SAN JOSE STATE

LAST SEASON: 9-22 (1-13, last in Western Athletic Conference)

COACH: George Nessman, eighth season, 77-141

KEY PLAYERS: Senior guard

James Kinney (15.8 points), sophomore guard,

D.J. Brown (7.7 points), junior center

Alex Brown (10.5 points. 7.0 rebounds), junior forward

Chris Cunningham (4.4 points, 2.8 rebounds).

SCOUTING REPORT: Expectations aren't extremely high for the Spartans in their final season in the WAC, with a move next year to the considerably tougher Mountain West Conference. SJSU was picked to finish ninth in the preseason coaches and media polls, behind new conference additions Denver, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio and Seattle. ... The loss of

Keith Shamburger, who transferred to Hawaii, will be felt. He was the team's third-leading scorer last year. ... The Spartans have the potential to be a better defensive team than in years past. The 6-foot-11 Alex Brown, a transfer from John A. Logan College, is a good presence in the middle along with Cunningham, a transfer from Santa Clara who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.


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... Kinney and

D.J. Brown are good scorers out of the backcourt. ... Senior guard

Chris Jones and sophomore forward

Stephon Smith, who both earned a handful of starts last season, will be contributors. ... Kinney was the lone Spartan named to the preseason All-WAC team. A WAC All-Newcomer last year after transferring from Eastern Utah College, Kinney is a second-team preseason pick.

-- JIMMY DURKIN