Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By: Ana Kieu
San Jose State men’s basketball will play the front end of a two-game road swing Saturday as they take on UNLV at the Thomas and Mack Center Saturday. The game will be televised by AT&T SportsNet. Jenny Cavnar and Dave Bollwinkel will have the call. Fans can also tune in to KLIV 1590 AM to hear Justin Allegri’s radio call.
Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s conference matchup.
San Jose State (3-13, 0-4) at UNLV (9-7, 3-1)
Saturday, Jan. 19, 4:30 pm PT
Thomas and Mack Center (18,000)
Las Vegas, Nev.
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?
The Spartans are looking to for their third win in the last five attempts against UNLV. SJSU won back-to-back games in 2017 before falling in both games last season. A win on Saturday would also be the Spartans’ third road win all-time in the series.
Baumann the Boss
Sophomore Noah Baumann is shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season. Like, so good that he leads the NCAA D1 in 3-point percentage at 54.7%. The next closest is Dartmouth’s Brendan Barry (51.9%). Baumann also ranks in the top-10 in the MW in 3-pointers per game (2.6)
Baumann is coming off one of the most impressive performances of his career as he scored a career-high 29 points in the loss to Utah State. He tied the school record with seven 3s (7-of-10) and set career highs in 3-point attempts and FG attempts.
Baumann now holds the top two scoring performances by a Spartan this season with 29 vs. Utah State and 23 vs. Northern Arizona. The sophomore is averaging 11.8 points in conference play, which leads the team and is shooting 50% from 3-point range in conference games.
Spartans head coach Jean 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.
The Spartans are coming off a season-high 12 made 3-pointers against USU, led by Baumann’s seven and Zach Chappell’s three. They finished shooting 50% for the game, which is the third time SJSU has shot at least 50% this season (53.3% vs. CSU-Bakersfield and 50% at Cal).
SJSU ranks sixth in the MW in 3-point percentage (34.5%) in all games and second in the MW in league play (37.2%).
Winning the Boards
SJSU’s matchup with UNLV features a pair of very good rebounding teams. The Rebels rank second in the MW in rebounding margin (+8.2) while SJSU ranks fourth (+2.9). UNLV also leads the conference in offensive boards at 15.7 per game, with SJSU just behind at 11.1.
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 12.3 points per game and ranks fifth in the MW with 8.5 rebounds per game. Steadman has six double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the MW and has scored in double figures in 13-of-16 games. He also has eight games with double-digit rebounds.
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 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 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. He also scored 16 points in the loss to Boise State, his seventh game in double figures on the season.
Series History With UNLV
UNLV holds the overall series record 37-6 and is 19-2 in home games. The Spartans have played the Rebels very competively the last five seasons, winning both games in 2017 and losing both in 2018 by a combined 15 points, including a 76-82 overtime loss on January 3.
The Rebels are led by third-year head coach Marvin Menzies.