View Full Version : San Diego State : Pre-Game Media

12-21-2017, 05:18 AM
LINK: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/aztecs/sd-sp-sdsu-basketball-gonzaga-viejas-20171220-story.html

Aztecs update: They emerge from an endless slog of practices, having played just once in the last 17 days due a mix of scheduling quirks and final exams. Their last win was way back on Dec. 3 against Bradley. This is their final nonconference game before the 18-game Mountain West season. It is the conclusion of a two-game series between the schools that originally was supposed to feature Cal, not SDSU. But Jordan Mathews transferred from Cal to Gonzaga for the 2016-17 season and the Bears pulled out of the series. SDSU was their replacement. The career records of head coaches: SDSU’s Brian Dutcher is 7-3, Gonzaga’s Mark Few is 513-115. Each roster includes a walk-on from San Diego: Torrey Pines High alum Jack Beach at Gonzaga, and La Costa Canyon High alum Patrick Fisher at SDSU. Beach and Fisher are close friends, but there’s no chance they’ll play against each other (even if the game is lopsided and benches are cleared) because Fisher is redshirting after transferring from Div. I Winthrop. There’s a chance it could happen next season, when both teams are in the Maui Invitational over Thanksgiving.

“We know what they’re about,” Dutcher said. “They played in the national championship game last season.”

But there’s also the Gonzaga that, after not allowing an opponent to shoot 50 percent or better in 64 straight games, let it happen twice in 11 days this month (and let two other teams shoot 47.3 and 48.3 percent). The Gonzaga that is allowing 13.4 points more per game than last season and opponents to shoot nearly 10 percentage points higher beyond the 3-point arc. The Gonzaga that is averaging 2.5 more turnovers and had 12 in the first half against IUPUI.

Now put those Zags inside Viejas Arena against an equally enigmatic SDSU team, and you have all the ingredients for a fascinating matchup in which all outcomes are suddenly possible — barnburner, blowout, something in between.

There are simply too many unanswered questions, about both teams.

More at the link above

12-21-2017, 05:49 AM
a great read. the article nailed both teams, their respective need to win, and how it could potentially happen each team. talented writer.

nice find renoski.

Didn't realize we were allowing 13.5 ppg more than last season. additionally, opponents are 10% better from 3pt. and I thought the +3 TOPG were significant. wow.

I noticed we keep hammering on SDSU for losing to Cal, yet their best player and 4 yr starter, Trey Kell, was out with an injury. Also, Devin Watson, former Zag killer for USF had 2 pts without his buddy in the backcourt.

Before losing two starters to injury, they smacked around a solid 8-2 Georgia team who beat St Marys, Marquette, Wintrop, and Georgia Tech last night.

SDSU has returned their guys from injury bug, had 12 days off to prepare (could be rusty or know every move we make), and you get the sense they have circled this game on the calendar, as Hemsley states here:

“It’s definitely a lot of motivation to get back at them. That’s in the back of my mind. I want them to feel what I felt, for sure.”

We will need to be firing on all cylinders to escape tonight, imo.

12-21-2017, 06:10 AM
Armchair coach moment: since they haven’t played for a while, I would be tempted to press them early and see how they respond. Rusty team = sloppy early game basketball often times.

12-21-2017, 06:38 AM
Armchair coach moment: since they haven’t played for a while, I would be tempted to press them early and see how they respond. Rusty team = sloppy early game basketball often times.

Always the danger, when doing that, of building up too big a lead. Zags sometimes have a let down and allow teams to climb back in.

12-21-2017, 06:47 AM
nice find renoski.

jazz gets the credit. He posted it earlier but apparently had some trouble posting the link.

12-21-2017, 06:57 AM
SDSU Preview from the Spokesman's Jim Meehan:


“We do know we beat up on them pretty bad last year,” senior guard Silas Melson said. “They’re probably going to come out with a chip on their shoulder and try to be the aggressors. We’re going to lock in on the scout, come in with some momentum and come in with some toughness and swagger.”

The Zags' defense was discussed in this bylined article: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/dec/19/gonzagas-defense-has-work-to-do-following-tough-st/

“The post defense and also the steer-and-roll defense,” said senior Johnathan Williams, when asked what needs to improve on defense. “We’re letting the guy get below us.”

Silas Melson rarely discusses defense without combining the words “team” and “defense.” The senior guard believes it takes five working in unison to play quality defense.

“Realistically, there are great defenders but people are going to get beat eventually, so there has to be another guy to help them out,” Melson said. “That’s probably one of the biggest areas (team defense) we can get better. We can all get on the same page.”

Looking forward to tonight's match up.