Aztecs in Wyoming for critical Monday night game
SAN DIEGO –The San Diego State men’s basketball team travels to Laramie, Wyoming, for its only regular season game against the Wyoming Cowboys on Monday night. The game will have a major impact on the standings of the next Mountain West tournament.
OFF THE REBOUND
Two of the Mountain West Conference’s best meet for the only time in the final week of the regular season when San Diego State plays Wyoming on Monday night.
The game is the first of three games in seven days for the Aztecs and the fourth game in a series of seven games in 15 days to end the regular season.
San Diego State is playing its best basketball of the season. The Aztecs are 7-2 in their last nine games with just a pair of one-point road losses to NET No. 27 Colorado State (57-58) and NET No. 29 Boise State (57- 58).
Since Jan. 31, the start of the nine-game streak referenced above, San Diego State’s +12.0 scoring margin is 15th nationally and fourth (behind Gonzaga, Duke and Iowa) behind conference teams who are expected to get multiple offers.
San Diego State continues to boast an impressive NCAA metric profile that continues to improve. The Aztecs are 30th in the NET (3rd best in the MWC), 23rd in the KenPom (tops in the MWC), 29th in the Sagarin Rating (tops in the MWC) and 29th in the BPI (tops in the MWC).
San Diego State and Wyoming will meet for the 89th time Monday night, with the Aztecs holding a 47-41 advantage in the series. The Aztecs have won the last seven games played between the teams and are 10-1 in the last 11 encounters.
The Aztecs struggled in Laramie, holding only an all-time record of 11-27 in games played at Wyoming (11-23 at Arena-Auditorium). The Aztecs won when they last visited the venue, a 72-52 decision on Jan. 8, 2020. On game day, it will be 782 days since SDSU last played Wyoming.
SDSU responded to Tuesday’s heartbreaking 58-57 loss to Utah State with a 77-52 win over San Jose State at Viejas Arena. The Aztecs never trailed, shot 50.8% from the field, limited San Jose State to 39.6% shooting, forced 19 Spartan turnovers and possessed a +11 rebound margin in winning the 18th victory of the season and the 14th by at least 10 points.
The Aztecs continued to improve on offense, shooting 50.8% from the ground. San Diego State has won 30 straight games overall and 90 straight games at home connecting on at least half of their shots. Over its last six games, SDSU is averaging 69.7 points and connecting on 50.3 percent from field goal attempts and 43.5 percent from three-point range.
According to KenPom, San Diego State has had four of its best seven offensive efficiency games of the season in its last five outings – Utah State 124.0, Air Force 120.7, San Jose State 116.9 and Fresno State 110.5 (highest offensive rating). away from home this season).
Second year guard Chad Baker Mazra scored a team-high 16 points and added four rebounds and tied a career high with three steals in the victory. Baker-Mazara, just two games shy of a season-high 20-point effort, is averaging 14.3 points in its last three games and is 7-for-12 (58.3%) on a range three points during this period.
Senior guard and Mountain West Conference Player of the Year nominee matt bradley produced 15 points, three assists and no turnovers in the win. Amazingly, it was his 92nd career double-digit game for the senior who is averaging 18.6 points and has made 27 of 49 three-point attempts (55.1%) in his last 11 games.
junior striker Keshad Johnson reached double figures for the fourth time in five games with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists against the Spartans. In his last four games, he’s averaging 11.5 points and he’s had at least one of his shots from the field in seven straight games.
In three of San Diego State’s four conference losses, the Aztecs held a lead in the final 64 seconds of the game (against Boise, at Colorado State and at Boise State). In contrast, three of San Diego State’s 10 conference wins have come by at least 25 points (Colorado State, UNLV and New Mexico) and eight have been by double-digit margins.
This is one of the main reasons why San Diego State has the league’s best scoring margin in conference with +10.5 (second is Boise State with +7.2).
Once again this season, San Diego State ranks among the best in the nation on defense. For the entire season, the Aztecs are 2nd in goal defense (56.9), 5th in field goal percentage (38.0), 6th in effective field goal percentage (43.6) and 8th in two-point field goal percentage (43.1), 16th in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.5). In addition, the Aztecs are 1st in adjusted defensive efficiency according to Kenpom (86.4).
SDSU Head Coach Brian Hollander is in his fifth season as head coach of San Diego State and his 23rd season on the Aztec sideline. In his four-plus seasons as head coach, he led the Aztecs to four conference titles, an overall record of 114-37, and was previously named National Coach of the Year and named coach twice. of the Year from the Mountain West Conference. Of the rookie head coaches who started the 2017-18 season, Dutcher’s 114 wins are the most and he is the only head coach in the group to achieve triple-digit wins.