The motto of SJSU football, Start fast, finish strong, has become a staple of daily practice lingo and has been ingrained in the minds of every player on the team. The first line of the phrase, however, has not been accomplished by the Spartans yet this season.Head coach Mike MacIntyre has been working with the team on that exact goal before Saturdays game against Colorado State (1-1) at Spartan Stadium coming out in the first quarter with more intensity than the first two weeks of the season.After we won last week, a couple of our young men stood up and said We have to start faster, MacIntyre said following Thursdays practice. You cant stress it. If you bring it up too much everybody starts pressing.SJSU (1-1) has been narrowly outscored between the two first games combined at 24-17 but has stayed true to its motto by finishing strong and outscoring its opponents 45-9 combined in the second half. That differential includes a 14-3 second half against Stanford and a 31-6 scoring-fest on UC Davis in the third and fourth quarters.Sometimes other teams make plays early on but thanks goodness we have the ability to stay in rhythm if plays dont go well at first, MacIntyre said.Hopefully a week of practice that MacIntyre called intense and focused will help the Spartans to a 2-1 start for the first time since 2008 and overcome the Rams of Colorado State, a team that came so close to beating SJSU last season in Fort Collins, Colo. with a final score of 38-31.I think theyre a better football team than last year, MacIntyre said. They are really well coached, have great offensive minds. It is going to be a tough battle for us.Colorado State opened its season on Sept. 1 with a well-played 22-17 upset of rival Colorado. However, the Rams suffered an upset of their own at home to North Dakota State 22-7. While the loss was to the defending FCS National Champion, Colorado State did not look good at all. They were out-gained 366-243, including 188-72 on the ground.MacIntyre said the team is ready to readjust at any moment if the beginning of Saturdays game does not go as planned for the Spartans.Sometimes you go into the game thinking one thing, but then they take it away and you got to switch to something else, he said. Its a chess match sometimes at the beginning of the game. We have enough weapons to readjust.One of the teams best and most dangerous weapons on offense, Ryan Otten, is feeling much better and dealing with a lingering ankle injury. Senior offensive tackle and one of the teams captains, David Quessenberry, also should play Saturday after battling a right-ankle sprain. In addition on offense, SJSU will continue to use both senior DeLeonEskridge and freshman Tyler Ervin at running back.DeLeon and Tyler are what I call co-starters, MacIntyre said. It depends on different situations, depends on who has the hot hand. There are special personnel groups for each player.Kickoff on Saturday is set for 5:00 p.m., the final night game at home for the Spartans this season.
BERKELEY – Wyking Jones, who has served the past two seasons as a Golden Bear assistant coach and has nearly 15 years of experience in collegiate coaching, has agreed to become the next men's basketball coach at the University of California. Over the course of his career, he has been a part of teams that have won a national championship and advanced to a pair of Final Fours, set all-time win records and been conference-leading defensive units.
"I am very excited to announce Wyking Jones as our next men's basketball coach at Cal," Director of Athletics Mike Williams said. "We conducted a thorough search, looking near and far and talking to people all around the country. We consulted with several Cal basketball alumni, as well as a multiple NBA and college coaches – some of the most experienced basketball minds in the game. Ultimately, we came back to where we started and found what we wanted right here in Berkeley.
"Wyking exudes all of the characteristics we want in a head coach," Williams added. "He is a person of high character who understands what it takes to thrive on and off the court. He has an affinity for Cal and its values, he has developed strong relationships with the student-athletes he coaches, and he has experienced success at the highest levels of the sport. Over the two years he has been in Berkeley, we have seen without a doubt that Wyking can coach, teach and be a leader of young men. We fully believe our men's basketball program is on an upward trajectory, and Wyking is poised to continue that momentum and take our program to even greater heights."
A California native who grew up in Inglewood, Jones played for and graduated from Loyola Marymount. Following a brief professional career, his coaching stops have taken him to Louisville, New Mexico and Pepperdine, in addition to his alma mater. Jones has mentored over a half-dozen current NBA players, including Cal's Jaylen Brown, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
While an assistant coach at Cal, Jones helped the Bears to a combined 44-24 record and reach the postseason twice. In 2015-16, Cal finished 23-11 overall, third in the Pac-12 and received a No. 4 seed to the NCAA Tournament – the highest in the history of the program. This past year, the Bears posted a 21-13 mark and earned a berth to the National Invitation Tournament.
Charged with coaching Cal's big men, Jones helped forward Ivan Rabb become a two-time All-Pac-12 performer and Brown earn All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2015-16. In addition, center Kingsley Okoroh, who will return for his senior season next year, set a school record with 74 blocks this past season.
Over his two years at Cal, the Bears' defense has led the Pac-12 in points per game and field goal percentage allowed both seasons – 67.3 ppg and 39.6 percent in 2015-16 and 63.4 ppg and 40.0 percent in 2016-17.
Jones' connections to the Bay Area run deep as his wife Estrella was born and raised in Berkeley and his sister-in-law, Dr. Na'ilah Suad Nasir, serves as UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and has been a Cal faculty member since 2008.
"I am extremely excited to be taking over at Cal as the new men's basketball head coach," Jones said. "To be able to lead this incredible group of men is a dream come true for me. When I left Louisville and decided to come home to California, I was stepping out on faith, but I knew in my heart this was where I needed to be. Coach Martin left an unbelievable foundation for the program and we will work hard to continue to elevate Cal basketball. I want fans to know that I'm excited to coach these guys, not only for what they can do on the court but to continue to cultivate them as young men."
Jones enjoyed tremendous success at his stops prior to moving to Cal. During his four seasons under head coach Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2012-15, the Cardinals compiled a 123-30 record, reached two Final Fours and captured the 2013 NCAA title. Louisville also completed the 2014-15 season with a 27-9 record, advancing to the regional final.
Prior to Louisville, Jones served two seasons on the coaching staff at New Mexico with then-head coach Steve Alford where the Lobos won a combined 52 games, including a school-record 30-victory campaign in 2009-10, finishing with a No. 8 ranking in the Associated Press national poll.
From 2002-06, Jones spent five seasons at Pepperdine where he was the Waves' recruiting coordinator. He got his start in coaching at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount, during the 1996-97 season. In addition, Jones served as the travel team manager for the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) from 2006-09.
As a student-athlete, Jones was a standout at LMU from 1991-95 under head coach John Olive, scoring 1,076 points and collecting 493 rebounds. He was a two-time All-West Coast Conference selection, highlighted by a 19.7 ppg average as a junior. Jones earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount in 1995.
Following graduation, Jones played professional basketball from 1995-2001 in Italy, France, Japan, Lebanon and South Korea. He also served on the staff at Nike Elite Youth Basketball four two years from 2007-08. Jones and his wife, Estrella, have a son, Jameel and a daughter, Zoe.
What They're Saying …
"I'm ecstatic about the news. Coach Wyking is great with the players, knows his spots and gives us the confidence to go out there without looking over our shoulders." – freshman guard Charlie Moore
"I was recruited by Coach Wyking when I was first looking at schools. We were two California guys in Kentucky who started out as rivals but remained close. I saw him being able to do great things, and to start his head coaching career with him as my head coach is the best thing I could picture happening. Having him as my head coach now is one of the best things I could ever see." – senior forward Marcus Lee
"Wyking is a five-star recruiter, a five-star coach and a five-star person. I'm so happy for him and his family." – Louisville head coach Rick Pitino
Wyking Jones Year-by-Year
Fulltime Assistant Coach
Year School Record Postseason
2016-17 California 21-13 NIT (1st round)
2015-16 California 23-11 NCAA (1st round)
2014-15 Louisville 27-9 NCAA (Elite Eight)
2013-14 Louisville 31-6 NCAA (Sweet 16)
2012-13 Louisville 35-5 NCAA (Champion)
2011-12 Louisville 30-10 NCAA (Final Four)
2010-11 New Mexico 22-13 NIT (2nd round)
2009-10 New Mexico 30-5 NCAA (2nd round)
Cal media services
BERKELEY — Nevada coach Eric Musselman said Wednesday he has withdrawn his name for consideration for the coaching vacancy at California, committed to continuing to build the Wolf Pack program after the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 in his second season.
Musselman's team captured the Mountain West Conference regular-season crown and tournament title, a program first. The Wolf Pack lost in the first round of the NCAAs to fifth-seeded Iowa State last week as a No. 12 seed to finish 28-7. While he originally signed a five-year contract through the 2019-20 season, Musselman is working to finalize a new five-year deal that would keep at the school for the long haul.
"My family and I are so excited about Nevada," he said in a text message to The Associated Press. "I love our players and the bond we have created as a team and on campus and in the community."
The 52-year-old Musselman interviewed in Berkeley for the Cal opening to replace Cuonzo Martin, who resigned from the Golden Bears last Wednesday and was named Missouri's new coach the same day. Martin was formally introduced Monday.
Cal is not announcing the names of anyone brought in to interview for the head coaching vacancy.