SJSU MBB opens season Wednesday at Hofstra

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By Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball head coach Jean Prioleau is now in his third year (and will likely face pressure if his team doesn’t get the ball rolling in year three) and his team will take on the Hofstra Pride on Long Island Wednesday at 4 pm PT.

Here’s what you need to know about the SJSU-Hofstra matchup.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (4-27, 1-17 Mountain West)
PPG: 65.9 | FG%: 40.4 | 3FG%: 32.8 | FT%: 65.5

NOTES: SJSU will look to improve from its 2018-19 campaign with a mix of return talent and skilled newcomers. The Spartans return PG Brae Ivey to help in the rebuild. Ivey averaged 9.2 points and tallied a team-high 102 assists. F Seneca Knight (17 starts), F Craig Lecesne (15) and G Zach Chappell (15) are all back after starting multiple games. Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau welcomes five newcomers, including former Wake Forest players Richard Washington and Samuel Japhet-Mathias.

HOFSTRA PRIDE (27-8, 15-3 Colonial)
PPG: 83.4 | FG%: 48.6 | 3FG%: 38.5 | FT%: 80.2

SERIES: First Meeting


NOTES: Hofstra was invited to the NIT last season after falling in the CAA Tournament championship game, 82-74, to Northeastern. The Pride’s leading returning scorer is senior guard Eli Pemberton, who averaged 15.0 points plus 4.8 rebounds per game. Head coach Joe Mihalich is in his seventh season and will be coaching his 200th game for the Pride on Wednesday.

TV: None

STREAM: FloHoops will stream the game at Hofstra. The feed costs $7.99 through FloSports.TV.

RADIO: Justin Allegri on the call through and the TuneIn app. Search “San Jose St. Basketball” on TuneIn.

This is the first meeting between the Spartans and Pride.

SJSU will play 10 games on TV this season, including three at home.

SJSU hosts an ESPN networks game this year for the first time since 2010-11, when either ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU tip against Utah State on December 4. SJSU will also be on ESPN2 or ESPNU when visiting Utah State on Feb. 26.

SJSU will have four non-conference games on TV, all against Pac-12 competition. The Spartans will be on CBS Sports Network when hosting Stanford at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Dec. 14. SJSU will battle both UCLA and Arizona on Pac-12 Networks and meet Oregon State on FS1 for a neutral site matchup in Las Vegas.

SJSU will also have four Mountain West contests on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.

The Spartans return seven players who started at least one game a season ago.

Seneca Knight is the most experienced, as the sophomore started 17 games, including the final 12, of his rookie season.

Brae Ivey was just behind Knight, as the former junior college transfer started 16 games last season in his first year at SJSU.

Craig Lecesne and Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year.

Christian Anigwe, Isaiah Nichols and Trey Smith each started one game.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau will have the help of six newcomers on the roster in 2019-20.

SJSU has three new junior college transfers in Richard Washington (Tallahassee CC), Eduardo Lane (Marshalltown CC) and Ralph Agee (East LA College). Washington started his collegiate career at Wake Forest, where he played eight games as a freshman before an injury caused him to miss the entire 2017-18 season.

Another Wake Forest transfer will join the Spartans on the floor this season, as center Samuel Japhet-Mathias will be eligible after a redshirt season last year. The former four-star recruit appeared in 17 games off the bench at Wake Forest as a freshman in 2016-17. He posted six points and four rebounds at No. 17 Xavier.

Prioleau added two freshmen this season in guard Omari Moore and walk-on center Harminder Dhaliwal.

The most notable rule change for the 2019-20 season is the extension of the three-point line. The new distance will match the three-point line used in FIBA games. The new line is 22 feet and 1.75 inches from the center of the basket, just over 16 inches further back from the previous three-point line.

Another major change is the shot clock will now reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound, rather than the full 30.

A smaller change is head coaches will be able to call live-ball timeouts in the final two minutes of both the first and second halves, plus the final two minutes of overtime periods.

SJSU’s on-campus arena has a new name starting with the 2019-20 season. Provident Credit Union has signed on as the naming rights partner, making it the Provident Credit Union Event Center. The deal is for $8.1 million over 20 years, with the majority of the annual payments scheduled for maintenance and renovation of the 30-year old facility. The president and CEO of Provident Credit Union is Jim Ernest, a SJSU alum.

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