UW-San Jose State men’s hoops Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Jimmy Durkin, who covers San Jose State men’s basketball for the San Jose Mercury News, on Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming.

The game starts at 4 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, and will be televised on Root Sports.

Follow on Twitter: @Jimmy_Durkin

The Spartans continue to struggle with no Mountain West wins and just two victories overall, but have there been any bright spots or reasons to feel optimistic about the program in the future?

Sadly, the biggest bright spots have been the timing of their injuries to point guard Jalen

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin

James and center Leon Bahner (a 6-foot-11 true freshman from Germany). James was injured in the eighth game and Bahner in practice after the ninth game, so both just barely fit under the guidelines to be eligible for medical redshirts. Assuming they are awarded them, that would be a small bright spot. James is obviously a key player being the point guard and Bahner, when healthy, provides size they sorely need. Bahner’s still pretty new to organized hoops, so getting a redshirt year in was always probably wise, they just didn’t have enough depth to do it.

But looking to next year, getting those guys back, along with really everybody except senior Jaleel Williams, should make them more competitive and definitely more experienced. They recruited pretty well, bringing in some more size and length and will add a former Pac-12 player when Utah transfer Princeton Onwas becomes eligible. Hopefully it’s enough to win a couple games.

Continue reading

UW-San Jose State men’s basketball Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Jimmy Durkin, who covers San Jose State men’s basketball for the San Jose Mercury News, about Saturday’s Mountain West game between the University of Wyoming and San Jose State. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. MT at The Event Center in San Jose.

Follow on Twitter: @Jimmy_Durkin

What is the latest on the suspensions of the four players for San Jose State, which includes the four leading scorers on the team? What did they do and will they be back for the Wyoming game?

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin

There hasn’t been much official word. Coach Dave Wojcik is sticking with calling the length “indefinite.” There are indications that Rashad Muhammad and Jaleel Williams could be back fairly soon (they’ve participated in practices recently), but there hasn’t been any definitive word and Wojcik plans to keep it hush until anybody actually does come back. I’ve heard Wednesday’s game (at Utah State) was likely the last for Andrew Vollert, one of the football players who joined the team after the suspensions. So maybe a couple of guys are back Saturday, but that won’t be known until near game time.

At 2-11 overall, has the season played out a lot like you thought with San Jose State to this point?

No, I wouldn’t say that. I didn’t expect a ton out of this team this year, but thought they’d begin to show some signs of improvement. The Spartans played well in their opener (it was against NAIA Bethesda), and played well for the first 30 minutes against Portland. At that point, I thought a 10 or so win season with a few Mountain West wins was possible. But things started falling apart on the court and then, of course, off the court and it’s looking like it’ll be a really long year.

Continue reading

UW-San Jose St. men’s hoops Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Jimmy Durkin, who covers San Jose State men’s basketball for the San Jose Mercury News about Saturday’s 3 p.m. game with the University of Wyoming at The Events Center in San Jose, Calif.

Follow on Twitter: @Jimmy_Durkin

As the only winless team in conference play and on a 12-game losing streak, how have the Spartans held up mentally and even physically during this time?

It’s starting to weigh on them, no doubt. Coach Dave Wojcik even said after the close loss to Air Force that the team is struggling mentally. The combination of their youth and the losses is adding up. The only hope now is that they are learning from the experience.

 

The Spartans have had some close games at home in MW play with New Mexico, Colorado State and Air Force. What do they do well when games like that are close?

They shoot. It’s really as simple as that. They don’t have much of an inside presence, other than Chris Cunningham. So any offense usually comes from outside shooting. The games in which they are hot, they have a chance.

Continue reading