Colorado State vs. SJSU Series Preview
The Spartans try to get their first conference victory.
Can CSU stay hot against a scuffling SJSU team?
The series: San Jose State vs. Colorado State
Location: Ability 360 center in Phoenix
GAME 1 TIP TIME: Thursday, January 14th, 6:30 PST
GAME 2 TIP TIME: Saturday, January 16th, 3:30 PST
STREAM: Mountain West Digital Network
ODDS: KenPom.com has Colorado State favored by 17.
The San Jose State Spartans enter this series winless in conference play, after getting swept on the road by Fresno State. Colorado State is smoldering hot after winning six of their last seven games with their tough to stop offense.
The Spartans continue to struggle on the defensive side of the floor, allowing eighty plus points in all but one game in conference play this season. In that game, Fresno State scored 79 points, and won by 15 points. The Spartans post defense continues to be a point of problems, although Colorado State is one of the better shooting teams in the entire country.
With SJSU’s defensive problems, Jean Prioleau’s team will need to beat teams on the offensive side of the ball. Richard Washington’s became one of the top players in the Mountain West, averaging 22 points-per-game, Washington will need to have big performances in this series. Washington does have takeover ability, we saw in the close game against Boise State, Washington posted 26 points with seven threes.
After Seneca Knight‘s departure, SJSU was searching for a 2nd option, soon thereafter, Jalen Dalcourt became available to play, and in four games, Dalcourt is averaging 13.8 PPG, with a beautiful jumper. Dalcourt will be a big player for San Jose State. The rampant pace Jean Prioleau plays fits Dalcourt’s style perfectly.
The Rams have been tremendous so far this season shooting the ball from three. Isaiah Stevens is the star for CSU with an incredible stat-line of 15.5 points-per-game, 5.0 rebounds-per-game, 6.5 assists-per-game. Not many players have that pieced together with an unreal 48.6% from three.
Stevens is poised for a huge series and needs to be in consideration for conference player of the year. David Roddy’s improved as much as anybody in the MW this season, becoming an elite defender, and Roddy’s now became a serviceable shooter from deep. Roddy is the main player to eye-in on if you’re watching this series, 6’5 252, and is tough to stop inside. SJSU’s struggles mainly come with stopping opposing teams in the paint.
CSU’s defense as a whole has been greatly improved, going from being ranked 172nd in KenPom last season, and now is ranked 81st in defense on KenPom. Niko Medved is a future star in the coaching ranks and is building a real program.
KEYS TO THE SERIES:
SJSU needs to focus on stopping David Roddy inside. I envision Coach Medved will try feeding Roddy often due to the post defensive struggles of San Jose State, Roddy is the only real threat in the paint for CSU. Colorado State loves shooting the three-ball, they don’t play inside a ton. For SJSU that means Ralph Agee and Hugo Clarkin need to defend with high intensity.
Colorado State ranks 337th in offensive rebound percentage, I think Colorado State needs to grab some offensive boards to win be successful in this series. David Roddy could grab a few, then you look at James Moors for some.
Colorado State: David Roddy
San Jose State: Jalen Dalcourt
GAME ONE: COLORADO STATE 87, SAN JOSE STATE, 68
GAME TWO: COLORADO STATE: 91, SAN JOSE STATE, 74