Men's Basketball Travels To Southern Utah

Nov. 14, 2017

SJSU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

SUU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

SPARTANS TRAVEL TO SOUTHERN UTAH
San José State hits the road for the first time this season to Cedar City, Utah to face Southern Utah University on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast live on Pluto TV. Links for the broadcast are below and also live on the men's basketball schedule page. Spartan fans can listen to the home broadcast on KLIV 1590 AM with Justin Allegri's play-by-play call.
 
 
GAME #3
 
San José State (1-1) vs. Southern Utah (0-2)
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, 6:30 p.m. (MT)
America First Event Center (5,300)
Cedar City, Utah
 
 
Series: SJSU leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: SJSU defeated Southern Utah last season in San Jose, 92-82, on December 21, 2016
Trend: The Spartans won the only meeting between the programs
 
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
San José State began the regular season last Friday with a 95-61 win over NAIA Antelope Valley. Ryan Welage dominated with 30 points and the Spartans won big. Two days later San Diego came to the Event Center and beat SJSU, 81-64. The Spartans trailed by as many as 30 points, but used a 20-5 run in the second half to make things interesting. Welage led the Spartans in scoring again with 17 points.
 
LAST MEETING WITH SOUTHERN UTAH
The Spartans and Thunderbirds met for the first time last year on December 21 and it ended in a 92-82 win for SJSU. Jalen James scored a career-high 23 points against the Thunderbirds and Ryan Welage added 22. Those two combined to shoot 8-of-10 from beyond the arc. Randy Onwuasor led SUU with a game-high 28 points. Onwuasor has since graduated, however James McGee who scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds is still with the team and will face the Spartans on Thursday.

KNOW THE FOE: SOUTHERN UTAH
The Thunderbirds were picked to finish 12th in both the Big Sky Coaches' and Media Polls prior to the 2017-18 season. So far the team has dropped contests at Oregon State (99-82) and at Boise State (90-69). Thursday's game against the Spartans will be SUU's home opener. Jadon Cohee is leading the team in scoring at 20.0 points per game. They return James McGee who put up 18 points against the Spartans in last season's matchup. The Thunderbirds are coached by Todd Simon in his second season.

WELAGE DROPS 30 POINTS IN SEASON OPENER
Ryan Welage couldn't have asked for a better start to his junior season after scoring a career-high 30 points on 10-of-12 shooting. He made all three of his shots from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Only Welage and Wyoming's Hayden Dalton scored 30 or more in a game among Mountain West players and through the first week of games, 31 players in the country have scored 30 points in a game.
 
PRIOLEAU PREACHES DEFENSE & REBOUNDING
From the moment he was introduced as the Spartans' head coach in August, Jean Prioleau said one of the foundations of this year's team must be rebounding. So far the Spartans have a +15.5 rebounding margin after two games. Making a huge impact on the rebounding numbers are the Spartan guards who collectively gathered 23 boards in the season opener. Point guard Isaiah Nichols is actually the team leader with 18 boards heading into Thursday's game.
 
PRIOLEAU MAKING THE BEST OF UNCONVENTIONAL TIMING
Jean Prioleau was introduced as San José State's new head coach on August 4, 2017. There wasn't much time between his introduction and the players' time off during the back half of summer before classes began for Fall of 2017. In a limited amount of time Prioleau has installed new schemes on both offense and defense. Although the team is learning somewhat on the fly, through two games SJSU is shooting 45.8 percent while holding the opponents under 40 percent shooting. The Spartans are +15.5 in rebounding and have 41 assists.
 
GETTING TO THE LINE
Through the first two games SJSU has shot 54 free throws, converting on 72.2 percent of the attempts. The Spartans hoisted 27 free throws against San Diego, hitting 19 of them. After making 8-of-10 in the first half, the team was 11-of-17 in the second while trying to make a comeback. SJSU went on a 20-5 run which cut a 30-point deficit down to 12, but got no closer.
 
1,000 POINTS IN REACH FOR WELAGE
Ryan Welage begins his junior campaign as the leading scorer returning from last year's team at 13.2 points per game. He came into 2017-18 with 716 career points and would become the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000 points plateau. With a 30-game schedule Welage would need to average 9.5 points per game to hit the mark. He's well on his way after averaging 23.5 points over the first two games of the season. Justin Graham in 2011 is the most recent Spartan to crack the 1,000-point plateau.
 
FIVE NEW SPARTANS MAKE THEIR DEBUT
Five new players made their Spartan debuts last Friday night in the regular season opener Redshirt freshman Keith Fisher, III scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the newbies. True freshman Noah Baumann had an impressive night, sinking 3-of-4 from long range on the way to 12 points and added four assists. Oumar Barry grabbed seven boards to go along with eight points and Caleb Simmons pitched in with six points and eight rebounds from the guard position. Finally, Ryan Parilla, the "Pinoy Punisher" made a basket and had four assists in 19 minutes of work.

STEADY START FOR THE LONE SENIOR
Jalen James has a lot on his shoulder as the team's lone senior on a roster with seven players which hadn't played one minute for the Spartans before the 2017-18 season. He came out and scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the Spartans' regular season opener. He added four assists and three steals in a team-high 25 minutes. He'll look to continue a solid start against Southern Utah which he scored his career-high 23 points against last season.
 
SPARTANS HAVE PRESENCE INSIDE
For the first time in a long time San José State will have the services of two centers in Oumar Barry and Ashtin Chastain who both stand 6-foot-11. Unique in their own ways, the San José State will need both centers to play a roll in Jean Prioleau's inside-out style offense. While the two towers will do most of their work around the rim, they both connected on multiple shots from beyond the arc during the preseason.