Photos of San Jose State Spartans SID Lawrence Fan (left) holding up Fan Cakes and (right) addressing the news media at San Jose State University (file photos by San Jose State Spartans)
By Michael Duca and Ana Keiu
SAN JOSE–Lawrence Fan, the longtime SID for the San Jose State Spartans, has passed away at age 67, as announced by the Spartan Athletic Director Jeff Koyna Wednesday afternoon. The news of Lawrence’s passing was a shock to Spartan athletes, employees, members of the media, students and alumni, as many had just seen Lawrence at work Monday.
It was reported that Lawrence, who normally showed up to work like clockwork, didn’t call or show to work on Tuesday and the University became concerned and later learned of his passing on Wednesday as announced by Koyna.
Lawrence worked with thousands of student and student athletes over his illustrious 42 year career. Many can look back and thank Lawrence for his advice and helping them advance whether it was in athletics or in their media careers.
One of the highlights for Lawrence was in 2012 when he was elected to the CoSIDA Hall of Fame. Lawrence, started as an SID at SJSU in 1980, (that was the same year that the hit movie The Blues Brothers was a box office smash), never missed work and worked all the sports at the University.
Former Spartan football player Neil Perry suffered amputation of a leg, but returned to playing football for the Spartans in 2003 for eight games. Needless to say, this inspirational story drew national attention. A flood of press coverage at his first game was one of Lawrence’s many shining moments. Lawrence was inundated with media requests from all over the country, which at the time Lawrence said was the busiest period he had ever had at Spartans football.
Another highlight for Lawrence was the 2020 football team that went 7-1, an almost perfect season. That Spartan team took the Mountain West by storm finishing finishing ahead of second place Boise State by two games. We never got a chance to interview Lawrence about his long 42 year career but what stories he could have told.
Lawrence was also know for Fan cakes, which were served to the media during Spartans basketball games. It was a treat that everyone that covered Spartan games looked forward to.
The Spartan’s women basketball team were playing Air Force at SJSU in a 68-59 loss when officials learned of Lawrence’s passing. The Spartan women didn’t learn about the shocking news until 1:30 pm. All athletic staff and athletes were in a state of disbelief at the news.
The Stanford Cardinal cornerback Kyu Blue Kelly makes an acrobatic lunge into the end zone after returning a 31 yard interception off USC Trojan quarterback Kedon Slovis in the second half of Sat Sep 11, 2021’s game at USC in Los Angeles (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
Stanford Cardinal (1-1) quarterback Tanner McKee threw for two touchdowns, went 16-23 for 234 yards in the Cardinal’s first win of the season over their Southern California opponents the USC Trojans (1-1) 42-28. The Cardinal scored 14 points in each of the second and third quarters that helped lead them to victory.
The Cardinal were coming off a opening day loss from last Sat Sep 6th to Kansas State 24-7 and wanted badly to make amends. They shocked the oddsmakers who had USC favored and who were ranked No.14. The Cardinal’s wide receiver Nathaniel Peat had 115 yards and caught a 87 yard touchdown pass from McKee and the Cardinal Kyu Blue Kelly picked off a USC quarterback Kedon Slovis pass for 31 yards for a touchdown that sparked and inspired the Cardinal in the victory.
Stanford head coach David Shaw had his team prepared this week after the Cardinal took that tough loss to Kansas State and the taste of that game was still in their mouths from opening week and the improved offense on Saturday night against the USC defense made things just a little bit satisfying for Shaw and McKee.
McKee had some good looks from the Kansas State opener after starting quarterback Jack West struggled to start that game. McKee did himself well against USC throwing for touchdowns to receivers Elijah Higgins and Brycen Tremayne in the fourth quarter that put Stanford ahead of USC by 29 points.
This was the Cardinal ninth win out of the last 14 games with the Trojans and the Cardinal defense kept the pressure on Slovis all night who went 27-42 for 223 yards, one touchdown and one interception. USC running backs Keaontay Ingram and Darwin Barlow each carried for a touchdowns but the effort was far short with McKee and the Cardinal pouring it in on offensively all night.
The loss snapped the Trojans nine game winning streak which carried over from last season, the Trojans won their opener on Sep 6th handling a very talented San Jose State team 30-7. That Trojan win looked as if it was going to set the tone for Saturday night’s game against the Cardinal but the Cardinal defense held Slovis and the Trojans offense from any developing opportunities and the Cardinal came into this game after studying film from the Trojans last game.
It was so bad for the Trojans that they even had their kicker Parker Lewis ejected from the game on the opening kick off for targeting his tackle. Despite that back up kicker Alex Stadthaus wound up kicking two field goals and two extra points flawlessly.
Next week USC will head to Pullman and face the Washington State Cougars at 12:30 pm on Sat Sep 18th and Stanford will conclude this three game road trip at Vanderbilt (2-1). The Commodores are coming off a close 24-21 win against Colorado State Saturday. Kickoff between Stanford and Vanderbilt is 5:00 pm PDT Sat Sep 18th.
The Tim Miles era has officially begun in San Jose, Calif. Miles spoke about his vision for the future of San Jose State men’s basketball in his introductory press conference on Tuesday.
“I can’t wait to get on campus to meet the team, begin assembling our staff and recruiting the type of player that will match our expectations for winning basketball.”
The 2013-14 season made Nebraska the talk of college basketball after they reached the tournament, despite being selected to finish last in the Big Ten standings. They overcame a 1-5 start in conference play, won 10 out of their last 12 games, and finished in fourth place with an 11-7 record. Among those wins was a 60-51 victory over #9 Michigan State, the program’s first road win over a top-10 program since 1997, and a 77-68 win over Wisconsin, who later advanced to the 2014 Final Four.
Nebraska’s turnaround began immediately under Miles’ wing with the Cornhuskers seeing a three-win improvement from 12-15 wins in 2012-13. With just one returning starter, Miles and company defeated three NCAA Tournament teams and finished the year with a victory over Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament.
After the success of the Huskers’ NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013-14, the following season saw more firsts for the Nebraska program as they achieved a national ranking for the first time since 1995.
In 2017-18, Miles led the Cornhuskers to one of their most successful seasons in program history. Nebraska won 22 games, their most since 1990-91, with a school-record 13 wins in conference play. They earned a bid to the NIT for their first postseason appearance in four seasons.
In Miles’ final season at Nebraska, the Huskers won 19 games and earned another top-25 ranking in the Associated Press poll. They advanced to their second-straight NIT appearance.
In his seven seasons at the helm of Nebraska, Miles guided nine players to All-Big Ten accolades including two-time all-conference pick Terran Petteway, who became the first Husker in program history to win the Big Ten scoring title in 2013-14 with an average of 18.1 points per game.
In addition to being a premier talent at building programs, Miles demanded excellence from his student-athletes in the classroom. He guided 17 Nebraska players to Academic All-Big Ten honors, including a conference-best five selections in 2015. In 2014-15, Shamian Shields became the first player in program history to earn first-team Academic All-American honors.
Prior to his extended stint at Nebraska, Miles made a name for himself at Colorado State when he took the Rams to new heights and laid the foundation for what’s now one of the top teams in the Mountain West. In five seasons, he increased his win total in each season with his best year being 2011-12 where he saw CSU defeat a school-record three ranked teams to their first 20-plus win season since 1997-98. The Rams finished with a 20-12 record, put three players on the all-conference team, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years. For his efforts, Miles was named the District VIII Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The 2011-12 CSU team averaged 70.1 points per game and was the MW leader in field goal percentage (47.1), 3-point percentage (40.0), and free throw percentage (76.8). They also were one of just two programs nationwide to rank in the top 10 in both free throw and 3-point percentage. The Rams’ 20-win campaign was just the seventh in program history.
Similar to what he would eventually do at Nebraska, Miles quickly turned the CSU program around. His first two seasons saw the Rams battle through growing pains and injuries while continuing to make strides. CSU improved their win total in league play in his second season and finished the year off with a key victory over Wyoming in the MW Tournament.
Years three through five were some of the most successful for the Rams in recent history, culminating in CSU’s NCAA Tournament bid in 2011-12. In 2009-10, he led the Rams to their first postseason appearance in seven years after posting 16 regular-season wins. CSU was selected to participate in the CBI, and he was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
The 2010-11 team finished in fourth place in the MW after posting the program’s first winning record since 2007. The Rams finished the year 19-13 and earned a berth to the NIT for their second-straight postseason appearance. Miles and company won nine conference games that year, the most for the Rams since the formation of the MW in 1999-2000, and received votes in the top-25 national poll at the year’s end for the first time since 2005-06.
Before going to CSU, Miles was the head coach of the North Dakota State Bisons for six seasons, where he guided the program through their transition to Division I. The Bison reached at least 16 wins in each of Miles’ final five seasons. One of their biggest moments came in 2005-06 against 13th-ranked Wisconsin. NDSU handed the Badgers a 62-55 loss, snapping Wisconsin’s 27-game win streak against non-conference opponents. The loss was also just one of 10 non-conference home losses for the Badgers under hall of fame coach Bo Ryan. Miles was awarded the CBS Sportsline Division I Independent Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year Award.
Miles was also the catalyst for turning around Southwest Minnesota State University, who he guided for four seasons before joining NDSU. Prior to his arrival, the Mustangs had just one winning season in the previous decade. He changed all of that by posting a 78-39 four-year total, including a program-record 28-win season in 2001. The Mustangs won the 2001 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship and the NCAA North Central Regional Championship before advancing to the Division II Elite Eight. He was named the NSIC and North Central Region Coach of the Year Awards for his unprecedented success.
Miles made his head coaching debut as the head man at Mayville (N.D.) State University. The program was just 4-44 in the previous two seasons before he took over. He was able to turn things around and led them to a 35-22 record over three seasons. Miles was inducted into the Mayville State Hall of Fame in 2016.
Before reaching the head coaching ranks, Miles made his coaching debut as an assistant at Northern State. He spent six seasons on staff from 1989-90 to 1994-95, helping lead the program to five NAIA playoff appearances and five regional titles. As the team’s recruiting coordinator, he brought in and molded five All-Americans and helped the Wolves advance to the NAIA National Championship in back-to-back seasons.
A Doland, S.D. native, Miles graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., in 1989. He then earned his master’s degree in health and physical education from Northern State in 1990. In 2007, he was inducted into the University of Mary Hall of Fame.
Following his stint at Nebraska, Miles took a two-year break from coaching, turning in his whistle for a microphone. He worked for the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports, and FS1 as an analyst in 2019 and also took his talents to a podcast called “Inside the Mind of Miles” as part of the “Field of 68” college basketball media network.
Miles and his wife, Kari, have one daughter, Ava, and one son, Gabe. They have a yellow lab, who’s appropriately named Sammy.
After suspending its regular season due to COVID-19, the #9 San Jose State Spartans took on the #8 Wyoming Cowboys in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Unfortunately, SJSU suffered a triple-digit loss, 111-80.
But the Spartans’ journey wasn’t without its fair share of trials and tribulations. From tough losses to delayed flights, SJSU was burdened by a laundry list of issues. SJSU, however, rose up from those challenges.
“Our team has transformed and evolved over the course of this season,” head coach Jean Prioleau told media members. “Toughness comes in many forms and this group has shown toughness on many different levels.”
The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Ralph Agee. Agee made a jumper to get the Spartans on the board first 2-0 just 30 seconds into the first half. Just eight seconds later, Ike Graham responded with a layup to tie the game at 2.
The Spartans and Cowboys exchanged leads and ties for several minutes in the first half. But it was the Cowboys who took the lead and never looked back. Marcus Williams made a layup in the paint to make it a 10-point game, 21-11, at 14:21. Graham Ike helped Wyoming open a 16-point lead with 2:51 left.
Wyoming closed out the first half scoring with a pair of free throws from Kenny Foster with 28 seconds left. SJSU trailed 59-45 at halftime. Omari Moore led the Spartans with 13 points and five assists at the half.
The Spartans had their work cut out for them. SJSU opened the second half scoring as Ralph Agee capitalized on a Cowboys turnover, made a second-chance layup, and brought the Spartans within 12 points, 59-47, just 34 seconds into the second half.
After a glimpse of hope, the Spartans’ problems reappeared. Ralph Agee appeared to have put a foot to Graham Ike’s groin. The officials handed Agee a Flagrant 2 foul. Subsequently, Agee was ejected from the game. Nate Lacewell entered the game for Agee.
Marcus Williams made a jumper to help the Cowboys take a 20-point lead, 79-59, at 11:27. While the Spartans tried to inch closer, their efforts were ineffective as the Cowboys used a 11-3 run to take a 90-64 lead with 7:36 left.
The Cowboys reached the 100-point mark when Marcus Williams made a layup with 4:15 left. Wyoming proceeded to pour in the points with back-to-back three-pointers by Drake Jeffries and Hunter Thompson, respectively.
The Spartans went on a late 5-0 run, but continued to trail 109-80. The Cowboys had the last laugh as Drake Jeffries capitalized on a Spartans turnover and made a two-point dunk to make it a 111-80 game with three seconds left. The Spartans lost 111-80.
SJSU finished with a 5-16, 3-14 MW record, while Wyoming called it a wrap with a 14-10, 8-9 MW record. Wyoming moved on to the quarterfinals.
Just one day after the San Jose State men’s basketball team announced their makeup game against Nevada at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on March 3, news broke that their three remaining regular season games have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Their team activities have also been cancelled.
The Spartans were scheduled to play Wyoming on February 25 and 27, respectively. The Spartans were rescheduled to play Nevada on March 3. All three games have been cancelled.
SJSU hopes to continue their basketball-related activities before the Mountain West men’s basketball tournament, which will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas from March 10 to 13.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team had hoped to snap their three-game losing skid with a win over the UNLV Rebels — especially in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network on Sunday. However, SJSU lost a heartbreaker, 67-64, to UNLV at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. SJSU (5-15, 3-13 MW) has now lost four straight games. Sebastian Mendoza led the Spartans with 14 points.
The Spartans’ starting five featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Michael Ofoegbu Jr. The Spartans won the tip, and the game vs. UNLV was underway.
The Rebels got on the board first, as Devin Tillis and Caleb Grill each made layups for an early 4-0 lead at 18:21. However, SJSU responded to tie the game 4-4, thanks to two layups by Mendoza and Moore. Both teams exchanged leads and ties during the first half, but it was the Rebels who hung on for a mere 28-27 lead at halftime. The Spartans had the last score of the first half, as Ofoebu made a late layup with 16 seconds left.
The second half resembled the first half. Both teams exchanged leads and ties, the game went down to the wire, and the Spartans came up short in the end.
The Rebels opened the second half with a free throw by Bryce Hamilton just nine seconds in. At 13:09, Jalen Dalcourt hit a fastbreak 3-pointer cut the deficit to 44-39. Richard Washington hit his first 3-pointer of the game to cap off a 10-0 Spartans run with 8:30 left. Trey Smith added a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game 54-54 and make it a 13-0 Spartans run. The Rebels bounced back to take a 61-55 lead with 5:20 left, but Washington hit a 3 to bring the Spartans within three points, 61-58, just 22 seconds later. Washington and Sebastian Mendoza were in double figures and led the Spartans’ scoring attack with 10 and 12 points, respectively.
Omari Moore made it a one-point game, 61-60, with a jumper in the paint with 2:14 left. Moore made a second-chance layup to bring the Spartans within two points, 66-64, with 42 seconds left. UNLV called a timeout and David Jenkins Jr. made a second-chance free throw to secure a 67-64 win. UNLV (10-11, 7-7 MW) now has a two-game winning streak. Bryce Hamilton led the Rebels with 17 points.
The Spartans wrap up the regular season with a two-game series against the Wyoming Cowboys starting on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 pm PT.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — For the first time in a year, there was a Spartans game day in San Jose. SJSU welcomed UNLV for a two-game series starting Friday night at the Provident Credit Union Event Center. Both the Spartans and Rebels looked to snap a two-game losing skid. Unfortunately, SJSU was handed its third straight loss, 76-60.
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau switched up his starting lineup, which featured Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Sebastian Mendoza, Richard Washington, and Ralph Agee. Washington returned to the lineup following a head injury sustained one month ago.
The Spartans got the party started in the first half. Sebastian Mendoza hit a 3-pointer for a 3-0 lead at 19:23. SJSU had a 19-16 lead until 11:05. UNLV used a 11-0 run to take a 27-19 lead with 8:05 left. Ralph Agee ended the Rebels’ run with a free throw, cutting the deficit to 27-20 with 6:03 left.
Despite UNLV’s efforts to take a double-digit lead, SJSU kept the game close. The Rebels saw their 29-20 lead disappear, thanks to Trey Smith’s 3 with 4:31 left. Ralph Agee’s back-to-back layups helped the Spartans to a 32-31 lead with 1:35 left. UNLV regained its lead, 35-32, on David Jenkins Jr’s jumper and Moses Wood’s second-chance layup, respectively. The Spartans trailed 35-32 at halftime.
The Rebels opened the second half scoring as Devin Tillis made a layup at 19:33. UNLV went on a 9-4 run to lead 47-36 at 16:15. However, a Spartan scoring surge — led by Richard Washington’s 3 — allowed them to keep the game close, 47-43, at 14:12.
The Spartans trailed 65-53 with 7:09 left. But there was a silver lining as three starters — Trey Smith, Ralph Agee, and Richard Washington — were in double figures with 15, 14, and 13 points, respectively. Washington left the game to sit on the bench late in the game. Nate Lacewell entered the game for Washington.
The Spartans had the last scoring play as Sebastian Mendoza made a fastbreak free throw to cut the lead to 76-60 with 1:33 left. UNLV dribbled out the shot clock, and handed SJSU a 76-60 loss. SJSU fell to 5-14, 3-12 MW, while UNLV improved to 9-11, 6-7 MW.
The Spartans and Rebels meet again on Sunday, February 21 at 1 pm PT.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose State men’s basketball team was looking forward to returning home to San Jose, Calif., to host its first “real” homestand for the first time in a while. But not so fast, my friends.
The Spartans had to break the bad news on Friday afternoon. Due to COVID-19 concerns within the Nevada men’s basketball team, the two-game series between the Spartans and Wolf Pack originally scheduled for February 13 and 15 has been postponed.
The Mountain West conference will announce further updates and schedule adjustments at a later date.
The Spartans came off a bye week, only to receive another week off out of precaution. SJSU will continue to practice and make the most out of their free time, and then turn their attention to the UNLV Rebels for a two-game series scheduled to be played on February 19 and 21 at the Provident Credit Union Event Center.
The San Jose State men’s basketball team looked to erase the memory of their three-game win streak coming to a screening halt in Wednesday night’s game against the San Diego State at Viejas Arena.
Unfortunately, the Spartans’ wish wasn’t granted. SJSU lost 77-55 for their second straight loss, and fell to 5-13, 3-11 Mountain West. Trey Smith led all scorers with 22 points. Smith had his second 20-point game of the season.
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau shuffled his starting lineup before Wednesday’s matchup. Caleb Simmons, Jalen Dalcourt, Omari Moore, Trey Smith, and Ralph Agee took the court. SJSU won the tip, and the game got underway.
The Aztecs opened the scoring with a three-pointer by Jordan Schakel at 18:41 of the first half. The Spartans responded with a jumper in the paint by Ralph Agee and a jumper by Terrell Gomez in a span of 13 seconds, taking a 5-2 lead at 17:39.
Both teams exchanged leads and ties throughout the first half. The Spartans closed out the first half with a bang. Trey Smith hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left. With the three, Smith recorded a game-best 12 points; and led all scorers with 12 points at halftime. SJSU trailed 33-27 at halftime.
The second half opened up with an Aztecs’ score, but a different player. Nathan Mensah made a second-chance layup for a 35-27 Aztecs lead just 11 seconds into the second half.
Ralph Agee made a pair of free throws, helping the Spartans pull within 10 points, 49-38, at 12:38 of the second half. But the Aztecs heated up, and Lamont Butler hit a three to make it a 20-point game, 58-38, with 9:52 left in the second half. The Aztecs’ fiery offense didn’t stop there. The Aztecs went on a 14-3 run that ended when Trey Smith hit a three with 6:59 left in the second half. Smith scored on a pair of free throws to help the Spartans pull within 23 points, 76-53, with 1:11 left in the second half.
Nate Lacewell wrapped up the Spartans’ scoring with a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in the second half. SJSU lost 77-55.
SDSU improved to 15-4, 9-3 Mountain West. Jordan Schakel led all scorers with 24 points. Schakel now has 200 career threes.
The Spartans host the Nevada Wolf Pack for a two-game series starting on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm PT.
After a bye week, San Jose State men’s basketball traveled to Southern California to face conference foe San Diego State in a two-game series starting Monday night. The Spartans carried a three-game winning streak into this nationally televised matchup, but they had a tall order in the Aztecs.
Despite shooting the ball pretty well in the first half, SJSU ultimately lost by a final score of 85-54 at Viejas Arena. SJSU fell to 5-12, 3-10 Mountain West. Jalen Dalcourt scored 13 points in the Spartans’ loss.
The Spartans’ lineup for game one vs. the Aztecs remained the same, as Omari Moore, Trey Smith, Jalen Dalcourt, Caleb Simmons, and Ralph Agee took the court.
The Spartans won the tip, and the game was underway. SJSU got two early baskets for an early 4-3 lead at 18:32 of the first half. Both teams exchanged leads and ties for several minutes, but the Aztecs’ offense came alive as they built a 10-point lead, 34-24, with 5:08 left in the first half. SDSU maintained a double-digit lead for the final minutes of the first half. Jalen Dalcourt missed a last-second, three-point attempt, and the Spartans trailed 47-29 at the halftime break.
The Aztecs opened the second half with Trey Pulliam’s jumper in the paint, extending their lead to 20 points, 49-29, just 30 seconds in. Turnovers affected the Spartans, who fell even further behind. SDSU continued to pour in the points, extending their lead to 31 points, 71-40, on Jordan Schakel’s three-pointer off of a Spartans turnover at 10:11 of the second half. The Aztecs won by 31 points, 85-54, for their fifth straight win by 27 points or more.
SDSU improved to 13-4, 7-3 Mountain West. Jordan Schakel led the Aztecs with 23 points.
The Spartans and Aztecs meet again Wednesday night at 8:00 pm PT in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network.