San Diego State hosts BYU in a bit matchup
How will the Aztecs offense look today?
The game: BYU (1-0) at San Diego State (1-0)
Location: Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
Odds: San Diego State -11
The last time these two meet, Matt Mitchell and Alex Barcello won’t blow for blow in the BYU victory, but Mitchell aided a massive comeback for the Aztecs. It’s a little different this time around. San Diego State looks like a borderline top-10 team in college hoops, while BYU barely snuck past Idaho State on opening night. BYU was trailing with two minutes left in the contest — it wasn’t pretty but can Mark Pope use the tight game as a teaching moment ahead of this game? Let’s see what happens there.
I like what Darrion Trammell provided in his first game, scoring 18 points in the opener against Cal State Fullerton. Matt Bradley only scored eight points but I’m actually glad Bradley didn’t go off right away because that allows the rest of the core to show what they’re made of. In games Bradley scored eight points last season the rest of the team wasn’t scoring 70 points, definitely not 80 points. It’s important for Bradley to play a little better against BYU.
The oddsmakers surely like San Diego State as they’re favored by 11 points on the day of the game. Am I surprised they’re favorites by double-digits? A little bit, but it’s warranted in my mind. BYU has to figure out how the team succeeds, while San Diego State already knows: It starts defensively then comes the improved offense.
BYU didn’t “wow” me in its first game of the season. The starting backcourt features Rudi Williams, Jaxson Robinson and Spencer Johnson — none of which are WCC first team caliber players. There’s no TJ Haws or Alex Barcello or even Jake Toolson. It’s a plethora of guys who could drop 20 occasionally but are more likely to average 8-12 points instead of being a clear number one option. Forward Fouss Traore posted 15 points and eight rebounds against Idaho State. He looks like the most consistent player on the roster but faces Nathan Mensah, the best frontcourt defender in college basketball.
Players to watch:
San Diego State: JaeDon LeDee – The number one breakout candidate in San Diego State fans hearts dropped 10 in his Aztec debut. He looked good, strong, fluid, and hit multiple threes during SDSU’s final exhibition games — something he never did previously. Here’s a chance for him to emerge against a legit top-100 team in college basketball.
BYU: Jaxson Robinson – The multi-time transfer from Arkansas and Texas A&M instantly slid into a starting role at BYU. He’s 6-foot-7, can stretch the floor in the perimeter but struggled in the season opener. He might be the guy if those three pointers start to fall and it could start here.
San Diego State 82