Men's Basketball Opens WAC Tourney With UTSA

2013 WAC Basketball Tournament March 12, 14-16 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev. Next Game: Tues., March 12 UTSA (8-21, 3-14) 8:30 p.m. PST KSJS 90.5 FM
SPARTANS OPEN WAC TOURNAMENT WITH UTSA:  San Jose State enters the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament as the eighth seed and will play ninth-seed UTSA Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m., at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  The two teams will face each other for the first time since December 31.  The teams were supposed to play last Thursday night, March 7, but the game was called after water collected on the floor as heavy rainstorms were moving through the San Jose area.  The winner of Tuesday night’s game will play top-seed Louisiana Tech on Thursday, March 14, at 6 p.m. San Jose State enters Saturday’s game with a 9-19 overall record and a 3-14 conference mark.  The team fell to Texas State, 90-67, at The Event Center this past Saturday evening.  Chris Cunningham led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds.
LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com and go to “Live Stats.” 
RADIO COVERAGE:  Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on KSJS 90.5 FM.  Justin Allegri and Alex Scott will call the action with pregame show starting 15 minutes prior to tip. 
VIDEO COVERAGE:  All games at the WAC Tournament will be available on WAC.tv for a nominal fee of $7.95.
FACEBOOK/TWITTER:  Follow the Spartan men’s basketball team and all San Jose State athletics teams on the web.  Join the official SJSU Spartans page on Facebook and read the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.  
ABOUT UTSA:  The Roadrunners enter Tuesday night’s game with an 8-21 overall record and 3-14 WAC mark.  The team lost at Utah State, 71-51, this past Saturday night as Michael Hale III scored 21 points on 7-of-14 from the floor. Head coach Brooks Thompson is in his seventh year at the school.  Three players average in double figures, led by Kannon Burrage who is second in the WAC in scoring at 17.1 points per game.  Michael Hale III averages 16.1 ppg, while Jeromie Hill is at 12.7 ppg.  Hill also leds the team in rebounding at 6.3 pg. This is the fourth meeting in three seasons between the two teams.  San Jose State closed out 2012 with an 80-67 win in San Antonio.  Chris Cunningham had 19 points and eight rebounds, while LaVanne Pennington came off the bench to score 16 points.  UTSA won the first meeting of the series, 72-63, on November 30, 2010.  The Spartans won the meeting in the 2011-12 season with a 72-66 in a come-from victory at The Event Center.
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  George Nessman is in his eighth season as head coach at San Jose State.  He has an 86-160 record in eight seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: Chris Cunningham led the Spartans with 17 points and seven rebounds, but Texas State shot 64.7 percent from the field as the Spartans fell 90-67 Saturday night at The Event Center. David Andoh and LaVanne Pennington each came off the bench to score in double figures.  Andoh had 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, while Pennington scored 10 points.
SPARTANS AT THE WAC TOURNAMENT:  San Jose State is 4-15 at the WAC Tournament in 15 appearances at the tournament.  Last season, the Spartans fell 54-44 to Nevada.  The best showing for San Jose State came during the 2011 season when the team made it to the semifinals.  The Spartans defeated Hawaii (75-47) and Idaho (74-68) before falling to Utah State, 58-57.
SPARTANS IN LAS VEGAS THIS SEASON:  Tuesday’s game will be the second neutral court game the Spartans will play in Las Vegas this season.  San Jose State played James Madison on December 22 at the Vegas Hoops Classic at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  Ironically, that game also started at 8:30 p.m.
NATIONAL RANKINGS:  As of games through March 3,  Chris Cunningham is tied for 39th in rebounds at 9.1 per game and tied for 81st in double-doubles with 8.  
RAINED OUT:  What?!  Yes, you are reading correctly.  The San Jose State-UTSA game scheduled for March 7 was cancelled because of rainwater collecting on multiple-areas of The Event Center floor.  The water started pooling on the floor about 20 minutes before opening tip, the clock was stopped with 15 minutes left in warmups, and the game was cancelled for the safety of the student-athletes and patrons.  
SPARTANS VS. NATIONALLY-RANKED TEAMS:  San Jose State has face two nationally-ranked teams this season, the last at #25 Louisiana Tech on March 2, where the team lost 88-61.  In November, San Jose State traveled to then-#10 Kansas and fell 70-57 in a nationally-televised game.
FOUR STARTERS IN DOUBLE FIGURES:  Twice this season, four of the five San Jose State starters have scored in double figures.  At UT Arlington Thursday night, Louis Garrett led the team with 25 points, followed by D.J. Brown with 16, Chris Cunningham with 13 and Xavier Jones with 11. In the win over New Orleans in January,  Garrett led the team with 14 points, followed by Alex Brown and D.J. Brown each with 13 points and Cunningham with 11 points.
LOWEST POINT TOTALS IN OVER A YEAR:  The Spartans have scored less than 40 points twice this season - 36 points against Utah State last week and 37 points at Denver.  They are the lowest outputs since last season when the team scored 40 points in a 47-40 loss to Cal Poly last season (Dec. 10, 2011).  The Spartans also scored just 36 points in an 81-36 loss at California on Dec. 7, 2011.
MORE FTM THAN FGM:  Four times this season, San Jose State has made more free throws in a game than field goals.  The latest came at #25 Louisiana Tech when the team was 22-of-29 from the line but made just 17-of-53 attempts from the field.  
Opponent FGM-FGA FTM-FTA Santa Clara 15-60 18-26 UT Arlington 14-64 15-21 at Seattle U 15-49 17-24 at #25 LA Tech 17-53 22-29
LEADING SCORER OFF THE BENCH:  Three times this season, a Spartan came off the bench to lead the team in scoring. The latest came in the loss to Denver on February 16, when LaVanne Pennington scored eight points off the bench  in 26 minutes of action. At Idaho, D.J. Brown came off the bench and scored a team-high 18 points in 31 minutes of action.  He was 5-of-15 from the field including 3-of-8 from three-point range.  Brown also dished out five assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Against Louisiana Tech, Aalim Moor came off the San Jose State bench and led the team in scoring with a career-high 14 points.  He was 6-for-12 from the field and dished out a career-best four assists in 17 minutes of action. Before this season, the last Spartan to come off the bench and lead the team in scoring was during the 2009-10 season.  Robert Owens scored 22 points in a 59-55 win over Pacific on November 28, 2009.  He was 8-of-12 from the field including 6-of-8 from three-point range.
CUNNINGHAM CLEANING THE GLASS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team with 246 rebounds and averages 9.1 per game, tying for 39th in the country.  Cunningham has grabbed double-digit rebounds in 12 games.  He had five consecutive games with double-digit rebounds earlier this season - 18 against UC Santa Cruz , 11 at #10 Kansas, 10 at Montana State and at UC Davis and 17 against Sacramento State. Cunningham grabbed 10 offensive rebounds against the Hornets, nine offensive at Idaho and six offensive rebounds at UC Davis.  He grabbed 18 rebounds at Idaho.
STARTING LINEUPS:  After using just three different starting lineups in the first 15 games of the season, San Jose State has used nine different lineups in the past 13 games.  The latest lineup against Texas State was D.J. Brown, Xavier Jones, Louis Garrett, Stephon Smith and Chris Cunningham.  Below are the lineups used this season. #1 - D.J. Brown, Kinney, C. Jones, Cunningham, Alex Brown - 4-4 #2 - D.J. Brown, Kinney, Garrett, Cunningham, A. Brown - 5-1 #3 - D.J. Brown, Pennington, Garrett, Cunningham, A. Brown - 0-3 #4 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Pennington, Cunningham, A. Brown - 0-3 #5 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Pennington, Smith, Cunningham - 0-1 #6 - Moor, X. Jones, Garrett, Andoh, Cunningham - 0-1 #7 - D.J. Brown, Moor, Garrett, Andoh, Cunningham - 0-1 #8 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Andoh, Cunningham, A. Brown - 0-1 #9 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Garrett, Andoh, Cunningham - 0-2 #10 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Pennington, Garrett, Cunningham, 0-1 #11 - D.J. Brown, X. Jones, Garrett, Smith, Cunningham, 0-1
GARRETT MAKING MOST OF HIS STARTS:  After joining the starting lineup against James Madison, Louis Garrett has improved offensively.  In the 15 games he started this season, Garrett is averaging 8.8 points.  He led all scorers with 25 points at UT Arlington, added 21 points in a win over Seattle U and led the team in scoring with 16 points at Texas State and 14 points against New Orleans.  Garrett is shooting 36.6 percent from the field in those 15 games (45-123).  In the nine games he did not start, Garrett averaged just 2.9 points and shots 35 percent from the field.
D.J. BROWN NO TURNOVERS:  In five games this season, D.J. Brown has committed zero turnovers in a game - vs. Idaho (twice), at UC Davis and vs. Utah State (twice).  Against Idaho, he dished out four assists and had three steals.  At UC Davis, Brown had no turnovers in 35 minutes of action as he scored 12 points, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds.  At Utah State, he led the team in scoring with 16 points and added two assists in 35 minutes of action.  At Idaho, Brown scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.  Against Utah State, he added 16 points and had three steals.
SINGLE-DIGIT TURNOVERS:  In five games in 2013, San Jose State committed nine or fewer turnovers in a game.  Against Idaho on January 3, the Spartans had a season-low five turnovers.  Then against New Orleans on January 8, San Jose State had nine turnovers.  At Utah State on January 11, the Spartans has just six turnovers.  San Jose State tied its season low with five turnovers at Idaho on February 2.
DISHING OUT THE ROCK:  D.J. Brown came within one assist of tying the San Jose State Event Center record when he recorded 11 assists in a win over Seattle U.  He dished out assists to four different players in the game - James Kinney (4), Louis Garrett (3), Chris Cunningham (2) and LaVanne Pennington (2). Brown leads the Spartans with 104 assists on the season, 3.7 pg.  He had nine assists at Montana State and Sacramento State.
MORE BLOCKS THIS YEAR: San Jose State’s added height payed dividends this season, especially defensively.  The team has recorded 95 blocks, smashing last year’s total of 38 blocks in 31 games and  2010-11’s total of 82 blocks, and has had at least one block in 24 games.  The season school record for blocks is 106 blocks in 29 games during the 1987-88 season.  
DOUBLE-DOUBLES:  Chris Cunningham has eight double-doubles on the season, the most recent at UT Arlington with 13 points and 13 rebounds.  His first came with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over UC Santa Cruz.  He added 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win at Montana State, 12 points and 10 rebounds at UC Davis, 10 points and 17 rebounds against Sacramento State, 11 points and 14 rebounds at Texas State, 13 points and 10 rebounds against UT Arlington and 12 points and 11 rebounds at Seattle U.
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