USU vs SDSU Preview

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USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by scotlandog » December 31st, 2019, 12:37 pm

No matter what happens in Vegas against UNLV, Saturday is a huge game against SDSU. The Aztecs are 1 of 2 teams still unbeaten, the other being Auburn. They have been floating around the top 3 spots of the NET ranking and have wins against BYU(sans Childs), Creighton, Iowa and a blowout of Utah. Very good wins. To be fair it should be mentioned that they needed a last second 3 to beat SJSU in Viejas Arena. They will come in ranked #13 in the nation and bring a lot of confidence. They know who they are. They know what they can do. They are going to come in and dare USU to try and stop them. It will be a battle.

The tip of the spear in this battle will be Malachi Flynn. SDSU in years past has relied on their defense and has struggled to put up points which has limited their success. That is changed with Malachi, a junior transfer from Washington State. He scores from all over the court, dropping 15.5 ppg at a 42.7% clip (43.1% from 3). At 6’1”, he is the speedy type guard that has given USU fits. When he drives inside, he will dish to their twin giants.

At 6’10” each, Wetzell and Nathan Mensah are not the lumbering post players you see on some teams that can’t catch a ball. They will be actively involved in the offense as Wetzell is the 2nd leading scorer with 11.2 ppg and Mensah brings in 7 ppg.

Trying to monster their bigs after the entry pass will leave their best 3pt shooter, Schakel, open. Only shooting 40% from 3 in home games this season, Schakel is a road warrior as he is hitting 56% from 3 on the road and shoots 5-6 3’s/gm.
With a supporting cast of Mitchell (10ppg) and Feagin(7ppg), SDSU will bring scoring threats from all over the court.

In comparison with Utah State, SDSU is a mirror image in many ways. Points per game and points against are very similar with both averaging 20pts more than they give up. Field goal percentage(~46%), Assists(16/17), blocks(~3.4), steals(~7.1) are all almost identical. USU has a slight rebounding edge 43.5 to 39 rebounds per game.

Both teams have height. USU has boasted (3) 7 footers and have used that advantage in many games but that will somewhat be nullified in this game with SDSU’s (3) 6’10” guys. Having Queta and Kuba available for this game will be huge, quite literally. The playing time that Dorius has had in their absence should pay dividends as it gives USU depth in the post.

Wetzell has been to SDSU what Queta was to USU’s run last year. Offense becomes a lot easier with consistent scoring coming from the post. Defense becomes a lot easier with shot blockers down low and the ability to put pressure on the perimeter. The matchup between Queta/Kuba/Dorius vs Wetzell/Mensah/Mensah will be something to watch for. Whomever is winning this battle down low will have the advantage down the stretch of the game.

Bean/Anderson vs Mitchell matchup will also be interesting. Mitchell can play like a guard and bang like a forward. He’s got a lot of strength that poses problems for many teams at the 3 and 4 positions. Anderson can match his strength though and both Bean and Anderson have played the post against much bigger competition. They have both proven to be very effective offensively and defensively against post players and guards alike. This matchup will tip towards the Aggies and may prove to be the difference in the game.

The guard position is a very interesting matchup as well with both Sam Merrill and Malachi Flynn garnering national attention. USU guards runs tall with Porter(6’3”), Merril(6’5”), Miller(6’5”) and Brito(6’6”). SDSU brings the speed with Flynn(6’1”), Feagin(6’1”), Pulliam(6’3”), Seiko(6’3”), Schakel(6’6”). This size advantage at the guard position should allow for some good looks from 3 and good rebounding from the guard position. It will also make it more difficult to defend the speedier guards. Merrill and Brito should be able to use their size to drive effectively and even post up their smaller defenders if we can pull their shot blockers out of the paint.

Flynn will be a similar matchup to Ford from St. Mary’s. USU has struggled guarding these smaller, speedy guards this season. One reason is for this is not having Queta or Kuba available as shot blockers. Last season versus St Mary’s Ford was shut down with Queta inside. This season he was the difference in the game down the stretch as neither Queta or Kuba was available for that game. As long as Queta and Kuba are in this one, we will be able to minimize their guards penetration, allowing USU to focus on denying 3pt shots.

Schakel and Miller will be almost identical pieces on the court, tall 3pt specialists that can get their shots off whenever, wherever. If Schakel is hot and Miller is not, then USU will be at a disadvantage here. Brito can also be thrown into this conversation as he will play that same position at times and will not be the focus of the defense, affording him some open looks from deep. USU needs Brito and Miller to be hitting from deep when they are left open.

In this early conference battle, the winner will make a statement. If SDSU wins, they have a good chance of go undefeated in the season as the return trip to Viejas will be extremely difficult to win and will likely push them into the top 10. If USU wins, they will get another marque win and show the preseason hype was not unwarranted. When this team is healthy, they can be a force. A win for USU will also likely put them back into the top 25 and set them up well for March.

Projection: USU wins 75-72

A huge battle with lots on the line for each team is the best way to kick off conference play in January!


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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by hawktro » December 31st, 2019, 12:50 pm

Great write up! If Queta is himself we win close .... otherwise it's a 20 point loss



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Aggie in Boise » December 31st, 2019, 12:53 pm

One hell of a write up. Nice work!



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Madmartigan » December 31st, 2019, 1:20 pm

hawktro wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 12:50 pm
Great write up! If Queta is himself we win close .... otherwise it's a 20 point loss
You think SDSU beats us by 20 at home without a full Queta? Even without Queta I don't see us getting blown out in front of a sell-out crowd.
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by slcagg » December 31st, 2019, 1:23 pm

Madmartigan wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 1:20 pm
hawktro wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 12:50 pm
Great write up! If Queta is himself we win close .... otherwise it's a 20 point loss
You think SDSU beats us by 20 at home without a full Queta? Even without Queta I don't see us getting blown out in front of a sell-out crowd.
Uh yeah really strange comment considering success thus far this year without a healthy team.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by scotlandog » December 31st, 2019, 2:23 pm

slcagg wrote:
Madmartigan wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 1:20 pm
hawktro wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 12:50 pm
Great write up! If Queta is himself we win close .... otherwise it's a 20 point loss
You think SDSU beats us by 20 at home without a full Queta? Even without Queta I don't see us getting blown out in front of a sell-out crowd.
Uh yeah really strange comment considering success thus far this year without a healthy team.
Agreed. I don’t think SDSU is really that much different than we are. Like I said before, they are a mirror of us. I think the game will be close without Queta and close with Queta. I could see a 10pt victory by either team to be honest. Depends on which team is shooting hot. I think it’s likely to be a 2 possession game either way with both teams making 7-10pt runs at different spots in the game.


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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Al-O-Meter » December 31st, 2019, 2:51 pm

As an Aztec fan, I am confident that USU will NOT suffer a 20-point loss at the hands of SDSU. The Aztecs are still getting used to the ball.

Many casual basketball fans do not know the NCAA does not standardize basketballs like the NBA does. The home team gets to use, within a range of set specifications, whatever basketball they want. The NCAA tournament uses the Wilson ball and many blueblood programs also use the Wilson ball just so they don’t have to learn a new ball feel come dance time.

The Mountain West has a contract signed with Nike which includes the use of Nike basketballs, but there are 2 different models of Nike basketballs that meet NCAA standards. Up until recently the Aztecs elected to use the Nike ball that was most similar to the Wilson for practices and games. That decision has paid dividends when entering tournaments and in road games against blueblood programs.

This past May, the Mountain West signed a contract with ShotTracker which uses wearable electronics on the players and a tracking chip equipped basketball. Nike does have such a basketball, and it is not the one the Aztecs have been using. The Nike model with the factory installed chip is the other model, with a more slick feel. To say the Aztec players dislike the feel of the factory chipped ball is a vast understatement, and the athletic staff has been fighting its adoption.

The Mountain West finally put its foot down and informed the Aztecs they were no longer allowed to use their preferred Nike model. Anyone care to take a guess as to when that decision came down?

If you answered “right before the Aztecs took the floor against SJSU”, ding, ding, ding! Since SJSU the Aztecs have also used the slick Nike ball in the games against SD Christian and CalPoly. With the old ball the Aztecs were shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the arc this season. Using the new slick Nike the Aztecs are shooting 36.6% and 25.6% respectively. Turnovers are also way up despite the competition being noticeably weaker.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sp ... p-shoulder

The Aztecs do have great players and they will adapt to the new ball. It may be a complete non-issue by the time SDSU faces the Aggies, but until I see the type of Aztec offensive output with the new Nike as there was the with old Nike ball, there is no way I’d predict a blowout against a team as good as USU is this year. In fact, I’m going to withhold my guess as to the score until after watching the SDSU-Fresno game.
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Real Life Aggie » December 31st, 2019, 3:05 pm

Al-O-Meter wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 2:51 pm
As an Aztec fan, I am confident that USU will NOT suffer a 20-point loss at the hands of SDSU. The Aztecs are still getting used to the ball.

Many casual basketball fans do not know the NCAA does not standardize basketballs like the NBA does. The home team gets to use, within a range of set specifications, whatever basketball they want. The NCAA tournament uses the Wilson ball and many blueblood programs also use the Wilson ball just so they don’t have to learn a new ball feel come dance time.

The Mountain West has a contract signed with Nike which includes the use of Nike basketballs, but there are 2 different models of Nike basketballs that meet NCAA standards. Up until recently the Aztecs elected to use the Nike ball that was most similar to the Wilson for practices and games. That decision has paid dividends when entering tournaments and in road games against blueblood programs.

This past May, the Mountain West signed a contract with ShotTracker which uses wearable electronics on the players and a tracking chip equipped basketball. Nike does have such a basketball, and it is not the one the Aztecs have been using. The Nike model with the factory installed chip is the other model, with a more slick feel. To say the Aztec players dislike the feel of the factory chipped ball is a vast understatement, and the athletic staff has been fighting its adoption.

The Mountain West finally put its foot down and informed the Aztecs they were no longer allowed to use their preferred Nike model. Anyone care to take a guess as to when that decision came down?

If you answered “right before the Aztecs took the floor against SJSU”, ding, ding, ding! Since SJSU the Aztecs have also used the slick Nike ball in the games against SD Christian and CalPoly. With the old ball the Aztecs were shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the arc this season. Using the new slick Nike the Aztecs are shooting 36.6% and 25.6% respectively. Turnovers are also way up despite the competition being noticeably weaker.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sp ... p-shoulder

The Aztecs do have great players and they will adapt to the new ball. It may be a complete non-issue by the time SDSU faces the Aggies, but until I see the type of Aztec offensive output with the new Nike as there was the with old Nike ball, there is no way I’d predict a blowout against a team as good as USU is this year. In fact, I’m going to withhold my guess as to the score until after watching the SDSU-Fresno game.
That's really interesting, and good information to know. Thanks for having shared that.

Granted, I think it also diminishes the role that SJSU played in that close game. Some of the woes of the Aztecs are attributable to that change, but it doesn't change the fact that SJSU played some good ball in the second half of that game. They outscored one of the top teams in the nations and had some excellent shooting percentages.

But, yes, I can imagine that such a drastic change would have a significant impact on the player's performance.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by AGGIEinIOWA » December 31st, 2019, 3:06 pm

Wow, interesting stuff about the ball situation. Thanks for sharing!



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by treesap32 » December 31st, 2019, 3:20 pm

Glad to have an SDSU fan on here providing useful info! Thank you for your contributions!
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Aggie84025 » December 31st, 2019, 3:51 pm

I am no expert, but below are my keys. First let's win against UNLV to set up this epic match up.

-Contain Flynn. If he goes off we will struggle.
-Stay out of foul trouble with the bigs.
-Out rebound or at least be even.
-Hard nose perimeter defense.
-Shoot >40% from three.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by SDSU » December 31st, 2019, 4:13 pm

lol good luck against our death lineup in the 2nd half with Flynn, Seiko, Mitchell, Schackel, and Wetzell. That lineup is the reason why SDSU manages to always pull away in the 2nd half.

Wetzell is SDSU's best player FYI. He moves like a gazzell and isn't soft like Mensah is. Dude's probably the strongest big man SDSU has ever had and is prone to give other big men fits(gets them in foul trouble). Yes, he is our tallest player(since i've been to many SDSU games), so he's closer to 6'11 if you factor in shoes.(new zealanders use height in socks, not shoes like in america. Wetzell is extremely fast, i just don't see USU stopping him.

that sucks that USU has to deal with this squad this season and the next because we only lose wetzell. Everyone else is basically returning.

my prediction is this. it will be a semi close game in the 1st half. Then SDSU pulls away in the 2nd half. This has been always the case and it's Dutcher's death lineup being the main reason.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by SDSU » December 31st, 2019, 4:21 pm

Aggie84025 wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 3:51 pm
I am no expert, but below are my keys. First let's win against UNLV to set up this epic match up.

-Contain Flynn. If he goes off we will struggle.
-Stay out of foul trouble with the bigs.
-Out rebound or at least be even.
-Hard nose perimeter defense.
-Shoot >40% from three.
1. that's what Dutcher wants other teams to do, "contain" Flynn. The Utes for example paid the price
2. Foul trouble is inevitable since wetzell is extremely physical and quick
3. Not gonna work. Cal Poly outrebounded SDSU and they still got blown out
4. perimeter defense should be the least of your concern since SDSU can also score inside. Last game, 90%of our points against the Utes were in the paint.

the thing sdsu struggles against is the 3 pt shot. if USU can make plenty of them, they have a chance at beating the #1 team in the country;.

then again, SDSU presses the entire game. Good luck with that too



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by scotlandog » December 31st, 2019, 4:33 pm

SDSU wrote:lol good luck against our death lineup in the 2nd half with Flynn, Seiko, Mitchell, Schackel, and Wetzell. That lineup is the reason why SDSU manages to always pull away in the 2nd half.

Wetzell is SDSU's best player FYI. He moves like a gazzell and isn't soft like Mensah is. Dude's probably the strongest big man SDSU has ever had and is prone to give other big men fits(gets them in foul trouble). Yes, he is our tallest player(since i've been to many SDSU games), so he's closer to 6'11 if you factor in shoes.(new zealanders use height in socks, not shoes like in america. Wetzell is extremely fast, i just don't see USU stopping him.

that sucks that USU has to deal with this squad this season and the next because we only lose wetzell. Everyone else is basically returning.

my prediction is this. it will be a semi close game in the 1st half. Then SDSU pulls away in the 2nd half. This has been always the case and it's Dutcher's death lineup being the main reason.
You really pulled away from the Spartans. You were down 2 until a lucky 3 at the last second correct? Dominating performance by your Death Squad to be sure. That was at home too! We have all the depth we need in the post to handle Wetzell and we haven’t needed to rely on any single player to win our games. We will see what happens to SDSU when you guys lose Wetzell. I think we will have a close game in the first half until Wetzell fouls out and then the Death Squad will crumble like they did last year in the Spectrum.


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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Real Life Aggie » December 31st, 2019, 4:51 pm

SDSU wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 4:13 pm
That lineup is the reason why SDSU manages to always pull away in the 2nd half.
But SJSU outscored you in the second half at home.
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by SDSU » January 1st, 2020, 8:11 am

scotlandog wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 12:37 pm
They will come in ranked #13 in the nation and bring a lot of confidence. They know who they are. They know what they can do. They are going to come in and dare USU to try and stop them. It will be a battle.
You mean #1 in the country. The other rankings don't mean diddly squat. NET ranking only matter because that is what the selection committee will use to determine seeding. I really don't understand why you are cherry picking that buzzer win against SJSU. SDSU dominated the 2nd half in 12 out of their last 13 games, so you should be focusing more on the RULE and not the exception. Generally speaking, the 2nd half is where SDSU dominates.
The tip of the spear in this battle will be Malachi Flynn. SDSU in years past has relied on their defense and has struggled to put up points which has limited their success. That is changed with Malachi, a junior transfer from Washington State. He scores from all over the court, dropping 15.5 ppg at a 42.7% clip (43.1% from 3). At 6’1”, he is the speedy type guard that has given USU fits. When he drives inside, he will dish to their twin giants.
This is 100% correct. He puts teams in an uncomfortable position on defense because either he shoots over them, or he passes to an open shooter or one of the big men underneath. Don't forget, he's ridiculously accurate when driving in as well, and not sloppy like our 2 senior guards last year. Then again, this is no surprise since did lead the pac 12 in scoring. The only way this is stoppable is if Flynn himself has a bad shooting night.(like that SJSU game). The problem, he's still shooting over 40% from 3 so 1 bad night doesn't mean anything.

Trying to monster their bigs after the entry pass will leave their best 3pt shooter, Schakel, open. Only shooting 40% from 3 in home games this season, Schakel is a road warrior as he is hitting 56% from 3 on the road and shoots 5-6 3’s/gm.
With a supporting cast of Mitchell (10ppg) and Feagin(7ppg), SDSU will bring scoring threats from all over the court.

In comparison with Utah State, SDSU is a mirror image in many ways. Points per game and points against are very similar with both averaging 20pts more than they give up. Field goal percentage(~46%), Assists(16/17), blocks(~3.4), steals(~7.1) are all almost identical. USU has a slight rebounding edge 43.5 to 39 rebounds per game.
uh no their not. USU's offense is merrill primarily scoring while the rest of USU's supporting cast shoots. Flynn doesn't need to score more than 20 pts in order for SDSU to win(it's actually rare that flynn would score more than 20 pts). Merill HAS to otherwise they lose. Without Queta(he torched us in the MWC tournament) USU's offense is extremely predictable.

one thing yuo forgot is SDSU's defensive intensity. They go hard on defense(sometimes too hard because they foul too much). SDSU will press the entire game top tire out your PG. . You will see this on saturday where Seiko and Feagin will hound merril.

Wetzell is also fast. He's fast enough to defend any guard in the country. Not only that but he's strong AF and bangs inside pretty hard. You guys will see all of this on saturday. imo, USU looks soft. They really havn't improved from last year.

it shocks me how SDSU was disrespected and projected to finish 2nd in the MWC in the preseason polls.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by GUS » January 1st, 2020, 10:51 am

My predictions: SDSU will lose to USU on Saturday by 8. Merrill will go off for 21 points. Bean has another double double. SDSU hangs their heads in sorrow as they will no longer be undefeated and drop to 15 in the net rankings. SDSU troll will still show up and claim that the loss doesn't mean anything and that SDSU is the best basketball team in the nation and the whole team could transition straight to the NBA and beat the Clippers. SDSU and Frank will meet each other on a gay dating site and become true butt buddies and spend the rest of their lives living in one of their mother's basement.
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by ThunderAggie » January 1st, 2020, 11:26 am

SDSU wrote:
January 1st, 2020, 8:11 am
USU's offense is merrill primarily scoring while the rest of USU's supporting cast shoots.

............

imo, USU looks soft. They really havn't improved from last year.
No, our offense is Merrill having some nice buckets, but Justin Bean getting hard fought rebounds and putbacks, Fonzo powering his way down low, Porter and Brito assisting all around the floor, and Kuba/Dorius/Queta getting rebounds and dunks down low. I do not know how much of Utah State you have watched, but we have WAY more than just Merrill.

We have the most rebounds in all Division 1 right now. I think we are anything but "soft." The guys are gritty and fearless imo.
https://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-m ... t/team/151

We are improved from last year whether you believe it or not and I think our ceiling is higher than last year as well. We are deeper and understand Coach Smith's system much better. We will see how it goes on Saturday. Should be a good game.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by scotlandog » January 1st, 2020, 12:13 pm

SDSU wrote:
scotlandog wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 12:37 pm
They will come in ranked #13 in the nation and bring a lot of confidence. They know who they are. They know what they can do. They are going to come in and dare USU to try and stop them. It will be a battle.
You mean #1 in the country. The other rankings don't mean diddly squat. NET ranking only matter because that is what the selection committee will use to determine seeding. I really don't understand why you are cherry picking that buzzer win against SJSU. SDSU dominated the 2nd half in 12 out of their last 13 games, so you should be focusing more on the RULE and not the exception. Generally speaking, the 2nd half is where SDSU dominates.
The tip of the spear in this battle will be Malachi Flynn. SDSU in years past has relied on their defense and has struggled to put up points which has limited their success. That is changed with Malachi, a junior transfer from Washington State. He scores from all over the court, dropping 15.5 ppg at a 42.7% clip (43.1% from 3). At 6’1”, he is the speedy type guard that has given USU fits. When he drives inside, he will dish to their twin giants.
This is 100% correct. He puts teams in an uncomfortable position on defense because either he shoots over them, or he passes to an open shooter or one of the big men underneath. Don't forget, he's ridiculously accurate when driving in as well, and not sloppy like our 2 senior guards last year. Then again, this is no surprise since did lead the pac 12 in scoring. The only way this is stoppable is if Flynn himself has a bad shooting night.(like that SJSU game). The problem, he's still shooting over 40% from 3 so 1 bad night doesn't mean anything.

Trying to monster their bigs after the entry pass will leave their best 3pt shooter, Schakel, open. Only shooting 40% from 3 in home games this season, Schakel is a road warrior as he is hitting 56% from 3 on the road and shoots 5-6 3’s/gm.
With a supporting cast of Mitchell (10ppg) and Feagin(7ppg), SDSU will bring scoring threats from all over the court.

In comparison with Utah State, SDSU is a mirror image in many ways. Points per game and points against are very similar with both averaging 20pts more than they give up. Field goal percentage(~46%), Assists(16/17), blocks(~3.4), steals(~7.1) are all almost identical. USU has a slight rebounding edge 43.5 to 39 rebounds per game.
uh no their not. USU's offense is merrill primarily scoring while the rest of USU's supporting cast shoots. Flynn doesn't need to score more than 20 pts in order for SDSU to win(it's actually rare that flynn would score more than 20 pts). Merill HAS to otherwise they lose. Without Queta(he torched us in the MWC tournament) USU's offense is extremely predictable.

one thing yuo forgot is SDSU's defensive intensity. They go hard on defense(sometimes too hard because they foul too much). SDSU will press the entire game top tire out your PG. . You will see this on saturday where Seiko and Feagin will hound merril.

Wetzell is also fast. He's fast enough to defend any guard in the country. Not only that but he's strong AF and bangs inside pretty hard. You guys will see all of this on saturday. imo, USU looks soft. They really havn't improved from last year.

it shocks me how SDSU was disrespected and projected to finish 2nd in the MWC in the preseason polls.
It’s kind of hard to ignore a recent dismal performance at home like you had against SJSU who has one of the worst NET rankings in the country. Especially considering how the big topic of discussion on the Aztec board is how the ball affects your players. If that’s true, SDSU is a very different team in conference. I would be concerned if I were you.

As far as concerning Merrill being our only offense, I don’t think you have watched any USU games this year. Merrill is averaging 17ppg and he has only scored above 20pts 7 of the 15 games. Of the 2 losses we have, he scored 23 in one and 11 in the other. We have had 5 different leading scorers and a very deep bench, not that I would expect you to know that. Our strength is not in individual players. Never has been. Our strength is our system and our ability to adapt to the game.

You obviously know nothing about USU since you think Sam is our PG. Again, we don’t rely on single players. Mostly, Porter is our PG, sometimes Merrill, sometimes Brito, sometimes others. If the defense focuses on Merrill, then Bean or Anderson or Brito or Miller steps up. We’ve also been playing without key players in Queta and Kuba. We should have Kuba back and likely Queta for Saturday’s tip. All I can say to you at this point is good luck because you don’t know anything other than SDSU is #1 in NET. So, good luck. Oh and don’t lose to Fresno before then. They are at least a point better then SJSU, so maybe I should say good luck for today’s game as well.




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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by WannabeAgAlum » January 1st, 2020, 9:05 pm

Al-O-Meter wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 2:51 pm
As an Aztec fan, I am confident that USU will NOT suffer a 20-point loss at the hands of SDSU. The Aztecs are still getting used to the ball.

Many casual basketball fans do not know the NCAA does not standardize basketballs like the NBA does. The home team gets to use, within a range of set specifications, whatever basketball they want. The NCAA tournament uses the Wilson ball and many blueblood programs also use the Wilson ball just so they don’t have to learn a new ball feel come dance time.

The Mountain West has a contract signed with Nike which includes the use of Nike basketballs, but there are 2 different models of Nike basketballs that meet NCAA standards. Up until recently the Aztecs elected to use the Nike ball that was most similar to the Wilson for practices and games. That decision has paid dividends when entering tournaments and in road games against blueblood programs.

This past May, the Mountain West signed a contract with ShotTracker which uses wearable electronics on the players and a tracking chip equipped basketball. Nike does have such a basketball, and it is not the one the Aztecs have been using. The Nike model with the factory installed chip is the other model, with a more slick feel. To say the Aztec players dislike the feel of the factory chipped ball is a vast understatement, and the athletic staff has been fighting its adoption.

The Mountain West finally put its foot down and informed the Aztecs they were no longer allowed to use their preferred Nike model. Anyone care to take a guess as to when that decision came down?

If you answered “right before the Aztecs took the floor against SJSU”, ding, ding, ding! Since SJSU the Aztecs have also used the slick Nike ball in the games against SD Christian and CalPoly. With the old ball the Aztecs were shooting 44.4% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the arc this season. Using the new slick Nike the Aztecs are shooting 36.6% and 25.6% respectively. Turnovers are also way up despite the competition being noticeably weaker.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sp ... p-shoulder

The Aztecs do have great players and they will adapt to the new ball. It may be a complete non-issue by the time SDSU faces the Aggies, but until I see the type of Aztec offensive output with the new Nike as there was the with old Nike ball, there is no way I’d predict a blowout against a team as good as USU is this year. In fact, I’m going to withhold my guess as to the score until after watching the SDSU-Fresno game.
This is interesting. Serious questions: Was SJSU already used to that weird new ball when they played SDSU? Was SDSU the only team in the conference using a different ball until that game? Will that ball be used on Saturday? Unfortunately even if it's the ball's fault, most people will think that's a pretty lame excuse.

"It's the ball! The ball is bad! Not fair!"

"Uh, what ball did the other team use?"



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by blueaggie » January 1st, 2020, 10:34 pm

How about USU UNLV preview?



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Imakeitrain » January 1st, 2020, 10:54 pm



Here is your preview.


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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Al-O-Meter » January 1st, 2020, 10:57 pm

WannabeAgAlum wrote:
January 1st, 2020, 9:05 pm
Unfortunately even if it's the ball's fault, most people will think that's a pretty lame excuse.

"It's the ball! The ball is bad! Not fair!"
It wouldn’t be used as an excuse by SDSU because the Aztecs have no expectation to be able to use their preferred ball in an opponent’s gym. They’re not stoked about being forced to use in on their home floor but the road is the road. I only mentioned it because it has shown to skew the outside shooting statistics and for those using this thread to gain an advantage in a wager, or wanting to appear to be privy to some inside scoop material might have found it interesting.

If you took what I wrote as some sort of preemptive whining then I’ve given you the wrong impression.
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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by WannabeAgAlum » January 2nd, 2020, 9:20 pm

Al-O-Meter wrote:
January 1st, 2020, 10:57 pm
WannabeAgAlum wrote:
January 1st, 2020, 9:05 pm
Unfortunately even if it's the ball's fault, most people will think that's a pretty lame excuse.

"It's the ball! The ball is bad! Not fair!"
It wouldn’t be used as an excuse by SDSU because the Aztecs have no expectation to be able to use their preferred ball in an opponent’s gym. They’re not stoked about being forced to use in on their home floor but the road is the road. I only mentioned it because it has shown to skew the outside shooting statistics and for those using this thread to gain an advantage in a wager, or wanting to appear to be privy to some inside scoop material might have found it interesting.

If you took what I wrote as some sort of preemptive whining then I’ve given you the wrong impression.
I don't think you're whining. I find it interesting.

Do you know if the same ball is now being used in all MWC gyms? If so then aren't all teams in the same boat? Serious questions.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Al-O-Meter » January 2nd, 2020, 10:55 pm

WannabeAgAlum wrote:
January 2nd, 2020, 9:20 pm
Do you know if the same ball is now being used in all MWC gyms? If so then aren't all teams in the same boat? Serious questions.
I know the situation at SDSU better than I know the whole conference but as far as I understand, the whole conference is now using the new Nike ball but some teams have been using the new Nike ball longer than others. ShotTracker offered the technology to some teams in the Mountain West last season. I do not know which Mountain West teams were in the test program last year and which ones were not.

I know that San Diego State used a Nike model to start this season which was the same as they used last season and for several years before that. The very first time the Aztecs used the new ball was in warm-ups the night of the SJSU game. I do not know if other teams in the Mountain West, who had also not previously used the ball were similarly blindsided by the conference officials but I would not be remotely surprised if Utah State was in the same boat.

The SDSU players do not seem to be under a gag order, at least as of a few days ago. Some Aztecs appear to be using the stage provided them by their national ranking to give “product reviews” of the Nike ball to reporters. The coaching staff has not joined in on the product reviews publically, but they also don’t appear to have silenced the players.

Nike may or may not be working on a “resolution” to the product’s shortcomings. Coach Dutcher in the press conference after the Fresno game was asked about the issue and as part of his answer said “until there’s resolution on it we’re playing with that basketball and we have to play better with it.” If you’d like to hear the full answer he gave in context, it is here:




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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by WannabeAgAlum » January 3rd, 2020, 12:30 am

Al-O-Meter wrote:
January 2nd, 2020, 10:55 pm
WannabeAgAlum wrote:
January 2nd, 2020, 9:20 pm
Do you know if the same ball is now being used in all MWC gyms? If so then aren't all teams in the same boat? Serious questions.
I know the situation at SDSU better than I know the whole conference but as far as I understand, the whole conference is now using the new Nike ball but some teams have been using the new Nike ball longer than others. ShotTracker offered the technology to some teams in the Mountain West last season. I do not know which Mountain West teams were in the test program last year and which ones were not.

I know that San Diego State used a Nike model to start this season which was the same as they used last season and for several years before that. The very first time the Aztecs used the new ball was in warm-ups the night of the SJSU game. I do not know if other teams in the Mountain West, who had also not previously used the ball were similarly blindsided by the conference officials but I would not be remotely surprised if Utah State was in the same boat.

The SDSU players do not seem to be under a gag order, at least as of a few days ago. Some Aztecs appear to be using the stage provided them by their national ranking to give “product reviews” of the Nike ball to reporters. The coaching staff has not joined in on the product reviews publically, but they also don’t appear to have silenced the players.

Nike may or may not be working on a “resolution” to the product’s shortcomings. Coach Dutcher in the press conference after the Fresno game was asked about the issue and as part of his answer said “until there’s resolution on it we’re playing with that basketball and we have to play better with it.” If you’d like to hear the full answer he gave in context, it is here:

Reminds me of when Stern (RIP) changed the NBA game ball in 06, then changed back later. Maybe the MW will reverse course too. I would expect more than just one team's complaints before that happens though.

Unless it was BSU complaining about a new football.



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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by Behind the Bull » January 3rd, 2020, 6:07 pm

I feel something very important is Queta's presence. If he can score 8 points and grab at least 5 boards that can be a big difference maker for us down the stretch. Against UNLV, we were out rebounded and out hustled. His presence is big for the Aggies.

I also feel that if Sam scores 20+, Justin Bean gets his double double and Miller makes good shots we can take this game. It's really going to come down to execution and not turning the ball over. I hope we have less than 12 turnovers.

I also hope it's not like the Oklahoma wagon tipping over. I believe in Coach Smith and hope we can make the adjustments!

https://open.spotify.com/show/7pDunPM1uYeaaweNU64m2V for more on the game tomorrow!



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USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by scotlandog » January 3rd, 2020, 8:26 pm

N. Mensah will not be playing Saturday. It was reported he had a blood clot in his lung and was in the hospital earlier this week. Hopefully he is ok. That should help our chances though, especially if Queta is still out. It also sounds like another of their forwards is out, one of their better rebounding forwards though I’m not sure yet who that is.


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Re: USU vs SDSU Preview

Post by ThunderAggie » January 4th, 2020, 10:03 am

Under the article "College Basketball Picks: Welcome to Conference Season" on ESPN, they talked a lot about our game this weekend and also we were one of the college baskeball writers surprises for this season as we are not a top the MW and dropped one to UNLV. Also, they discuss whether Auburn or San Diego State will lose first.

Here is the article
https://www.espn.com/mens-college-baske ... nce-season



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