Men's Basketball Starts 2014 By Hosting Nevada

Dec. 31, 2013

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Next Game:           

Wed., Jan. 1   Nevada (5-8,0-0)           

The Event Center (5,000 capacity)

RADIO:  KSJS 90.5 FM           

7:00 p.m. PST

SPARTANS BEGIN 2014 WITH FIRST MOUNTAIN WEST GAME:  San José State enters a new era on January 1, 2014, as the Spartans play their first men's basketball conference game as a member of the Mountain West.  The Spartans host Nevada at The Event Center New Year's Night.  San José State joined the conference, along with Utah State, on July 1, 2013.  San José State is playing its fourth consecutive home game after starting the year with eight of the first nine games away from The Event Center.

San José State begins the new year with a four-game winning streak after going undefeated in the month of December - defeating Pacifica (87-59) last Saturday, Westminster (73-66) on the 21st, UC Davis on the 18th (89-85, 3OT) and Houston on the 7th (72-68).  The streak is the longest since the 2010-11 season.

TICKETS:  Tickets for all San José State men's basketball tickets may be purchased by visiting the Spartan Ticket Office, calling (408) 924-SJTX, at any Ticketmaster outlet, on the web at www.sjsuspartans.com, or at The Event Center Box Office.

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

RADIO COVERAGE:  All San José State men's basketball games are broadcast on KSJS, 90.5 FM, and can be heard on ksjs.org.  Saturday games can be heard on KLIV, 1590 AM, and at kliv.com.   Justin Allegri calls the action for the Spartans.

VIDEO COVERAGE:  All home San José State men's basketball games can be see on the Mountain West Network at www.themw.com and at www.sjsuspartans.com/videos.

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 NEVADA:  The Wolf Pack enters Wednesday night's game with a 5-8 overall record.  The team fell in overtime to Long Beach State, 80-77, this past Saturday night at the Lawlor Events Center.  The team has won just two of its past six games and started December with an overtime win at UC Davis, 87-81.

Head coach David Carter is in his fifth season at the helm of the program with a 79-66 coaching record. 

Senior guard Deonte Burton leads the Mountain West and is ninth nationally in scoring at 22.5 points per game and averages 39 minutes per game.  He is fourth all-time in scoring at Nevada with 1,752 points.

Three others average in double-figure points - Jerry Evans, Jr., at 15.3 ppg, Michael Perez at 12.4 ppg, and Huff at 10.2 ppg.  Evans leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 per game.

Nevada holds a 51-47 advantage in the all-time series.  The Wolf Pack has won the past 11 meetings, dating back to the 2007-08 season.  San José State's last win came on January 10, 2008, when the Spartans won 62-60 at The Event Center.  C.J. Webster led San José State with 17 points, and the Spartans held current Denver Nugget JaVale McGee to just 10 points.

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 recorded her first head-coaching win on November 20, 2013, with an 83-77 win at Pepperdine.

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. 

WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE:  The Spartans bring a four-game winning streak into Wednesday night's game, the longest since the 2010-11 season.  That team won four straight home games in the middle of February - Montana State (77-73), Weber State (62-46), New Mexico State (72-70 OT) and Louisiana Tech (72-60).

The Spartans have not won five consecutive games since the 1998-99 season, the first year of Phil Johnson's tenure at San José State.  During that season, the Spartans won five games from December 5-27 - D5 at Montana, 79-52; D9 vs. Sacramento State, 59-56; D19 vs. E. Washington, 63-47; D22 vs. Portland, 74-52; and D27 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 84-59.

San José State has not won six or more games since the 1980-81 season when the Spartans won seven in a row, including a three-overtime win at UC Santa Barbara. 

CONFERENCE OPENERS:  For the first time since 2010, San José State will open the conference portion of the schedule at home.  The last time the Spartans opened the conference schedule at home came during the 2009-10 season when the team won 78-75 over Idaho on January 4, 2010, when San José State was a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

The Spartans are also looking to open the conference portion of the schedule with a win for the second consecutive season.  San José State opened the WAC portion of the 2012-13 schedule on the road with a 72-55 win at Texas State on December 29, 2012.  In that game, Chris Cunningham had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while D.J. Brown had eight points and four rebounds. 

JAMES ETCHES HIS NAME INTO SAN JOSÉ STATE HISTORY:  Freshman Jalen James recorded just the second triple-double in San José State history with his 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 72-68 win at Houston on December 7.  James joins Brandon Hawkins who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Notre Dame de Namur on Dec. 18, 2001.

James is only the third Mountain West player to record a triple-double - Mark Dickel (UNLV), 17 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists on Nov. 19, 1999; and Justin Williams (Wyoming) 10 points, 15 rebounds, 12 blocks on March 10, 2006.

HOME, SWEET PERFECT HOME:  After playing eight of its first nine games of the season on the road, the Spartans are ending a four-game homestand with the game against Nevada. San José State is the only Mountain West team to have a perfect home record (4-0) heading into conference play.  The Spartans defeated Cal State Fullerton, 81-59, on November 23, UC Davis, 89-85 (3OT) on December 18, Westminster, 73-66, on December 21, and Pacifica, 87-59, on December 28.

FRESHMAN COMES OFF BENCH TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING:  Rashad Muhammad leads the San José State team in scoring this season with 208 points, 17.3 points per game.  He has played in all 12 games this season, but started just one (Weber State).  He has led the team in scoring in eight games this year, coming off the bench in seven of those games. 

Of the top-150 scorers nationally through December 29, Muhammad is 136th and is one of just seven freshmen on the list.  He is listed in the top-150 in seven categories.

Muhammad National Rankings (as of 12/29)

Points/Game            136th            17.3 ppg

3-pt FG/GM            23rd            3.17 pp

3-pt FGM            30th            38

3-pt FGA            55th            85

3-pt Pct.            33rd            44.7

Free Throw Pct.            136th            83.3%

Total Points            146th            208

Muhammad scored a season-high 28 points in a three-overtime win against UC Davis.  He leads the team in three-pointers, making 38 of his 85 attempts this year.  He is also the best free throw shooter, making 50-of-60 attempts (83.3%). 

The last freshman to lead San José State in scoring was Stony Evans who averaged 9.9 points during the 1983-84 season (276 points in 28 games).  That team, coached by Bill Berry, finished the season 10-18.  Evans also led the team in rebounding with 176, 6.3 per game.

COMEBACK KIDS, NEVER COUNT THEM OUT:  In four of the six Spartan wins this season, San José State has overcome double-digit deficits for the win.  The largest deficit was 19 points against UC Davis (32-23 and 47-28) in an 89-85, three overtime win at The Event Center.  San José State trailed Westminster (45-32) before winning 73-66.  On the road Houston led by as many as 15 (22-7) before the Spartans won 72-68, and Pepperdine led by 14 (40-26) before San José State outscored then in the second half (49-33) en route to the 83-77 win. 

Since 2002, San José State has overcome a deficit of 13 points or more for the win in 13 games.  Twice, the team has had to overcome a 19-point deficit, and three games went to at least one overtime before the Spartans won.

-19            vs. UC Davis (2nd half)            89-85 (3OT)            12/16/13

-19            at CSU Bakersfield (1st half)            78-70            1/23/12

-18            vs. New Mexico State (1st half)            93-84            1/23/10

-18            at Portland State (1st half)            76-73 (OT)            12/28/07

-17            vs. South Dakota State (2nd half)            77-71 (OT)            12/30/07

-15            at Houston (1st half)            72-68            12/7/13

-15            vs. Coppin State (1st half)            81-66            12/29/11

-14            at Pepperdine (1st half)            83-77            11/20/13

-14            vs. UTSA (1st half)            72-66            11/30/11

-14            vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (2nd half)            65-57            11/14/01

-14            vs. Tulsa (1st half)            76-69            1/27/05

-13            vs. Westminster (2nd half)            73-66            12/21/13

-13            vs. Rice (2nd half)            58-57            3/5/02

 

THREE-POINT SHOOTING RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION:  San José State ranks in the top-10 in three three-point shooting categories nationally (through Dec. 29).  The Spartans are sixth in three-point field goals per game at 10.2 (Charleston Southern #1 at 11.7), sixth in three-point field goal attempts at 332 (Youngstown State #1 at 369) and eighth in three-point field goals made at 122 (Creighton #1 at 136).

QUINTUPLE OF SCORERS:  For the first time since the 2010-11 season, San José State had five players score 10 or more points in a game.  Against Pacifica on December 28, Rashad Muhammad led the Spartans with 19 points, followed by Jaleel Williams with 14 points, Chris Cunningham and Devante Wilson each with 13 points, and Matt Pollard with 10 points.

LARGEST WINNING MARGIN SINCE 2011:  With the 81-59 win over Cal State Fullerton on November 23, the Spartans recorded the biggest win of 20 or more points over a Division I school since the 2011-12 season.  San José State defeated UC Davis, 79-59, in December 20, 2011. 

TWO SPARTANS, 20+ POINTS IN A GAME:  Twice this season, two San José State players have scored 20 or more points in a game.  The latest came in a win over UC Davis as Rashad Muhammad scored a career-best 28 points, and Devante Wilson added a season-best 22 points.  At Pepperdine, Jaleel Williams led the Spartans with a career-best 22 points, while Wilson scored 20 points in his first start of the season. 

QUARTET OF SPARTAN SCORERS:  In five of the 12 games this season, a quartet of San José State scorers have recorded double-digit scoring games.

Milwaukee - Muhammad 17, James 12, Williams, 11, Mitchell 10

N. Illinois - Williams 13, Brown 12, James 11, Muhammad 11

Pepperdine - Williams 22, Wilson 20, Muhammad 14, Brown 14

CS Fullerton - Muhammad 17, Brown 17, Wilson 16, Cunningham 13

UC Davis - Muhammad 28, Wilson 22, Cunningham 13, Thornton 12

MOUNTAIN WEST Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Jalen James was named the Mountain West Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 9, after his triple-double performance at Houston.  James was honored along with Cameron Bairstow of New Mexico.

James recorded career highs of 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 38 minutes of play at Houston.  He was 3-for-4 from the field including 2-for-2 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.  His four made free throws came in the final 17 seconds of the game to secure the victory.

James is just one of six players nationally this year to record a triple-double and the only freshman to accomplish this feat.

ROAD-WEARY TRAVELERS:  The Spartans played eight of its nine games to start the 2013-14 season on the road or at a neutral site.  The squad started the season by playing across town at Santa Clara, traveling to DeKalb, Ill., for three games, busing to Pepperdine, then flying to Portland and to Utah to face Weber State.  If you were driving to the games, below would be the number of miles (according to geobytes.com) you would have put on your car to see the Spartans play their road games.

Destination                        One-Way Miles

San José-Santa Clara            5 miles (10 total)

San José-DeKalb, Ill.            2,103 miles (4,206 total)

San José-Malibu, Calif.            348 miles (696 total)

San José-Portland, Ore.            664 miles

Portland-Ogden, Utah            734 miles

Ogden, Utah-San José            804 miles

San José-Houston            1,882 (3,764 total)

Total Miles - 10,878 miles on your car

THREE-POINT GAME RECORDS SET OR TIED THIS SEASON:  Just 12 games into the season, the Spartans have tied or set two three-point game records for most made and most attempted in a game.

The Spartans tied the three-pointers made in a game record twice this season.  The team made 14 in two wins this season, at Pepperdine and at Houston, tying the record set against Louisiana Tech on January 13, 2005.

With 40 three-pointers attempted as a team on November 17, the Spartans set a single-game record for the most three-pointers attempted in a game.  San José State was 10-for-40 from three-point range against James Madison at the NIU Invitational.  The 40 attempts breaks the old record of 32 (10-of-23) shot against Boise State on January 6, 2011.  The 2011 game went four overtimes, and ironically, current Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik was an assistant coach for Boise State that night.

The 40 three-point attempts also tied the Mountain West record set on March 1, 2003, as Utah played at New Mexico.

WILLIAMS MAKING AN IMPACT IN JUNIOR SEASON:  After scoring just 68 points the first two years of his Spartan career, Jaleel Williams has scored 142 points in 12 games and is second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. He scored a career-best 22 points in the team's first win of the season at Pepperdine.  Williams added 20 points against Santa Clara and led the team in scoring against Westminster with 18 points.

Williams also recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Pacifica.  He was 5-for-8 from the field in the game, including 1-for-3 from three-point range, and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.

CUNNINGHAM GRABBING BOARDS:  Chris Cunningham has recorded three double-doubles this season - 13 points and 10 rebounds versus CS Fullerton; 10 points and a season-high 14 rebounds at Weber State; and 18 points and 11 rebounds against Westminster.  Cunningham has 11 double-doubles in his Spartan career.  He leads the team in rebounding at 7.3 per game.  He also has a team-high 12 blocked shots.

DISHIN' OUT THE ROCK:  Two Spartans have 30 or more assists on the season.  D.J. Brown has 41 assists, while Jalen James has dished out 39 assists this season.  Brown dished out six assists at Santa Clara and at Weber State, while James had 10 assists at Houston.

FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT PEPPERDINE:  San José State picked up its first win of the year with an 83-77 win at Pepperdine on November 20.  Jaleel Williams led the team with 22 points that night, and Devante Wilson added a career-best 20 points in the win.

The Spartans outscored Pepperdine by 16 in the second half as the team rallied from a 44-34 halftime deficit.  The team used a 21-10 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to take the lead.  Wilson hit four of his six three-pointers during that stretch.

WAKE UP WITH WOJCIK:  Spartan head coach Dave Wojcik hosts a monthly breakfast get-together at Rosie's New York Pizza at 1285 The Alameda in San José.  He discusses the X's and O's of basketball, recruiting and general basketball topics throughout the season.  A full breakfast is served, but an RSVP is required.  Cost is $25 per person which includes a donation to Spartan Foundation.  The next breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday, January 7.  To RSVP, please contact Blake Sasaki at 408-924-3300 or blake.sasaki@sjsu.edu.

UP NEXT:  The Spartans play their first road Mountain West game in school history.  The team travels to Logan, Utah, to face Utah State on Saturday, January 4, at 7 p.m. MST.