San Jose State football receives $1 million gift from SJSU alumnus

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State University was pleased to announce Wednesday that they received a $1 million gift commitment from alumnus Kevin Swanson (’87 Finance), and his wife Sandy Swanson. Their gift will contribute to a new football operations center on the east side of the CEFCU Stadium, Home of the Spartans.

“This gift reflects the support and love Kevin and Sandy have for our football program and for San Jose State University,” said director of athletics Marie Tuite. “Win or lose, they are committed to improving the experiences and well-being of our student-athletes through their generous donation. They understand the value of the football operations center to San Jose State, and their generosity is an indication of their belief in Coach Brent Brennan and his staff. We offer a sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to two of the best Spartans in our community.”

Supporting Common Goals
The Swansons’ San Jose financial services office is decorated in Spartan regalia, from a SJSU flag hanging on the wall to Kevin’s diploma. As an undergraduate, Kevin was active in the Delta Upsilon fraternity, a network of friends and colleagues, who invited him back after graduating to serve as a fraternity adviser. For 11 years, he mentored Spartans and Sandy attended countless pledge dances and university events. The chance to connect with students on a personal and professional level inspired the Swansons to attend Spartan football games, enjoying tailgates with a community of friends.

“One thing I love about athletics is the opportunity it brings to students who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to pursue an education,” said Kevin. “It offers the opportunity for young men and women to learn more about themselves and to work on a team with a common goal as a community.”

In 2018, the couple learned about Beyond Football, which offers unique programming for Spartan football players to develop career and life skills that extend beyond the sport. Together, they volunteered to offer mock interviews alongside a cohort of Silicon Valley professionals to critique the students’ interview techniques. The chance to interact one-on-one with football players in a professional capacity inspired them to find a lasting way to give back.

“It really struck us that the football team and the Beyond Football program were really making a difference in these young men’s lives,” said Sandy, a CSU Hayward graduate, who calls SJSU her adopted alma mater. “That type of foresight on the part of the athletics department is inspirational for us, and we’d love to see those types of things continue.”

“Kevin and Sandy Swanson have been amazing to us since we came on board two years ago,” said head football coach Brent Brennan. “They believe, like many of us do, that in the process of building a top-flight football program, we need to invest at a high level. This gift is another huge step in the direction of giving our program the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level in the Mountain West. I am so thankful for their belief in what we are building here.”

Football Matters
The Swansons believe that by supporting the football program, they can multiply their impact for all student-athletes at SJSU.

“The impact that athletics has on athletes in any sport is significant and one of the reasons we are making this donation,” said Kevin. “We believe that on most campuses football is a major factor in fundraising and revenue generation for the entire campus. When you have a strong football program, you have a strong athletics program. Athletics really does change students’ lives.”

“Kevin and Sandy are longtime passionate supporters of San Jose State University and of Spartan football, and this commitment speaks volumes about just how passionate they are,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement and CEO of SJSU’s Tower Foundation. “We’re grateful and proud to count them among the growing number of major benefactors who believe in this project and want to see it happen as quickly as possible.”

To track fundraising progress and learn how you can support the football operations center, please visit sjsufootball.com or contact Joshua Thiel, deputy athletics director for athletics advancement, at 408-924-1697 or via email at joshua.thiel@sjsu.edu.

About San Jose State
The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, SJSU provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, SJSU continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce The university is proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About San Jose State Athletics
SJSU sponsors 22 (nine men’s and 13 women’s) NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports programs for approximately 470 student-athletes annually. In football, the Spartans are a member of Division I’s FBS, the NCAA’s highest level of competition.

The Spartans’ primary conference affiliation is with the MW. Selected teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Golden Coast Conference (GCC).

SJSU has 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles. 62 Spartans competed in one or more Olympic Games. Spartan athletes have won seven gold, six silver and seven bronze medals at the Olympics.

Annually, about one-third of the student-athlete population earns either an institutional, conference or national recognition based on outstanding academic performance.

San Jose State concludes homestand against Utah State Wednesday

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball will host the Utah State Aggies at the Event Center Wednesday night. The Spartans are looking for their first win in conference play this season. The game will be streamed online on the Mountain West Network and can be heard on KLIV 1590 AM. Justin Allegri will have the Spartans’ call.

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

Game No. 16
Utah State (12-5, 2-2) at San Jose State (3-12, 0-3)
Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 pm PT
Event Center (5,000)
San Jose, Calif.

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?
SJSU is looking to win back-to-back games against USU for the first time since 1996. That season, SJSU won both games by a combined four points as they edged USU 68-65 at home on February 8 and again in the Big West Tournament Championship game 76-75 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

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 12.9 points per game and ranks fourth in the Mountain West with 8.9 rebounds per game. On the national scale, he ranks 49th in the country in rebounds per game and 43rd in defensive rebounds per game. He has six double-doubles on the season, ranking third in the conference and 40th nationally and has scored in double figures in 13-of-15 games. He also has eight games with double-digit rebounds.

Staff Shakeup
Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made some changes to his staff 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.

Winning the Boards
Wednesday’s matchup with USU features a pair of very good rebounding teams. USU leads the MW in rebounding margin at +10.8 while SJSU is just behind in third at +3.3. SJSU has the upper hand in offensive rebounds with an average of 11.3 per game, which is second in the conference, however, USU leads the MW in defensive rebounds at 30.8 per game. SJSU averages 25.5, tied for sixth.

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 the 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.

Barry is coming off his seventh game this season in double-figure scoring after dropping 16 points in the loss to Boise State.

Up-and-Coming Baumann
Sophomore Noah Baumann is shooting lights out from beyond the arc this season. So good in fact that his 52.3 percent clip leads the MW. He is also averaging 2.3 3’s per game, which ranks in the top-10 in the MW. He has hit at least one 3-point bucket in 13-straight games.

Series History With Utah State
USU holds the series lead at 60-22, however, it is SJSU who has the latest win. SJSU defeated USU 64-62 last season at home on February 28. It was the first win for the Spartans in the series since February 18, 2008.

The Aggies, under first-year head coach Craig Smith, are one of the most well-rounded teams in the conference. They lead the MW in scoring defense and rank second in scoring offense. They also lead the MW in FG% defense, FT%, rebounding margin, blocked shots, assists and defensive rebounds.

San Jose State drops third straight conference game in 87-64 loss to Boise State

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State men’s basketball was looking to rebound following five straight losses. SJSU returned home to host the Boise State Broncos inside the Event Center Saturday afternoon.

 

Prior to the midday tip-off, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau announced his starting lineup of Michael Steadman, Brae Ivey, Oumar Barry, Noah Baumann and Craig LeCesne.

The Spartans won the tip and the game went underway on the SJSU campus. The Broncos got on the board first, thanks to Alex Hobbs’ 3-pointer, but Steadman hit a jumper in the paint to make it a 1-point game at the 18:53 mark of the opening half.

The half turned out to be a back-and-forth affair. Pretty much every time BSU expanded its lead, SJSU countered with a shot or two to pull within for a reduced deficit. Midway through the half, however, big game Baumann showed up, knocking down a jumper and hitting a 3 on a fastbreak to help the Spartans reduce its deficit to just six, 21-15, at the 10:52 mark.

 

 

 

Though, SJSU was just getting started. With 7:26 left in the half, SJSU made four of their last five shots from the field and shot for a 2-pointer after a media timeout. That attempt for a 2 was successful as the Spartans’ ascending play was finished off by Ivey, who helped his team pick up an extra two points. After that, SJSU proceeded to pour in the points for a 7-0 run to make it a 2-point game. BSU ended SJSU’s impressive run when Hobbs knocked down a jumper to extend his team’s lead to 28-24 with 4:48 left in the half.

Despite the deficit, SJSU received some much-needed assistance from Barry, who shot a layup and a lone free throw to make it a 1-point game. BSU responded with a 3 by Pat Dembley, but a brand-new response turned out to be easy as 1-2-3 as Ivey was fouled from beyond the arc and somehow made all three shots at the free throw line to make it a 1-point game again.

As the clock winded down, Hobbs hit two consecutive 3s, while Ivey made a pair of free throws. But the late efforts weren’t enough for SJSU, who trailed Boise State 37-34 at the half. The Spartans sulked on their way to the locker room, but remembered that a second half comeback was possible as they trailed by only three points.

The Spartans’ shooting went cold for quite a while in the second half. Meanwhile, the Broncos heated up at the right time, which wasn’t good news for the Spartans, who had hoped to mount a comeback to pull off the upset. Hobbs, Zach Haney and Justinian Jessup all recorded double-digit points in the half.

If there was a silver lining for the Spartans, it was the freshman guard Kaison Hammonds, who wowed the home crowd with a 3 to put three points on the board to reduce the deficit to 17, 58-41, at the 13:47 mark of the half.

Sure, SJSU’s chances of tying the score to force overtime were dim, but Zach Chappell gave the crowd something to cheer about as he had a steal and a 2 for the layup on a fastbreak. Yet, SJSU trailed 73-51 with 6:54 left in the half.

 

 

Chappell continued to work wonders as he made a pair of free throws on a fastbreak with 2:58 left in the half. Yet, SJSU trailed 83-55 at the final media timeout of the game, so the last few minutes were pointless on the Spartans’ end of the court. SJSU lost to BSU 87-64.

SJSU’s record fell to 3-12, 0-3 MW, while BSU’s record increased to 8-8, 3-0 MW.

SJSU welcomes the Utah State Aggies on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:00 pm PT.

San Jose State podcast with Ana Kieu: Men’s basketball struggles in conference slate; Football offseason going swimmingly well

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB and sjsuspartans.com

On the San Jose State podcast with Ana:

1. SJSU faced a tough task at No. 10 Nevada Wednesday night.

2. SJSU defensive linemen Bryson Bridges and Boogie Roberts will play for the National team in the Spiral Tropical Bowl All-Star Game.

3. Former SJSU offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

4.  SJSU congratulated Clemson on their second national championship title in three years. Clemson practiced at CEFCU Stadium in preparation for the College Football Playoff.

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

San Jose State falls to No. 10 Nevada 92-53

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB

By: Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball team arrived at Lawlor Events Center to take on the No. 10 Nevada Wolf Pack in a road tilt Wednesday night. Sure, SJSU had hoped to snap a 3-game losing skid, but Nevada stored a tough task for the night ahead.

In an attempt to suppress the hungry Wolf Pack, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau went with a starting lineup of Brae Ivey, Noah Baumann, Craig LeCesne, Michael Steadman, and Oumar Barry.

The Wolf Pack jumped out to an early 9-2 lead at the first media timeout at the 15:45 mark of the first half. Nevada Basketball had some fun on Twitter as they asked: “So, it’s already 9-2 us just four minutes in. Is that good?” The Spartans’ unofficial answer might’ve been: “Not quite.”

The Spartans played catch up midway through the first. The first comeback kid was Baumann, who scored a triple for the 12th game in a row. SJSU trailed Nevada 14-5. Shortly after, Ivey scored 5 unanswered points and SJSU cut Nevada’s lead in half 20-10. Soon, SJSU began making it rain with 3-pointers. Baumann and Ivey double dipped on 3-point baskets and the Spartans pulled within 4, 20-16.

The Spartans played with a lot of heart and hung tight against the 10th ranked Wolf Pack. SJSU trailed Nevada 26-18 late in the first.

The Wolf Pack missed a layup on the last possession in the first. The ball went to the Spartans, but Baumann missed a shot from a distance. Nevada’s shooting slump sort of carried over from Albuquerque, N.M. Nevada got blown out by New Mexico 85-58 last Saturday. Yet, SJSU headed to the locker room, trailing Nevada 32-23 at halftime.

The Spartans opened the second half with an unexpected surge that surprised the home crowd in Reno, Nev. LeCesne scored 7 early points to pull SJSU within 9, 41-32, at the 15:35 mark of the second.

SJSU trailed Nevada 49-34 at the 11:52 mark of the second. But if there was a silver lining (or two) for the Spartans, Steadman had 6 points and 10 rebounds, while Ivey added 10 points.

The Wolf Pack unleashed their fury, which likely stemmed from their most recent loss, on the Spartans. Nevada poured in the points as Caleb Martin hit quite a few 3s and Miles Morales drove to the basket for a 1-handed layup, which was a SportsCenter Top 10-worthy moment. And, of course, the Nevada DJ played “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, while the local media made plenty of references on the 1969 hit because of the one and only Jordan Caroline.

The Wolf Pack continued to pour in the points, and Jazz Johnson hit some 3s to close out the game. Nevada was in the driver’s seat 92-53 with 30 seconds left in the second. The Spartans fell to the Wolf Pack 92-53.

SJSU dropped to 3-11 (0-2 Mountain West), while Nevada rose to 15-1 (2-1 Mountain West)

SJSU returns home to host the Boise State Broncos on Saturday, January 12 at 12:00 pm PT.

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Cal (5-6) will take on Seattle (11-3)–tall order game for Bears

bearinsider.com photo: Darius McNeil of the Cal Bears brings the ball up court against the San Jose State Spartans last Friday night at Haas Pavilion in a eight point win for Cal

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Cal (5-6) got a 88-80 eight-point win over the visiting San Jose Spartans (3-8) on Friday night at Haas Pavilion. Is this a measuring stick for both teams that they’re rebuilding and both have improved?

#2 The Bears’ Darius McNeil led with 22 points. It was his season-high. Morris talks about the kind of season that he’s having.

#3 Andre Kelly finished second in scoring with 21 points and 10 assists. Morris talks about his efforts this season.

#4 The Bears certainly didn’t want to lose again after coming off a loss to Fresno State 95-73 (9-2) and the Spartans were coming off a loss to Stanford (6-5) 78-73.

#5 Cal’s next game is at Haas Pavilion against the Seattle Redhawks (11-3) in Berkeley at 5 pm on December 29th. Morris tells us a little of this up and coming game.

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael Duca and Morris Phillips: McNeil and Kelly lead the way in Cal’s 88-80 win over SJSU

calbears.com photo: The Cal Bears Darius McNiel (1) led Cal in scoring with 22 points against the San Jose State Spartans at Haas Pavilion Friday night in Berkeley

On the Cal Bears basketball podcast with Michael and Morris:

In a Christmas-break clash between two local rebuilding programs, the California Golden Bears and San Jose State Spartans met at Haas Pavilion Friday evening in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd. Cal prevailed, 88-80. Darius McNeil (season-high 22 points) and Andre Kelly (21 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs) led Cal, while Oumar Barry had a career-high 18 points, one of four Spartans in double figures.

Michael and Morris do the Cal Bears podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Stanford Cardinal basketball podcast with Joey Friedman: After close game victory with SJSU, the Cardinal head to the City for contest with USF Saturday

Photo credit: pac-12.com

On the Cardinal basketball podcast with Joey:

#1 Joey, it was a close one, but the Stanford Cardinal (6-4) just got by the San Jose State Spartans 78-73 in spite of the score. The Spartans gave the Cardinal a battle on their home floor at Maples Pavilion.

#2 For the Cardinal, sophomores Daejon Davis and KZ Okpala helped the Cardinal make up the deficit by halftime and were crucial in keeping up with the improving Spartans.

#3 The three-point game was the big balance for the Cardinal, helping them pull away from the feisty Spartans with 18 team assists.

#4  Stanford Sophomore Oscar da Silva exploded to hit four straight three-pointers in the second half, adding to his two first-half treys, going 9-13 for 23 points.

#5 The Cardinal hit the road and head up from Palo Alto to San Francisco for a battle with one of the NCAA’s best, the USF Dons (11-1), for a Saturday night battle at War Memorial Gym.

Joey does the Stanford Cardinal podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com