Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team will go for a third straight win at 7 pm on Saturday evening when the Portland State Vikings visit the Provident Credit Union Event Center.
Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s contest.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (3-2, 0-0 Mountain West)
PPG: 68.6 | FG%: 42.2 | 3FG%: 27.0 | FT%: 58.6
NOTES: The Spartans are looking for their first three-game winning streak since 2016-17 when SJSU won four consecutive games as part of a 14-16 season. The Spartans are shooting for their fourth win of the season just three weeks into the season after posting four total wins in each of the previous two years. Seneca Knight is averaging a team-high 11.8 points per game while shooting 48.9% from the field.
PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS (1-3, 0-0 Big Sky)
PPG: 79.5 | FG%: 41.7 | 3FG%: 28.8 | FT%: 68.1
SERIES: SJSU leads, 4-1 (2-1 in San Jose)
LAST: SJSU won 76-73 in OT on 12/28/07 in Portland
NOTES: Portland State is 1-3 to start this season after going 16-16 last year, including an 11-9 mark in Big Sky play. Holland Woods is averaging a team-high 18.3 PPG. He had 27 points against Indiana and 22 on Wednesday against Portland. The Vikings are just 19-of-66 from 3-point range this season. Matt Hauser has hit nine of those 3s.
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 TuneIn for “San Jose St. Basketball”.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @SanJoseStateMBB on Twitter for in-game updates
A constant in the Spartans’ two straight wins has been the play of reserve guard Zach Chappell. Chappell tallied a season-high 14 points in a win over Simpson on Nov. 17, going 5-of-7 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers. Chappell then posted 10 points in the win against Grambling State, again knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. The Spartans are shooting just 27.0 percent on threes on the season but Chappell is shooting 38.1% from deep.
SPARTANS STYMIE GRAMBLING STATE
Grambling State entered the game on Nov. 20 at SJSU with the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 114 points over its first three games. The Spartans held the Tigers to 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.
EFFECTIVE 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 two points and two rebounds in six minutes.
SPARTANS STUN 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, a JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, 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 3-pointers to put the game away. 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 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
SJSU hopes to duplicate the success of the 1995-96 squad. The Spartans 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.
SEEING RETURNING STARTERS
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, guard Isaiah Nichols and walk-on guard Trey Smith each started one game.
SIX NEW PLAYERS
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 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 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 ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU 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 teams. 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 games on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.