San Jose State Spartans (6-16, 0-10 MWC) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (10-13, 3-7 MWC)
WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 4:00 PST
WHERE: Save Mart Center, Fresno, CA
TV: The game can be seen online as part of the Campus Insiders/Mountain West Network.
RADIO: The Fresno broadcast can be heard on the local ESPN affiliate, 940 AM, while the SJSU feed can be found in and around San Jose on both 1590 AM or 90.5 FM.
LAST MEETING: The two teams have not met since they were both members of the WAC in the 2011-12 season, but the Spartans outlasted the Bulldogs 79-71 in double overtime on February 9, 2012
San Jose State's introduction to Mountain West basketball has not gone as smoothly as it did on the gridiron. The Spartans currently reside in the conference's basement, mostly owning to an offensive attack that is at or near the bottom of every statistic that matters. When one considers that was what was expected, however, it is hard to be disappointed.
That cannot be said of the Fresno State Bulldogs, who expected to improve but do not necessarily have the results to mollify a disinterested fanbase. There are signs of life -- two straight overtime losses have given way to two straight wins -- but the team is not in a position to overlook anyone. SJSU may occupy the basement at the moment, but rivalry could make this a close matchup.
What to Watch - Fresno State: Senior guard Tyler Johnson has been on a scoring spree since the calendar flipped to 2014, averaging 16.7 points in the last ten games, but the team has also been more successful lately by winning the battle on the boards. They've been outrebounded just once in the past six games, and Johnson has been very active in this area, as well. The size advantage may not be great, but it should be enough of a factor to push things in Fresno's favor.
What to Watch - San Jose State: The season has not a total loss for the Spartans because of the emergence of freshman Rashad Muhammad, who leads the team in scoring by a comfortable margin. He is the first man off the bench, so finding opportunities to get him involved will likely be a focus for SJSU.
If the Spartans fall behind early, don't be surprised if they try to make up the difference from beyond the arc. They have attempted more three point shots than any team in the Mountain West even though they have not always been terribly efficient in that regard, ranking just seventh in conference play for three-point percentage.