Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team stunned Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y. That, my friends, was an astonishing win to say the least. The Spartans beat a Pride team that finished 93rd in KenPom and won 27 games last season.
Now, SJSU looks to make it two in a row as they head home to the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Sunday afternoon. Here are the facts that you should know before the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
Stream: Stream all non-televised SJSU home games via the Mountain West Digital Network at sjsuspartans.com/watch.
Radio: Justin Allegri on the call through TuneIn.com and the TuneIn app. Search for “San Jose St. Basketball”.
PORTLAND SERIES HISTORY
All-time series is tied, 11-11 … The Spartans hold a 6-4 edge at home … The last meeting was a 64-55 loss at the Chiles Center on Dec. 9, 2017. Ryan Welage had a team-high 21 points in the loss. Isaiah Nichols started in that game, scoring nine points and grabbing six boards in 32 minutes. Caleb Simmons also started against the Pilots. He played just 10 minutes … In a Spartan loss to the Pilots in 2016 in the Event Center, Brandon Clarke had 28 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks … SJSU won the first six meetings in the series … Portland has won the last four meetings … The teams have gone to overtime five times, including a triple-overtime thriller in 1984. SJSU lost, 82-81.
HOME OPENER HISTORY
The Spartans have won three straight home openers … SJSU averaged 98.3 points per game in those wins.
SPARTANS STUN HOFSTRA IN SEASON OPENER
SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road, 79-71 … Hofstra won 27 games last year, while SJSU lost 27 games … In his Spartan debut, JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, 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 … Senior forward Craig LeCesne had his first career double-double with a career-high 19 points plus 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 the 2017-18 campaign … 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.
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 … Guard Seneca Knight is the most experienced, as the sophomore started 17 games, including the final 12, of his rookie season … Point guard Brea Ivey was just behind Knight, as the former junior college transfer started 16 games last season … Forward Craig LeCesne and guard Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year … Forward Christian Anigwe, guard Isaiah Nichols and walk-on guard Trey Smith each started one game.
SIX NEW FACES
Spartan 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 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.
SJSU TV SCHEDULE
The Spartans 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. 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 … 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.
NCAA RULES CHANGES
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 … The other major change is the shot clock will now reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound, rather than the full 30 … Another 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.
NEW NAME FOR EVENT CENTER
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 Spartan alum.
DIRECTIONS TO EVENT CENTER
Walt McPherson Court in the Provident Credit Union Event Center is located near the corner of Seventh and San Carlos Streets. The easiest freeway access is just a few blocks away off interstate 280. Take the Seventh Street exit and follow signs to San Joe State University. Parking is available for a fee at the South Parking Garage on San Salvador and Seventh Streets and the West Parking Garage on San Salvador and Fourth Streets.