Utah State vs. #4 SDSU: Three Keys to a 23rd Aztecs Win
The Aztecs face their most daunting in-conference foes at Viejas Arena and the board man himself will be present to cheer them on.
February 1st will be a day for the ages in the world of San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball.
San Diego, CA- The NCAA’s sole undefeated basketball team, the San Diego State Aztecs square off against the talented and determined Utah State Aggies Saturday night, looking for their 23rd straight win.
The reigning league champion Aggies will be making an all-out effort to pick up a signature W that could help them attain an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. They will arrive fully determined.
Viejas Arena will be jam packed on “Kawhi Leonard Day.” That’s right: the San Diego City Council has proclaimed February 1st the official day of Leonard. The board man does indeed get paid.
On Saturday, he will be paid respect.
Brian Dutcher’s squad remains an unblemished 22-0 after a pair of very challenging road games first at UNLV, then at Albuquerque against the Lobos. The first was a neck-at-neck fight, while the second was a rout.
At halftime, San Diego State will hold a jersey-retirement ceremony for aforementioned 2019 NBA Finals MVP and now L.A. Clipper Kawhi Leonard, who played for the Aztecs from 2009-11. Leonard led the Aztecs to consecutive Mountain West championships and helped the Aztecs make a Sweet 16 appearance at one of the two NCAA Tournament appearances.
WHO: Utah State (17-6, 6-4 MWC) at #4 SDSU (22-0, 11-0 MWC)
WHEN: Kawhi Leonard Day, February 1st, 2020 – 7 p.m. PST
WHERE: Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
WATCH: CBS Sports Network
LISTEN: 1360-AM, 101.5-FM
ALL-TIME RECORD: San Diego State is 12-5 against Utah State and has won 12 of the last 14 encounters between the teams.
ODDS: San Diego State -11.5
THREE KEYS (PLUS 1) TO AN AZTECS VICTORY
STIFLE THE AGGIES AT THE PERIMETER
During their last outing on January 4th, the Aztecs held Sam Merrill, Justin Bean and the rest of the Aggies to just 26.1% from three point land. It was a major factor in Utah State managing to shoot just 42.6% from the floor before losing 77-68 at home against the Aztecs.
WIN THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
Center Neemias Queta will be back in the game, and it will be vital that the Aztecs fight hard for rebounds both defensively and offensively. Let’s hope the board man’s presence will inspire Yanni Wetzell and the Aztecs to take rebounding to a whole new level.
SHARE THE ROCK
One of the secrets to the Aztecs’ unprecedented success is moving the basketball and applying patience and care to find the open shooter. With so many breakout players, when the Aztecs keep the ball moving and make assists the hot hand can be identified and supported by their teammates. This season we’ve discovered that Malachi Flynn, Yanni Wetzell, Jordan Schakel, KJ Feagin, Trey Pulliam, Matt Mitchell and even other Aztecs each can be capable of breakout performance.
LET KAWHI LEONARD PLAY
The two-time NBA Finals MVP could arguably destroy the entire Utah State Aggies floor with a supporting cast of Flynn, Feagin, Wetzell and Mitchell.
He will be at the game so…