Men's Basketball Hosts Idaho In Regular Season Opener

Jalen James scored 17 points in the Spartans' exhibition game versus Pacific Union College last week.
Nov. 10, 2015

SJSU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

San José State men's basketball will take on Idaho in the regular season opener Saturday night in The Event Center at 7:00 p.m. PST. If you don't already have you tickets, access the ticket office online, or call in at 408-924-7589. Can't make it to the game? Watch live on the Spartan Digital Network, or listen on any of the radio option listed below.

San José State (0-0) vs. Idaho (0-0)
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 7:00 p.m. PST
The Event Center (5,000)
San Jose, Calif.
KLIV 1590 AM
KSJS 90.5 FM
San José State defeated Pacific Union college of the NAIA 112-56 in the team's only exhibition game of the year. Five Spartns finished in double-figures scoring, led by point guard Gary Williams, Jr., with 19 points. A major emphasis this season for third-year head coach is assist to turnover ratio, which was 3:1 in the victory (31 Ast, 10 TO).
Redshirt sophomore Jalen James played a solid 20 minutes with 17 points and four assists in his first game back since suffering a season-ending ankle injury three weeks into last season. James finished 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and only had one turnover. He was a factor in SJSU's up-tempo style of play in the 112-56 win.
Made or missed basket, it didn't matter, the Spartans were off and running on the change of possession in the exhibition game against Pacific Union College. The team finished with 34 fast-break points. SJSU also finished with 41 points off of 25 Pioneers turnovers.
Former Western Athletic Conference foes San José State and Idaho last met in the 2012-13 season. The Spartans fell in both games by scores of 64-55 (1/3/13, A) and 66-63 (2/2/13, H). This year Idaho comes to San Jose having to replace four starters from a year ago. Perrior Callandret and Victor Sanders each had 14 points to lead the team in its most recent exhibition win over Lewis-Clark State College, 88-53. Last season Idaho finished 13-17 overall and 8-10 in the Big Sky Conference. Idaho controls the all-time series 13-12.
The 2015-16 San José State men's basketball roster has five true freshmen and one redshirt freshman. What the group may lack experience-wise, it makes up for with size and a winning pedigree. Cody Schwartz (6-8, Fr., F, West De Pere, Wis.) and Ryan Welage (6-9, Fr., F, Greensburg, Ind.) each led their high schools to multiple state championship games in their junior and seniors seasons. Both players were all-state selections following the championship runs. Jaycee Hillsman (6-6, Fr., G, Chicago, Ill.) led Don Bosco Prep to a 35-5 record in 2014-15 after graduating the year prior from Simeon High School in Chicago, Ill. Brandon Clarke (6-7, Fr., G, Phoenix, Ariz.) was one of the top shot blockers in the state of Arizona as a junior and a senior. He led Desert Vista High School to the state championship game as a senior.

Cody Schwartz became the first four-star rated (ESPN) recruit that the SJSU men's basketball program ever signed when he inked a National Letter-of-Intent in November of 2014. Schwartz backed up the rating during his senior campaign at West De Pere (Wis.) High School in 2014-15 when he averaged 20 points per game. For the second straight year, he was a unanimous Division II all-state selection by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. The Associated Press also gave Schwartz an all-state honorable mention nod to go along with the Bay Conference's player of the year award.

Freshman forward Brandon Clarke joins the Spartans this season after being a top shot blocker in the state of Arizona during his final two years at Desert Vista High School. Clarke finished his senior season averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and 4.6 blocks per contest. Upon signing with San José State in November of 2014, Clarke was rated in the state of Arizona's top-five for most versatile players by Arizona Power Basketball. He was an All-Tribune honorable mention as a junior and ranked 12th on's Top-20 Recruit List.

Last year's starting point guard Jalen James (6-3, R-So., G, Chicago, Ill.) and center Leon Bahner (6-11, R-Fr., C, Bonn, Germany) are set to make their return after taking medical redshirts in 2014-15. James had started 39 consecutive games for the Spartans before going down with the season-ending injury on Dec. 3, 2014. Bahner had played in nine games and made five starts as a true freshman before sitting the remainder of the year with a foot injury.

Gary Williams, Jr. RETURNS TO THE BAY
After two successful seasons at Indian Hills Junior College in Ottumwa, Iowa, Gary Williams, Jr. (6-5, Jr., G, Oakland, Calif.) returns to the Bay Area and will debut in the Spartans' backcourt in 2015-16. In his final season at Indian Hills JC, Williams was a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) third-team All-American. He averaged 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while leading the team to the NJCAA championship tournament. In two seasons with Williams on the team, Indian Hills went 54-9.

San José State added the experience of nine NCAA Tournament berths and seven conference championships with the hiring of Rodney Tention as an assistant coach. Tention's Division I success began with a run of eight consecutive NCAA Tournament berths as an assistant to Lute Olson at Arizona from 1998 through 2005. Tention was also the recruiting coordinator during his tenure with the Wildcats, who went all the way to the national championship game in 2001. Tention joins the Spartans after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of San Diego.

For the first time, the San José State men's basketball team will leave its stamp on the nation's longest standing college basketball tournament when it competes in the 2015 GCI Great Alaska Shootout. The event hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage is set for November 25-28, 2015, at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Eight teams from as many conferences make up the field for this year's Shootout, putting the Mountain West representative Spartans among: Drexel (Colonial Athletic Association), Loyola of Ill., (Missouri Valley Conference), Middle Tennessee (Conference USA), UNC Asheville (Big South Conference), San Diego (West Coast Conference), Toledo (Mid-American Conference) and the host, Alaska Anchorage (Great Northwest Athletic Conference).

Call the Spartan Ticket Office today at 408-924-7589 for all of your single-game or season ticket purchases for men's basketball season. Check out the various ticket plans online to find the best fit for you to catch the exciting action during the 2015-16 season.

Fans across the nation can listen to every men's basketball game on Stretch Internet Radio for free. Access the live broadcasts at Broadcasts can also be accessed with links inside the weekly releases and on the men's basketball schedule page. Saturday games will also be broadcast live on KLIV 1590 AM. The voice of the Spartans, Justin Allegri, will call the play-by-play.