By Ryan Vermont:
Three straight starts for guard Terrell Brown. Three straight conference wins for San Jose State – a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the 2011 season.
Since being inserted to the starting five against the University of Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan.28, Brown has displayed the ability to create his own shot or to find a lane to the basket, opening up space for other Spartans on the court. The walk-on freshman has displayed the confidence needed to make the right decisions and plays with a bit of swagger in his game, which is beginning to rub off on the rest of the team.
“I just try to give everything I can to the team and just play hard all the time,” Brown said. “That’s what coach expects from me so I just play hard.”
With the developing 1-2 punch of Clarke and Brown, along with a handful of others who have had steady contributions like forwards Ryan Welage Brandon Mitchell and Jaycee Hillsman, some depth is emerging for SJSU.
“I’m really proud of our guys, they are really playing with a lot of confidence,” said head coach Dave Wojcik. “As I said from day one, they have terrific chemistry and that’s showing.”
Today, the Spartans (12-10, 5-6 MW) will try to even up their conference record and push their win streak to four on the road against the same UNLV (10-15, 3-9 MW) team they beat 76-72 two weeks to the day in The Event Center.
In that game, SJSU hit several big shots in the second half, coming back from 13 points-down to snap a three game losing streak.
Since then, the Runnin’ Rebels have lost three in a row, pushing their losing streak to five.
Nevertheless, the Spartans will have their hands full with the duo of Jovan Mooring and Tyrell Green.
Mooring scored 17 against SJSU earlier this year and is coming off a 20-point performance against Nevada his last time out. Green only scored 6 points against the Spartans but has led the Runnin’ Rebels in scoring in two of the team’s last three games.
UNLV also has a sturdy post presence in forward Christian Jones.
The Spartans couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to extend their win streak playing the Mountain West’s lowest ranked team.
If they do so, it would be the first time an SJSU men’s team has won four straight league games in over 20 years.
Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. inside the Thomas & Mack Center.