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. ... 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