MBB Opens Season At New Orleans On Friday

This Week: Fri. Nov. 9 New Orleans Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, La. 8:00 p.m. CST
SPARTANS OPEN SEASON IN LOUISIANA:  The Spartans begin the 2012-13 campaign with a road game at New Orleans.  This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams.  The Privateers will be in The Event Center on January 8.  
LIVE STATS:  All home games and most road games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com and go to “Live Stats.” 
RADIO COVERAGE:  All San Jose State men’s basketball broadcasts will be on KSJS, 90.5 FM.  Justin Allegri calls the play-by-play for all games.  The pregame show will start 30 minutes prior to tip.  The Spartans will also have select games broadcast on KLIV, 1590 AM.  A complete listing of those games can be found on page 3.  The pregame show on those nights will start 15 minutes prior to tip.
VIDEO COVERAGE:  A live video feed of the game will be available on the New Orleans website at http://www.unoprivateers.com/showcase/ for a nominal fee.
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 get the latest tweets on Twitter @SJSUAthletics.  
ABOUT NEW ORLEANS:  The Privateers finished the 2011-12 season with a 17-15 overall record, including a 13-2 home record.  The team plays as an NCAA Division I Independent after playing the past two years as a transitional team to Division II.  UNO currently competes in 10 sports under a sport-sponsorship waiver received from the NCAA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Head coach Mark Slessinger is in his second year at the school.  Prior to coming to New Orleans, Slessinger worked for 11 years as the top assistant coach at Northwestern State. This is first of two meetings between the two schools this season.  San Jose State will host the Privateers in a non-conference game on Tuesday, January 8, at The Event Center.
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  George Nessman begins in his eighth season as head coach at San Jose State.  He has a 77-141 record in seven season with the Spartans.
KANSAS GAME ON ESPNU:  The San Jose State at Kansas game on Monday, November 26, will be broadcast on ESPNU.  Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CST/6 p.m. PST.
TOP SCORER RETURNS: Senior guard James Kinney returns for his senior season after leading the Spartans in scoring for the 2011-12 season.  He averaged 15.8 points per game and was named to the WAC All-Newcomer team.  Kinney set the San Jose State single-season records with 86 three-pointers made and 216 attempted.
SPARTANS IN THE WAC PRESEASON POLL:  The San Jose State men’s basketball team picked ninth in the 2012-13 Western Athletic Conference coaches and media polls.  San Jose State returns three starters from last year’s team – James Kinney, D.J. Brown and Stephon Smith.  The Spartans have six new players including Santa Clara transfer Chris Cunningham and guard Xavier Jones.
KINNEY NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-WAC TEAM:  Senior guard James Kinney received second-team Preseason All-WAC honors as voted upon by the league’s coaches.  He led the Spartans in scoring for the 2011-12 season and scored 30 or more points in two games last year.
CUNNINGHAM BEGINS PLAY WITH SPARTANS:  Chris Cunningham makes his debut in a Spartan uniform this season.  The transfer from Santa Clara University had to sit out the 2011-12 season.  He brings depth to the forward position after playing 45 games in a Bronco uniform and led the team in field goal percentage both seasons.
SPARTANS ADD HEIGHT TO ROSTER:  For the first time since the early 1990s, San Jose State has a player over 7-feet tall and has another who is 6-11.  Freshman Mike VanKirk checks in at 7-1, while Alex Brown is 6-11.  Both are known for their shot-blocking abilities, length and athleticism.  In the exhibition game, Brown blocked five shots and had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT:  The Spartans played Academy of Art in an exhibition game on Thursday, November 1.  San Jose State won 88-54, as three players scored in double figures.  D.J. Brown led all scorers with 22 points and added four assists and seven rebounds.  Alex Brown made an immediate impact on the team with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.  Chris Cunningham added 13 points and nine rebounds in the win.
OPENING NIGHT:  Under George Nessman, the Spartans are 4-3 in the first game of the season.  The Spartas opened the season on the road in six of his seven previous seasons. 2005 at Texas Tech L 88-54 2006 at UC Santa Barbara L 75-67 2007 at Middle Tenn. State W 78-77 2008 at South Dakota State W 70-62 2009 William Jessup (H) W 89-63 2010 at Eastern Washington W 67-60 2011 at Cal Poly L 79-52
2013 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2013 WAC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 12 and 14-16 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  All 10 team advance to the tournament, with teams 7-10 playing on the 12th, and the eight remaining teams in the tournament playing on the 14th.  The championship game will be shown live on ESPNU on the 16th at 8 p.m. PST.
UP NEXT:  Next week, the Spartans host two non-conference games at The Event Center.  The team hosts Houston on Tuesday, November 13 at 7 p.m.  San Jose State then faces Weber State on Thursday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m., as part of a doubleheader with the women’s team who faces Utah Valley at 5 p.m.