Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team will meet the first of two straight Pac-12 opponents when the Spartans square off with the Oregon State Beavers at 8 pm PT on Wednesday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The game will air live on FS1.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-3, 0-0 MW)
PPG: 69.8 | FG%: 41.8 | 3FG%: 27.1 | FT%: 62.1
NOTES: The Spartans will face their second Pac-12 foe of the young season on Wednesday night at the Orleans Arena as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. SJSU played Arizona on Nov. 14 in Tucson. Guards Seneca Knight (12.7 PPG) and Richard Washington (11.2 PPG) are also getting after it on the glass, combing for 12.5 rebounds per game. Guard Zach Chappell is averaging 13.7 PPG off the bench over SJSU’s lasts three contests.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
PPG: 79.5 | FG%: 47.7 | 3FG%: 36.4 | FT%: 72.1
SERIES: Oregon State leads, 2-0 (1-0 at neutral sites)
LAST: SJSU lost, 65-55, on Dec. 29, 1986
NOTES: Oregon State is on a three-game winning streak after defeating Wyoming, UC Santa Barbara and Grambling State. The Beavers’ lone loss was to Oklahoma, 77-69, on Nov. 12. Tres Tinkle, son of head coach Wayne Tinkle, is averaging a team-best 21.7 points per game, which ranks 17th in the NCAA, along with a team-high 9.5 rebounds per game.
TV: FS1 with Jeff Leverning and Casey Jacobsen
RADIO: Justin Allegri on the call through TuneIn.com and the TuneIn app. Search TuneIn for “San Jose St. Basketball”.
A constant in the Spartans’ last three games has been the play of reserve guard Zach Chappell. Chappell posted a season-high 17 points, including 3-of-3 shooting from deep, in Saturday’s loss to Portland State. Chappell tallied 14 points in a win over Simpson on Nov. 17, going 5-of-7 from the field including a pair of 3-pointers. The sophomore also posted 10 points in a win against Grambling State, again knocking down a pair of 3s. The Spartans are shooting just 27.1% from three on the season, but Chappell is shooting 42.9% from deep.
SAN JOSE STATE STYMIES GRAMBLING STATE
Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 with the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games. The Spartans held the Tigers 38 points under their average in an 83-76 win at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. Grambling State was 1-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers.
BALANCED EFFORT IN WIN OVER SIMPSON
The Spartans had 13 different players score in an 85-60 win over Simpson on Nov. 17. Zach Chappell came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Seneca Knight was 6-of-8 shooting for 15 points. Craig LeCesne added 13 points in 19 minutes. Ralph Agee posted 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Harminder Dhaliwal made his collegiate debut and had 2 points and 2 rebounds in six minutes.
SAN JOSE STATE STUNS HOFSTRA IN SEASON OPENER
SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road, 79-71, on Nov. 6. Hofstra won 27 games last year, SJSU lost 27 games. In his Spartan debut, Richard Washington posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight three-pointers to put the game away. Craig LeCesne had his first career double-double with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. It was SJSU’s first win in a road opener since 2010-11 when the Spartans topped Eastern Washington, 67-60. The Spartans snapped a 21-game road losing streak dating back to 2017-18. SJSU won on the East Coast for the first time since 2001-02, when the Spartans defeated Fairleigh Dickinson at the BCA Tournament hosted by NC State in Raleigh, N.C.
FOUR WINS FOLLOWED BY A TITLE
The Spartans are hoping to duplicate the success of the 1995-96 squad. SJSU won the Big West Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year after going 4-23 during the 1994-95 season. The Spartans went 4-27 last season.
LOTS OF STARTERS BACK
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. Craig LeCesne and Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year. Christian Anigwe, Isaiah Nichols and Trey Smith each started one game.
SIX NEW FACES FOR 2019-20
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau will have the help of six newcomers on the roster in 2019-20.
The Spartans have 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 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 6 points and 4 rebounds at No. 17 Xavier.
Prioleau added two freshmen this season in Omari Moore and Harminder Dhaliwal.
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 Dec. 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. SJSU 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. The Spartans 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.