Men’s basketball set for game against San Diego State

Tyler Meguire

So, it begins. Days after the Colorado State Rams embarrassed the Utah Valley Wolverines, winning by 31 points, they will get their first taste of conference play this Wednesday against the San Diego State Aztecs.  

Since the 2016-2017 season, the Rams have a 3-3 record against the Aztecs. Though, CSU has not won against SDSU since the 2016-2017 season, which included a dramatic 56-55. Still, it is hard to compare the teams as they are completely different from past years. That does not mean the Rams will not need some Moby madness behind them on Wednesday.

Ad

The Aztecs come into the matchup sitting undefeated (8-0) in this still-early season. In the eight games, SDSU is outscoring opponents by 153 points (614-461). The Aztecs are averaging nearly 20 more points per game than opponents (76.8 to 57.6).

Based on the scoring numbers, it is pretty obvious the Aztecs are shooting the lights out. They are shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point territory. SDSU is also persistent in getting to the charity stripe each game as they average 11.3 free throws a game.

The Aztecs have four players averaging 10 or more points each game: Matt Mitchell averages 10.9, Jordan Schakel averages 11.0 and Yanni Wetzell averages 11.3. The leading scorer for SDSU is Malachi Flynn with 16.1 a game. His highest-scoring game of the year was against Iowa when he put up 28 points in 29 minutes.

Statistically speaking, the Rams are not far apart from the Aztecs. CSU is currently outscoring opponents 663-629 and has a scoring margin of 3.8 (outscoring opponents per game 73.7-69.9). The Rams do not rely on their three-point shooting as much as they drive to the rim or utilize mid-range jumpers. CSU shoots 7.4 threes a game on 37.9 percent.

The Rams top scorers are each averaging more than 11 points a game. Adam Thistlewood is averaging 11.2 points per game, Isaiah Stevens is averaging 12.3 and top scorer Nico Carvacho is averaging 13.4. Kris Martin is not far behind with 9.2 points per game and David Roddy is providing 8.9 points off the bench.

The Rams may have an upper-hand in rebounding with Carvacho alone. He is averaging 9.7 boards a game. Compared to the Aztec’s top rebounder Nathan Mensah who averages 7.0 rebounds per game.

The Aztecs as a team are averaging more rebounds as a game on the season with 38.4. The Rams are averaging 34 a game, so they will have to be board dominant to keep the Aztecs from getting second-chance points and getting out on the break.

As of December 1, SDSU sits just outside the AP top 25 with 89 points.

Ad

CSU is aware of the challenging matchup ahead of them. But that does not mean they are not ready for the challenge.

“We got confidence right now,” Martin said. “Won three out of our last four so we’re coming in confident. They’re going to be a confident team too, they can be ranked when they come in see us. We’re looking forward to playing them.”

Tyler Meguire can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire