Men's Basketball Looks To Get Back To .500

Next Game: Sat., Dec. 1 Montana State (1-3) Worthington Arena, Bozeman, Mont. 12:00 p.m. MST
SPARTANS LOOK TO EVEN RECORD AT MONTANA STATE:  San Jose State continues on the road with a non-conference game at Montana State Saturday afternoon.  This is the fourth meeting in four seasons between the two teams.   The Spartans look to even their overall record as they enter Saturday’s game with a 2-3 record.  The team had their two-game winning streak stopped at #10 Kansas Monday night with a 70-57 loss.  
LIVE STATS:  All games will have live stats available on the Spartan website at and go to “Live Stats.” 
RADIO COVERAGE:  This Saturday’s games marks the first of 11 broadcasts on KLIV, 1590 AM.  A complete listing of those games can be found on page 3.  All San Jose State men’s basketball broadcasts will be on KSJS, 90.5 FM.  Jeff Bowe will call the action for Saturday’s game.  The pregame show for games on KLIV will start 30 minutes prior to tip, while KSJS-only games will have a 15-minute pregame show.
VIDEO COVERAGE:  All home San Jose State games will be available on the Gold Zone on the Spartan website at, for a nominal fee. This week’s game at Montana State will have a live video feed available at
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 MONTANA STATE:  The Bobcats begin the week with a 1-3 overall record and host Pepperdine on Thursday before the Spartans come to town.  The team won its only other home game this season to Portland, 83-64, but fell at Seattle 87-72, at Air Force 86-72 and at Oregon State 78-65. Head coach Brad Huse is in his seventh season at the school. Four players average double figures in points, led by Antonio Biglow at 16.0 per game.   Falvien Davis is averaging 13.5 ppg, Xavier Blount at 11.5 ppg, and Calen Coleman at 10.3 ppg.  Paul Egwuonwu averages 5.8 rebounds per game. San Jose State holds a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series.  The two teams played in San Jose last season, with the Bobcats winning 77-70 on November 28, 2011.  The Spartans last won 77-73 at Montana State on February 15, 2011.  
SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH:  George Nessman begins in his eighth season as head coach at San Jose State.  He has a 79-144 record in eight seasons with the Spartans.
LAST TIME OUT:   James Kinney got hot in the second half, scoring 19 of his season-high 30 points during that time, but the Spartans could not overcome a triple-double by Jayhawk Jeff Withey as San Jose State fell at #10 Kansas, 70-57, Monday night on ESPNU.   The Spartans traded big runs (16-0)  with the Jayhawks (18-0) in the second half but got only as close as seven points. Kinney was the only San Jose State player in double figures.  He was 11-of-26 from the field including 4-for-12 from three-point range.   San Jose State outrebounded Kansas, 45-41, led by Chris Cunningham with 11 boards, his second consecutive game with double-figure rebounds.
NATIONAL RANKINGS:  In the first release of national statistic leaders on November 26, four Spartans rank in the top-35 in five categories.  James Kinney is 22nd in scoring at 21.0 points per game and 28th in steals at 2.75 per game.  D.J. Brown is tied with nine others for best in the nation in field throw percentage at 1.000.  Chris Cunningham is tied for sixth in field goal percentage at 68.8 percent.  Alex Brown is tied for 31st in blocked shots at 2.5 per game. As a team, the Spartans are 11th in three-point percentage at 43.1 percent, 26th in field goal percentage at 49 percent, 32nd in blocked shots at 5.5 pg, and 41st in assists per game at 16.0 pg.
KINNEY ADDS TO THE “30” CLUB:  With his 30 points at #10 Kansas, James Kinney is one of 13 Spartans to score 30 points in a game in school history.  The 13 players have scored 30 points in a game 18 times, the last by Kinney last season against UTSA on Nov. 30, 2011. Kinney was one point shy of his career high of 31 points scored at Seattle U last season.  He is tied for fourth all-time in 30+-point games with three.  Adrian Oliver scored 30 or more points in 17 games during his Spartan career. Number of Games Scoring 30 or More Points 1. Adrian Oliver 17 2. Ricky Berry 9 3. Olivier Saint-Jean 8 4. James Kinney 3 Wally Rank 3
EVENT CENTER RECORD TIED:  With nine blocks against UC Santa Cruz, the Spartans tied an Event Center record for most blocks in a game.  Alex Brown and Jaleel Williams each recorded two blocks.
9 Blocks by the Spartans at The Event Center vs. UC Santa Cruz, November 20, 2012 vs. Utah State, January 5, 2006 vs. UC Santa Barbara, November 24, 1999
SPARTANS VS. TOP-20:  San Jose State has just four wins against top-20 foes in school history.  The last win came against Alabama when the Crimson Tide were ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll. On Dec. 27, 1996, San Jose State posted a 60-59 overtime win in the Comerica Cable Car Classic.
ON THE ROAD FOR THREE:  The Montana State game is the second of three road games the Spartans play over a 10-day period.  San Jose State started the stretch with a game at #10 Kansas on November 26 and wraps-up the three games with a bus trip to UC Davis on Wednesday, December 5.
VANKIRK MAKES MOST OF PLAYING TIME:  After suffering a dislocated patella in October on his right knee, Mike VanKirk has seen action in the past two games.  After playing just four minutes against UC Santa Cruz, he saw 19 minutes of action at #10 Kansas.  VanKirk scored two points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals in the game.  
CUNNINGHAM CLEANING THE GLASS:  Chris Cunningham leads the team with 47 rebounds and averages 9.4 per game.  He has led the Spartans in rebounding the past two games with 18 against UC Santa Cruz and 11 at #10 Kansas.He has grabbed five offensive rebounds in each of those games.
THREE GAMES BY 4 PTS OR LESS:  The Spartans started the 2012-13 season with three games that have been four points or less.   The Spartans lost by four points at New Orleans, lost by two points to Houston, and needed overtime to defeat Weber State by one point.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES:  Two Spartans have recorded double-doubles this season.  James Kinney  scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 36 minutes played against Houston.  The 10 rebounds are the most he has collected in his Spartan career. Chris Cunningham led the Spartans with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over UC Santa Cruz.
GRIEVES TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY:  Nick Grieves made the most of his first appearance of the season against UC Santa Cruz.  In 11 minutes of action, he attempted eight three-point field goals, making six including three in a span of 58 seconds.  Grieves ended the game with 18 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.
GARRETT MAKES SOLID CONTRIBUTION:  Louis Garrett had his best output of the season with seven points and three assists in the win over Weber State.  He played 20 minutes and also had a rebound and a blocked shot.  Garrett also had a key three-pointer at #10 Kansas during the Spartans 16-0 run in the second half.  He banked in a shot from the top of the circle.
BLOCKIN’ THE BALL:  Alex Brown alters shots on the court and did so against Weber State with a season-best five blocks.  In five games, Brown has 12 blocked shots.
PENNINGTON TOPS CAREER HIGH: Senior guard LaVanne Pennington scored a career-best 13 points in the loss at New Orleans.  He was 6-for-10 from the field including 1-for-3 from three-point range.  He grabbed two rebounds in the game.
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 Stephan 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.
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.
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:  San Jose State finishes its three games on the road with a trip up Interstate 80 to UC Davis on Wednesday, December 5, at 7 p.m.