San Diego State. vs Fresno State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Prediction

San Diego State. vs Fresno State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Prediction

Mountain West Basketball

San Diego State. vs Fresno State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Prediction


San Diego State. vs Fresno State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Prediction

Two of the best defenses in the conference (and the nation) face off with a top 5 finish on the line.

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WHO: San Diego St. Aztecs (16-6) Vs  Fresno St. Bulldogs

When: Saturday, February 19th, 10:00PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT

Where: Fresno, Ca

TV: CBS Sports Network

STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial

San Diego State hits the road hoping to gain just their third quad 1 victory on the season. Playing on the road has been a struggle for this seasons’ Aztecs team, as they are 2-4 in true road games. On the line is a chance to improvise the resume by getting a strong road win against a good Fresno St. team and extending their win streak to five games.

The Bulldogs have lost three in a row, including a bad loss at home against UNLV. Their at-large chances are all but gone. Their hope is to get on a hot streak to finish the season and try and get the auto bid by winning the conference tournament.

They can do it too. Anchored by the 25th best defense in the nation, and having a future pro in big man Orlando Robinson, Fresno St. is a team no one would want to face if they get on a hot streak.

Orlando Robinson is averaging 18.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Those marks are good for sixth and fifth in the conference, respectively. Robinson is a modern big man who can score in the old fashioned way, pass out of double teams, or pull his defender out to the perimeter where he is a 32% shooter from behind the arc. Robinson currently ransom5th in the nation in KenPom’s national player of the year rankings.

Robinson is flanked by Isaiah Hill, who averages ten points and three assists per game. Hill has a solid outside stroke but has struggled to finish inside the arc this season.

The Aztecs are led by Matt Bradley, who is averaging 20.5 points and 6 rebounds in conference play, on a 49/52/82 shooting line. He has carried the Aztecs offensively for much of the season, and will likely need to again going against a stout Fresno St. defense.

The Aztecs haven’t had much offense outside of Bradley, but the key to their defense is Nathan Mensah. The 6’10” big man leads the conference in blocks at 2.1 per game, and is quick enough to switch into opposing point guards as well as protect the paint.

The coaching staffs are also very familiar with each other. Justin Hutson was an assistant to Brian Dutcher back in 2018, and both coaches were assistants under Steve Fisher for many years.

The Bulldogs are 2 point favorites in this game according to KenPom.

Keys for SDSU- The Aztecs will need to rely on their #1 ranked defense and make Orlando Robinson work for anything he gets, and do so without fouling.

The Aztecs will also need to find a second scorer besides Matt Bradley. Against Utah St both Keshad Johnson and Adam Seiko stepped up. The Aztecs will need similar production from someone on the roster to help lift them over the Bulldogs 25th ranked defense.

Keys for Fresno State – The Bulldogs will want to protect the paint. The Aztecs are one of the most midrange focused teams in the nation. The Bulldogs will want to live with that but not give up easy layups or dunks. Along those lines they need to protect the ball. The Aztecs defense is very aggressive in forcing turnovers so they can get easy points in transition. Protecting the ball and getting back in transition will really slow the Aztecs offense down.

Predictions – The Aztecs offense has slowed them down all season, but they are on a four game stretch of average or better offense, and that trend will continue against Fresno St. The Bulldogs will come out swinging, making seemingly every basket to start the game, but as players settle down the Aztecs will take and hold the lead.

Prediction – 64-60 Aztecs


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