Here’s a look at the San Jose State University (SJSU) men’s basketball program and the prospective Spartan recruiting class for the upcoming November signing period.

SJSU posted 4-26 overall, 1-17 Mountain West Conference records followed by 4-27, 1-17 in the initial two seasons under former Colorado assistant Jean Prioleau, who signed a five-year contract when hired in August 2017. His pair of recruiting classes were not rated highly and such evaluations played out accordingly. Prioleau needs a successful season three (qualified as finishing ‘around’ .500 overall and in league) not only to retain his job but in order for the program to be attractive enough to lure a more promising batch of Spartan recruits than populated his earlier efforts.

Verbal Commits has SJSU with three available 2020 scholarships — 6-foot-2 guard Brae Ivy, 6-foot-5 guard Isaiah Nichols and 6-foot-8 forward Craig Lecesne will have completed their eligibility in 2020 — but that number is subject to change if any current players decide to transfer, an element endemic to SJSU hoops.

Below is a positional list of the 2020 recruiting prospects associated with SJSU according to Verbal Commits and other media, plus pertinent information:

  • 2021 point guard Cole Anderson 6-foot-3 Clovis West High, (offers also from Montana, Cal Poly, San Diego State, USF, Fresno State)
  • 2020 point guard Madit Lueth 6-foot-2 Kentucky high school, (offers also from UC Riverside, Long Beach State, UC Davis and South Dakota)
  • 2020 sophomore point guard Dom London 6-foot Harcum College, PA (has 11 other offers)
  • 2020 shooting guard Alec Oglesby 6-foot-5 Georgia, with an official visit to SJSU on September 5-7, (offers also from UC Riverside, DePaul, Wisconsin Milwaukee visiting September 12-14, South Florida, North Florida, Yale, Cleveland State, Air Force)
  • 2020 shooting guard Sebastian Mendoza 6-foot-4 Hillcrest High, AZ (out of Riverside, CA), took official visit to SJSU on August 30 (offers also from Tulane, UC Riverside, Cal Poly) *** Mendoza committed to SJSU on September 4.
  • 2020 shooting guard Dominique Clifford 6-foot-4 attends a charter school in Colorado, 10 official offers, current preferences are Wyoming, Colorado State and Colorado
  • 2020 shooting guard Javonte Johnson 6-foot-5 Colorado Springs, CO high school, seven official offers. Eric Bossi recently wrote: “Why Johnson isn’t being recruited more heavily on the West Coast and in the Midwest is a bit of a mystery. He’s a long and lanky wing with some pop in his legs, a more than passable jump shot and he finds ways to put the ball in the hoop. He’s got some filling out to do but has plenty of natural ability. Recruitment: Visited New Mexico officially in June while Cal-State Fullerton, Denver, Loyola Marymount, Montana, Northern Colorado and San Jose State have offered.”
  • 2020 freshman shooting guard Jacob Tracey 6-foot-4 Daytona State College, FL (offers also from Fresno State, East Carolina, Bryant and Nevada)
  • 2020 sophomore shooting guard Vincent Cole 6-foot-6 USC Salkehatchie, out of South Carolina (offers also from Buffalo, Akron and St. John’s)
  • 2020 power forward Osayi Osifo 6-foot-8 out of Texas, attending Eastern Florida State College, 10 official offers of the low major variety
  • 2020 center Hugo Clarkin 6-foot-10 out of the UK, playing in So Cal at JSerra High, also has an offer from Hawaii
  • 2020 center Jhaylon Martinez 6-foot-11 out of Vanden High in Fairfield but now at a Las Vegas high school, recently became a UNLV commit
  • 2020 center Bradley Ezewiro 6-foot-8 out of Long Beach area but playing at a Virginia prep academy, possesses high major offers

Of the talents on the above list, Ezewiro is the sole prospect with the potential to help right away but he’s a high major talent and won’t be coming to Silicon Valley. The remaining frontcourt targets — Osifo and Clarkin — appear to be weak targets for a Mountain West Conference program with a coach entering a critical third season. Each of the other talents in SJSU’s 2020 recruiting class appear to be in the long-winded category of ‘they have the potential to help but it’s anyone’s guess when they will be ready to consistently contribute.’

A factor not in Prioleau’s favor is the recruiting reality of his tenure. Players are hesitant to sign early if there are indicators that the coach they expect to play for may not be in that position come September (Mendoza obviously being an exception). However, if he suffers through another dismal season yet can point to some plus recruits having signed on in November then Prioleau may be able to retain his job.

The next three months are as crucial as how the upcoming Spartan season plays out.

Here’s the 2019-20 SJSU roster:

  • Caleb Simmons, guard, junior 6’6″ 195
  • Brae Ivey, guard, senior, 6’2″ 185
  • Zach Chappell, guard, sophomore, 6’3″ 175
  • Isaiah Nichols, guard, senior, 6’5″ 180
  • Omari Moore, guard, freshman, 6’6″ 185
  • Christian Anigwe, forward, sophomore, 6’9″ 190
  • Eduardo Lane, forward, junior, 6’10” 250
  • Seneca Knight, guard/forward, sophomore, 6’6″ 190
  • Samuel Japhet-Mathias, center, junior, 6’11” 280
  • Kaison Hammonds, guard, sophomore, 6’4″ 170
  • Richard Washington, guard, sophomore, 6’6″ 185
  • Craig LeCesne, forward/center, senior, 6’9″ 225
  • Ralph Agee, forward, junior, 6’8″ 220
  • Trey Smith, guard, sophomore, 6’3″ 175
  • Harminder Dhaliwal, forward/center, freshman, 6’10” 240

As for recruiting success in the home base of northern California, 6-foot-3 Zach (Capital Christian High) Chappell is back for his sophomore season and a consistently solid contribution is desperately needed from him in order for the Spartans to have a chance to be successful. In 15 starts (29 games, he averaged 5.3 points and 2.2 assists alongside 20 steals. Look for him to be a season-long starter.

Also, 6-foot-6 Caleb Simmons, the brother of Desmond (Salesian Prep/Washington/St. Mary’s) Simmons, redshirted last year with a broken foot.

6-foot-10 Michael Steadman, out of James Logan High and City College of San Francisco, transferred to Montana in the off season after leading the team in scoring (13.2) and rebounding (8.5).

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