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Tag:San Diego State Aztecs
Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 12:07 am
 

This mess brought to you by the letters M, S & U

Posted by Eric Angevine

Some takeaways from the evening's action:

Michigan State is officially done for: There's no cosmetic coverup for a 20 point loss to Iowa.

D.J. Gay hit the winning bucket at Colorado StateD.J. Gay (right) is underrated: San Diego State was in trouble in tonight's roadie at lean and hungry Colorado State. With 1.8 seconds left in a tie game, the senior drilled a shot just inside the arc, then stole the ball from the home team with .1 seconds left to salt away a 56-54 victory for the No. 7 team in the country. Prior to the game-winner, Gay was 2-8 from the floor. That's confidence, baby. We hear a lot about Steve Fisher's frontcourt, but Gay could very well be the X factor in the postseason.

Mississippi State's ugly season just won't go away: Thanks to Clarion-Ledger beat writer Brandon Marcello's twitter feed, MSU Bulldog fans know exactly what Ravern Johnson and Renardo Sidney are thinking - and it's not flattering. Marcello re-tweeted Johnson's musings on the righteousness of transferring and another about lagging fan support before reporting that the feed had been abruptly deleted. Sidney's tweet also showed open irritation with fans. It's normal to be sensitive to criticism, but does either player really feel that fans of the program are wrong to feel sick about the way this season has gone?

Jimmer is human: Insofar as your average human could score 26 points in a DI basketball game and call it an off night, that is. The Cougs weathered Wyoming's near-perfect storm due to Brandon Davies' 20 points and 9 rebounds, as well as decent supporting appearances by Jackson Emery and Noah Hartsock. Bad news, future BYU opponents - you can contain the Jimmer, but he's not a one-man show.

The Spectrum is on my list: There are so many great venues in college basketball, but we so rarely get to see Utah State's home crowd in action. Cameras have captured the atmosphere in the Aggies' home building before and during games like tonight's TV nightcap with visiting Nevada, but it really seems like a 'you had to be there' kind of place. I'm still working on getting that western hoops blogging tour pre-approved by Accounting. Commence holding breath.... now.
Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 4:02 pm
 

Hump Day Preview: Mountain West Showdown



Posted by Eric Angevine

All us CBS hoop nerds have been dying for this day to come for some time now. Steve Fisher's rugged Aztecs at BYU to take on The Jimmer Show.

San Diego State @ BYU, 10:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports: This one's pretty easy to figure out, strategy-wise. The Aztecs might take a few outside shots to create space for the pass into the post. The Cougars might try to pass the ball inside a few times in order to give Jimmer enough room to fire away. Whichever Mountain West team can execute their preferred game plan best will win. This should be a thriller.

Texas @ Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: The Longhorns continue their emotional tour of the Big 12. Four days after beating Kansas and grieving forward Thomas Robinson, Texas heads to OSU just in time for the tenth anniversary of the plane crash that killed ten members of the program during Eddie Sutton's tenure. This will be an interesting test for both teams, but the Longhorns are so mega-efficient, there will have to be a breakdown somewhere for them to lose. | Video Preview

West Virginia @ Louisville, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU: If bench strength figures into this one, the Mountaineers are sunk. With all the turmoil surrounding the WVU program right now, Bob Huggins is down to nine scholarship players. Louisville has shown some fortitude of late, so the guys who do suit up for Huggins will need to be laser-focused to hang with the Cards. | Video Preview

Also on:

Memphis @ UCF, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports

North Carolina @ Miami, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Creighton @ Northern Iowa, 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Posted on: January 15, 2011 11:08 am
 

Saturday's mid-major preview



Posted by Eric Angevine


Temple at Duquesne, 12:00 p.m. ET:
Duquesne hasn't had much press this season, but they're 2-0 in the A-10, and that's not easy to accomplish. The Dukes have been on a five-game win streak since a 2OT loss to George Mason in December, and the Palumbo Center should be rocking as the nationally-ranked Owls come to visit in a game that could easily go either way .

ODU at Hofstra, 4:00 p.m. ET:  Old Dominion was picked to win the CAA going away. Now they've stumbled to a 3-2 record in the league, with both losses coming on the road. The fact that they're traveling to Hofstra, where the sublime Charles Jenkins has led the Pride to a 5-0 record, makes this a watershed game for the Monarchs and for the CAA in general.

San Diego State at New Mexico, 6:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports:
That the Lobos aren't ranked this season should not deter you at all from tuning in to this game. Steve Alford's team is a dangerous lurker in the MWC top four, with size and talent everywhere on the floor. That's exactly how we've described SDSU, as well, and this one's being played at the fantabulous Pit, so it should be a spectacle and a half.

Dayton at Xavier, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports: The Musketeers were a Sweet 16 participant last season. The Flyers have a shiny NIT trophy on display. If this game was anywhere else but the Cintas Center, we might think more of Dayton's chances. Still, with the type of talent both teams have been able to recruit in recent seasons, this should be a very dynamic game. It's been a rough season for X as far as injuries go, which could be the great equalizer here.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2011 11:10 am
 

Friday night mid-major preview



Posted by Eric Angevine


Saturday

Temple at Duquesne, 12:00 p.m. ET:
Duquesne hasn't had much press this season, but they're 2-0 in the A-10, and that's not easy to accomplish. The Dukes have been on a five-game win streak since a 2OT loss to George Mason in December, and the Palumbo Center should be rocking as the nationally-ranked Owls come to visit in a game that could easily go either way .

ODU at Hofstra, 4:00 p.m. ET:  Old Dominion was picked to win the CAA going away. Now they've stumbled to a 3-2 record in the league, with both losses coming on the road. The fact that they're traveling to Hofstra, where the sublime Charles Jenkins has led the Pride to a 5-0 record, makes this a watershed game for the Monarchs and for the CAA in general.

San Diego State at New Mexico, 6:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports:
That the Lobos aren't ranked this season should not deter you at all from tuning in to this game. Steve Alford's team is a dangerous lurker in the MWC top four, with size and talent everywhere on the floor. That's exactly how we've described SDSU, as well, and this one's being played at the fantabulous Pit, so it should be a spectacle and a half.

Dayton at Xavier, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports: The Musketeers were a Sweet 16 participant last season. The Flyers have a shiny NIT trophy on display. If this game was anywhere else but the Cintas Center, we might think more of Dayton's chances. Still, with the type of talent both teams have been able to recruit in recent seasons, this should be a very dynamic game. It's been a rough season for X as far as injuries go, which could be the great equalizer here.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Five reasons San Diego State is for real

Posted by Eric Angevine

I don’t think East Coast bias is a real thing. I’ve lived in three different time zones in my years in this fine nation of ours, and the fact is that hoops fans love West Coast teams – they’re exotic and mysterious, in large part because something you don’t see much of (e.g. a woman’s ankles in the Victorian era) is always kind of exciting. Thanks to our colleagues at CBS College Sports, I got a prime chance to watch the undefeated San Diego State Aztecs in action against the tough and crafty UNLV Rebels last night, and I saw plenty of reasons (OK, five) why this team should not be dismissed as a fluke.

1.     Size: This is the first thing that jumps out at a viewer watching an SDSU game. Only three players on the roster are listed below the 200-lb. mark, which means even the guards are packing some muscle. Kawhi Leonard, Malcolm Thomas and Billy White play even taller than they really are (each is under 6-foot-10), which makes the Aztecs nearly unstoppable inside. The SDSU offense takes a massive 60.8 of its shots inside the arc, and they sport a low 4.1 offensive block percentage that makes them tops in the nation at putting the orange roundie in the net.

2.     Flow: No doubt, the Aztecs play a slow game with all those big men on the floor. Their offensive pace is 64 possessions per game, well under the national average. But that’s where lack of exposure to a team can fool those of us who value what stats can tell us: watching them live, I saw a team that can run when opportunity knocks or necessity dictates. They’d prefer not to, of course. This team imposes its will by slowing the pace, but it’s not limited to one way of attacking the basket by any means.

3.     Cool: This year’s MWC is a house of horrors. Really. The Aztecs just beat a tough, Lon Kruger-coached UNLV team, but they can’t look forward and start gameplanning for BYU and the Jimmer Show because they have to go to New Mexico and face the likes of Dairise Gary, Drew Gordon and Emannuel Negedu -- not to mention a couple of tough young guards in Phillip McDonald and Kendall Williams -- in the Pit first. This league’s top four is better than anything the Pac-10 has to offer right now (possibly because so many current MWC stars transferred from Pac-10 schools, but still). Despite all that, these guys never appear to panic. They bring the lunchpail every night.

4.     ABC: I don’t mean alphabet soup, the Jackson Five or a rival television network. I mean Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross: Always Be Closing. You may have heard that ace reliever Trevor Hoffman retired this week and joined the front office of the San Diego Padres. In an inspired move, the public address crew at Viejas Arena broke out Hoffman’s entrance music -- AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells -- when the going got tough late in last night’s game. The Aztecs responded and put the clamps on to seal a 55-49 win. SDSU will play a lot of low-scoring games, so they’ll need that closer’s mentality to stay unbeaten.

5.     Fish: Steve Fisher might look and sound like your kindly old grampa, but don’t you fall for that act. You’re looking at a guy who played in the DII Final Four with the Illinois State Redbirds, and won a DI national championship in his tumultuous first few weeks of head coaching experience at Michigan. He recruited the Fab Five and went back to the tourney’s final day two more times. The fact that he got fired amid scandal from that recruitment doesn’t change the fact that he’s been to the mountaintop and knows how to coach. Opponents might have been caught napping on his skills last season, but this year his imprint can be seen in every aspect of the top-ten ranking this team has earned and held.

If I had the wherewithal to be in the Pit on Saturday, or BYU’s Marriott Center on January 26, no bias on earth would stop me from watching this team go to the mattresses.

Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:17 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:32 am
 

Takeaways: And then there were four

Posted by Eric Angevine

Four takeaways from the night's basketball action. In honor of the four remaining undefeated teams.

Don't rush dinner: I have a kid, so we tend to eat around 7 p.m. In the eastern time zone, that means dinner starts right around the same time the early TV games do. So yeah, I rushed to get the beanies and weenies on the table so I could catch the Big East portion of the Wednesday slate. Let me tell you, it was not worth it. The only game that stayed competitive into the second half was Villanova/Louisville, and that one even got out of hand eventually. I mean, everyone could have had duck l'orange if I had known that ahead of time. After that, things got better. Much better.

Righteous floor storming: There are rules . Florida State satisfied all of them. We've long considered the Seminole defense to be the lone thing standing between Duke and an undefeated conference season. Stamp that one paid in full.

Colorado got needs , baby: Marcus Relphorde (right) and the Buffaloes attacked a reeling K-State team with all the urgency of James Brown hollaring Please, Please, Please! in 1956. In my preview of this game earlier, I said that CU's seniors would have to be ready for star soph Alec Burks to be collared by opposing defenses, but I don't think I was prepared for the solution to come in the person of Levi Knutson. The unassuming reserve had a game-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from outside. In fact, due to Knutson, the Buffs ended up shooting better from behind the arc (66.7 percent) than they did from inside (50 percent) or at the line (57.1 percent). The Buffs now have a relatively easy three-game stretch that could have them undefeated in conference when KU comes to the mountains on January 25.

There's a freight train a-comin': It's called the San Diego State Aztecs. In an extremely physical game with UNLV, Steve Fisher's troops stayed unbeaten by being big and quick, able to score in transition or on the inside blocks. Late in the game, as the visitors began to close the gap, the PA crew at Viejas Arena broke out Hell's Bells as a tribute to recently retired mega-closer Trevor Hoffman. It worked, as the 'Tecs ground out a 55-49 win over one of the toughest challengers the MWC has to offer. Next up is a dangerous trip to New Mexico and an easy home game against Air Force, followed by a hotly anticipated roadie at Brigham Young and the Jimmer Show .

Oh, and Kansas and Ohio State won as well, but in much less dramatic fashion. They may not get much of a mention here, but those top two spots in the national polls will just have to be consolation prize enough.

Photo: AP
Posted on: January 10, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Where in the world is Gary Franklin, Jr.?

Posted by Eric Angevine

So, those of us who follow college basketball closely know that Gary Franklin, Jr. is leaving Cal in hopes of finding a school where he can play point guard, which he considers his natural position and his best shot to make an NBA roster. We've already adjusted to the fact that he's gone. Not everyone has caught on, however.

I happened to be on the same flight home from Phoenix tonight with the Cal team and was witness to a priceless moment.

Just before the flight attendants closed the door, one of them got on the P.A. and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re missing a Gary Franklin.”

The entire Cal team roared with laughter.

-Jeff Faraudo, BearTalk

Time to update that flight manifest, eh?

Anyway, Franklin is gone, and that leaves us with two questions. First, where will he end up? The San Diego Union Tribune has reported that the freshman has a working list of possible destinations that includes San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, UTEP and San Jose State as possible western relocation options. Texas A&M and Georgetown also made the cut.

The presence of SJSU on that list seems a bit strange. The Spartans are one of the worst teams in the near-dissolute WAC, so we really don't see Franklin ending up there. UNLV and UTEP make tons of sense: both have senior point guards and would be happy to slot Franklin in following a semester of transfer-induced splinters. SDSU won't have a scholarship until 2012, but Gary Franklin, Sr. hasn't ruled out paying for a semester in order to get his son on the right team for his skill-set. New Mexico seems quite happy with the ballhandling skills of freshman Kendall Williams, so that possibility seems less ideal. A&M has a decent lineup of returning guards, but the Hoyas would love to have Franklin to help offset the impending loss of the super-backcourt of Chris Wright and Austin Freeman.

The second question is 'who will take his place at Cal'? For the remainder of this season, that task would seem to belong to sophomore Brandon Smith, who has taken the starting slot over the past four games. For the future, Cal coach Mike Montgomery could look to current freshmen Alex Rossi and Emerson Murray, and he will now have a scholarship open that he can use to lure 2011 prospect Jaleel Williams to Berkley.

Our guess is that Franklin's decision will come down to Georgetown, UNLV and SDSU, based on national profile and positional fit. We should have some idea of how the list will be trimmed as the month of January wears on.

Photo: AP
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com