Quick turnaround as Aztecs host Nevada on Sunday
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State men’s basketball team can’t dwell on their latest second loss to Colorado State as they prepare to host the Nevada Wolf Pack at Viejas Arena in just 43 hours after Friday night’s game. The Aztecs and Wolf Pack are expected to tip at 1:00 p.m. PT Sunday, with the game airing on CBS Sports Network.
OFF THE REBOUND
The two teams that have won at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title in each of the past eight seasons meet for the first time Sunday at Viejas Arena when Nevada (regular season champion in 2016 -17, 2017-18 and 2018-19) face San Diego State (regular season champions in 2013-14, 2014-15 (co), 2015-16, 2019-20 and 2020-21).
SDSU has won six straight games against Nevada and leads the overall series, 22-6. The Aztecs have won nine straight at Viejas Arena against the Wolf Pack, with Nevada’s only victory in the building on November 14, 1998 (76-71 in overtime), when Nevada was a member of the WAC and before Brian Hollander and Steve Fisherarrived on campus.
Last season, the Aztecs won all three meetings with the Wolf Pack by a combined 14 points. SDSU beat Nevada twice in San Diego, 65-60 on Jan. 7 and 69-67 on Jan. 9, and 77-70 in the semifinals of the MWC tournament in Las Vegas (March 12).
The Aztecs are 13-1 in their last 14 games immediately following a loss, and in situations where a loss is immediately followed by a home game, San Diego State has won 20 straight games.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, the Aztecs are 45-5 at home (90.0%), tied for the 11th-best record in the nation and leading the Mountain West Conference in that span.
At kickoff Sunday, San Diego State will be 41 hours away from a heartbreaking 58-57 loss to Colorado State. The Aztecs trailed by 20 points with 10:15 remaining but used a 13-0 run capped by one Lamont Butler three-point field goal to give SDSU a 58-57 advantage with 14 seconds left. It was SDSU’s only game lead. David Roddy’s sweater with :09 on the left puts CSU at the top and matt bradley couldn’t convert on his next trip (which got a lot of contacts) because the time expired.
One night when the offense was at its height, the senior guard matt bradley was nothing sensational. He tied a season high with 27 points, including 18 after intermission. He was 4 for 7 from three-point range, had four rebounds and fouls CSU six in the contest.
Although SDSU struggled from the ground, the defense was again put on a clinic. The Aztecs held Colorado State to 58 points, their lowest in a home game since Dec. 13, 2019. Additionally, SDSU held the Rams to 40.8 percent shooting, 5 of 19 in starting from three points (26.3%), outshot CSU by a margin of 12 (43-31) and forced 15 turnovers.
In two of San Diego State’s three conference losses, the Aztecs held a lead in the final 64 seconds of the game (against Boise and at Colorado State). In contrast, three of San Diego State’s four conference wins have come by at least 25 points (Colorado State, UNLV and New Mexico).
This is one of the reasons why in conference play, two-time defending conference champions Mountain West have the league’s best scoring margin in conference play.
In total, as of last Friday, San Diego State is expected to play 11 times (five at home, six away) over the next 30 days (February 4-March 5).
As of Dec. 8, San Diego State is 7-2 and is 1st nationally in fewest points allowed (54.7), opponent field goal percentage (35, 6), the opponent’s two-point field goal percentage (39.7). The Aztecs are 2nd in effective opponent goal percentage (41.8).
Once again this season, San Diego State ranks among the best in the nation on defense. The Aztecs are 3rd in defense in field goal percentage (37.1), 4th in defense against goals (56.9), 5th in effective field goal percentage (42.4), 7th in two-point field goal percentage (42.0) and 17th in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.8). Additionally, the Aztecs are 2nd in adjusted defensive effectiveness according to Kenpom (84.4).
SDSU Head Coach Brian Hollander is in his fifth season as head coach of San Diego State and his 23rd season on the Aztec sideline. In his four-plus seasons as head coach, he led the Aztecs to four conference titles, an overall record of 108-37 and was previously named National Coach of the Year and named Coach twice. of the Year from the Mountain West Conference. Of the rookie head coaches who started the 2017-18 season, Dutcher’s 107 wins are the most and he is the only head coach in the group to achieve triple-digit wins.