Men's Basketball Headed To NIU Invitational

Nov. 13, 2013

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Next Games:            NIU Invitational                        DeKalb, Ill.

Fri., Nov. 15            Milwaukee (1-1)            KSJS 90.5 FM            5:30 p.m. CST

Sat., Nov. 16            Northern Illinois (0-1)            KSJS 90.5 FM            8:00 p.m. CST

Sun., Nov. 17            James Madison (0-1)            KLIV 1590 AM/KSJS            1:00 p.m. CST

SPARTANS TRAVEL TO ILLINOIS FOR NIU INVITATIONAL:  San José State takes its first airplane trip of the season as the team heads to the state of Illinois for the NIU Invitational hosted by Northern Illinois in DeKalb, lll., located west of Chicago.  The Spartans face Milwaukee Friday night, host Northern Illinois on Saturday night and James Madison on Sunday afternoon.

The Spartans enter the weekend with an 0-1 record after falling at Santa Clara, 89-77, Tuesday night in the season opener.  Jaleel Williams led the team in scoring with a career-high 20 points, while Rashad Muhammad came off the bench to score 15 points.  Chris Cunningham grabbed a team-best seven rebounds to go with 12 points and two blocks.

Despite trailing by as many as 22 points in the second half, San José State did not give up and used an 11-0 run to close the deficit to 73-64 with 4:49 left in the game.  Dylan Alexander came off the bench and hit a pair of three-pointers to help fuel the rally.

LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at www.SJSUSpartans.com.

RADIO COVERAGE:  All three games from the NIU Invitational will be broadcast on the radio.  Friday and Saturday's game will be broadcast on KSJS, 90.5 FM, and at www.ksjs.org, while Sunday's game will be on KLIV, 1590 AM and KSJS, 90.5 FM, and at www.kliv.com and www.ksjs.org.  Alex Scott will call the action of all three games.  The pregame show for Friday and Saturday starts 15 minutes prior to tip, while Sunday's game features a 30-minute pregame show.

VIDEO COVERAGE:  All games at the NIU Invitational are available at NIUHuskies.com for a $6.95 monthly fee.   The fee gives you access to all three games this weekend.  There is no single-game purchase price. 

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. 

ABOUT MILWAUKEE:  The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enters Friday night's game with a 1-1 record after losing at Loyola Chicago, 76-72, but winning at Davidson, 81-77.  Head coach Rob Jeter is in his ninth season at the school with a 130-128 coaching record.  Matt Tiby leads the team in scoring at 21.0 points per game and in rebounding at 8.5 per game. 

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS:  The Huskies begin the weekend with an 0-1 record after falling to Omaha, 68-66 last Friday night.  Darrell Bowie scored a team-best 16 points, while Daeveon Balls added 13 points.  Head coach Mark Montgomery is in his third season at the school.

The all-time series is tied 1-1.  The Spartans won the first meeting, 53-41, at the Surf `N Slam Tournament in Laie, Hawaii, on December 19, 2003.  The Huskies won 80-78, on a tip-in at the buzzer on December 29, 2005, at the Holiday Station Stores Classic in Bozeman, Mont.

ABOUT JAMES MADISON:  The Dukes begin the weekend with an 0-1 record after falling 61-41 at Virginia last Friday.  Tom Vodanovich led the team with 11 points, while Andrey Semenov grabbed a team-high five rebounds.  Head coach Matt Brady is in his sixth year at the helm of the program.

This is the second neutral-court meeting between the two teams in 11 months.  The two teams played at the MGM Grand Garden on December 22, 2012, as part of the Vegas Holiday Hoops event.  James Madison won 77-68.  D.J. Brown scored 15 points and was 8-for-10 from the free throw line.

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 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 this season.

TELEVISION SCHEDULE:  The San José State men's basketball team will make 10 television appearances during the 2013-14 season, the most in recent school history. 

With the move to the Mountain West this year, the opportunity to showcase San José State across the country has increased. The Spartans will be featured at home in six of the 10 appearances.  Five of the 10 appearances will be on ROOT Sports, with three games on ESPN3 and one each on the CBS Sports Network and the Mountain West Network. 

NEW YEAR, NEW LEAGUE:  The 2013-14 school year started a new era in San José State Athletics history as the school began play in the Mountain West after spending the past 17 years in the Western Athletic Conference.   The Spartans are part of the 11-team league that features Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming and the Spartans.  The volleyball team was the first San José State team to play in a Mountain West contest when they hosted Boise State on September 26.  The men's basketball team opens Mountain West play against Nevada on January 1, at The Event Center.

WILLIAMS MAKING EARLY IMPRESSION:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams is making an immediate impact on the 2013-14 team.  Against Santa Clara, he scored a career-best 20 points and was a perfect 8-for-7 from the free throw line.  He also grabbed six rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

RETURNERS/NEWCOMERS:  San José State returns just four players from last year's team and adds seven new players.  Returners include leading scorer and rebounder from last year Chris Cunningham, D.J. Brown, Mike VanKirk and Jaleel Williams.  Six freshman - Dylan Alexander, Jalen James, Brandon Mitchell, Rashad Muhammad, Matt Pollard and Isaac Thornton - and one junior college player - Devante Wilson - round out this year's team.

UP NEXT:  The Spartans play another road game next week, this time at Pepperdine on Wednesday, November 20, at 7 p.m.  The team then opens the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, November 23, as a part of a tripleheader day.  The men's team hosts Cal State Fullerton at 12:30 p.m., the women's team hosts San Diego at 3 p.m., and the volleyball team hosts Wyoming at 7:30 p.m.  All  three events will take place at The Event Center, located on the corner of 7th and San Carlos Streets.  Parking is available in the Seventh Street/South Garage.