MEN'S HOOPS RESUMES HOMESTAND TUESDAY NIGHT VS. BRISTOL

MEN'S HOOPS RESUMES HOMESTAND TUESDAY NIGHT VS. BRISTOL

Sacramento State Game Notes (25 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Sacramento State will play its fourth game of the 2014-15 season on Tuesday when the team welcomes Bristol to The Nest for a 7:05 p.m. tip.
• The Hornets will be playing for the first time since a 74-42 victory over Simpson last Wednesday.
• Sacramento State is 2-1 and riding a two-game winning streak, which includes a come from behind 70-69 victory at UC Riverside on Nov. 17.
• Bristol is a first-year program from Anaheim, and will bring a 1-4 record into Tuesday's contest. The Bears, who are a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), are coming off a 57-54 road win at Cal Lutheran on Saturday.
• The Hornets have never lost to a non-Div. I school during the Brian Katz era (11-0).
• Bristol is one of two teams on the schedule the Hornets have never faced before, with Abilene Christian being the other.
• A win on Tuesday would allow Sacramento State to start the season 3-1 for the third time in the last four years (2011-12 and 2012-13 teams also began the year 3-1).
• The game against Bristol is the middle contest of a season-high tying three-game homestand for the Hornets, which includes a game against Utah Valley on Dec. 1.
• Dating back to last season, Sacramento State has won 12 of its last 15 games at home.
• The last three wins at home have seen the Hornets outscore the opposition by 26.0 points per contest.
• Head coach Brian Katz has used the same starting lineup each of the last two games - Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity at guards, Cody Demps and Nick Hornsby at forwards, and Eric Stuteville at center.
• Sacramento State went 14-16 overall and 10-10 in the Big Sky Conference last year, and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 2006.
• The Hornets return all five starters from a year ago, and nine players overall. The list is headlined by senior guards and team co-captains Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, who combine to make up arguably the best back court in the Big Sky Conference.
• Each of the Hornets' five newcomers are freshmen.

TV/RADIO/VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS

• Like every home game this season, a free live video stream will be available in HD at www.WatchBigSky.com. Fans will need to create an account before watching for the first time. In addition, all road games played at a Big Sky Conference venue will be streamed free as well at www.WatchBigSky.com.
• Every game this year will be broadcast live on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer with 18th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Fans outside the Sacramento area can listen to all games via www.hornetsports.com.
Live stats will be provided for every game this season, either via www.hornetsports.com for home games, or provided by the opponent's website for games on the road.
• Links for all multimedia options can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

SIMPSON GAME RECAP

• Sacramento State went on a 22-2 run that increased an 11-7 lead all the way to 33-9 with 5:54 remaining in the first half.
• The Hornets, who outscored Simpson by a 45-17 margin in the first half, led by at least 14 points the final 31:11 of the contest.
• Sacramento State held commanding advantages in rebounds (39-20), points in the paint (40-14) and points off turnovers (19-5).
• After the Hornets took the 33-9 lead late in the first half, Sacramento State was up by at least 22 points the rest of the way. The 32-point margin of victory (74-42) was also the Hornets' largest lead of the evening.
• Junior Cody Demps had a game-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field while Zach Mills (11 points) and Dylan Garrity (10 points) also scored in double figures.
• Eight different Hornets had steals, 13 players had at least one rebound, and 10 players converted at least one field goal.
• Simpson is an NAIA squad that hails from Redding, Calif, and the Hornets are now 3-0 all-time against the Red Hawks.

IMPROVEMENT EVERY YEAR UNDER COACH KATZ

• Amazingly, Sacramento State has improved its conference record every year since head coach Brian Katz took over the program prior the 2008-09 season.
• After going 1-15 during Katz's first season in 2008-09, the Hornets went 3-13 in 2009-10, 4-12 in 2010-11, 5-11 in 2011-12, 8-12 in 2012-13, and 10-10 last year.
• The Hornets, who joined the Big Sky Conference in 1996-97, won their most Big Sky games (10) since joining the league, posted a school-record seven-game home winning streak against the Big Sky, and went a school-best 8-2 at home in Big Sky play last year.

GETTING IT DONE IN THE CLASSROOM

• The men's basketball program posted its highest grade point average in school history during the 2014 spring semester, finishing with a cumulative mark of 3.092.
• Of the 14 players on Sacramento State's roster last season, nine finished with a spring term GPA above a 3.0.
• The 3.092 gpa was the best mark among all nine men's sports at Sacramento State.
• For the entire 2013-14 academic year, the team finished with a 3.043 gpa after posting a 2.986 in the fall of 2013.
• Moreover, Coach Katz's players graduate at a high rate. Of the 18 players that have expired their eligibility under Katz, 16 have graduated.

THE HOME COURT ADVANTAGE

• Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Sacramento State is 22-7 at The Nest, including an 11-3 mark last year. The 11 victories were the most home wins in the Div. I era (1991-pres.), and most since 1988-89 squad also posted 11 wins.
• The Hornets outscored opponents by an average of 8.5 ppg last year at home.
• Last season, Sacramento State ripped off seven straight wins at home against Big Sky competition, easily the longest streak since joining the league n 1996-97.
• The Hornets are a combined 15-5 against Big Sky competition dating back to the 2012-13 season, including a program-record 8-2 mark against the league last year.
• Of the team's 29 regular season games this year, 14 will come at home.

ALL FIVE STARTERS BACK, NINE RETURNERS OVERALL

• Sacramento State returns all five starters from a year ago, and nine players overall.
• The list of returners includes eight of the team's nine leading scorers.
• The returning five starters include guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, forwards Cody Demps and Zach Mills, and center Alex Tiffin. All five started at least 24 games.
• Perhaps even more impressive is two of those starters from a year ago (Mills and Tiffin) are coming off the bench this season. True sophomores Nick Hornsby (forward) and Eric Stuteville (center) have started all three games this year.
• Four of the returning starters are seniors (Garrity, McKinney, Mills and Tiffin)
• Five of the nine returners have been in the program for over two years.

HORNETS PICKED HIGH IN PRESEASON RANKINGS

• Of the seven preseason polls released projecting the Big Sky, the Hornets were picked among the top four teams in all seven polls. That includes a first place prediction from Blue Ribbon, a second place prediction by ESPN and third place by The Sporting News.
• The Hornets were tabbed fourth in both the Big Sky coaches and media polls.

PROFICIENT FROM THE FIELD

• Since shooting just .357 from the floor in the season opener at 13th-ranked Gonzaga, Sacramento State has shot at least .547 from the field during each of the last two games.
• Over that two-game span (both victories), the Hornets have combined to shoot .549 (56-102) from the floor. That includes .547 at UC Riverside, and .551 vs. Simpson.
• The high percentage also translates to higher scoring games as the Hornets scored 70 points at UC Riverside, and 74 more against Simpson.
• The Hornets are shooting .481 overall from the field, the third best mark in the Big Sky.

THIEVERY

• Sacramento State has at least six steals in all three games, and the team's total of 7.7 steals per game currently ranks third in the Big Sky.

THE BEST BACK COURT IN THE BIG SKY?

• When talking about the Sacramento State men's basketball program, the conversation usually begins with senior guards and team co-captains Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, who combine to form arguably the best back court in the Big Sky Conference.
• Both players can play at point and shooting guard and Coach Katz will use them in both roles throughout the season. They are team co-captains for the second straight year, and both started all 30 games a year ago.
• Last year, McKinney became the first player in school history to be unanimously selected first team all-Big Sky, and then became the first player in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.) to be selected all-district when he was named second team all-District 6 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
• Garrity has been named honorable mention all-Big Sky all three years with the Hornets, and was the league's freshman of the year in 2012. He is the only Hornet to receive all-league recognition more than two times since the program joined the Big Sky in 1996-97.

GARRITY INCHING CLOSER TO 1,000 CAREER POINTS

• Senior guard Dylan Garrity is now just 20 points shy of becoming the 12th player in school history to record 1,000 career points, and first since John Dickson accomplished the feat during the 2012-13 season.
• Garrity has improved his scoring average every season of his career from 8.1 ppg as a freshman to 11.6 ppg as a sophomore, and 13.2 ppg last season.
• Garrity, who scored 395 points a season ago, need just 333 points to crack into the program's top five. Dickson is currently fifth with 1,313 career points.
• Only five players have reached 1,000 points during the program's Div. I era, comprised of Dickson, Loren Leath, Damond Edwards, Alex Bausley and Michael Boyd.

MORE ON McKINNEY

• Senior guard Mikh McKinney, who missed the first game of the season, is averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting .524 from the field and .875 from the free throw line.
• McKinney scored a game-high 22 points in the Hornets' 70-69 win at UC Riverside, including eight of the Hornets' final 10 points of the game. He scored buckets on three straight possessions late in the contest and had a huge steal with 34 seconds to play.
• After transferring from Ohlone JC prior to his sophomore season, McKinney averaged 12.3 ppg in '12-13 and 16.6 ppg last year. He is just 114 points shy of 1,000.

MILLS OFF TO A NICE START

• After being held to zero points in the season opener at Gonzaga, senior forward Zach Mills is averaging 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds over the last two games.
• During that two-game stretch, he is shooting 12-for-13 from the field, and is now .750 overall (12-for-16). That .750 field goal percentage is the third best mark in the Big Sky.
• Mills has grabbed at least five rebounds all three games thus far, and has scored in double figures and led the team in rebounding each of the last two games.

THE UNDERRATED DEMPS

• One of the more unsung players on the Hornets' roster is junior swingman Cody Demps, who can guard four positions and will usually be called upon to guard the opponent's best offensive player.
• Demps has started 33 straight games dating back to last year, and is currently averaging 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals on .556 shooting this year.
• Demps has played at least 30 minutes in all three games, and leads the team in both free throws made (10) and free throws attempted (12).

FEEDING THE BALL INSIDE TO STUTEVILLE

• Checking in at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, true sophomore center Eric Stuteville is tied for the team lead with 27 field goal attempts. He has started all three games thus far, and is averaging 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game.
• Stuteville played 28 minutes at Gonzaga, and 36 minutes at UC Riverside.
• After shooting .493 from the field last season, Stuteville is off to a slow start from the floor, shooting .370 (10-27) on his field goal attempts thus far.