NIT: 2nd Seed SDSU vs. 7th Seed IPFW (Game Preview)
Your San Diego State Aztecs (2nd seed) will be playing the Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastodons (7th seed) this Tuesday at 7:00 pm in the first round of the NIT (National Invitational Tournament). The game will be played here in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, March 15th on ESPN 3. General public tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. PT on game day and start at $10. Tickets are available online at GoAztecs.com and at the Viejas Arena ticket office.
***IPFW and #SDSU last played on December 30th, 2002 in San Diego. The Aztecs won that game over the Mastodons 74 to 58.***
The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 42.0% from the floor and 31.9% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 68.8%. The Aztecs are ranked 277th nationally in scoring offense. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1318 to 1125.
The Mastodons are shooting 46.7% from the floor and 41.3% from behind the arc. The Mastodons average 10 made 3-point shots per game. The Mastodons free throw shooting average is 72%. The Mastodons have out rebounded teams this year 1198 to 1126. The Mastodons average 80 points per game offensively. The Mastodons are ranked 26th nationally in scoring offense.
The major difference offensively between the Mastodons and the Aztecs would be shooting percentage from the floor, arc and free throw line. The Mastodons are hands and feet better than San Diego State in every offensive category but rebounding. The Mastodons shoot 4% better from the floor, 9% better from behind the arc, and 4% better from the free-throw line.
In my opinion rebounding will determine if the Aztecs can take down IPFW. The Aztecs need to kill it on the offensive and defensive boards to help get the easy put backs. The Aztecs have a slight size advantage over IPFW and they will need to exploit that.
The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defenses in the nation! Aztecs opponents have been averaging a field-goal percentage defense of just 37.1% (best in NCAA) and 30.1% (7th best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have held opponents to an average of 60.3 points per game this season. That’s 7 points more per game than last seasons team. The Aztecs are ranked 4th nationally scoring defense allowing an average of 60.3 points per game. 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.
IPFW’s opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of 45.8% (293rd best in the NCAA) and 38.5% (332nd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Mastodons have held opponents to an average of 75.9 points per game this season. That 75.9 points average per game ranks IPFW as the 273rd 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 IPFW.
Game Notes Via GoAztecs.com
* San Diego State and IPFW are meeting for the third time with the Aztecs having won both previous meetings. San Diego State claimed homecourt victories on Jan. 2, 2002 (90-72) and Dec. 30, 2002 (74-58). Both games were played in SDSU’s current home, which was called Cox Arena at the time.
* As previously stated, SDSU is playing in an NCAA-sponsored postseason event (NCAA or NIT) for an 11th consecutive year. That is tied for the eighth-longest active streak in the nation. See list below
* SDSU is looking to extend a streak of winning in the postseason. The Aztecs have won at least one game in an NCAA-sponsored postseason event (NCAA or NIT) in each of the last three seasons, which is tied for the sixth-longest active streak nationally.
* This marks San Diego State’s sixth appearance in the postseason NIT and first since the 2009 campaign (the Aztecs appeared in the NCAA tournament the last six seasons). SDSU owns a 5-5 record in the event, including a 3-2 record in the first round of the event.
* San Diego State’s last NIT appearance was very similar to this season. In 2009, the Aztecs were the last team left out of the NCAA tournament, earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT, and rallied from that disappointment to defeat Weber State (65-49), Kansas State (70-52) and Saint Mary’s (70-66) to advance to the national semifinals in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
KEYS FOR VICTORY:
San Diego State University:
1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!
2) Points in the paint!
2) Only shoot 3-point shots that are open!
3) Limit turnovers!
4) Attack the boards !
5) Make free throws
Purdue University Fort Wayne
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:
Trey Kell (6-4 and 210 pound Sophomore): Kell currently leads the Aztecs in points per game averaging 12.6 points.
Jeremy Hemsley (6-3 and 180 pound Freshman): Hemsley is currently in second place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 12.4 points and is in second place on the Aztecs in assists per game with 1.8.
Winston Shepard (6-8 and 210 pound Senior): Shepard is currently in third place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 11.2 points, currently leads the Aztecs in rebounds with 6.4 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in assists per game with 2.7.
Skylar Spencer (6-10 and 240 pound Senior): Spencer is currently in eighth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 3.6 points, currently the 2nd best rebounder on the Aztecs with 5.8 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in blocked shots per game with 1.7. Spencer holds the San Diego State/Mountain West record for most blocks in a career Spencer was named the Mountain West Defensive POY in 2015 and 2016. He became just the 3rd player in Mountain West History to win Defensive POY in back to back seasons.
Players to watch for IPFW:
Max Landis (6-2 and 185 pound Senior): Landis is currently leading the Mastodons in points per game averaging 19.5 points and leads IPFW in assists per game with 3.7.
John Konchar (6-4 and 185 pound Freshman): Konchar is currently in second place in points per game averaging 13.1, leads the team in rebounds per game with 8.9, and is second in assists per game with 2.6.
Joe Reed (6-8 and 220 pound Senior): Reed is currently tied for third place in points per game averaging 10.3 points and is third in rebounds per game with 4.8.
Michael Calder (6-2 and 180 pound Senior): Calder is currently tied for 3rd place in points per game averaging 10.3 points.
Game Day Information
Game information: Tipoff 7:00 p.m. PT at Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.
ODDS: SDSU by 10.5
Online: ESPN 3 or Watch ESPN
Radio: Mighty 1090
San Diego State and IPFW Rosters
|Skylar Spencer||6-10||SDSU||Mo Evans||6-1||IPFW|
|Angelo Chol||6-9||SDSU||DeAngelo Stewart||6-4||IPFW|
|Dakarai Allen||6-5||SDSU||John Konchar||6-5||IPFW|
|Max Hoetzel||6-9||SDSU||Charles Ruise Jr.||6-1||IPFW|
|D’Erryl Williams||6-3||SDSU||Max Landis||6-2||IPFW|
|Trey Kell||6-4||SDSU||Michael Calder||6-2||IPFW|
|Winston Shepard||6-8||SDSU||Filip Serwatka||6-5||IPFW|
|Zylan Cheatham||6-9||SDSU||Trevor Osborn||6-0||IPFW|
|Ben Perez||6-3||SDSU||Xzavier Taylor||6-9||IPFW|
|Matt Shrigley||6-6||SDSU||Bryson Scott||6-1||IPFW|
|Malik Pope||6-10||SDSU||Kason Harrell||6-2||IPFW|
|Parker U’u||6-5||SDSU||Racine Talla||6-9||IPFW|
|Montaque Gill-Caesar||6-6||SDSU||Joe Reed||6-8||IPFW|
|Nolan Narain||6-9||SDSU||Brent Calhoun||6-9||IPFW|
|Niksha Federico||6-7||SDSU||Andrew Poulter||6-10||IPFW|
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