SEASON OPENER IS FINALLY HERE! MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS FRIDAY IN THE NEST AT 7 PM

SEASON OPENER IS FINALLY HERE! MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS FRIDAY IN THE NEST AT 7 PM

Full set of game notes (28 pages) - pdf

GAME PREVIEW

• Sacramento State kicks off the 2018-19 season at home on Friday night vs. Simpson at 7:05 p.m. inside the Nest.
• It marks the first time in five years the Hornets are opening the season at home. The previous four season openers came at Colorado State, Colorado, Arizona State and Gonzaga, respectively.
• Simpson resides in Redding, Calif., and is an NAIA institution that plays in the California Pacific Conference. The Redhawks have already played four times this year, and currently have a 3-1 record.
• Sacramento State and Simpson have played each other three times in the past, with the Hornets winning each time. In fact, Sacramento State has defeated Simpson by an average of 38.7 points during those three victories (all coming inside the Nest).
• In the teams' last meeting, the Hornets were victorious, 74-42, on Nov. 19, 2014. In that game (box score on page 10), three Hornets scored in double figures led by Cody Demps' 16 points and Dylan Garrity's 10 points.
• Sacramento State played one exhibition game, and that came last Friday  in a 103-55 home win over Bethesda. Seven different Hornets scored in double figures, including all five starters. No Hornet played more than 22 minutes.
• The Hornets are coming off an injury plagued 2017-18 season in which the team finished 7-25 overall and 4-14 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets had won at least 13 games in five consecutive seasons until the seven-win output a year ago.
• In addition, the team had finished at or above .500 in Big Sky play three times the previous four seasons until going 4-14 in league.
• Last year's injuries primarily affected the back court. The quartet of guards Marcus Graves (32), Jiday Ugbaja (26), Jeff Wu (7) and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa (2) combined to miss 67 games last season because of injury.
• The Hornets welcome back eight players and a redshirt from a year ago, including three starters. That includes six of the top eight scorers from last season.
• Add in Marcus Graves, who is back after averaging 13.9 points in 2016-17, and Sacramento State should have lots of fire power this season. Graves missed all of last season after undergoing back surgery.
• Entering its 28th season as a Div. I member, the Hornets are 8-19 in season openers since making the jump to Div. I prior to the 1991-92 season. However, the team has won four of the last seven season openers, including a 66-63 win at Arizona State in 2015.
• Simpson's most recent game was an 88-77 home win on Monday over Notre Dame de Namur. That game was an upset as Simpson is NAIA while N.D. de Namur is Div. II.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• Beginning on Friday, all Sacramento State home games, and road games played against a Big Sky Conference team, will be video streamed for free on Pluto TV and WatchBigSky.com. The Pluto broadcasts can be watched online at Pluto.TV (home games on channel 233) or by downloading the app for your mobile device.
• Every game this year will be broadcast live on ESPN 1320 AM with 22nd-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Links for all multimedia options, including live stats for every game, can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

For all 28 pages of Sacramento State's game notes, click here or the link above the story.