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Oregon State Basketball: San Jose State Spartans Preview (Game 7)

The Beavers will clash with the Spartans in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.

NCAA Basketball: San Jose State at Arizona Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose State Spartans (3-3)

  • Head Coach: Jean Prioleau (3rd Season)
  • Top Performer: Seneca Knight (12.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • Points For: 69.8 PPG (253rd)
  • Points Against: 76.2 PPG (302nd)
  • Last Game/Streak: 91-76 Loss vs. Portland State (1L)
  • Conference Affiliation: Mountain West Conference

The Skinny

Sitting at 3-3, the best of San Jose State’s season may already be behind them.

Their opening day win over Hofstra should’ve had longer legs (as the Pride would go on to knock off UCLA), but the Spartans folded at the hands of Portland, were walloped by Arizona and split decisions with their other two Division I foes in Grambling State and Portland State. With just one game left before December begins, it could be a few more months of trouble on the horizon for a program coming off back-to-back four-win campaigns.

The good news for San Jose State is that this year’s edition of the squad is easily the most gifted group that head coach Jean Prioleau has had on campus.

Seneca Knight (12.7 PPG), an oversized guard whose featured below in our Player to Watch, is the head of the snake for the Spartans along with the comparably built Richard Washington (11.2 PPG). Together, these two are at the core of most of what goes well for San Jose State on the court.

NCAA Basketball: San Jose State at Air Force
Senior guard Brae Ivey is one of the best distributors on San Jose State’s roster.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

One-time Pepperdine transfer and Swedish forward Craig LeCesne (10.2 PPG) is coming into his own as a veteran mainstay in the line-up, while the 6’ 8” duo of forwards Ralph Agee (6.0 PPG) and Christian Anigwe (5.2 PPG) log solid minutes for the Spartans. While depth isn’t San Jose State’s strongest suit, it’s a decent cast that surrounds their two star guards, that includes role pieces in Zach Chappell (7.2 PPG), Brae Ivey (4.8 PPG) and Omari Moore (3.2 PPG).

The bad news is at the end of the day, the Spartans’ biggest issue is defense and right now, it’s a losing battle for the team. Prioleau’s boys currently rank 302nd in points allowed per game nationally and in their three defeats on the season, they’ve allowed an openhanded 83.4 points per contest to opponents. That simply just won’t get it done.

If Oregon State wants to keep the good times rolling, they need to exploit the Spartans defensive weaknesses and take care of a lesser opponent in the fashion that they should. Home game, road game, neutral site game. It all doesn’t matter. The Beavers want to be an NCAA Tournament team. They’ll need to prove it on Wednesday night in Sin City.

Player To Watch

San Jose State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Seneca Knight (Guard - Sophomore)

A 6’ 6” sophomore guard, Seneca Knight has taken a massive leap from last season and developed into one of the more intriguing talents in the Mountain West. Sure, the Spartans will probably linger around the bottom of the league, but that doesn’t lessen the impact that Knight can have on games. Don’t be stunned if San Jose State surprises some opponents because of a strong performance from Knight.

Game Info

  • Date: Wednesday, November 27th
  • Time: 8:00 PM PT
  • Location: Orleans Arena (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Coverage: Fox Sports 1