“Aztecs…Big Boy Basketball”
San Diego State jumped UCLA, winning the opening game of the college basketball season. They won’t get an opportunity to surprise the next team they play, this Thursday night clash with Arizona State in Tempe.
Brian Dutcher is (77-26) since replacing Steve Fisher. He faces a legendary name in Bobby Hurley, the former Duke star guard, who has built the Sun Devils into a Pac 12-power, going (96-70) at ASU.
SDSU hangs its hat on its defense. It will be tested in this Thursday game. State is giving up just 54-points a game. Opponents are shooting just (38%) from the floor-just (30%) from the 3-point line. Good luck getting into your offense too. Dutcher’s designed defense has forced 73-turnovers in 4-games and has 39-steals in those four outings.
Arizona State now has the game tapes of what State did to UCLA, Irvine and Pepperdine. They won’t be ambushed.
The Aztecs will have their hands full.
The Sun Devils bring all types of firepower to the tipoff. G-Remy Martin opted out of the NBA to return and is averaging (17PPG). So is freshman G-Josh Christopher (17PPG). Freshman F-Marcus Bagley, at 6’8, is adding (13PPG) and young 6’8 F-Taeshun Cherry, the San Diego product, comes off the bench to score.
There is no Malachi Flynn…no Yonni Wetzel…no KJ Feagin, so now we find out if SDSU has enough firepower to keep up with a big scoring team. Yes they beat UCLA, but the Bruins did not have two top starters on the floor that night. UCLA has not lost a game since that opening night beating.
Dutcher has been playing 10-guys regularly, now we see if all the young guys off the bench are up to the test. Of course having been to post season play 8-times in the last 10-years means SDSU’s culture is not to fall apart facing big time teams on the road.
And this nationally ranked SDSU defense has credentials, but ASU has elite firepower, and enough veteran experience not to be frustrated if the Aztecs defense gets in your face.
This becomes a litmus test for a really athletic, long and deep Aztecs team. They win this, they might not lose a game the rest of the season, considering how weak the conference seems to be. How big would that be, following last year’s (30-2) season?
Oh there are good players at Boise, Utah State and other places, but there might not be as good a team, starters to bench as what Dutcher rolls out on the floor.
Going to be a fun Thursday night.
The Aztecs playing ‘Big Boy Basketball’.