The defending regular-season Mountain West Champion San Diego State Aztecs open 2014/15 Mountain West conference play against the Air Force Falcons. The Aztecs are coming into the game with a 10-3 non-conference record. This week will be a trap week for the San Diego State Aztecs as they play at home next Tuesday against the hated New Mexico Lobos. San Diego State has struggled with offensive production early on in the season and that will need to change in order for the Aztecs to defend last years regular-season MW Championship.
The San Diego State Aztecs will play host to the Air Force Academy Falcons at Viejas Arena this Wednesday (2:00 p.m.). The Aztecs will enter Wednesday night’s game as heavy favorites against AF. The starting five for the Aztecs will be Trey Kell, JJ O’Brien, Winston Shepard, Aqeel Quinn and Skylar Spencer. The players to watch in Wednesday’s game for SDSU are Winston Shepard, Aqeel Quinn and JJ O’Brien. Winston Shepard enters the game against AF averaging 11 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 games this season. Aqeel Quinn enters the game against AF averaging 9.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10 games this season. JJ O’Brien enters the game against AF averaging 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 13 games this season.
The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 40.7% from the floor and 28.0% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 62.1%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. To date the Aztecs have been out rebounded by teams this year 194 to 252. For the second time in 25 AP Polls San Diego State is not ranked in the AP Top 25. The Aztecs are looking to crack into the AP Top 25 this coming weekend if they can get two strong wins over fellow MW schools Air Force and Fresno State. San Diego State’s opponents has been averaging a field goal percentage of just 36.4% and 28.3% from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have been bringing massive press on opponents 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. Opponents also have to practice playing against the Aztecs dreaded 1-3-1 zone.
The Falcons have some height on their team with seven guys who are 6-6 to 6-7. Some other tall members of Air Force are Ethan Michael (6-8), Joe Tuss (6-8), Brendan Leonard (6-8), Marek Olesinski (6-9) and Zack Moer (6-11). The smallest players on the Air Force team are Jacob Van (6-2), Matt Mooney (6-3), Trevor Lyons (6-3), Zach Kocur (6-3) and CJ Siples (6-3).
This Falcons squad should easily be able to out rebound the Aztecs team on the defensive glass. The players to watch in Wednesday’s game for AF are Max Yon, Kamryn Williams and Trevor Lyons. Max Yon enters the game against SDSU averaging 14.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 11 games this season. Kamryn Williams enters the game against SDSU averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 10 games this season. Trevor Lyons enters the game against SDSU averaging 8.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11 games this season.
I believe the game will be close at halftime. Air Force is known for running a very slow offense. Air Force likes to run all of the time off of the shot clock before the shoot the ball. This will be a very slow and boring game for the non basketball fan. Look for San Diego State to try and run with the ball. San Diego State lives on the fast break. The faster the Aztecs can get this game to go the faster they can wear down this Falcon team. Look for this game to be in the 40 to 60 range. The first team to get to 50 should win this game.
Keys for Victory:
San Diego State University :
1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!
2) Point’s in the paint!
2) Only shoot 3-point shot’s that are open!
3) Limit turnovers!
4) Attack the boards !
5) Make free throws
1) Force SDSU to shoot from the perimeter.
2) Force SDSU to commit turnovers.
3) Win the defensive battle of the boards.
4) Try and get SDSU to foul out.
5) Make free throws.
Game Day Information
Game information: Tipoff 2:00 p.m. PT Viejas Arena on the campus of San Diego State University in San Diego California, California.
TV (Online only): ESPN 3 and the game can also be seen on the Watch ESPN App.
Radio: Mighty 1090
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