Text-Only Site

MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SEATTLE FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCHUP

MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SEATTLE FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCHUP

Sacramento State Game Notes - 27 pages (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• On Sunday at 7:05 p.m., Sacramento State (5-4) will play the first of two remaining non-conference games when the Hornets take on Seattle (5-6) at KeyArena.
• Sunday's game will mark the first time the Hornets have played in seven days as Sacramento State's last contest came in a heartbreaking 80-75 loss to Portland inside the Nest on Dec. 14.
• The Hornets are 1-3 on the road this year, with the lone victory coming by a point (70-69) at UC Riverside on Nov. 17.
• In a series which dates back to the 1968-69 season, the Hornets and Redhawks have played just three times with Seattle owning a 2-1 record.
• Two of those meetings were a home-and-home series during the 2009-10 season in which the Hornets won at home (80-69) and Seattle won at home (98-67). Both box scores are on pgs. 10-11 of the notes.
• The only other meeting took place in the season opener of the 1968-69 campaign in which the Redhawks won in Seattle by a 92-82 score.
• Seattle, which lost at Minnesota on Friday night, 92-57, will already be playing its eighth home game this year (3-4 on the home floor).
• Seattle ranks among the top 50 schools in the nation in both 3-pointers made per game (42nd) and 3-point percentage (44th).
• The bulk of those 3-pointers have come from senior guard Isiah Umipig, who is first in the nation with an average of 4.1 made 3-pointers per game.
• The Hornets are second in the Big Sky, limiting opponents to .309 from the 3-point line.
• Sacramento State has dropped three of its past four games after beginning the season with a 4-1 record.
• Over the last two weeks, Sacramento State has seen two players join the 1,000-point club in Dylan Garrity (1,057) and Mikh McKinney (1,003). The pair become the 12th and 13th players, respectively, in school history to tally 1,000 career points.
• Sacramento State returns all five starters from a season ago, and eight of the top nine scorers. The list is headlined by senior captains and guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney.

TV/RADIO/VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS

• Seattle is offering a free live video stream through www.wacsports.com/watch. Fans can access that link by clicking here. All home games are streamed live and free in HD at WatchBigSky.com.
• Sunday's game will be broadcast live on KTKZ 1380 AM 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 or on the iHeart Radio application for mobile devices.
• Live stats of the game 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. Live stats for Sunday's game can be found by clicking here.
• 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 HORNETS' LAST GAME

• Despite Mikh McKinney's 32 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and seven steals, Sacramento State fell in a thriller at home to Portland, 80-75.
• With the Hornets trailing, 76-75 with 18 seconds left, Nick Hornsby forced a turnover on Portland's possession near half court, and McKinney grabbed the ball and raced up the floor on a 3-on-2 break. However, McKinney's bounce pass slipped out of Dreon Barlett's hands for a Hornet turnover. Had Barlett caught the ball cleanly, he would have had a nice look at a fast break layup.
• Portland made four free throw over the final nine seconds to win.
• Sacramento State, which turned the ball over on three of its final four possessions, had two opportunities to take the lead and one opportunity to tie during the final minute.
• Portland scored the game's first seven points and held a lead for all but 15 seconds.
• Both teams shot well from the field as Portland connected on .529 of its field goal attempts while Sacramento State was at .500

STARTING LINEUP CONSISTENCY

• Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz has used the same starting lineup in eight straight games, consisting of Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney at guard, Cody Demps at swingman, Nick Hornsby at forward and Eric Stuteville at center.
• That starting lineup has gone 5-3 thus far.
• That fivesome has been together for nearly 95 minutes of floor time this year, and has combined to outscore the opposition by 25 points during that time.

EIGHT-MAN ROTATION

• In each of the last two games, and three times in the last five games, head coach Brian Katz has used eight players.
• The starting five, along with guard Dreon Barlett, and forwards Zach Mills and Alex Tiffin, have accounted for 93 percent of the team's minutes this season.
• Each of those eight players make up the team's top eight scorers, and each of them is averaging at least 4.1 points per game.

PROFICIENT FROM THE FIELD

• Sacramento State is shooting .483 from the field, which is the third best mark in the Big Sky and 37th best in the nation.
• The Hornets have already shot at least .500 on five occasions and are 4-1 when connecting at .500 or higher.
• Four of the Hornets' top eight scorers are shooting better than .535, comprised of Dreon Barlett (.600), Mikh McKinney (.560), Alex Tiffin (.543), and Nick Hornsby (.538).

DEFENDING THE 3-POINT LINE

• The Hornets did a nice job of defending the 3-point line last season, limiting the opposition to just .344 from distance. Sacramento State is at it again, limiting opponents to just .309 this season, the second best mark among the 12 Big Sky teams.
• In six of the team's nine games, the opposition has shot .333 or below from deep.

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.

SUCCESS 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.

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.

CONNECTING ON FREEBIES

• Over the last three games, Sacramento State is hitting its free throws at a proficient rate of 85.7 percent (48-for-56). The Hornets shot .813 (13-16) at UC Irvine, .947 (18-19) vs. Cal State Fullerton and .810 (17-21) against Portland.
• Prior to the three-game spurt, the Hornets were shooting just .672 from the line.
• Overall, the team is now shooting .733 from the free throw line which is the 44th best mark in the nation.
• A number of Hornets currently have consecutive made free threw streaks, comprised of Mikh McKinney (15 straight), Alex Tiffin (13 straight) and Cody Demps (10 straight). Dylan Garrity has converted on 13 of his last 14 attempts.

THIEVERY

• Due in large part to the swiping skills of guard Mikh McKinney, Sacramento State has crept up to the top spot in the Big Sky Conference with 8.1 steals per game.
• That mark is also the 77th best average in the nation.
• Sacramento State has tallied double figures in steals in three of the last four games after recording at least 10 steals just two times in 30 games last year.
• McKinney has combined for 20 steals in the last four games, and is now tied for third in the nation with 3.5 steals per contest. He already has 28 steals (fourth in the nation), and the next closest Hornet (Dylan Garrity) has 11 steals.

TWO 1,000 POINT SCORERS IN A TWO-WEEK SPAN

• Early in the Abilene Christian game, senior guard Dylan Garrity became the 12th player in school history to score 1,000 career points, and is just seven points shy of moving into 11th place in the Hornet record book (Michael Boyd is 11th with 1,064 points).
• Exactly 10 days later, senior guard Mikh McKinney became the 13th player to score 1,000 points with his layup at the 4:58 mark of the second half against Portland.
• Together, they became just the sixth and seventh players to reach 1,000 points during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.), joining John Dickson, Loren Leath, Damond Edwards, Alex Bausley and Boyd.

GARRITY FROM LONG RANGE

• Senior Dylan Garrity's 163 career 3-pointers made are now the fifth best mark in school history, and his .423 3-point percentage ranks as the third best mark.
• He has buried at least two 3-pointers in every game this season, and currently has averages of 12.3 points, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Fifty-one of his 82 field goal attempts have come from beyond the 3-point arc.
• Garrity, who has raised his scoring average every year of his career, is now just eight points shy of overtaking Michael Boyd (1,064 points) for 11th place in Hornet history.
• If the season ended today, this would mark the third straight year Garrity has connected on better than 40 percent of his attempts from long distance.  

McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK

• Senior Mikh McKinney is the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week after finishing last week with averages of 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 6.5 steals in two games while shooting .600 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free throw line.
• Has a well-rounded season stat line of 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.5 steals while shooting .560 (56-100) from the field and .844 (27-32) from the line.
• He ranks among the Big Sky's top seven players in seven categories, including first in minutes (35.1) and steals, second in assist/turnover ratio (+2.5), third in scoring and assists, fifth in free throw perc. and seventh in field goal perc.
• Has scored at least 12 points in six straight games, and in seven of the eight games he's appeared. Has scored in double figures in 52 career games.
• His average of 3.5 steals is tied for the third best mark in the nation, and he has combined for 13 steals in the last two games, and 20 steals in the last four games.
• Has started all 67 games in which he has played in a Sacramento State uniform.

THE UNDERRATED DEMPS

• Junior swingman Cody Demps can guard four positions, and can also play four positions on the floor offensively. Often times, he guards the opponent's top scorer.
• Demps has started 39 straight games dating back to last year, and is currently averaging 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
• Has converted on 10 straight free throw attempts, and his .871 free throw percentage  is third in the Big Sky. Demps entered the season with a career free throw perc. of .651.
• His plus/minus ratio of +40 this season is the second best mark on the team.

NOTABLES

• After combining for 15 points the previous four games, sophomore center Eric Stuteville had a season-best 14 points on 4-of-5 FG and 6-of-8 FT against Portland.
• Sophomore Nick Hornsby, who is shooting .538 from the field and .500 from the 3-point line, is averaging one foul every 7.5 minutes, the highest ratio among regulars.
• Alex Tiffin is shooting .655 (19-29) from the field over the last eight-plus games.