Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Aztecs Enter Boise State Game Sky High

San Diego State, fresh from it's upset of then-#17 Kansas, hosts Boise State tonight in a key Mountain West Conference men's basketball game.  The Axtecs shocked Kansas last weekend, 61-57.  San Diego State has also beaten #23 Creighton (86-80) and Marquette (67-59) this season.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are coming off a game in which they let a twenty-five point lead evaporate to five before downing Fresno State 86-79 Saturday.  Plus, Boise State has not shown the ability to beat a Top 20 team, losing a game to Iowa State despite leading most of the game, and getting crushed by Kentucky.

Xavier Thames is the unquestioned leader of San Diego State; he does everything well.  Thames is averaging 16.2 points a game and is hitting 47.5% of his three-point attempts (29-61).  Thames also averages 80.6% from the free-throw line, leads his team with 32 assists and has 26 steals.

Winston Shepard averages 12.9 points and 4.6 rebounds a game and has 18 steals on the season.

After those two, the Axtecs are pretty balanced.  J.J. O'Brien averages 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and hits 48.8% of his shots.  Forward Josh Davis is similar to Boise State's Ryan Watkins.  Davis averages 8.9 points and 11.3 rebounds and also has 12 steals.

Matt Shrigley is 20-48 from three-point land (41.7%) , the next-best long-range bomber to Thames.  Shrigley averages 6.8 points a contest.  Former St. John's transfer Dwayne Polee II averages 8.0 points, Aqeel Quinn averages 7.1 points and has 10 steals this season, while Skyler Spencer averages 4.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, hits 53.8% from the field (28-52) and an incredible 37 blocks already this year.

San Diego State rebounds the ball about as well as anyone in the country (#13), especially offensively.  It will take a super shooting performance as well as Boise State's best defense and blocking out of the year to pull out a Bronco win.