Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball will host the Utah State Aggies at the Event Center Wednesday night. The Spartans are looking for their first win in conference play this season. The game will be streamed online on the Mountain West Network and can be heard on KLIV 1590 AM. Justin Allegri will have the Spartans’ call.
Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s game.
Game No. 16
Utah State (12-5, 2-2) at San Jose State (3-12, 0-3)
Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 pm PT
Event Center (5,000)
San Jose, Calif.
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 to win back-to-back games against USU for the first time since 1996. That season, SJSU won both games by a combined four points as they edged USU 68-65 at home on February 8 and again in the Big West Tournament Championship game 76-75 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
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 12.9 points per game and ranks fourth in the Mountain West with 8.9 rebounds per game. On the national scale, he ranks 49th in the country in rebounds per game and 43rd in defensive rebounds per game. He has six double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the conference and 40th nationally and has scored in double figures in 13-of-15 games. He also has eight games with double-digit rebounds.
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made some changes to his staff 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.
Winning the Boards
Wednesday’s matchup with USU features a pair of very good rebounding teams. USU leads the MW in rebounding margin at +10.8 while SJSU is just behind in third at +3.3. SJSU has the upper hand in offensive rebounds with an average of 11.3 per game, which is second in the conference, however, USU leads the MW in defensive rebounds at 30.8 per game. SJSU averages 25.5, tied for sixth.
Oh my, Oumar!
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 the 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 recorded two in as many games.
Barry then scored a career-high 18 points before fouling out with 4:36 to play at Cal and led the team with 11 points at Saint Mary’s.
Barry is coming off his seventh game this season in double-figure scoring after dropping 16 points in the loss to Boise State.
Sophomore Noah Baumann is shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season. So good in fact that his 52.3 percent clip leads the MW. He is also averaging 2.3 3’s per game, which ranks in the top-10 in the MW. He has hit at least one 3-point bucket in 13-straight games.
Series History With Utah State
USU holds the series lead at 60-22, however, it is SJSU who has the latest win. SJSU defeated USU 64-62 last season at home on February 28. It was the first win for the Spartans in the series since February 18, 2008.
The Aggies, under first-year head coach Craig Smith, are one of the most well-rounded teams in the conference. They lead the MW in scoring defense and rank second in scoring offense. They also lead the MW in FG% defense, FT%, rebounding margin, blocked shots, assists and defensive rebounds.