San Jose State Travels To Irvine Friday Night

Inside Sparta basketball writer Kevin McCarthy previews the San Jose State men's basketball team's next opponent, UC-Irvine.

When we hear the name UC Irvine, we still think of Coach Bill Mulligan and the late Kevin Magee. Mulligan led the Anteater program from 1980 to 1991 and the 6-foot-8 Magee was his most prominent player. Both used to torment our Spartans at the Civic Auditorium.

But now UC Irvine is headed by Pat Douglass and San Jose State ventures to Orange County Friday night to meet the Big Westers.

In one of those strange coincidences, Douglass led Cal State Bakersfield -- San Jose State's last opponent -- to three Division II national titles back in the 90s. Another obscure fact: Douglass was a backcourt teammate of current Pacific coach Bob Thomason when both played for the Tigers way back when.

More current, Donald Bren is the chairman and sole shareholder of the Irvine Company, which donated the land where the college is located. Hey, if you think Anteaters is peculiar, it could have been the Brens.

In showing the appropriate respect for all the financial donations, UC Irvine does play basketball in the on-campus Bren Events Center.

We totally digress for a moment but, for your next trivia game, the Irvine Company is the model for The O.C.'s "The Newport Group," and also inspiration for the Bluth Company on the late and much lamented television series "Arrested Development."

The Irvine Season to Date

11/15/09 at Texas L, 89-42
11/18/09 at Loyola Marymount W, 84-7

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11/23/09 vs. UTSA Richmond, KY. L, 66-56
11/24/09 vs. Eastern Kentucky Richmond, KY. L, 67-57
11/25/09 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Richmond, KY. W, 75-54

12/02/09 vs. Hawai'i W, 80-70
12/12/09 vs. Vanguard W, 81-73
12/15/09 at Seattle University L, 82-81

The Anteater Starting Five

6-foot-9 Zach Atkinson - 9.0 ppg. and 4.6 rpg.

6-foot-8 Pavol Lavonsky - 7.4 ppg., and 4.4 rpg.

6-foot-5 Eric Wise - leads the team in rebounding at 5.4 rpg., is second in scoring at 12.9, his 39 assists leads the team, was a pre-season All Big West selection

6-foot-3 Darren Moore - 9.0 ppg. plus 33 free throw attempts (second on the team), a team-leading 16 steals

5-10 Michael Hunter - second leading scorer at 14.7 ppg. and tops in assists with 24, also tops in three-point attempts with 40, Hunter led the squad in steals last season but is second so far this season

The Calvary

6-foot-0 Patrick Rembert

6-foot-2 Mike Wilder

6-foot-4 Emil Kim

6-foot-8 Adam Folker

6-foot-2 Derrick Strings

The Irvine Roster (by position)

Zack Atkinson 6-9 220 Center SR

Peter Simek 6-9 245 Center JR (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Adam Folker 6-8 220 Forward SO (Markham, Ontario)
Pavol Losonsky 6-8 235 Forward JR (Pezinok, Slovakia)
Rashaad Ubah 6-6 210 Forward SO
Eric Wise 6-5 235 Forward SO (his father Francois, is a former Long Beach Stater who is the 49ers' career leader in rebounds)
Derick Flowers 6-0 175 Guard FR
Michael Hunter 5-10 160 Guard SR
Emil Kim 6-4 200 Guard JR
Jonas Lalehzadeh 6-5 203 Guard Darren Moore 6-3 185 Guard JR
Patrick Rembert 6-0 185 Guard JR
Brandon Scott 6-2 180 Guard FR (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Derrick Strings 6-2 180 Guard SO
Mike Wilder 6-2 205 Guard FR

What to Expect

* Even if SJSU doesn't get 'em in the O. C., Irvine will return the favor and be at Walt McPherson Court on December 28 for a 7 p.m. rematch.

* Irvine is a very good free throw shooting team at .768% and even the bigs are proficient at the foul line so limited fouling will be necessary for the Spartans to be victorious.

* Against Hawaii, the Anteaters frontcourt shot 12-22 with Atkinson and Losonsky combining for 25 points as Irvine as a team shot 23-39. The Rainbow Warriors put up 19 more shots but made just one more basket.

* Expect Douglass to hedge his perimeter defenders inside, daring SJSU -- other than Adrian Oliver -- to shoot from the perimeter.

KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Mike Chisholm calls the play-by-play. Air time is 6:30 p.m. for the UC Irvine game.




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Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at kevin@insidesparta.com

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