes.com) you would have put on your car to see the Spartans play their road games.

Destination                        One-Way Miles

San José-Santa Clara            5 miles (10 total)

San José-DeKalb, Ill.            2,103 miles (4,206 total)

San José-Malibu, Calif.            348 miles (696 total)

San José-Portland, Ore.            664 miles

Portland-Ogden, Utah            734 miles

Ogden, Utah-San José            804 miles

San José-Houston            1,882 (3,764 total)

Total Miles - 10,878 miles on your car

LARGEST WINNING MARGIN SINCE 2011:  With the 81-59 win over Cal State Fullerton on November 23, the Spartans recorded the biggest win of 20 or more points over a Division I school since 2011-12.  San José State defeated UC Davis, 79-59, on December 20, 2011. 

FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT PEPPERDINE:  San José State picked up its first win of the year with an 83-77 win at Pepperdine on November 20.  Jaleel Williams led the team with 22 points that night, and Devante Wilson added a career-best 20 points in the win.

The Spartans outscored Pepperdine by 16 in the second half as the team rallied from a 44-34 halftime deficit.  The team used a 21-10 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to take the lead.  Wilson hit four of his six three-pointers during that stretch. 

WAKE UP WITH WOJCIK:  Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik hosts a monthly breakfast get-together at Rosie's New York Pizza at 1285 The Alameda in San José.  He discusses the X's and O's of basketball, recruiting and general basketball topics throughout the season.  A full breakfast is served, but an RSVP is required.  Cost is $25 per person which includes a donation to Spartan Foundation.  The next breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday, January 7.  To RSVP, please contact Blake Sasaki at 408-924-3300 or blake.sasaki@sjsu.edu.

TELEVISION SCHEDULE:  The San José State men's basketball team will make 10 television appearances during the 2013-14 season, the most in recent school history. 

With the move to the Mountain West this year, the opportunity to showcase San José State across the country has increased. The Spartans will be featured at home in six of the 10 appearances.  Five of the 10 appearances will be on ROOT Sports, with three games on ESPN3 and one each on the CBS Sports Network and the Mountain West Network.

Sat., Dec. 7            Houston             ESPN3            W, 72-68

Wed., Jan. 8            *Colorado State    Mountain West Network            The Event Center            7:00 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 11            *New Mexico             ROOT SportsThe Event Center            7:05 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 22            *San Diego State             ESPN3            The Event Center            7:00 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 25            *Boise State             ROOT Sports            Boise, Idaho            4:05 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 29            *UNLV             ESPN3            The Event Center            7:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 1            *New Mexico             ROOT Sports            Albuquerque, N.M.            6:05 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 12            *Air Force             ROOT Sports            The Event Center            7:00 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 25            *San Diego State             CBSSN            San Diego, Calif.            8:05 p.m.

Sat., March 1            *Utah State             ROOT Sports            The Event Center            5:05 p.m. 

UP NEXT:  The Spartans return home for two Mountain West games next week.  The Spartans host Colorado State on Wednesday, January 8, at 7 p.m.  That game can be see exclusively on Campus Insiders and on the Mountain West Network.  San Jose State then hosts New Mexico on Saturday, January 11, at 7:05 p.m.  That game can be seen on ROOT Sports and the Mountain West Network.