Men's Basketball Hosts UNLV For First Time Since 1997

Jan. 27, 2014

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Next Game:

Wed., Jan 29, UNLV (13-7, 4-3)

The Event Center (5,000)

7:02 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 UNLV FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1997:  San José State returns home this week for a Mountain West game against UNLV.  This game marks the first time the two teams has faced each other since the 1996-97 season.  In a quirk of the schedule, this is the only meeting between the two teams during the conference schedule.  Wednesday night's game is designated as  a "GOLD OUT" game.

San José State is looking to break an eight-game losing streak and get the first Mountain West win in school history.  Last week, the Spartans fell at home to #7 San Diego State, 75-50, in front of 4,117 fans at The Event Center on January 22, and lost at Boise State, 76-55, on Saturday. 

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:  Wednesday night's game is a "Gold Out" night, and all fans entering at the game will be given a free t-shirt. 

ABOUT UNLV:  The Runnin' Rebels enter Wednesday night's game with a 13-7 overall record and a 4-3 Mountain West record, tying with Boise State for fifth place in the standings. 

Head coach Dave Rice is in 64-26 in three seasons at the school.  Rice was a member of the 1990 National Championship team and a Rhodes Scholar candidate when he was a player for former coach Jerry Tarkanian.  He has guided the team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

Four Rebels average in double-figure points, led by Bryce Dejean-Jones at 14.4 points per game.  Roscoe Smith averages 12.0 points per game, followed by Khem Birch at 11.3 ppg, and Kevin Olekaibe at 10.2 ppg.  Smith leads the Mountain West in rebounding at 12.2 per game (243 rebounds).  Birch averaged 9.5 rebounds per game, while Dejean-Jones is the team leader with 63 assists.

UNLV holds a 31-4 advantage in the overall series.  The teams have not met since the 1996-97 season when the schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference.  Prior to 1996-97, the schools were members of the Big West Conference.

 Last 10 Series Meetings

1/29/94            W            92-77            The Event Center

3/3/94            W            80-74            Las Vegas, Nev.

3/11/94            L            83-69            Big West Tournament

1/28/95            L            80-59            Las Vegas, Nev.

2/25/95            W            85-76            The Event Center

3/9/95            L            77-66            Big West Tournament

1/10/96            W            66-64            The Event Center

2/1/96            L            84-75            Las Vegas, Nev.

1/2/97            L            71-63            The Event Center

2/15/97            L            77-73            Las Vegas, Nev.

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. 

LAST TIME OUT: Three Spartans scored in double figures last Saturday night, but a 13-plus-minute drought without making a field goal contributed to the team's 76-55 loss at Boise State.

Jalen James led the Spartans in scoring with 12 points including 6-of-8 from the free throw line.  Devante Wilson and Chris Cunningham each contributed 10 points.

The Spartans recorded too many season lows in the loss.  The team tied the low for field goals made with 16, tied a season-low with five three-pointers made on a season-low 17 attempts, dished out only three assists and grabbed just two steals, both by D.J. Brown.

Trailing 46-28 at halftime, the Spartans scored its 42nd point on a Cunningham jumper in the lane at 13:45 on the clock.  Over the next 13-plus minutes, San José State (6-14, 0-8) scored 10 points, all from the free throw line, before a made three-pointer by Brown with 35 seconds was the final field goal made for the team.  The Spartans finished the second half 8-for-24 from the field.

Rashad Muhammad, the Spartans leading scorer, was held scoreless for the first time this season.  For the second time in three games, he did not have a field goal made and got off a season-low three shots from the field.

LARGEST HOME CROWD SINCE 2000:  The Spartans drew 4,117 fans to their game against #7 San Diego State on January 22.  It was the fourth-largest crowd to witness a San José State men's basketball game since the 1999-2000 season when 4,033 fans came for the Fresno State game that the Spartans lost 82-76 in overtime.

Largest Event Center Crowds Since 1998-99 Season

4,773            2/3/01            Fresno State            L, 86-75

4,540            1/7/99            Fresno State            W, 91-64

4,411            2/18/99            #12 Utah            L, 71-49

4,117            1/22/14            #7 San Diego State            L, 75-50

4,033            2/3/00            Fresno State            L-OT, 82-76 

CHANGE IN STARTERS:  San José State had new starting lineup against #7 San Diego State, the seventh different lineup of the season.  The five starters included Jalen James, Isaac Thornton, Devante Wilson, Jaleel Williams and Matt Pollard.  Pollard made his first collegiate start, while James is the only Spartan to start every game this season. 

FACING NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS:  San José State hosted 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 when #7 San Diego State visited on January 22.  The last top-10 team to visit was the 1991 #1 UNLV Runnin' Rebels team that finished the season 34-1. 

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

MUHAMMAD COMES OFF BENCH TO LEAD SPARTANS IN SCORING:  Freshman guard Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 296 points, 14.8 points per game.  He has played in all 20 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 games. 

            Muhammad is listed in the top-110 in five categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 1/26)

3-pt FG/GM            46th            2.75 pg

3-pt FGM            35th            55

3-pt FGA            80th            126

3-pt Pct.            26th            43.7%

Free Throw Pct.            101st            83.9%

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 55 of his 126 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 73-of-87 attempts (83.9%). 

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-six in three different three-point categories through games of January 19.  The Spartans are fourth in three-point field goal attempts at 522 (VMI #1 at 557), fifth in total three-point field goals per game at 9.4 pg (Creighton #1 at 11.2) and sixth in three-point field goals made at 187 (Creighton #1 at 223 pg).

WILSON ALSO RANKS NATIONALLY IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING:  Devante Wilson ranks in the top-120 nationally in three three-point shooting categories.  He is 93rd in three-point attempts at 123; 111th in total three-pointers made at 45; and 119th in three-point field goals per game at 2.25 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 13 teams nationally to have played a triple-overtime game this season.  Through January 26, nine games have gone to three overtimes including twice 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 227 points in 19 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.5 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.

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. 

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 WAC. 

HOME, SWEET HOME:  After playing eight of its first nine games of the season on the road, the Spartans played four consecutive home games from December 18-January 1. 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.

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

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.

CUNNINGHAM GRABBING BOARDS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team in rebounding with 125, 6.3 per game.  He 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 with 17 blocked shots.

DISHIN' OUT THE ROCK:  Two Spartans have 60 or more assists on the season.  Jalen James leads the team with 65 assists, while D.J. Brown has 62 assists.  James had 10 assists at Houston, while Brown dished out six assists at Santa Clara and at Weber State.

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 are away for the third consecutive Saturday fourth in the past five as the team begins February at New Mexico.  Tip is set for 6:05 p.m. MST/5:05 p.m. PST on ROOT Sports.