By Kavin Mistry
San Jose State has started to open eyes this season amongst teams in the Mountain West Conference. SJSU was picked to finish dead last in the conference, but its non-conference success this season has the team in prime position to prove those critics wrong.
The Spartans head back to the court Sunday afternoon when Bowling Green University makes a trip to campus for SJSU’s second-to-last non-conference matchup of the season.
SJSU and Bowling Green have not faced each other since 1950. The previous matchup resulted in a 49-48, low-scoring affair between the two teams.
Both teams come into Sunday’s matchup on hot streaks, however, the Falcons streak has not translated on the road, where they have yet to win this season (0-4).
The counter attack of the Spartans using defense to create offense and creating timely baskets to pull away late in games are the main reasons SJSU finds itself over .500 nine game into the season.
The emergence of freshman Isaiah Nichols, who leads the team in assists has been the supporting cast to the breakout of the sophomore’s Brandon Clarke and Ryan Welage who have been the team’s top scorers.
This season has been about mixing in matching for head coach Dave Wojcik, who has used multiple lineups and uses what he said is the “feeling it out” mentality when it comes on who to use off the bench.
“I feel really good right now,” Wojcik said. “We are healthy, nobody is injured which is good and we have won four out of five which is good.”
The Spartans as a team hope their hot shooting will continue after a week off. Sophomore Cody Schwartz is coming off a season high 17-point effort and senior Gary Williams Jr. has raised his points per game to 6.1 after last Saturday.
SJSU has two more non-conference games before heading into the Mountain West portion of the season. The team will go into conference play having had seven of the first 11 games played a home, a point of emphasis by coach Wojcik coming into the season, saying it will be a big boost going forward.
Spartan fans have begun to take notice of the recent resurgence of the men’s basketball team, the Event Center has been filling up more than it had been in the past and the student section has had a steady attendance all season.
The Spartans will take on the Falcons from the Event Center tomorrow at 2 p.m.