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March Madness: San Diego State vs. St. Johns (Game Preview)

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

Your San Diego State Aztecs (8th seed) will be playing the St. Johns Red Storm (9th seed) this Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, March 20th and tip-offs at 6:30 p.m. PST on CBS. CBS Sports writer Matt Norlander has come out with his top 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament San Diego State came in 27th place and St. Johns came in 46th place. Here are some stats that we found while researching this game preview. In the 36 NCAA Tournaments since seedlings began in 1985, a total of 14 8 seeds have made it to the Sweet 16. Six have reached the Final Four, including Kentucky last year. One No. 8 has won it all (Villanova in 1985). The 8th seed has a total winning percentage of 49% and the 9th seed has a total winning percentage of 51%.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The following was tweeted out on Selection Sunday by the Head Coach of the St. Johns Red Storm Steve Lavin.

Does San Diego State prefer an up-tempo style of play, similar to St. Johns? The answer is not even close. On the court these two teams may have similar styles of play but not on paper. St. Johns has a better offense than San Diego State by three points in field goal %, 3-point field goal % and free throw %. However, San Diego State has the better rebounding statistics. San Diego States scoring defense is ranked 2nd in the NCAA compared to  St. Johns who has the 202nd best scoring defense in the NCAA. You will be able to take an indepth look at the statistics in our offensive and defensive breakdowns.

OFFENSIVE BREAKDOWN

The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc.The Aztecs are shooting 41.9% from the floor and 32.0% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 65.3%.The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1197 to 1087.

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 Red Storm are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Red Storm are shooting 44.1% from the floor and 35.3% from behind the arc. The Red Storm need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 67.6%. The Red Storm have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Red Storm have been out rebounded by teams this year 1132 to 1253. 

The major difference offensively between the Red Storm and the Aztecs would be shooting percentage from the floor, arc and free throw line. The stats are in favor of the Red Storm by only 3 points. The Aztecs have the advantage in the rebound category and in my opinion will determine if the Aztecs can take down St. Johns. The Aztecs need to kill it on the offensive boards and get the easy put backs. The Aztecs have a slight size advantage over St. Johns and they will need to exploit that.

DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN:

The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defenses in the nation! Aztecs opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 37.7% (5th best in the NCAA) and 30.3% (22nd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have held opponents to an average of 53.1 points per game this season. The only team in the nation that has a better scoring defense average is Virginia who allowed an average of 50.7 points per game.

St. Johns opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 40.5% (71st best in the NCAA) and 32.9% (93rd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Red Storm have held opponents to an average of 67.6 points per game this season. That 67.6 points average per game ranks St. Johns as the 202nd best scoring defense in the nation.

As you can tell by the statistics given above San Diego State is in another league defensively compared to St. Johns.

 

Expert Picks:

CBS College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish: SDSU over SJU

CBS College Basketball Bracketologist Jerry Palm: SDSU over SJU

CBS College Basketball Writer Matt Norlander: SDSU over SJU

CBS College Basketball Writer Sam Vecenie: SDSU over SJU

CBS College Basketball Writer Chip Patterson: SDSU over SJU

CBS Senior Writer Dennis Dodd: SJU over SDSU

CBS College Basketball BRACKETS (LINK)

ESPN College Basketball Analyst and former college coach Fran Fraschilla: SJU over SDSU

 ODDS SDSU by 3.5

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

 

St. Johns:

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.

Players to watch for San Diego State:

Winston Shepard (6-8 and 210 pound Junior): Shepard is currently tied for the team lead in points per game averaging 11.1 points, currently leads the Aztecs in rebounds per game with 5.3 and is second in assists per game with 1.9.

Aqeel Quinn (6-3 and 200 pound Senior): Quinn is currently tied for the team lead in points per game averaging 11.1 points, has 2.8 rebounds per game and is in fourth place on the Aztecs in assists per game with 1.5.

JJ O’Brien (6-7 and 215 pound Senior): O’Brien is currently in third place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 10.1 points, currently the second best rebounder on the Aztecs with 5.2 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in assists per game with 2.5.

Skylar Spencer (6-10 and 240 pound Junior): Spencer is currently in ninth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 3.6 points, currently the third best rebounder on the Aztecs with 5.1 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in blocked shots per game with 2.5. Spencer was named the Mountain West Defensive POY in 2015.

San Diego State Losses:

NCAA Tournament Bound Teams

Boise State X2 (1st Round)

Arizona (2nd seed in the West)

Cincinnati (8th seed in the MidWest)

Wyoming  (12th seed in the East)

 

NIT:

Colorado State

 

Not playing in the postseason:

Washington

Fresno State

 

Players to watch for St. Johns:

D’Angelo Harrison (6-4 and 202 pound Senior): Harrison is currently leading the Red Storm in points per game averaging 17.5 points, currently third in rebounds per game with 5.4 and is third in assists per game with 1.9.

Rysheed Jordan (6-4 and 193 pound Sophomore): Jordan is currently in second place in points per game averaging 14.3, currently fourth in rebounds per game with 3.7 and leads the team in assists per game with 3.1.

Sir’Dominic Pointer (6-6 and 196 pound Senior): Pointer is currently in third place in points per game averaging 13.5 points, currently leads the Red Storm in rebounds per game with 7.6 and is second in assists per game with 3.

Note: The leading shot blocker and starting center for St. Johns Chris Obekpa was suspended for 2 weeks for a violation of team rules. He will not be eligible for the game against San Diego State.

St. Johns Losses:

NCAA Tournament Bound Teams

Duke (1st seed in the South)

Gonzaga  (2nd seed in the South)

Georgetown (4th seed in the South)

Butler X2 (6th seed in the MidWest)

Villanova X2 (1st seed in the East)

Providence (6th seed in the East)

 

Not playing in the postseason:

Seton Hall (16-15 and 6-12)

DePaul (12-20 and 6-12)

Creighton (14-19 and 12-6)

CLICK HERE FOR OUR Q&A with Rumble In The Garden an SB Nation St. Johns Blog 

 

MEDIA UPDATES 

Mighty 1090 Radio Interview with Dave Velasquez Assistant Coach for the Aztecs (LINK)

Might 1090 Radio Interview with St. John’s hoops analyst Brandon Tierney (LINK)



 

San Diego Sports Domination Endorsed WATCH PARTIES

San Diego County!! 

– Werewolf American Pub (627 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101)

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– Eastbound Bar & Grill (10053 Maine Ave., Lakeside, CA 92040)

 

Orange County !!

– Corner Office (580 Anton Blvd, Ste 201 Costa Mesa, CA 92626)

 

 Los Angles !! 

– Busby’s West (3110 Santa Monica Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90404)

– Big Wangs (5300 Lankershim Blvd Ste 130 North Hollywood, CA 91601)

 

San Francisco/ Bay Area !!!

– Shanghai Kelly’s (2064 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109)

– Double D’s (354 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA)

– The Stadium Pub (1420 Lincoln Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA)

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Seattle, Washington!!

– JOEY Kitchen (University Village Shopping Center 2603 NE 46th St, Seattle, WA 98105)

 

New York !!

– Galway Pub, at 7 E. 36th Street, New York, NY 10016 (FACEBOOK EVENT LINK)

 

 

San Diego State and St. Johns Rosters 

Name Height Team Name Height Team
Winston Shepard 6-8 SDSU Jamal Branch 6-3 SJU
Matt Shrigley 6-5 SDSU Adonis De La Rosa 7-0 SJU
Skylar Spencer 6-9 SDSU Joey De La Rosa 6-11 SJU
JJ O’Brien 6-7 SDSU Phil Greene IV 6-2 SJU
Dwayne Polee II 6-7 SDSU Samuel Harris IV 6-4 SJU
Kevin Zabo 6-2 SDSU D’Angelo Harrison 6-5 SJU
Angelo Chol 6-9 SDSU Jay Henderson 6-5 SJU
Dakarai Allen 6-5 SDSU Christian Jones 6-7 SJU
Aqeel Quinn 6-3 SDSU Rysheed Jordan 6-4 SJU
D’Erryl Williams 6-2 SDSU David Lipscomb 6-2 SJU
Trey Kell 6-4 SDSU Khadim Ndiaye 6-6 SJU
Zylan Cheatham 6-7 SDSU Olisa Nwachie 6-7 SJU
Malik Pope 6-10 SDSU Chris Obekpa 6-10 SJU
Parker U’u 6-4 SDSU Sir’Dominic Pointer 6-6 SJU
Kibret Woldemichael 5-7 SDSU
Ryan Staten 6-2 SDSU
Niksha Federico 6-6 SDSU

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About DavidSDSU (943 Articles)
I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies. I am also the Founder and CEO of San Diego Sports Domination. I am award winning blogger and have been covering San Diego State Athletics and San Diego Sports for the past 6 years. I have blogged for FanSided 150 (Recruiting Website), FanSided's SDSU Site (Surf The Spear which is no longer online) and have written guest blogs on SDSU. I have been a guest on all San Diego Sports Radio stations ( ESPN 1700 San Diego, Mighty 1090 and Xtra Sports 1360). My articles have been linked to news websites all over the United States. I run this website in my spare time for fun. At my day job I am a Sports Social Media Editor for STN Digital a Digital Marketing Agency that works in the Sports & Entertainment Industry.

1 Comment on March Madness: San Diego State vs. St. Johns (Game Preview)

  1. Go Aztecs! Just watch Lavin’s tv interview. He didn’t say anything to light up the SDSU bulletin board and he sounded confident given he has a lot of Seniors (who all are graduating which is nice).

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