2018 Maui Invitational: San Diego State Takes On No. 1 Duke
The Aztecs get a huge opportunity to pick up a big win in the first round of the Maui Invitational
San Diego State Looks To Take Down Duke In Round One
With a relatively weak non-conference schedule San Diego State has three great opportunities to get some big wins in Hawaii as they are participating in the Maui Invitational. The annual holiday tournament is the most loaded tournament of the season as it hosts its most impressive field ever.
In round one the Aztecs get the number one team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils come into the game with a record of 3-0 and a 31.3 average margin of victory; including a big-time 34-point victory over Kentucky on opening night. Duke is led by three freshmen. Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett lead the team in scoring with 25.3 points apiece. Williamson also averages 10.7 rebounds per game, while Barrett is averaging 4.7 assists. Cam Reddish is the third and final player scoring in double digits for the Blue Devils.
San Diego State is a big underdog in this game, but this is a huge opportunity for them. The Aztecs are 2-0 with victories against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Texas Southern, two teams not exactly in the same realm as the Blue Devils. After two games the entire starting lineup is averaging double figures.
Senior guard Devin Watson leads the way with 17 points and 5.5 assists per game. Behind him is sophomore forward Matt Mitchell, who is averaging 15.5 points per contest. NBA prospect Jalen McDaniels is third on the team in scoring (14.5 points per game) and first in rebounds (nine per game). Rounding out the double-digit scorers are Jeremy Hemsley, 12 per game, and Jordan Schakel, 11.5 per game.
The Aztecs are going to have a tough time with the Blue Devils, however, the opportunity is there and they need to take advantage. Not allowing the Blue Devils to get out in transition and keeping their composure after a highlight-reel worthy play will be necessary for the Aztecs.
San Diego State also needs to avoid turnovers and shoot well from the field. Essentially the Aztecs need to play near perfect and not shoot themselves in the foot. Should the Aztecs play like they did against Texas Southern, then they have a chance to pull the upset.
GAME 3: San Diego State Aztecs (2-0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (3-0)
WHEN: Monday, November 19 — 3:00 PM MT/2:00 PM PT
WHERE: Lahaina Civic Center; Maui, Hawaii (2,400)
SERIES RECORD: Duke leads 2-0
KENPOM: Duke -13