SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After exactly five weeks of team practices, the Sacramento State men's basketball team will finally hit the hardwood for its first and only exhibition game this Friday at the Nest against Simpson. Tip-off time is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Hornets will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 13, at Arizona State, followed two days later by a game at Seattle on Nov. 15.
Like all home games this year, admission to Friday's exhibition game is $15 for reserved seating (Sections 3, 4, and 7), $10 for adult general admission (Sections 1 and 5), $5 for youth general admission (ages 3-17, all sections), and $5 for senior general admission (ages 65-over, Sections 1 and 5). For more ticket information, click here. Just like every sporting event on campus, Sacramento State students will be admitted free with a valid One Card.
Sacramento State welcomes back 10 players from last season's team, including three starters in senior guard Cody Demps, junior center Eric Stuteville and junior forward Nick Hornsby. Each of the three started at least 30 games last season, and ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in scoring. Demps is one of two fourth-year seniors on the squad (Dreon Barlett) while both Stuteville and Hornsby are third-year juniors. Demps and Hornsby will serve as this year's team captains.
The Hornets are coming off a record-breaking 2014-15 season in which it went 21-12 overall and 13-5 in the Big Sky while securing its first postseason appearance in the Div. I era (1991-pres.), and first postseason win in 53 years. The overall record marked the first time in the Div. I era that Sacramento State finished above the .500 mark, the 21 victories tied for second most in program history (1948-pres.), and the 13 conference wins were the most in school history (regardless of conference). The postseason victory came in a CIT First Round road win at Portland.
Joining Demps, Stuteville, Hornsby and Barlett on the list of returners are junior guard Trevis Jackson, sophomore guards Marcus Graves and Jiday Ugbaja, sophomore forwards Justin Strings and Mason Stuteville, and sophomore center James Herrick.
The four newcomers are all freshmen in guards Jeff Wu (Modesto Christian HS) and Aaron Harmetz (C.K. McClatchy HS), and forwards Joshua Patton (Sierra HS) and Grant Dressler (Palo Verde HS). Patton and Harmetz will redshirt this season.
In early September, head coach Brian Katz, who is entering his eighth season with the program, signed a five-year extension that will keep him at Sacramento State through at least the 2019-20 season. He was named by CollegeInsider.com as the National Mid-Major Coach of the Year in 2015 after having already received District 6 Coach of the Year and Big Sky Conference co-Coach of the Year honors.
Amazingly, since Katz took over the program, the Hornets have improved their conference record every season of his seven-year tenure at Sacramento State (1-15 in 2008-09; 3-13 in 2009-10; 4-12 in 2010-11; 5-11 in 2011-12; 8-12 in 2012-13; 10-10 in 2013-14; 13-5 in 2014-15).
Like every game this season, fans can listen to Friday night's game via KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer or online via www.hornetsports.com with 19th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
Free video streams of all home games and contests played at a Big Sky venue, via www.WatchBigSky.com, will not be made available until the regular season begins. Multimedia links for every game can be found on the men's basketball schedule on the website.
• Simpson is located in Redding, Calif., and is an NAIA member school.
• The Red Hawks are members of the California Pacific Conference.
• Simpson has already played five games this year, and is 1-4 thus far.
• Friday night's game will count as an exhibition game for the Red Hawks as well.
• Simpson's most recent game was an 89-73 loss road at William Jessup on Tuesday night.
• The Hornets have played Simpson four times in school history (twice in the regular season, twice in exhibition games), and are 4-0 in those encounters.
• The most recent game between the two teams came last year in Sacramento State's home opener, a 74-42 victory inside the Nest on Nov. 19, 2014.
• The men's basketball program is entering its 68th year at Sacramento State (1948-pres.), 25th on the Div. I level (1991-pres.), and 20th in the Big Sky Conference (1996-pres.).
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