SDSU vs. Alabama: Three Keys (Plus Two) To An Aztecs Win
The University of Alabama is expected to defeat San Diego State. Here’s how the Aztecs can turn the Tide.
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Despite eye-popping stats, the Crimson Tide do have vulnerabilities and some of them complement the Aztecs’ strengths.
Louisville, KY — The Aztecs have a tall order in this Friday’s Sweet Sixteen match against the Crimson Tide. Alabama is in the business of winning, and like many powerhouse sports universities, they have stacked their deck.
Brandon Miller is a top NBA prospect. Nick Pringle was the number one ranked JUCO transfer. As you look closer, the Crimson Tide leverage their prestige all the way, with both players and coaches.
The Aztecs, however, have a different kind of stacked deck. Whereas Bama, the darling of the SEC, simply obtains a menu of top talent and circles the resources they want before picking them up at the drive through, SDSU carefully curates and nurtures great athletes best for its program. Brian Dutcher is one of the top basketball recruiters, but SDSU has not historically had Bama’s brand power. SDSU is, however, growing its profile, year over year, with excellent sports output, and now awaits a pending Pac-12 invite.
The Crimson Tide are a superb basketball team with eye-popping stats, but they do have vulnerabilities, and some of those complement The Aztecs’ strengths. So, how does that translate for San Diego State?
Here is how the Aztecs can score a win this Friday night.
Keys to an Aztecs Victory
1. Keep the crimson tide below 70 points
Alabama lost five games this past season. In four out of five of those games, the Crimson Tide were held to below 70 points. In fact, there have only been six games total where they have fallen below 70, and they’ve lost four of those games. It means their dominant offense, their secret weapon, is heavily linked to their TEMPO. If they don’t have tempo, and they don’t score above 70 it is highly probable the Crimson Tide will lose.
2. CAPITALIZE ON alaBAMA TURNOVER SUCCEPTABILITY
It might be related to their high-tempo brand of basketball, or it might be due to many freshmen and sophomores making up their roster, but Alabama gives up 13.3 turnovers per game against ORDINARY teams. When you have a team like San Diego State that forces more turnovers, that number could easily grow to 15-16, and if the Aztecs are able to convert those turnovers to points, they could steal game-winning momentum.
3. stifle brandon miller and jahvon quinerly
Miller is the obvious dominant athlete on the Crimson Tide. There are others who can break the game open, and Jahvon Quinerly went 4 for 6 from three point land as he registered 22 points against Maryland, so he’s one to watch. If both of these athletes fail to capitalize due to breakneck defense, it is tougher for the Crimson Tide to reach that critical 70-point mark.
4. DEFEND THE ARC FIERCELY
Nate Oats spreads his team out and they capitalize with at least 10 three pointers per game, if not more. The Aztecs will have to shadow the Crimson Tide to prevent them from getting good looks. When sharpshooting teams can’t produce three pointers their ability to win wanes, as we saw in the Mountain West Finals when Utah State, the fourth best NCAA three-point shooting team couldn’t capitalize in the face of frenetic Aztec defense.
5. CONFUSE THE CRIMSON TIDE IN THE SECOND HALF
Nate Oats and his coaching squad are recognized for profiling a team during the first half of a game, making adjustments, and then breaking out ahead, even after trailing. Because of it, the Aztecs should mix things up in the second half as subterfuge against the Crimson Tide’s ability to make these key tweaks on the fly. This could stymie a comeback or breakaway for the Crimson Tide.
The Aztecs have a veteran squad, and they will be able to contend, but with careful attention to the Crimson Tide’s vulnerabilities they could surprise everybody with a game winning upset.
The Aztec Nation wishes Brian Dutcher’s Aztecs squad success in San Diego State’s third-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance this Friday.