San Jose, Calif. – The San José State women’s basketball team, one of the youngest in the nation, opens the 2017-18 season in historic Pauley Pavilion against the #7 ranked UCLA Bruins on Friday evening.
San José State Spartans (0-0)
#7 UCLA Bruins (0-0)
Friday, November 10, 2017 - 7:00 (PT)
Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion - 13,800)
SEASON OPENERS ARE A COIN FLIP
San José State has played 42 season openers and is at exactly .500 with 21 wins and 21 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-four season openers leading the Spartans.
In available records, SJSU is 11-29 when it plays its first game on its opponent home floor.
SPARTANS ROSTER SECOND YOUNGEST IN DIVISION I
In a preseason poll of Media Relations Directors, the Spartans are the second youngest team in Division I women’s basketball, based on percentage of freshman and sophomores on the roster. Twelve of SJSU’s 15 players are underclassmen, which ties them for second place with Florida International. UNC Greenville has the youngest team in the nation at 87.7 percent underclassmen.
SJSU’s freshman class, as a percentage of the total team, ranks fourth youngest in the nation based on the same poll. Eight of the 2017-18 15 players (53 percent) are freshmen.
WHERE ARE THE POINTS GOING TO COME FROM?
In 2016-17 the Spartans scored 71.4 points per game, tops in the Mountain West and a respectable 58th in the nation. But heading into 2017-18 it’s anyone’s guess as to where the scoring is going to come from.
The Spartans lost Dezz Ramos, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer (23.5 points per game), and overall have to replace 42 points per game due to graduation. Ramos is now playing professionally in Iceland and Jasmine Smith, the team’s second-leading scorer (12.1 ppg) and leading rebounder (8.2 rpg) from last season is playing in Germany.
SJSU returns just one starter from last year’s team, Myzhanique Ladd (Sr., G, Seattle, Wash.), and she is just one of three returners who are upperclassmen. Hallie Gennett (Sr., F, Post Falls, Idaho) and Andrea Kohlhaas (Jr. F, Besigheim, Germany) are the other two.
SJSU SELECTED NINTH IN MW PRESEASON COACHES & MEDIA POLL
By a vote of the conference’s 11 head coaches and media members, the 2017-18 Spartans are predicted to finish ninth in the Mountain West this year.
In four seniors who graduated after last year, SJSU has lost 70 percent of its scoring. The Spartans averaged 71.4 points per game and have to replace 49.7, including 23.5 points per game from Dezz Ramos, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer in 2016-17.
In its four previous seasons, SJSU was selected to finish conference play in ninth (2013-14), tenth (2014-15), eighth (2015-16) and fifth (2016-17).
SJSU VS. THE PAC-12
Overall, San Jose State is 37-88 (29.6 percent) against Pac-12 schools. The last time the Spartans defeated one was on December 9, 2009 in a 68-66 at #22 Cal. The only team SJSU has a winning record against is Stanford. San Jose State has one 13 of 23 meetings.
QUICK LOOK AT THE BRUINS
This will be the season opener for both teams. UCLA posted a 25-9 record last year and reached the Sweet 16 in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. They averaged 74.1 points a game in 2016-17 and outscored opponents by more than 10 points per game.
Jordin Canada led the Bruins’ offense last year with a 17.8 ppg average and is back for her senior season. She also led her team in assists (7.1/g) and steals (2.5/g). Monique Billings, the leading rebounder (10.5/g on the team, is also back and scored 16.7 ppg in 2016-17.
Cori Close is in her seventh season leading the Bruins’ program. She brings a 123-78 record at UCLA into this season.
SPARTANS CRUISE TO WIN IN EXHIBITION OPENER
The Spartans cruised to an 83-72 exhibition game victory over Stanislaus State on Sunday afternoon in The Event Center.
Eleven of the 13 players to see action logged double-digit minutes led by Mikaylah Wilson (Fr., F, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) who played 22. Four Spartans scored in double digits led by senior Myzhanique Ladd’s (Sr., G, Seattle, Wash.) 12 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds, had five assists and five steals in 20 minutes of work. Fieme’a Hafoka (So., G, Kihei, Maui) scored 11 points as did Wilson and Taylor Turney (So., PG, Henderson, Nev.) added 10 points and five assists.