SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Fresh off a season in which the men's basketball program won its most games in seven years and tied the program record for most Big Sky Conference victories, Sacramento State Athletics Director Terry Wanless announced today that Brian Katz received a new five-year contract, lengthening his tenure as Hornet head men's basketball coach through the 2017-18 season.
Since Katz took over the men's basketball program prior to the 2008-09 season, the team has improved its conference record every year, defeated two Pac-12 Conference opponents on the road (Oregon State and Utah) over a three-year span, and has set or tied numerous school records.
"We've been pleased with the progress our men's basketball program has made under Coach Katz," Wanless said. "His first five years have shown increased success, and we want to give him and his staff every opportunity to build the program we envision at Sacramento State. Coach Katz has been extremely committed to Sacramento State, and we wanted to show how committed we are to him.
"We've also been very happy with the academic progress of the basketball program. Our Academic Progress Rate continues to climb, as well as the graduation rate and grade point averages of his student-athletes. The quality of young men he has brought to this campus has been very exciting."
Academically, of the 18 Hornets that have expired their eligibility under Katz, 14 have graduated, and two more are on pace to graduate in the fall of 2013.
"Obviously, as a coach, you feel really good about a five-year commitment from both the athletics administration and the University's administration," Katz said. "I don't think a lot of coaches in the country have that type of a commitment from their institution. The upcoming years are very exciting times for Sacramento State. Not only with men's basketball, but the entire athletics department and the University in general, and I definitely feel fortunate to be a part of that."
The Hornets, who return nine players from last season's team and welcome a recruiting class that includes a pair of first team all-state selections, begin the season on Friday, Nov. 1, with a home exhibition game against Menlo College.
LAST YEAR'S TEAM ACCOLADES
- Sacramento State's 14 victories were the most in seven years, and the second most during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.).
- The Hornets posted eight conference wins, tying for the most since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97.
- Sacramento State went 10-4 at home, the program's most wins inside the Nest in eight years, and tied for the most during the Div. I era.
- The team has now increased its conference win total four straight seasons, and every year under Coach Katz.
- Sacramento State's 14-15 overall record and 8-12 conference mark could have been much better if not for four one-point losses during league play.
- The team allowed opponents just 65.7 points per game, the best mark in over 40 years (the 1970-71 squad allowed 64.7 points per game).
- Sacramento State converted on 436 free throws, the most in seven years, and the team's .728 free throw percentage was the highest mark since the 1976-77 season and fourth highest in school history.
- The Hornets turned the ball over just 11.2 times per game, the 30th best mark in the nation, and the top mark in school history. That included turning the ball over a Div. I single-game record four times in the home win vs. Portland State.
- The Hornets never lost more than two games in a row, and were at or above the .500 mark all season until the final game of the year.
- Nineteen of the team's 29 games were decided by a single digit outcome, the most games decided by nine points or less since the 1983-84 squad also played 19 games decided by single digits.
- Sacramento State had more than one player receive all-league honors for the first time in seven years (senior forward John Dickson and sophomore point guard Dylan Garrity were both named honorable mention).
- The Hornets defeated Utah, 74-71, in Salt Lake City on Nov. 16, giving the program just its third-ever win against a Pacific-12 Conference opponent. The win was also the second over a Pac-12 for during the Katz era.
- Sacramento State had four players finish the season averaging double figures in points for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
- Sophomore point guard Dylan Garrity and senior forward John Dickson were both named honorable mention all-Big Sky Conference for the second time in their careers, becoming just the fourth and fifth players in program history to garner Big Sky all-league honors more than once.
- Garrity led the Big Sky in assists for the second straight year, and has already amassed 336 career assists, the fourth best mark in school history.
- Among the program's all-time leaders, Dickson finished his four-year career tied for first in school history in games played (115), third in blocked shots (100), fifth in points scored (1,313) and seventh in rebounding (508).
- Garrity and shooting guard Mikh McKinney, who are both sophomores, combined to form one of the better back courts in the Big Sky Conference. The pair combined to average 23.9 points, 7.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
- McKinney had 30 points in a home win over Portland State, the most points by a Hornet since Jan. 13, 2009.