The San Diego State Aztecs will play host to the Colorado State Rams at Viejas Arena (12,414) this Saturday. The Aztecs (18-1; 7-0 Mountain West) will enter Saturday’s game as the favorites against Colorado State (12-8; 3-4 Mountain West. The starting five for the Aztecs will be JJ O’Brien, Josh Davis, Skylar Spencer, Winston Shepard and Xavier Thames.The players to watch in Saturday’s game are Xavier Thames, Winston Shepard and Josh Davis. Xavier Thames enters the game against CSU averaging 17.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19 games this season. Winston Shepard enters the game against CSU averaging 12.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18 games this season. Josh Davis enters the game against CSU averaging 8.9 points and 11.6 rebounds in 18 games this season.
The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 43.8% from the floor and 37.8% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 64.9%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 778 to 659. San Diego State is ranked 5th in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll and is ranked 5th in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. This is just the second time in school history that the Aztecs have been ranked in the Top 5. The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defense in the nation! San Diego State’s opponent’s has been averaging a field goal percentage of just 36.2% and 27.1% from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have been bringing massive press on opponent’s this season thanks to a very deep bench. This has allowed the Aztecs to use the full court press for a majority of every game.
The Rams have some height on their team with J.J. Avila (6-7), Stanton Kidd (6-7), Gerson Santo (6-9) and Marcus Holt (6-10). The smallest players on the Rams team are John Gillon (6-0), Mike Burnett (6-2), Jesse Carr (6-2), David Cohn (6-2), Josh Morgan (6-2) and Carlton Hurst (6-3). The key players to watch coming into Saturday’s game for CSU are J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano. J.J. Avila enters the game averaging 18.4 points and 7.6 rebounds in 20 games this season.Daniel Bejarano enters the game averaging 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 20 games this season. The Rams have a good-sized squad that will put up a fight on the boards against a talented Aztec squad.
We will be conducting a question and answer with Rich Kurtzman. Rich covers the Colorado State Basketball and Football teams for Mile High Sports. If you have any questions for Rich please post them in the comment section. This question and answer will be posted later on in the week.
Keys for Victory:
San Diego State University:
1) Shoot more than 40% from the floor!
2) Point’s in the paint!
3) Only shoot 3-point shot’s that are open!
4) Limit turnovers!
5) Attack the boards (Work on getting offensive rebounds)!
Colorado State University
1) Force SDSU to shoot from the perimeter.
2) Force SDSU to commit turnovers.
3) Win the offensive battle of the boards.
4) Try and get SDSU to foul out.
San Diego State has won 109 straight games when leading with five minutes left to play.
San Diego State is 68-6 at Viejas Arena since the name change in 2009.
San Diego State has a record of 26-3 when ranked in the Top 10! #WeAreAztecs
Game Day Information
February 1st Tipoff is at 4:05 P.T. San Diego, California
TV: ESPN U
Radio: Mighty 1090
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