Junkies Journal: SJS Vs South Dakota State

The SJSU Spartans Men's basketball team comes home after an exciting overtime win against the Portland State Vikings. The victory was their fifth, and matches their win total for the entire 2006/2007 season! Read our post game thoughts on the win, our thoughts on Justin Graham heading to (at least) the WAC all-freshman team, and take a peek at next foe, the South Dakota State Wabbit line-up!

Spartan trivia: it looks like Justin Graham is heading to (at least) the WAC all-freshman team, with a chance at getting freshman of the year.

He leads all freshmen in scoring, minutes played, and in steals.

Question: who was the last Spartan to make the all-freshman team, and who was the last Spartan to make freshman of the year?

San Jose State Spartans Men's basketball team comes home after an exciting overtime win against Portland State.

The victory was their fifth—matching their win total for the entire 2006/2007 season. It also was their fourth road win of the season, giving them the most wins on the road in two years.

Now they just have to put it together at home.

Friday night's game also marked the first time this season that coach Nessman had all his pieces, and it sure made a difference.

Chris Oakes had a double double. Mac Peterson had a poor shooting night (1 for 8), but hit a critical 3-pointer and sank two crucial free throws.

Oliver Caballero had no points and no rebounds, but he gave rest to CJ Webster, who has played the most minutes of any Spartan, except Justin Graham.

First up at home is a game against the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. This is important game for the Spartans. A win puts them over .500 and gives them some momentum going into to the WAC season, which starts on the road Wednesday against Boise State.

A loss leaves them searching for answers on how they can win at home.

The Jackrabbits are no pushover: they have two forwards who provide a good inside/outside tandem, a solid point guard running the show, and they are a very young team. They are also coming off a tough overtime loss on the road against Bakersfield, a game that they controlled for most of the time.

Currently, SDSU is ranked about 15 points ahead of the Spartans in the RPI ratings.

South Dakota State Waskaly Wabbit Starters:

SF Kai Williams (SO, 6-6, 207, 15.7 pts, 7.8 rebnds): Mr. Outside, but also plays effectively inside. Second year starter is moving into being a "draftable" player. He has good size and power, and he has exceptional range—he also has the green light whenever he has the ball.

He can create his own shot and shoots well off the dribble. Number one player to stop (IMO)…

PF Ben Beran (SR, 6-7, 240, 13.7, 3.4 rebnds) Mr. Inside, well, in that he rarely shoots past 15 feet. It seems that either he or K-Will has scored 20 plus points in each of the Jackrabbits games. One of the few seniors on the team—he is a solid leader and wants the ball when the shot clock is winding down. Not much beef or experience on the bench, so it would be a good thing to get him in foul trouble. Decent foul shooter…

SG Garrett Callahan (SO, 6-1, 180, 14.0 pts, 3.6 asts) Starter from almost day one as a freshman, solid guard who will have the ball in his hands most of the time. Deadly 3-point shooter—the one guy, besides K-Will, who you just have to shadow past the arc—he will stick a dagger in you. Good penetrater and has a knack for getting contact and drawing fouls. Probably the second player that you want to stop…

SG Clint Sargent (FR 6-4, 212, 8 pts, 3 asts, rebnds): this very versatile true freshman has started since making campus. Can do most anything he is asked—handle the ball, shoot the 3, and get key rebounds. Deceptively fast and he plays well without the ball—a fundamentally sound player.

PG Michael Palarca (FR, 5-10, 180, 3.4 pts, 2 assts): California kid (from Magic Mountain town) is similar to PSU's Dominguez—a very quick, shoot-first player. Looks for the 3, but can shoot well from most anywhere on the floor. Shooting better from 3-point land at 45 % (compared to 41 % from within the arc).

Off the bench:

F Anthony Cordova (FR 6-7, 245) another true freshman has played a lot of minutes this season. First power player off the bench for the Jackrabbits. Not afraid to shoot the 3, but makes his money in the paint.

G/F Michael Loney (SR, 6-6, 226): former starter can come in and play three positions, including point guard. Crafty and opportunistic player—won't pass up a good shot, but is an unselfish player and a decent ball handler.

C Mohamed Berte (SR, 6-8, 200) trying times for this former starter from the Ivory Coast—he is trying to put his life together after being accused of being an accessory to rape by a female volleyball player at SDSU back in 2006. He was dismissed from the team last season, but reenrolled and then walked on to the team this year. Skinny shot blocker, who is active around the basket.

C Mark Engen (SO, 6-10, 215) played more minutes last year as a true freshman, then this year—this thin post player can shoot well, but needs to get a little more LBs and tougher down on the blocks.

SG/SF Thomas Bassett: (SO, 6-5, 242) second year player, who like Engen, saw more time last year as a true freshman. Started a few games this year, but has seen a lot of pine the last nine games. Nice player, who may see some time against the taller Spartans.

SG Dale Moss (FR, 6-5, 240): true freshman might be one of the reasons Basset is sitting the bench. Can run the point and has a nice shooting touch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Mike Brotherton was the last Spartan to make the all freshman team in 1990/91, and Reggie Owens was the last Spartan to make freshman of the year in 1984/85.

The year prior, Stony Evans won the freshman of the year award.

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