Men's Basketball Hosts #7 San Diego State Wednesday

Jan. 21, 2014

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San Diego State NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Next Game:

Wed., Jan 22, #7 San Diego State (16-1, 5-0)

The Event Center (5,000)

7:00 p.m. PST

TV/VIDEO:  ESPN3 (www.ESPN3.com)

Trey Bender, Play-by-Play

Bill Herenda, Analyst

RADIO:  KSJS 90.5 FM

Justin Allegri, Play-by-Play

SPARTANS HOST #7 SAN DIEGO STATE:  San José State hosts nationally-ranked top-10 team at The Event Center Wednesday night as #7 San Diego State visits San José.  The Aztecs come into Wednesday night's game with a 15-game winning streak and sits atop the Mountain West standings at 5-0.

San José State is looking to break a six-game losing streak and get the first Mountain West win in school history.  Last week, the Spartans fell at Air Force, 77-62, and at Wyoming, 67-56.

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.

TV/VIDEO COVERAGE:  Wednesday night's game can be seen exclusively on ESPN3 at www.ESPN3.com.  Trey Bender calls the action, with Bill Herenda serving as the analyst.

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. 

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. 

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.

PROMOTIONS:  There are a variety of promotions for Wednesday night's game against #7 San Diego State.  The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a card for a free taco from Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill. All student meal-plan holders can eat for free at the game.  Students need to show their Tower Card at any concession stand just like they would at the Dining Commons.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE:  The Aztecs enter Wednesday night's game with a 16-1 overall record and a 5-0 Mountain West mark.  The team has a 15-game winning streak (third-longest in the country), dating back to November 20 when the team won 93-41 over San Diego Christian.  The only loss for the Aztecs came against now #1 Arizona, 69-60 on November 14.

Head coach Steve Fisher is in his 15th year at San Diego State with a 297-172 school record.  He is in his 23rd full season as head coach wtih a 481-254 record.  The 2012 Mountain West Coach of the Year, his teams have made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Nine Aztecs have seen action in 13 or more games this season.  Xavier Thames leads the team in scoring with 289 points, 17.0 per game.  He also has team-bests of 45 assists and 31 steals.  Winston Shepard is second on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game, while Josh Davis has a team-high 184 rebounds, 11.5 per game.  Skylar Spencer leads the team with 44 blocked shots.

San José State holds a 34-30 series advantage.  This is the first meeting between the teams since the 1998-99 season when they were members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Last 6 Series Meetings

2/1/1997            W            76-72            The Event Center

2/27/1997            W            65-63            San Diego, Calif.

1/29/1998            L            88-75            San Diego, Calif.

2/28/1998            W            74-66            The Event Center

1/30/1999            W            82-57            The Event Center

2/27/1999            L            75-75            San Diego, Calif.

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. 

LAST TIME OUT: D.J. Brown scored a season-high 18 points, but San José State got just four points from the bench as the Spartans fell 67-56 at Wyoming last Saturday afternoon.

Brown was one of three Spartans to score in double-figures.  He was 6-for-12 from the floor including 4-for-8 from three-point range.  Brown added three assists and two rebounds in 31 minutes of action.

Devante Wilson had 13 points as he was 4-for-8 from the field including 3-for-6 from three-point range.  Chris Cunningham scored 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting.  He, along with Rashad Muhammad and Isaac Thornton, each grabbed six rebounds to lead San José State.

The Spartan bench averages about 30 points per game, but Saturday, they were held to just four points, a two made free throws by Muhammad and a late basket by Matt Pollard.

San José State committed just 11 turnovers in the game, but eight came in the first half that led to 13 Wyoming points.  The Spartans got just two points off of nine Wyoming turnovers.

The Spartans outrebounded the Cowboys, 32-29, including 12 offensive rebounds.

FACING NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS:  San José State hosts a nationally-ranked team for the first time since the 2006-07 season and the first top-10 ranked team since the 1990-91 season.  The last top-10 team to visit was the 1991 #1 UNLV Runnin' Rebels team that finished the season 34-1.

This is the first time a team ranked #7 in the polls will visit The Event Center and only the second time in school history that San José State will face a team ranked #7 in the polls (UCLA, L, 109-69; 12/22/1977).

Last season, the Spartans faced a top-10 team when they traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, to face #10 Kansas.  The Spartans stayed with the Jayhawks for most of the game before a late spurt gave Kansas the 70-57 win.

A full listing of games against top-20 teams can be found on page 25 of the release.

Last Top-10 Team At The Event Center -

            #1 UNLV, L 88-64; January 31, 1991

Last Top-20 Team at The Event Center -

            #19 Nevada, L, 72-63; January 11, 2007

Last Win vs. Top-20 Team -

            vs. #19 Alabama, 60-59 OT; December 27, 1996

            Comerican Cable Car Classic Game, San José Arena

Last Game vs. Top-10 Team -

            at #10 Kansas, L, 70-57; November 26, 2012

Top-20 Teams to Visit The Event Center

#1 UNLV,  L, 88-64            January 31, 1991

#10 UNLV, L, 100-80                        January 6, 1990

#12 Utah, L, 71-49            February 18, 1999

#12 UNLV, L, 80-74            February 11, 1993

#13 Tulsa, L, 64-56            February 19, 2000

#14 Utah, L, 75-57            November 29, 1991

#15 New Mexico State, L, 73-67            February 23, 1991

#16 New Mexico, L 82-81 OT            January 13, 1999

#19 Nevada, L, 72-63            January 11, 2007

#19 Fresno State, L, 86-75            February 3, 2001

SPARTAN SIXTH MAN LEADS TEAM IN SCORING:  Freshman guard Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 291 points, 16.2 points per game.  He has played in all 18 games this season, but started just one (Weber State).  He has led the team in scoring in 11 games this year, coming off the bench in 10 of those games. 

Of the top-200 scorers nationally through January 19, Muhammad is 119th and is one of 10 freshmen on the list.  He is listed in the top-200 in seven categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 1/19)

Points/Game            186th            16.2 ppg

3-pt FG/GM            24th            3.0 pg

3-pt FGM            27th            55

3-pt FGA            53rd            120

3-pt Pct.            15th            45%

Free Throw Pct.            109th            83.5%

Total Points            177th            291

Muhammad scored a season-high 28 points in a three-overtime win against UC Davis and in a loss to Colorado State.  He leads the team in three-pointers, making 54 of his 120 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 71-of-85 attempts (83.5%). 

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.

THREE-POINT SHOOTING RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION:  San José State's three-point shooting ranks among the elite of the NCAA this season.  The Spartans rank in the top-five in three different three-point categories through games of January 19.  The Spartans are second in three-point field goal attempts at 486 (VMI #1 at 505), fifth in total three-point field goals made at 177 (Creighton #1 at 195) and fifth in three-point field goals per game at 9.8 per game (Charleston Southern #1 at 11.4 pg).

WILSON ALSO RANKS NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING:  Devante Wilson ranks in the top-110 nationally in three three-point shooting categories.  He is 86th in three-point attempts at 113; 104th in total three-pointers made at 41; and 106th in three-point field goals per game at 2.28 pg.

GAME SCHOOL RECORD TIED, THEN BROKEN:  Twice this season, San José State made 14 three-pointers in a game.  But on January 4, the Spartans decided to break that record by making 15 three-pointers in an 86-67 loss at Utah State.  The 15 threes broke the old record of 14, set in wins at Pepperdine and at Houston and against Louisiana Tech on January 13, 2005.

In the game at Utah State, six different players hit at least one three-pointer.  Rashad Muhammad led the team, going 6-for-9 from behind arc.  Devante Wilson and Jaleel Williams each made three three-pointers, while Chris Cunningham, D.J. Brown and Jalen James each made one.

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.

THREE-OVERTIME GAME CLUB:  With San José 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 January 19, eight games have gone to three overtimes including on January 11.  Drexel has played in two triple-overtime games. 

WILLIAMS MAKING AN IMPACT THIS SEASON:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams has scored 214 points in 18 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game. He has led the Spartans in scoring in five games including a career-high 24 points against New Mexico.  He has scored 20 or more points in two other games this season - 22 points in a win at Pepperdine and 20 points in the season opener at Santa Clara.

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.

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

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.

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 16 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 seven players nationally this year to record a triple-double and the only freshman to accomplish this feat.

THREE-POINT ATTEMPTS GAME RECORD BROKEN:  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.

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, February 4.  To RSVP, please contact Blake Sasaki at 408-924-3300 or blake.sasaki@sjsu.edu.

UP NEXT:  The Spartans play at Boise State this Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. MST/3 p.m. PST.  The game can be seen live on ROOT Sports.  This weekend is also Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Weekend.  The Spartan coaching staff will be wearing sneakers to show their unity to fight cancer and raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer  Society.