San Diego State vs. Colorado State Preview & Score Prediction
The Mountain West founding teams meet for the 82nd time with the Rams having a 41-40 series advantage.
San Diego State (9-4, 1-1 MW) at Colorado State (8-7, 1-1 MW)
Date: Tuesday, January 2
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. MT
Venue: Moby Arena, Ft. Collins, CO
TV/Stream: CBS Sports Network
PROJECTED COLORADO STATE LINEUP
G Prentiss Nixon
G J.D. Paige
F Che Bob
F Deion James
C Nico Carvacho
PROJECTED SAN DIEGO STATE LINEUP
G Trey Kell
G Devin Watson
F Malik Pope
F Jalen McDaniels
C Kameron Rooks
WHY COLORADO STATE WILL WIN
The Rams are 7-0 at home this season, so the pressure will be on. Larry Eustachy is a very talented coach, who last season joined the 500 career win club and delivered his 100th win with the Rams. He was also Mountain West Coach of the Year, which is kind of a big deal. Eustachy considers San Diego State a big win, and this is often evident by the garish orange rally shirts often donned by spectators; throwback “Aggies” (Rams?) uniforms and crazy fans storming courts after Aztecs matches.
The Rams return three players with starting experience in redshirt-junior J.D. Paige, junior Prentiss Nixon, and redshirt sophomore Nico Carvacho. Nixon, an honorable mention All-MW pick by the media last year, averaged 13.2 points per game, while Paige was at 8.8 points and a team-best 2.5 assists per game. Carvacho posted 5.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, ranking third on the team in boards. Still, the Rams have their work cut out for themselves without Giann Clavell and Emannuel Omogbo.
WHY SAN DIEGO STATE WILL WIN
San Diego State has handed the Rams five of their last 34 home losses. Since Jan. 31, 2009, the Aztecs are 5-4 at Moby Arena, while the rest of the country is 29-110. The Aztecs are also very good on the road. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign, San Diego State is 31-20 in true road games (60.8 percent) and owns the nation’s 15th best winning percentage in the span.
Malik Pope becomes electric against Colorado State- especially at Moby Arena. In three career games at Moby Arena, Pope has averaged 15.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, while shooting 60.0 percent from the field (18-30) and 88.9 percent from three-point range (8-9). In eight career games against Colorado State, Pope has 102 points (12.8), 39 rebounds (4.9), 10 assists (1.3), seven blocked shots and four steals. He has connected on 37-of-64 field goal attempts (57.8 percent), 12-of-16 from three-point range (75.0 percent) and 16-of-20 from the free throw line (80.0 percent).
The Aztecs also have an onslaught of new talent including 7’1″ Cal graduate transfer center Kameron Rooks, USF transfer sharp-shooter guard Devin Watson, redshirt-freshman star forward Jalen McDaniels, and breakout freshman guard Matt Mitchell. In his first season as head coach, Brian Dutcher is off to a very good start, most notably with a recent signature win against Gonzaga.
San Diego State – 7.5, o/u: 110
San Diego State 75, Colorado State 68