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The countdown to tip-off is on as San Jose State Men’s Basketball ( @sanjosestatembb ) is ready to replicate and build off a historic season in 2022. The Spartans went on to earn their most wins since 1980 after finishing 21-14 overall and 10-8 against the Mountain West Conference. The season ended with a monumental overtime victory in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal against the Nevada Wolfpack. San Jose State obtained their first tournament victory since joining the conference in 2013. Along with the quality wins, starting point guard Omari Moore was granted the Mountain West Player of the Year, and Spartan head coach, Tim Miles, was awarded the Mountain West Coach of the Year to cap off his second season in San Jose.

As the team turns the page to 2023, Tim Miles and his coaching staff will be without three starters from last year’s squad. The centerpiece of their offense, Omari Moore, starting small forward, Sage Tolbert, and the team’s rim protector, Ibrahima Diallo. Despite the losses, San Jose State still retained several key contributors from the 2022 roster such as Alvaro Cardenas, Trey Anderson, Tibet Gorener, and Robert Vaihola.

With the bulk of the Spartan’s scoring and offense centralizing around Omari Moore, Tim Miles explained at Mountain West Media Day, how the 2023 team will function differently with Moore departing to the NBA, “You look at Alvaro and Trey, Rob Vaihola, and Tibet Gorener as returners. Those guys are very versatile players, they can score in a lot of different ways, and help a team in a lot of different ways… I don’t think we’re going to be solely dependent on one guy at one time, and I think everybody flourishes a little bit more when there’s balance.”

Along with the veteran pieces, Spartan Nation should be aware of some impactful players that will see the floor this season. Junior point guard, MJ Amey ( @thats_mjgee_0 ) who only played in nine games last season before being sidelined due to injury was referred to by Coach Miles as, “the microwave and a player that can heat up in a hurry.”

Amey during his freshman season tallied 11 games with ten points or more including a 24-point outburst at Boise State.

Amey also spoke with KSJS Sports on how his perception of the game changed while being on the sidelines with his injury, “I was a major student of the game, forget me just having to be on the sideline I treated it as a free game for me to watch college basketball. What am I going to benefit from this? Especially after watching a lot of the guys on our team including Omari and Alvaro,” Amey said.

The third-year point guard is excited to get back on the court this season and showcase his skills on both ends of the floor, especially after his extended recovery process.

Miles is also excited to showcase his sophomore center, Adrame Diongue, who comes over from Washington State via the transfer portal. The Spartan head coach said at Media Day, “The guy really moves well in screen and roll defense, quick to the ball in terms of blocking shots and those sorts of things. And as he gets stronger I think it’s more competence in his offensive game, he can be a special talent.”

Diongue played sporadic minutes in the 23 games he appeared in as a freshman at Washington State. His seven-foot frame can very well have an instant impact on both ends of the floor, especially with Ibrahima Diallo departing, who was the designated starter at center in 2022.

This year’s basketball team is projected to finish 7th in the conference according to the preseason polls voted by Mountain West media. To put it in perspective Tim Miles’ group last year was picked to finish 10th in the Mountain West and when it was all said and done finished 5th. With Miles heading into year three of his tenure, he looks towards exceeding expectations once again and taking the program to new heights.

San Jose State will start the regular season at home against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Nov. 7th. They wrap up the non-conference schedule with the annual Battle of the Alameda Showdown against the Santa Clara Broncos on Dec. 20th. After that matchup, the gauntlet conference slate will begin in Laramie as the Spartans take on the Wyoming Cowboys, on Jan. 2nd.

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