The No. 22 San Diego State Aztecs will travel to the Thomas & Mack Center (19,522) on the campus of UNLV this Saturday. The Aztecs will enter Saturday night’s game as favorites against UNLV. The players to watch in Saturday’s game are Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley. Jamaal Franklin enters the game against UNLV averaging 17.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 23 games this season. Chase Tapley enters the game against UNLV averaging 13.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 22 games this season.
This game between SDSU and UNLV has bad blood. These two teams will go after each other. This game will be hard-fought and will go down to the last 3 minutes of the game. I do believe that the Aztecs will defeat UNLV at the Thomas and Mack Center. The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 44.1% from the floor and 33.0% from behind the arc. This team has a plethora of shooters and can blow out teams when they are shooting their best as they did against Arkansas Pine Bluff, UCLA, UCSB, first half of the Colorado State game, second half of the Nevada game, New Mexico and Fresno State game. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 66.7%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. Rebounding is the number one weakness of San Diego State. The Aztecs have a ton of work to do in the rebounding game.The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 889 to 810.
The Aztecs are ranked 22nd in the USA Today coaches poll. The Aztecs did drop out of the AP Top 25 poll with the loss to Air Force. Being ranked 25th in the coaches poll makes it 26 straight weeks that SDSU has been ranked in one of the two major polls.The Aztecs starting five for Saturday’s game will be Xavier Thames, JJ ‘O Brien, Jamaal Franklin, Chase Tapley and DeShawn Stephens. The line up could change before game day depending on how star point guard Xavier Thames’s back is doing. Once again the only San Diego State freshman who is red-shirting this season is Matt Shrigley. Look for Skylar Spencer and Winston Shepard to receive a lot of minutes in Saturday’s game.
The Running Rebels have some height on their team with Mike Moser (6-8), Roscoe Smith (6-8), Quintrell Thomas (6-8), Anthony Bennett (6-8), Khem Birch (6-9), Demetris Morant (6-9) and Carlos Lopez-Sosa (6-11). The smallest players on the UNLV team are Barry Cheaney (6-1) and Daquan Cook. The Running Rebels have a good-sized squad that will put up a fight on the boards against a very talented Aztec squad.
Game Day Information
Game information: Tipoff 6:00 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center (19,522) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Radio: KOGO 600 – for link to internet radio please Click Here
TV: The game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.
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