Hoops Preview - SJSU vs UC Irvine Redux

The 6-5 San Jose State men's basketball team plays their final game before the start of conference games when the face the Anteaters of UC-Irvine for the second time this season with a 7:00 pm tipoff on Monday, December 28th at Walt McPherson Court on the San Jose State campus.

We have no evidence to confirm our proclamation but we'll still offer that nobody has ever used "madder than a pack of angry Anteaters" to describe any perturbed group.

So maybe new ground will be broken Monday night when UC Irvine takes to the floor at Walt McPherson Court in a rematch with San Jose State.


Consider this after-the-game comment from Irvine's top talent, Eric Wise: "We gave the game away...just a lack of execution, turnovers and no rebounding. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves."

On December 18, UCI held a lead for the initial 28 minutes of the game but 12 second half turnovers, 31% team shooting and a 16-4 San Jose State scoring run led to a 69-56 Bren Center loss to the Spartans.

On that night, Adrian Oliver 31 points plus Justin Graham's 16 did the job, along with 50% shooting from the floor as a team. SJSU held the Anteaters to 37% overall shooting for the game.

We won't go so far as to call it a grudge match but, other than an expected big defeat at Texas, the 13-point loss to San Jose State is the worst for Irvine thus far. So there probably is a sticking-in-the-craw feeling motivating the Anteaters.

Yet on the other hand, their typical diet is ants and termites -- not Spartans.

It's the last game before both teams begin their respective conference schedules.

The Irvine Season to Date

11/15/09 at Texas L, 89-42
11/18/09 at Loyola Marymount W, 84-78

O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic
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
12/18/09 vs. San Jose State L, 69-56
12/21/09 vs. Pepperdine W, 74-61

The Anteater Starting Five

6-foot-9 Zach Atkinson - 9.2 ppg. and 4.8 rpg., shooting 58% on the season -- scored 12 points with three blocked shots last time against SJSU, was effective in the first half.

6-foot-8 Pavol Lavonsky - 6.9 ppg., and 4.2 rpg.

6-foot-5 Eric Wise - leads the team in rebounding at 5.5 rpg., is second in scoring at 13.0, his 37 assists leads the team, was a pre-season All Big West selection -- scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and passed for four assists earlier against SJSU.

6-foot-3 Darren Moore - 9.3 ppg., 3.2 rpg., his 37 free throw attempts are second on the team, has a team-leading 18 steals, shooting 43% from long range.

5-10 Michael Hunter - the leading scorer at 14.6 ppg. and second in assists with 30, tops in three-point attempts with 74, Hunter led the squad in steals last season but is second so far in 2009-2010 -- scored 13 points against SJSU earlier, with three treys.

The Calvary

6-foot-9 Peter Simek (has grabbed seven boards in each of the last two games, including the previous UCI-SJSU contest).

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

* Besides 37% overall shooting in the loss to SJSU, Irvine shot but eight free throws and went 5-25 from long distance for the game.

* Expect Coach Pat Douglass to hedge his perimeter defenders inside, daring SJSU -- other than Adrian Oliver -- to shoot from the perimeter -- Pac Peterson and Robert Owens will need to demonstrate their longrange shooting prowess.

* Adrian Oliver is coming off a double-double of 23/12 against Santa Clara, 26 versus Northern Colorado, the aforementioned 31 earlier against UC Irvine and 30 matching up with Cal State Bakersfield, so he's back in form.

If the internet radio gods and goddesses permit and the planets are in alignment, KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) will originate the San Jose State University basketball broadcast, with Mike Chisholm calling the play-by-play. Air time is 6:30 p.m. for the UC Irvine game. As a backup, try kuci.org

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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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