MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UTAH VALLEY ON MONDAY; GARRITY NEARS MILESTONE

MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UTAH VALLEY ON MONDAY; GARRITY NEARS MILESTONE

Sacramento State Game Notes (26 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Sacramento State will play the final game of its season-high tying three-game homestand on Monday evening against Utah Valley. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.
• After beginning the season with a loss at 13th-ranked Gonzaga, the Hornets have won three straight games, including Tuesday's 97-63 victory over Bristol.
• With a win on Monday, the Hornets would improve to 4-1, and match their best start during the Div. I era (1991-pres.). The 1999-00 and 2012-13 teams also began the year by winning four of their first five games.
• Senior guard and team co-captain Dylan Garrity is just nine points shy of becoming the 12th player in program history to score 1,000 career points.
• Utah Valley, which is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, will bring a 3-2 record into Monday's game after a road win over Idaho State (60-57) on Wednesday, and a road loss (64-43) to UC Davis on Saturday.
• The Hornets are 1-3 all-time against Utah Valley, and all four meetings have taken place over the last 10 years.
• Sacramento State is 1-1 at home against Utah Valley, including a 71-69 win during the 2004-05 season which was the first meeting between the two programs.
• Utah Valley has won the last three meetings in the series, including victories in 2005-06 (Orem), 2008-09 (Sacramento) and 2010-11 (Orem). The last game between the two teams saw Utah Valley win, 77-52, on Dec. 4, 2010 in Orem (box score on pg. 10).
• Utah Valley won the Western Athletic Conference regular season title last year and lost at Cal, 77-64, in the first round of the NIT.
• Dating back to last season, Sacramento State has won 13 of its last 16 games at home.
• The last four wins at home have seen the Hornets outscore the opposition by 28.0 points per contest.
• Head coach Brian Katz has used the same starting lineup each of the last three games - Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity at guards, Cody Demps and Nick Hornsby at forwards, and Eric Stuteville at center.
• The Hornets return all five starters from a season ago, and eight of the top nine scorers. 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 true 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, via www.hornetsports.com for all 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.

A LOOK AT THE LATEST GAME

• Sacramento State defeated Bristol, 97-63, at home Monday night.
• Bristol hails from Anaheim and is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
• Sacramento State shot a blistering .623 (38-61) from the field, the team's best single-game field goal percentage in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.). That percentage bested the previous mark of .622, set on Feb. 9, 2012, against Montana State.
• The Hornets outscored the Bears, 54-10, inside the paint, while also holding sizeable advantages in second chance points (15-4) and fast break points (12-2).
• Sacramento State ripped off a 31-5 run, capped by a free throw from Nick Hornsby, to take its largest lead of the evening at 81-41 with 7:08 remaining.
• Five Hornets scored in double figures, led by Mikh McKinney's game-high 22 points. Cody Demps added 10 pts and 10 reb, and Zach Mills had a career-high 10 rebounds.

SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT

• Sacramento State has shot at least .547 from the field in three straight games (all wins), and is now second in the Big Sky with a .521 season field goal percentage.
• That includes Tuesday's win over Bristol in which the Hornets shot .623 (38-61) from the field, the best single-game mark in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.).
• Five of the Hornets' top seven scorers are shooting at least .500 from the field, including Mikh McKinney (17.7 ppg, .645), Cody Demps (10.3 ppg, .520), Zach Mills (8.3 ppg, .682), Alex Tiffin (5.3 ppg, .500) and Dreon Barlett (5.0 ppg, .700).

PRODUCTION OFF THE BENCH

• Sacramento State has received at least 20 points of production from its bench in every game this year, and is averaging 28.0 points per game in bench points.
• The Hornets are outscoring the opponent in bench points, 28-19, per game.

IMPROVEMENT EVERY YEAR UNDER COACH KATZ

• 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.

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.
• Moreover, Coach Katz's players graduate at a high rate. Of the 18 players that have expired their eligibility under Katz, 16 have graduated.

GETTING LOOKS INSIDE THE PAINT

• One big reason for the Hornets' high field goal percentage is the team has consistently got good looks at the rim, as evidence by 144 points in the paint, or 36.0 per game.
• Sacramento State is outscoring its opposition by a robust 13 points per game inside the paint (36-23), including a combined 94 points in the paint over the last two games.

THE HOME COURT ADVANTAGE

• Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Sacramento State is 23-7 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.
• This year, the Hornets are outscoring opposition at home by an average of 33.0 ppg.
• 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 at home dating back to the 2012-13 season, including a program-record 8-2 mark against the league last year.

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.

THIEVERY

• Sacramento State has at least six steals in all four games this season, and the team's total of 7.8 steals per game currently ranks tied for third in the Big Sky.
• By contrast, the Hornets averaged just 5.3 steals per game last year.

GRABBING BOARDS

• Sacramento State is outrebounding its opponents this year by an average of 5.0 rebounds per game, the second best mark in the Big Sky.
• The Hornets have gone three straight games without being outrebounded.
• All of this despite no Hornet averaging more than 6.5 rebounds per game.

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.
• 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.
• 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 NINE POINTS SHY OF 1,000

• Senior guard Dylan Garrity is now just nine 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, needs just 322 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 17.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting .645 from the field, .556 from the 3-point line and .889 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 tacked on 22 more points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field on Tuesday night against Bristol.
• 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 92 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 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last three games.
• During that three-game stretch, he is shooting .789 (15-19) from the field. Overall, he is shooting .682 from the floor this year, the second best mark in the Big Sky.
• Mills has grabbed at least five rebounds in all four games (including a career-high 10 vs. Bristol), and has led or tied for the team lead in rebounds each of the last three 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 34 straight games dating back to last year, and is currently averaging 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals on .520 shooting this year.
• Demps leads the team in both free throws made (14) and free throws attempted (17).
• The Hornets are outscoring opponents by 42 points when Demps is on the floor, and that +42 plus/minus rating is the second best mark on the team.

NOTABLES

Sacramento State sits fourth in the Big Sky in 3-point field goal percentage (.407)…the top four Hornets in plus/minus this year are Mikh McKinney (+48), Cody Demps (+42), Nick Hornsby (+27) and Dylan Garrity (+18)…the plus/minus stat is used to determine how a team does when a certain player is on the floor…guard Dreon Barlett is 3-for-5 from distance this year and is now shooting .431 (25-58) for his career from the 3-point line…all 14 Hornets on the roster, including all five true freshmen, have scored points this year…Hornsby, who has started all four games, has just 11 field goal attempts thus far.