San Jose, Calif. – The 2016-17 San José State women’s basketball season gets underway on Friday when the Spartans visit an old foe, the New Mexico State Aggies, in each team’s season opener. With this being the 16th time SJSU has played in Las Cruces, N.M., and having won just once there, SJSU will jump right in to the deep end of the pool to get the season going.
San José State Spartans (0-0)
New Mexico State Aggies (0-0)
Friday, November 11, 2016 – 5:30 p.m. (MT)
Las Cruces, N.M. (The Pan American Center)
Live stats at www.sjsuspartans.com
Streaming Video through AggieVision (a pay service)
RAMOS EARNS PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST HONORS
Dezz Ramos (Sr., PG, West Valley, Utah) was named to the 2016-17 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team by a vote of the 11 head coaches and media member from around league. It is the second preseason honor she has garnered, being named the 2015-16 Preseason MW Newcomer of the Year. Ramos backed up those preseason expectations last year. She was the leagues second leading scorer (17.2 ppg) and free throw shooter (.853) and returns this year as the leader in both categories. In addition, she ranks third in assists (4.3/g) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7:1), and tenth in steals (1.3/g) and 3-pointers (1.6/g) among Mountain West returners.
GENNETT IS MW PRESEASON NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR; SECOND SPARTAN IN AS MANY YEARS
Hallie Gennett (Jr., F, Post Falls, Idaho) became the second Spartan to be recognized as the Mountain West Preseason Newcomer of the Year, joining last year’s honoree Dezz Ramos. Gennett, a transfer from Sacramento State who sat out last season and twice set that program’s single-season 3-point record (85 in 2013-14 and 86 in 2014-15). Those totals would rank second and third on the SJSU single-season list. Her 12.1 ppg in her last season at Sac State would rank ninth in the MW among returners and her 86 threes would lead the conference.
ONE TOUGH PRESEASON SCHEDULE...AGAIN
For the second year in a row, San José State has a whopper of a preseason slate. This year, ten of the 12 non-conference opponents played in the postseason in 2016, including five that competed in the NCAA Tournament (New Mexico State, Arizona State, Hawai’i, Mississippi State and San Francisco). The other five (Santa Clara, Oregon, Saint Mary’s, Nebraska and South Dakota) participated in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) with South Dakota winning the WNIT Championship.
Combined, the Spartans preseason opponents posted a 272-118 (.697) record last year and went 13-9 (.590) in postseason tournament action. Three won conference titles - New Mexico State (WAC), Hawai’i (Big West) and San Francisco (WCC) – and, as mentioned before, South Dakota won the WNIT Championship.
SPARTANS SELECTED TO FINISH FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL
By a vote of the conference’s 11 head coaches and media members from each city, the 2016-17 Spartans were predicted to finish fifth in the Mountain West this year. It’s the highest the program has been predicted to finish in its four years in the conference and recognizes the team’s improvement.
Last year the team was predicted to finish eighth, but beat the street coming in fourth and earning a first-round bye in the MW Tournament. In its three previous seasons, SJSU was selected to conference play in ninth (2013-14), tenth in (2014-15) and the aforementioned eighth last year.
SEASON OPENERS A COIN FLIP
San José State has played 41 season openers and is just barely over .500 with 21 wins and 20 losses. Only three of seven head coaches, Sharon Chatman (in 1976-77), Tina Krah (in 1986-87), and Jamie Craighead (in 2013-14) have begun their Spartans career with a win in their first game. Chatman had seven season-opening victories in her 10 years at the helm of the San José State program (1977-86), the most in Spartans history. The late Janice Richard won six of her seven season openers as the Spartans head coach (1999-2006). Craighead has won two-of-three season openers leading the Spartans.
In available records, SJSU is 11-29 when it plays its first game on its opponent home floor and when opening the season on the road is 8-7.
ALEXANDER FIFTH WOMEN’S HOOPS PLAYER IN SJSU HALL OF FAME
On September 9, 2016, Lora Alexander (1989-90) became the fifth member of the women’s basketball program to be inducted into the San José State Sports Hall of Fame. The 1989 and 1990 All-Big West Conference honoree holds the career records for scoring average at 18.2 points and rebound average at 11.1 per game, and is the only Spartan women’s basketball player to average a double double for her career. With 1,019 points, Alexander is the only SJSU women’s basketball player to score 1,000 points in one’s first two seasons in the program. In 1995, she was one of 14 players named to the San José State University Women’s Basketball Team of the Century.
RAMOS PROJECTS TO JOIN ALEXANDER WITH 1,000 POINTS IN FIRST TWO YEARS AT SJSU
With 11 points in the Spartans 66-64 win at Fresno State (2/3/16), Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah) passed the 1,000 career-point mark and finished the year with 1,130 career points. She led last year’s team with 526 points and with another good season she could join San José State Sports Hall of Famer Lora Alexander, as just the second women’s basketball player in program history to score 1,000 points in their first two seasons as a Spartan. Ramos needs 474 points in 2016-17 to reach the program milestone.
LADD STEPS UP
Myzhanique Ladd (Jr., G, Seattle, Wash.) emerged last season as on of the Spartans who will be looked to lead the team in 2016-17. After being inserted into the starting line up in the ninth game of the season, her scoring went from 4.7-to- 9.2 points per game and rebounds went from 3.8-to-5.1 per game. Ladd, who goes by MyMy, scored her career high, 19 points, against New Mexico State. She had nine of her 13 career double digit scoring efforts last year as well as both of her double-digit rebounding games, including a career-best 12 boards against New Mexico.
KIND OF OLD AND VERY YOUNG
When it comes to collegiate playing experience, the 2016-17 Spartans are a study in extremes. The team’s roster has four seniors, two juniors, a sophomore and five freshmen. The possible starting five features the four seniors and junior, but with Coach Craighead’s up-tempo style of play, everyone will see lots of minutes.
Next year the team will be even younger. The Spartans signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period, so the 2017-18 Spartans could have just three upperclassmen and 11 underclassmen.
CRAIGHEAD APPROACHING 100-CAREER WINS
Head Coach Jamie Craighead has got the Spartans heading in the right directions and with 10 more wins will reach the 100 career win plateau. When she picks up her 10th win she will tie Karen Smith (1993-99) with 49 victories leading the Spartans and will rank third in the coaches all-time wins list. The late Janice Richard (1999-2006) ranks second with 93 wins and Sharon Chatman (1977-86), with 143 victories, is the all-time leader in wins and is the only coach in SJSU women’s basketball with a winning record (143-121/.542).