Sacramento State Game Notes (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings
• Sacramento State (5-2) will play the first of just two home games during the entire month of December on Monday night against Incarnate Word (3-2). Tip-off is 7:05 p.m.
• The Hornets will look to bounce back from a 66-61 road loss at rival UC Davis in which the team had two chances to win the game late, but could not capitalize.
• After Monday's game, the Hornets will play five of their next six on the road with the lone exception a home game on Dec. 28 vs. Pacific Union.
• Sacramento State's 5-2 record ties the second best start after seven games in program history (1948-pres.). The 1985-86 squad began the year 6-1.
• With a win, the Hornets would tie for their most wins (6) prior to the start of the conference schedule since the 2005-06 team accumulated nine (last year's team also had six).
• The Hornets are 3-1 at home this year, and have won 24 of the last 28 games inside the friendly confines of the Nest.
• The Hornets had scored at least 79 points in three straight games until registering a season-low 61 points on Wednesday UC Davis.
• The Hornets have used the same starting five in each game thus far: Demps - g, Graves - g, Barlett - g, Hornsby - f, E. Stuteville - c.
• Sacramento State and Incarnate Word will be playing each other for the first time ever.
• Incarnate Word, which hails from San Antonio, is currently in its third year as a Div. I institution. The Cardinals are members of the Southland Conference.
• Incarnate Word went 18-11 last season, and qualified for the CIT postseason tournament along with Sacramento State.
• The Cardinals, who were a Div. II school until the 2013-14 academic year, have posted nine straight winning seasons under head coach Ken Burmeister.
• Incarnate Word is currently 3-2, including 3-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. Both of the road losses came to high major programs Purdue (96-61) and Oklahoma (96-63).
• Sacramento State has just four non-conference games remaining on the schedule until opening Big Sky Conference play on Jan. 2 at Portland State.
• The Hornets are averaging 79.0 points per game, and among the nation's leaders, rank 22nd in assists per game (18.3 apg) and 30th in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.52).
RADIO/VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS
• Free HD video streams will be provided for every home game this season via www.WatchBigSky.com. In addition, all road games played in a Big Sky venue will be streamed free on www.WatchBigSky.com.
• Like every game this year, Monday's game will be broadcast live on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer with 19th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Fans outside the Sacramento area can listen to every game via www.hornetsports.com.
HORNETS' LAST GAME
• Despite posting season lows in points (61), field goal percentage (.377), 3-point field goal percentage (.280) and free throw percentage (.500), the Hornets had two chances to take the lead in the final 20 seconds, but fell at UC Davis, 66-61, on Wednesday.
• The Hornets had chances to win despite an uncharacteristic poor shooting night and an abundance of whistles going against Sacramento State. In fact, the Hornets were whistled for a season-high 25 fouls, 10 more than the Aggies.
• Three Hornets fouled out of the game in Cody Demps, Justin Strings and Eric Stuteville.
• Still, the Hornets were able to claw their way back from a season-high 13-point deficit (46-33) with 11:59 to play. Sacramento State went on a 28-15 run spanning nearly 11 minutes of game clock to tie the game at 61-61 with 1:12 remaining.
• Fueling the run were three underclassmen in sophomores Marcus Graves and Strings and true freshman Jeff Wu. Each player scored eight points during the run.
• An offensive rebound from Neal Monson and subsequent free throw gave the Aggies a 62-61 lead with 49 seconds left. UC Davis grabbed another offensive board on Monson's miss of the second free throw and retook possession. However, a sprawling Wu came up with a steal and batted the ball to Graves who raced up the floor for what looked like a good opportunity for the Hornets to take the lead. Graves' contested layup missed, and Nick Hornsby's off-balance putback also missed.
• Dreon Barlett had a good look at a 3-pointer to tie the game with seven seconds left, but his shot missed and UC Davis rebounded and added two more free throws.
OFFENSE AVERAGING NEARLY 80 POINTS PER GAME
• Despite putting up a season-low 61 points at UC Davis, Sacramento State's offense is still averaging 79.0 points per game, the fourth best mark in the 12-team Big Sky Conference.
• The Hornets have scored at least 77 points in all but two games, including the 66-63 win at Arizona State, and 66-61 road loss at UC Davis.
• During the Div. I era (1991-pres.), the Hornets have never averaged more than 75.8 points per game in any season, and haven't averaged more than 71.0 points since 2006-07.
• All five starters are averaging better than seven points per game, including Marcus Graves (14.7 ppg), Cody Demps (14.1 ppg) and Justin Strings (12.4 ppg).
HORNETS WIN DESPITE THREE LARGE 2ND HALF DEFICITS
• Of Sacramento State's five wins this season, three have come despite the Hornets trailing by eight points or more in the second half.
• That includes a 10-point deficit at Arizona State (11:37 to play), nine points at Seattle (15:16 to play), and eight points vs. UC Davis (16:41 to play).
BEING SMART WITH THE BALL
• Sacramento State is currently first in the Big Sky in assists (18.3 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.5), as well as second in turnover margin (+2.29).
• The Hornets are now 22nd in the nation in assists per game and have 128 assists on 201 made buckets (assists on 64 percent of converted field goals).
• Amazingly, the Hornets' back court of Cody Demps (5.9 apg) and Marcus Graves (5.4 apg) are first and second, respectively, in the Big Sky in assists per game.
• Sacramento State has committed 10 turnovers or less in four games this season, and both Graves (1st; +2.4) and Demps (4th; +2.3) rank among the Big Sky's top four in A/TO ratio.
CONTINUITY IN THE STARTING LINEUP
• Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz has used the same starting lineup in all seven games, consisting of guards Cody Demps, Marcus Graves and Dreon Barlett, forward Nick Hornsby and center Eric Stuteville.
• Three of those players have long starting streaks. Demps has started 70 straight games dating back to his sophomore season, Stuteville has started 38 of the last 40 games, and Hornsby has started 36 of the last 39 games.
PRODUCTION FROM THE BENCH
• Sacramento State has gotten nice production from the bench this season, as reserves are averaging 25.6 points per game.
• Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz has primarily used a rotation of 10 players, the most depth for the program in recent memory.
• Leading the way has been sixth-man Justin Strings who is third on the team averaging 12.4 points on .647 shooting (33-51) from the field.
• Sacramento State has received at least 28 points from its bench in four of the seven games thus far, including 35 points at Seattle, 30 at UC Davis and 28 vs. South Dakota.
• Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Sacramento State is 37-10 (.787 winning percentage) at the Nest. That includes wins in 24 of their last 28 home games.
• Sacramento State went 13-2 at home last season, including a nine-game home winning streak. They were the lone team in the Big Sky to go undefeated at home in league play (9-0).
• Dating back to last year, seven of the last 10 home games (excluding exhibition) have sold out, with the lone exceptions coming against Holy Names, South Dakota and Pacific.
COMING OFF A RECORD-BREAKING SEASON
• Sacramento State finished the 2014-15 season with a 21-12 overall record and a 13-5 mark in the Big Sky Conference. Prior to last season, the Hornets had never finished with an overall record above .500 since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991-92.
• The 21 victories were tied for the second most in program history (1948-pres.), and the 13 conference wins were the most in school history (regardless of conference).
• The Hornets advanced to the postseason for the first time in the Div. I era, and won at Portland in the first round of the CIT, the program's first postseason win in 53 years.
IMPROVEMENT EVERY YEAR UNDER COACH KATZ
• Sacramento State has improved its conference record every year since head coach Brian Katz took over the program in 2008-09, including last year's 13-5 mark.
• Last year, Coach Katz was named as CollegeInsider.com's National Mid-Major Coach of the Year, District 6 Coach of the Year and Big Sky Conference co-Coach of the Year.
• A graduate of Sacramento State, Coach Katz recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at the helm of the program through at least the 2019-20 season.
STRINGS SHOOTING LIGHTS OUT
• Sophomore forward Justin Strings did not play much last year, but has taken full advantage of his increased playing time this season.
• Currently the team's sixth man, Strings is third on the team with 12.4 points per game while also pulling 4.7 boards per contest.
• He is shooting a very proficient .647 (33-of-51) from the field and .478 (11-of-23) from the 3-point line, marks that rank third and sixth, respectively, in the Big Sky. He did not even attempt a 3-pointers in 25 games last season.
• Strings creates matchup problems as the 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward can score underneath and on the perimeter. He has scored at least 13 points in all but two games, including a season-high 17 points vs. South Dakota, and 16 at UC Davis.
FROM AVERAGING 1.2 PPG TO THE TEAM'S LEADING SCORER
• Like Justin Strings, sophomore Marcus Graves is making the most of increased playing time this year. Graves has already received National Mid-Major Player of the Week and Big Sky Player of the Week honors this season.
• He is averaging 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.4 steals and has a +2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio in a team-high 34.6 minutes per game. This comes after Graves averaged just 1.2 points, 0.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 5.3 minutes in 13 games last year as a freshman.
• Graves, who has scored 13 points or better in all but two games, had eight steals in the win over Pacific, tying for the second-best single-game mark in school history.
• Graves played behind longtime starters Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity last year.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE SECOND HALF
• Sacramento State is outscoring the opposition by an average of 6.1 points in the second half this season. The Hornets are outscoring teams by just 2.0 points in the first half.
• The Hornets have outscored their opponents in the second half in all but two games.
• Sacramento State is 2-0 when leading with 10 minutes to play, and 3-0 when leading with five minutes to play. Perhaps even more impressive, the Hornets are 2-1 when trailing with 10 minutes left, and 2-2 when trailing with five minutes remaining.
DEMPS STUFFING THE STAT SHEET
• Fourth-year senior and team co-captain Cody Demps has produced an impressive stat line of 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting .427 (35-82) from the field, .389 (7-18) from 3-point line and .667 (22-33) from the FT line.
• The best defender on the team, Demps has played four positions during his career with the Hornets, and has received the majority of this year's minutes at point guard.
• The quiet leader has started 70 straight games dating back to his sophomore season.
• Demps ranks among the Big Sky's top 12 players in six different categories, including first in assists and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.3).
• Forward Nick Hornsby has at least eight points and seven rebounds in all but one game, including his first career double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) at UC Davis.
• Center Eric Stuteville had shot at least .556 from the field in four straight games until going 2-for-6 at UC Davis. He is now seventh in the Big Sky in field goal percentage (.568).
• Freshman Jeff Wu, who is the first men's basketball player from Taiwan to receive a Div. I scholarship, had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting (all in the second half) at UC Davis.
• Fourth-year senior Dreon Barlett, who has played in 76 straight games, has attempted 40 shots this year, 35 of which have from the 3-point line. For his career, he is now shooting .434 (56-129) from distance, the third best mark in program history among players with 50 makes.
March 10, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMES TO AN END WITH LOSS TO MONTANA
February 26, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY SATURDAY MATINEE AT NORTH DAKOTA
February 25, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GOES COLD LATE, FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO, 72-67
February 24, 2016 FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP; MEN'S HOOPS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
February 20, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS IDAHO AT HOME, 68-65; SWEEPS THE SEASON SERIES
February 19, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS IDAHO ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 19, 2016 FORMER MEN'S BASKETBALL ASSISTANT COACH DWAYNE CANADA PASSES AWAY
February 18, 2016 BIG FIRST HALF PROPELS EASTERN WASHINGTON TO 93-88 WIN OVER MEN’S HOOPS
February 16, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT THE NEST ON THURSDAY, HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 13, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S LATE RUN FALL SHORT IN 66-64 ROAD LOSS AT IDAHO STATE
February 12, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO POCATELLO FOR SATURDAY GAME AT IDAHO STATE
February 11, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS HELD TO SEASON LOW IN POINTS IN 63-50 LOSS AT WEBER STATE
February 9, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE FOR THURSDAY NIGHT GAME
February 5, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE SATURDAY EVENING AT THE NEST
February 4, 2016 HUGE 2ND HALF HELPS MEN’S BASKETBALL BEAT FIRST-PLACE MONTANA, 83-79
February 3, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES MONTANA TO THE NEST ON THURSDAY NIGHT
February 1, 2016 ANTICIPATION BUILDING ON THE ROAD TO RENO FOR BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
January 29, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON FOR SATURDAY MATINEE
January 28, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GETS BIG ROAD WIN AT IDAHO, 65-63
January 27, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR THURSDAY EVENING MATCHUP
January 23, 2016 RED-HOT PORTLAND STATE RACES PAST MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2016 ROAD TO RENO PRIZE PACKAGE TO BE GIVEN AWAY AT SATURDAY'S MBB GAME
January 15, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES WEBER STATE TO THE NEST ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 13, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL FINALLY BACK AT HOME ON THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 9, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS FALLS ON THE ROAD AT MONTANA
January 8, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WRAPS UP ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY EVENING AT MONTANA
January 7, 2016 LATE MONTANA STATE RUN DOOMS MEN’S BASKETBALL IN 71-64 LOSS
December 30, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
December 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 7-4 AFTER 78-49 VICTORY OVER PACIFIC UNION
December 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS PACIFIC UNION ON MONDAY IN FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME
December 21, 2015 LATE STANFORD RUN SPOILS MEN’S BASKETBALL’S UPSET BID
December 20, 2015 MBB PLAYS AT STANFORD ON MONDAY; 1ST GAME VS. CARDINAL SINCE 2007
December 12, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO 6-3 AFTER 81-73 LOSS AT PORTLAND
December 10, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS ROAD STRETCH ON SATURDAY EVENING AT PORTLAND
December 8, 2015 JUSTIN STRINGS NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 7, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL MAKES BIG PLAYS LATE IN WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
December 6, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS TO PLAY FIRST OF JUST TWO DECEMBER HOME GAMES ON MONDAY
December 2, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS HAS CHANCES TO WIN LATE, BUT FALLS AT UC DAVIS, 66-61
December 1, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS FOR SEASON SWEEP OF UC DAVIS ON WEDNESDAY
November 29, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS PACIFIC FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2009 AT THE NEST TODAY
November 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 5-1 AFTER A 79-71 HOME WIN OVER PACIFIC
November 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS DROPS FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON TO SOUTH DAKOTA, 96-90
November 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS HOME TOURNEY SATURDAY VS. SOUTH DAKOTA AT 3:30 PM
November 24, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 4-0 WITH AN 84-79 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS HOOK UP FOR 113TH TIME ON TUESDAY AT THE NEST
November 20, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-0 AFTER A 96-56 VICTORY OVER HOLY NAMES
November 19, 2015 HOME OPENER FOR MEN'S HOOPS THIS FRIDAY VS. HOLY NAMES AT 7 PM
November 17, 2015 GRAVES NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 16, 2015 NATIONAL WEEKLY AWARDS POURING IN FOR MEN'S HOOPS' MARCUS GRAVES
November 15, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS 2ND ROAD GAME IN 3 DAYS ON SUNDAY AT SEATTLE
November 15, 2015 HUGE SECOND HALF PROPELS MEN’S HOOPS TO A 77-65 WIN AT SEATTLE
November 13, 2015 LATE RUN GIVES MEN’S BASKETBALL A 66-63 UPSET WIN AT ARIZONA STATE
November 11, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS BEYER HIGH SCHOOL GUARD GEORGE DANCER
November 9, 2015 GAME NOTES: MEN'S HOOPS OPENS SEASON FRIDAY AT ARIZONA STATE
November 6, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME
November 2, 2015 DICKSON BECOMES 2ND PLAYER IN SCHOOL HISTORY DRAFTED IN NBA D-LEAGUE
October 27, 2015 ERNEST TSCHANNEN DONATES $750,000 TO POWER OF 1,000 HORNETS
September 30, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON QUICKLY APPROACHING, 1ST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 3, 2015 HEAD COACH BRIAN KATZ RECEIVES FIVE-YEAR COMMITMENT THROUGH 2020
June 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL ANNOUNCES ITS 2015-16 SCHEDULE