Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By: Ana Kieu
San Jose State men’s basketball is set to take on its second straight Pac-12 opponent this Friday night as they take on the Cal Golden Bears inside Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 7 pm PT. Justin Allegri will have the radio call for KLIV 1590 AM, while Kate Scott and Mike Montgomery will broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
San Jose State (3-7) at Cal (4-6)
Friday, Dec. 21, 7:00 pm PT
Haas Pavilion (11,877)
Fans can view live stats of all SJSU men’s basketball games, home and away, by accessing the “Live Stats” feature at www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the link on the men’s basketball schedule page to follow the action.
What would a win mean?
SJSU is looking for their first win over Cal since 1977. They are also looking for their first win over a Pac-12 opponent since defeating Washingtong State 88-76 on Nov. 27, 2016. A win would also be the fourth of the season, tying the team’s 2017-18 total for the whole year.
Heads held high
Despite falling to Stanford 78-73 in their last outing, the Spartans have a lot of momentum on their side after playing one of their best games of the Jean Prioleau era. SJSU shot 45.6 percent for the game and outshot the Cardinal 48.3-45.2 in the second half. The Spartans held the lead for all, but :02 seconds in the first half and regained the lead in the second half until the 12:15 mark. Late turnovers and several missed free throws proved costly down the stretch as the Spartans fell by five.
Michael Steadman and Oumar Barry became the first Spartan duo since Ryan Welage and Brandon Clarke to record a double-double in the same game. Welage and Clark achieved the feat against Washington State on Nov. 27, 2016 in Pullman.
Five players (Steadman, Barry, LeCense, Ivey and Baumann) scored in double-figures. It was the second time SJSU had five players do so this season, and first agaist a D1 opponent.
JUCO transfer Michael Steadman has made a big impact this season as a leader on and off the court. The 6’10″ forward is averaging a team-high 13.5 points per game and ranks fourth in the Mountain West with 9.4 rebounds per game. He also ranks 35th nationally in both total and defensive rebounds per game. Steadman has four double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the conference and has scored in double figures in 9-of-10 games, including seven straight.
Prioleau made some changes to his staff in the offseason as he brought in former NC State All-American Julius Hodge as an assistant coach and promoted director of operations Ryan Cooper to assistant coach.
Another SJSU-Cal meeting
SJSU and Cal have met 22 times with the Golden Bears holding a a 19-3 advantage, including a 19-1 mark in Berkely. The teams last met on Dec. 11, 2011 in an 81-36 blowout loss. The Spartans are looking for their fourth win in the series and first since Dec. 27, 1977 (76-74).
The Golden Bears, led by second year head coach Wyking Jones, will be facing their second straight MW opponent after falling to Fresno State 95-73 on Dec. 19. Cal is 4-6 overall with wins over Hampton (80-66), Santa Clara (78-66), San Diego State (89-83) and Cal Poly (67-66).
Big game Baumann
Sophomore Noah Baumann is once again displaying his impressive 3-point shooting ability this season after finishing in the top 40 in the MW in 3-point percentage as a freshman. He is currently 22-for-40 from 3-point range (.550) and ranks second in the MW in 3-point percentage. He also ranks 10th in the conference with 2.2 3’s per game. Baumann is averaging 15.3 PPG in the last three outings (Bethune-Cookman, NAU, Stanford).
Baumann was a key cog for the Spartans in their two wins over B-CU and NAU. Against B-CU, after the team went 0-10 from 3-point range in the opening half, Baumann drained 3-of-5 attempts in the second half and finished with a then-season-high 12 points to help lead the Spartans to a victory.
Baumann followed up with his best performance as a Spartan in the win over NAU. He scored a career-high 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 18 in the second half to lead the Spartans to victory. He finished 5-of-6 from 3-point range and made four free throws in the final :37 seconds to close out the game.
Oumar coming on strong
Senior center Oumar Barry is playing his best basketball as a Spartan as of late. Against Bethune-Cookman, he finished with a then-career-high 13 points and seven rebounds. He followed that up with his most dominating performance at SJSU as he recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his first-career game with double digit rebounds. Barry also blocked two shots and was 7-of-10 at the free throw line to help the Spartans to a victory.
Barry followed up with another double-double against Stanford (15 points, 10 rebounds). After playing 38 career games without recording a double-double, he now has two in the last two games.
What’s next on the Bay Area road trip?
After playing at Cal, the Spartans will bookend their nonconference slate on Dec. 29 against Saint Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., completing their road trip against Bay Area opponents.