San Jose State podcast with Ana Kieu: Men’s basketball continues to tumble; Prayers up for former football head coach Dick Tomey

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB and @CoachBrennan

On the San Jose State podcast with Ana:

1. SJSU went cold last Saturday and got blown out by UNLV 94-56 in Las Vegas.

2. Former SJSU head coach Dick Tomey underwent treatment for lung cancer last week. Tomey coached the Spartans from 2005-2009.

3. SJSU wrapped up a brief, two-game road trip in Laramie, Wyo. against the Wyoming Cowboys Wednesday.

4. SJSU tight end Josh Oliver was the most targeted TE in the country a season ago.

Catch Ana on the San Jose State podcast each week at SportsRadioService.com. Don’t forget folks, you can follow Ana directly on Twitter @AnaKieu.

San Jose State TE Josh Oliver shares Senior Bowl experience

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State University tight end Josh Oliver will be playing in the 2019 Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 26. The game will be televised by the NFL Network from Mobile, Ala., 1:30 pm CT/11:30 am PT. The game will also be available to DirecTV subscribers on Channel 212 and to DISH Network subscribers on Channel 154.

For Oliver, the next step in his dream to play in the NFL is at the Senior Bowl, the week of January 20-26.   The 2018 first-team All-Mountain West selection arrived in Mobile, the site of the Senior Bowl, on January 20 and has been constantly on the move between learning a playbook, practices, classroom sessions with league personnel, interviews with teams and the media, and signing autographs for those fortunate fans getting to see him up close in person.

Here’s the Q&A that Oliver recently had.

Q: What did you do to prepare for this week at the Senior Bowl?

Oliver: Over time, working hard, working on my craft in the off-season, working for the goal of getting to the NFL, ultimately. I think that’s what helped me get a spot here to compete with this level of competition.

Q: Describe your daily schedule so far?

Oliver: I flew in about 6:00 pm on Sunday, had dinner and had multiple texts from (team) scouts asking for interviews. I did interviews until about 11:00 pm

Woke up Monday at 6:30 am and did weigh-ins. There were position meetings to get a playbook installation, practice, psychological testing from 8:00 to 11:00 pm.

Had kind of the same schedule the next day (Tuesday). We had formal NFL interviews that night.

Today (Wednesday) was pretty similar.

Q: There are more media reports surfacing about your NFL draft status. How are you dealing with what these reports are saying?

Oliver: No one really knows who is going to pick whom in what round. Only the scouts, the GMs and the owners essentially know that and they aren’t going to let that information out to the public. People are just talking and stuff. You just have to take it with a grain of salt.

Q: Describe what it is like to coached by a NFL team and specifically the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff – one that paved the way for tight end George Kittle to earn All-Pro status in just two seasons?

Oliver: It is an awesome experience. It’s an offense that definitely feeds the tight end. Seeing their plays, their route concepts, their blocking schemes, it’s just really cool to have this opportunity. Watching film on George Kittle and everything he’s done there is a great opportunity to see how to be successful in the NFL as a tight end. Their scheme gives you a chance to do that.

Q: Is there anything about the week so far that either has been a surprise to you or something you will remember for a long time?

Oliver: The level of passion the people in Mobile have for the game. You walk around and everybody knows you are here for the Senior Bowl. They’re talking to you about it. They’re asking for autographs. It’s been a surreal experience.

Q: What do hope to accomplish the rest of the week and on game day?

Oliver: I hope to come out and compete with the best of them–the Power 5 programs. To show that I am from a Mountain West school and that I can compete with the best of them. In the game, I want to come out and compete.

San Jose State loses 59-46 to Wyoming to drop ninth straight

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball looked to notch their first conference win of the season, but the Wyoming Cowboys sort of gave them a hard time Wednesday night at the Arena-Auditorium.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau set a starting lineup, featuring Trey Smith, Noah Baumann, Zach Chappell, Michael Steadman, and Ashtin Chastain.

SJSU won the tip and the conference game went underway in Laramie, Wyo. The Spartans were unable to get off to a good start, which might’ve been a good thing considering the fact that they tend to blow leads, but they opened the game 0-6 from the field, which was downright awful. Wyoming led 7-0 at the first media timeout.

SJSU mustered just four points and trailed 13-4 at the second media timeout. But things slowly came into place as Baumann hit a 3-pointer for the 16th straight game for the Spartans, who went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead 20-14 with 6:45 left in the first half. The Spartans proceeded to cut the lead even more with what became a 10-0 run to cut the lead 20-18 with 4:51 left in the half.

The tables turned when Chastain converted his second free throw to tie the game 22-22 with 1:20 left in the half. The Spartans used a 16-4 run in the final 7:44 to tie the game 24-24 at halftime. Isaiah Nichols recorded excellent minutes off the bench with 14 minutes, 7 points, 3 assists, and no turnovers.

The Spartans held onto a 1-point lead, 28-27, but that changed when the Cowboys’ Justin James wanted a dunk in transition, but ended up making a steal and hitting a 3 to take regain the lead, 30-28, at the 17:46 mark of the second half.

The Cowboys went on a 11-0 run for a 35-28 lead at the 11:37 mark of the half. The Cowboys didn’t stop there as they took advantage of the Spartans, who went cold all of a sudden, and made it a 18-2 run for a 42-30 lead with 8:42 left in the half.

The Spartans got just what the doctor ordered, but it was too little, too late. Both Baumann and Ivey sanked a pair of 3s and SJSU chipped their way back into the lead, but continued to trail 47-38 with 4:40 left in the half. The Spartans (3-15, 0-6 MW) eventually took a 59-46 loss for their ninth consecutive loss. The Cowboys (5-14, 1-5 MW) picked up their first conference win of the season.

SJSU returns home to host the Air Force Falcons this Saturday at 6:00 pm PT.

San Jose State concludes two-game road trip in Wyoming Wednesday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball wraps up a short two-game road trip Wednesday with a stop in Laramie, Wyo. to take on the Wyoming Cowboys at 6:00 pm PT inside the Arena-Auditorium. Justin Allegri will have the Spartans radio call on KLIV 1590 AM. Fans can watch online on the Mountain West Network.

Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s conference game.

Game No. 18
San Jose State (3-14, 0-5) at Wyoming (4-14, 0-5)
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 6:00 pm PT
Arena-Auditorium
Laramie, Wyo.

Live Stats
Fans can view live stats of all SJSU men’s basketball games, home and away, by accessing the “Live Stats” feature at http://www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the link on the men’s basketball schedule page to follow the action.

What Would a Win Mean?
The Spartans are looking to break a six-game losing streak to the Cowboys and are seeking their first-ever win in Laramie (0-9). A win would also snap an eight-game losing skid and give SJSU their first conference win of the season.

Newcomers Assist the Spartans’ Offense
The Spartans played nine first-year players this season, including regular starters Michael Steadman, Zach Chappell, Craig LeCesne and Brae Ivey. These newcomers are accounting for 67% of the Spartans’ offense (760-1124).

Baumann the Boss
Sophomore Noah Baumann has been shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season, so good that he leads the Mountain West in 3-point percentage at 53.8%. Baumann also ranks in the top-10 in the MW in 3-pointers per game (2.4)

In the loss to Utah State, Baumann had one of the most impressive performances of his career as he scored a career-high 29 points and tied the school record with seven 3s (7-of-10). He also set career highs in 3-point attempts and field goal attempts.

Baumann holds the top two scoring performances by a Spartan this season with 29 vs. Utah State and 23 vs. Northern Arizona. The sophomore is averaging 10.6 points in conference play, which leads the team and is shooting 48% from the 3-point range in conference games.

Staff Shakeup
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made some changes to his staff in the offseason as he brought in former NC State All-American Julius Hodge as an assistant coach and promoted director of operations Ryan Cooper to assistant coach.

Steady Steadman
JUCO transfer Michael Steadman has made a big impact this season as a leader on and off the court. The 6’10” forward is averaging a team-high 12.4 points per game and ranks fifth in the MW with 8.4 rebounds per game. Steadman has six double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the conference and has scored in double figures in 14-of-17 games. He also has eight games with double-digit rebounds.

Series History vs. Wyoming
Wyoming leads the overall series 14-2 and has won six games. The Spartans’ last win was on January 13, 2016 in a 62-55 victory at the Event Center in San Jose, Calif. SJSU’s other win was Feb. 22, 1997 (67-62), which was also in San Jose. The Spartans are 0-9 in games played in Laramie.

Wyoming checks in at 10th place in the MW standings with a 4-14 overall record and 0-5 start to conference play. Do-it-all Guard Jalen James leads the Cowboys in scoring (20.6 points per game) and rebounds (9.1 per game). The senior was a preseason All-Conference Team selection.

The Cowboys are led by Allen Edwards, who’s in his third season at the helm.

San Jose State TE Josh Oliver to play in 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl Saturday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State University tight end Josh Oliver is one of six college tight ends who will play in the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl Saturday.

Game time set for 1:30 pm CT/11:30 am PT from Ladd-Peebles Stadium. NFL Network will provide live broadcast coverage. DirecTV subscribers can tune in on Channel 212. DISH Network subscribers should be able to find Channel 154.

Oliver will wear the No. 89, his SJSU jersey number, and play for the South team coached by Mike Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff. In the last two seasons, the 49ers developed one of the league’s top tight ends in 2019 Pro Bowl selection George Kittle.

South team practice sessions are open to the public from January 22nd to January 24th.

In 2018, Oliver was one of the most productive tight ends in the FBS. The first-team All-Mountain West selection had single-season personal bests of 56 receptions for 709 yards and four touchdowns. His 56 receptions were third best among FBS tight ends; the 709 receiving yards were fifth highest. All that was accomplished without benefit of playing in a conference championship and/or a bowl game.

Perhaps Oliver’s best statistic of the 2018 season was his penchant for keeping SJSU’s offense on the field. Of his 56 receptions, 38 resulted in a first down, nearly a 68% rate.

For his career, Oliver caught 98 passes for 1,067 yards. All but seven of his receptions came during his junior and senior seasons, respectively.

The Paso Robles, Calif., resident is the second SJSU tight end to participate in Senior Bowl activities. Ryan Otten was the first in 2013.

San Jose State gets run over by UNLV 94-56

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball had hoped for the Thomas & Mack Center, home of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, to see a Spartan win Saturday night. After all, Thomas & Mack has seen a lot of excellent events throughout the years.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau went with a starting lineup featuring Brae Ivey, Noah Baumann, Zach Chappell, Michael Steadman and Oumar Barry.

Last time out, Baumann knocked down a program record tying seven 3-pointers. Fast forward to Saturday when SJSU started a two-game road trip, starting at UNLV.

SJSU won the tip and the game went underway in Las Vegas. The Spartans trailed 10-4 at the first media timeout. Things faltered from there, as the Rebels went on a 11-0 run and the Spartans fell into a larger deficit, 21-6, at the second media timeout.

It was all Rebels in the first half. Nickalas Blair found Jonathan Tchamwa in transition for the dunk. Bryce Hamilton got the steal, save and score for a notable heads up play. Trey Woodbury hit a corner 3 to extend the Rebels’ lead to 21. The Spartans shot just 31% compared to the Rebels’ 53%. Prioleau was visibly upset and the Spartans shrugged off to the locker room with a 46-25 deficit at the half.

The Spartans’ turnovers and overall offense proved to be a continual problem in the second half. SJSU trailed 68-35 at the 11:58 mark.

Should we be surprised? Not really. The Rebels continued to play high-caliber basketball. Joel Ntambwe knocked down a triple. Hamilton followed up with a step-back jumpshot for 3.

Prioleau used every player on the Spartans’ bench in hopes of a scoring streak, but the Spartans’ offense was unable to score at an average or higher level. SJSU trailed by thirty, 77-47, with 7:21 left.

The Rebels put the game out of reach and expanded its lead to 85-49 with 4:49 seconds left. All the Spartans could do was wrap things up and gear up for their next opponent.

The Spartans never took the lead and used their final timeout with 50 seconds left. The Rebels hit at a sky-high rate, ran their offense and dribbled the game out. SJSU lost 94-56 for their eighth straight loss.

SJSU dropped to 3-14, 0-5 MW, while UNLV improved to 10-7, 4-1 MW.

SJSU heads to Laramie, Wyo. to take the Wyoming Cowboys Wednesday, January 23 at 6:00 pm PT.

San Jose State to take on UNLV in Las Vegas Saturday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball will play the front end of a two-game road swing Saturday as they take on UNLV at the Thomas and Mack Center Saturday. The game will be televised by AT&T SportsNet. Jenny Cavnar and Dave Bollwinkel will have the call. Fans can also tune in to KLIV 1590 AM to hear Justin Allegri’s radio call.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s conference matchup.

Game #17
San Jose State (3-13, 0-4) at UNLV (9-7, 3-1)
Saturday, Jan. 19, 4:30 pm PT
Thomas and Mack Center (18,000)
Las Vegas, Nev.

Live Stats
Fans can view live stats of all SJSU men’s basketball games, home and away, by accessing the “Live Stats”feature at www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the link on the men’s basketball schedule page to follow the action.

What Would a Win Mean?
The Spartans are looking to for their third win in the last five attempts against UNLV. SJSU won back-to-back games in 2017 before falling in both games last season. A win on Saturday would also be the Spartans’ third road win all-time in the series.

Baumann the Boss
Sophomore Noah Baumann is shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season. Like, so good that he leads the NCAA D1 in 3-point percentage at 54.7%. The next closest is Dartmouth’s Brendan Barry (51.9%). Baumann also ranks in the top-10 in the MW in 3-pointers per game (2.6)

Baumann is coming off one of the most impressive performances of his career as he scored a career-high 29 points in the loss to Utah State. He tied the school record with seven 3s (7-of-10) and set career highs in 3-point attempts and FG attempts.

Baumann now holds the top two scoring performances by a Spartan this season with 29 vs. Utah State and 23 vs. Northern Arizona. The sophomore is averaging 11.8 points in conference play, which leads the team and is shooting 50% from 3-point range in conference games.

Staff Shakeup
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made some changes to his staff in the offseason as he brought in former NC State All-American Julius Hodge as an assistant coach and promoted director of operations Ryan Cooper to assistant coach.

Raining 3’s
The Spartans are coming off a season-high 12 made 3-pointers against USU, led by Baumann’s seven and Zach Chappell’s three. They finished shooting 50% for the game, which is the third time SJSU has shot at least 50% this season (53.3% vs. CSU-Bakersfield and 50% at Cal).

 SJSU ranks sixth in the MW in 3-point percentage (34.5%) in all games and second in the MW in league play (37.2%).

Winning the Boards
SJSU’s matchup with UNLV features a pair of very good rebounding teams. The Rebels rank second in the MW in rebounding margin (+8.2) while SJSU ranks fourth (+2.9). UNLV also leads the conference in offensive boards at 15.7 per game, with SJSU just behind at 11.1.

Steady Steadman
JUCO transfer Michael Steadman has made a big impact this season as a leader on and off the court. The 6’10 forward is averaging a team-high 12.3 points per game and ranks fifth in the MW with 8.5 rebounds per game. Steadman has six double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the MW and has scored in double figures in 13-of-16 games. He also has eight games with double-digit rebounds.

Oh My, Oumar!
Senior center Oumar Barry is playing his best basketball as a Spartan as of late. Against Bethune-Cookman, he finished with a then-career-high 13 points and seven rebounds. He followed that up with his most dominating performance at SJSU as he recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his first-career game with double digit rebounds. Barry also blocked two shots and was 7-of-10 at the free throw line to help the Spartans to a victory.

Barry followed up with another double-double against Stanford (15 points, 10 rebounds). After playing 38 career games without recording a double-double, he recorded two in as many games.

Barry then scored a career-high 18 points before fouling out with 4:36 to play at Cal and led the team with 11 points at Saint Mary’s. He also scored 16 points in the loss to Boise State, his seventh game in double figures on the season.

Series History With UNLV
UNLV holds the overall series record 37-6 and is 19-2 in home games. The Spartans have played the Rebels very competively the last five seasons, winning both games in 2017 and losing both in 2018 by a combined 15 points, including a 76-82 overtime loss on January 3.

The Rebels are led by third-year head coach Marvin Menzies.

Former San Jose State football coach Dick Tomey undergoes treatment for lung cancer

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

The San Jose State community didn’t receive good news Friday afternoon, as former football head coach Dick Tomey is undergoing treatment for lung cancer.

San Jose State said in a statement: “The entire San Jose State University community is saddened to learn that beloved football coach Dick Tomey is undergoing treatment for lung cancer. We hold Coach Tomey in very high regard for everything he has done for our university and, specifically, for our football program since he became a member of family in 2005. Even after he concluded being our head football coach, he continues being a viable mentor, trusted voice of reason, visionary, and loyal friend to our student-athletes, coaches, athletics staff and friends of our athletics program. Our best wishes go out to Coach Tomey, his family and all who love and adore him during this challenging time.”

Tomey was named SJSU’s football head coach after 2004. He was a head coach who turned around the football landscape and culture first at the University of Hawaii (1977-86) and then at the University of Arizona (1987-2000). He accomplished the same in his five seasons (2005-09) with the Spartans.

The 2006 Spartans finished with a 9-4 win-loss record, were invited to play in a post-season bowl game for the first time in 16 seasons and won the inaugural New Mexico Bowl over the University of New Mexico. SJSU also had a 6-6 win-loss record in 2008 with one of the program’s best defensive teams in the last 20 years. Tomey’s teams were known for their defensive prowess.

More importantly, Tomey provided the necessary leadership and vision to significantly overhaul the academic deficiencies that plagued the San Jose State football program at the time he became head coach. SJSU became the model institution among NCAA Division I FBS for academic reform.

In appreciation for his continued athletics program involvement and impact, the Dick Tomey Class Act Award is presented each spring at the SAMMY Awards sponsored by the SJSU Student-Athletes Success Services (SASS) unit.

San Jose State podcast with Ana Kieu: What’s up with men’s basketball?; How about some football?

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB and @FBallGameplan

On the San Jose State podcast with Ana:

1. SJSU men’s basketball got blown out by Boise State 87-64 last Saturday.

2. SJSU MBB  lost to Utah State 81-63 Wednesday.

3. SJSU MBB will host a Brew Fest at the February 2nd home game against the San Diego State Aztecs. Will this debatable move attract more fans?

4. SJSU football: Tight end Josh Oliver highlights the TE group for the Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 26th.

5. SJSU FB will celebrate their incoming recruiting class on February 6th.

Ana does the San Jose State podcasts each week for SportsRadioService.com

San Jose State drops seventh straight game in 81-63 loss to Utah State

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball was looking to snap a six-game losing skid, but the Utah State Aggies were a tough customer in Wednesday night’s conference matchup inside the Event Center.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau went with a starting lineup consisting of Michael Steadman, Brae Ivey, Zach Chappell, Oumar Barry, and Noah Baumann.

The Spartans won the tip and got off to a fast start, thanks to Baumann. Baumann hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring. Chappell followed up with a 3 on the fastbreak. It was 6-0 at the 18:31 mark. Baumann proceeded to pour in the points with three consecutive free throws. SJSU was in the driver’s seat 9-5 at the 16:10 mark.

Fast forward to the 12:03 mark when the Spartans expanded their lead to 24-9. Baumann was on fire with 18 points on 5-for-5 3-point shooting around that time. Yet, USU gave SJSU a hard time with a sudden increase in points, including 3s from Sam Merrill, Brock Miller, and Diogo Brito.

The Spartans weren’t ready to suffer defeat to close out the first. Seneca Knight joined the 3-point party with a 3 to put the Spartans ahead by 10, 27-17, with 9:47 left.

The Aggies heated up at the right time with more 3s, layups, and free throws, but the Spartans cooled off for the most part as the clock winded down. Steadman sank a layup in the paint and Baumann hit a 3 to pull the Spartans within six, 41-35, with 48 seconds left. SJSU shrugged off to the locker room, trailing 41-35 at halftime.

The second half was basically a back-and-forth affair between the two teams. Brito made a pair of free throws to put the Aggies up 43-35 at the 19:28 mark. The Spartans responded with back-to-back 3s from Baumann and Chappell to pull within two, 43-41, at the 16:21 mark. However, Brito hit a 3 to help the Aggies to a 46-41 lead just 27 seconds later. Still, it was anyone’s game.

The Spartans hung tough as a comeback was possible after a 63-49 deficit at the under-eight timeout. SJSU tied their season-high in 3s with ten 3s.

Baumann hit a 3 and knocked down a jumper to bring the Spartans within fifteen, 78-63, with 1:13 left. But the Aggies responded with Tauriawn Knight’s 3 to put the game out of reach for the Spartans 81-63 at the final timeout with 29.9 seconds left.

The Spartans dropped their seventh straight game in a 81-63 loss to the Aggies. With the loss, SJSU falls to 3-13, 0-4 Mountain West. With the win, USU rises to 13-5, 3-2 Mountain West.

SJSU heads to Paradise, Nev. to take on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Saturday at 4:30 pm PT.