In the words of Rob Burgundy, San Diego is German for…….. a much needed Bearcats W. After a double OT heartbreaker in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Cats return home to face the #18 ranked San Diego State Aztecs for the first time ever this Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Mick Cronin has known San Diego State’s coach Steve Fisher since his days as a Cincinnati high school basketball coach at Woodward High School. Hopefully, he can use that insider knowledge to his advantage.
The Aztecs finished last year ranked 13th in the country after winning the Mountain West Conference and advancing to the Sweet 16. They finished with a 31-5 overall record. The Aztecs return three of their top-four scorers. Side note – Fisher’s squad has a 46-game win streak against in-state California teams. Holy crap!
SDSU is 7-2 and 0-1 away this year. The Aztecs have wins against #25 Utah, BYU, and PITT. They lost a close one at home against #3 Arizona. The Bearcats are 5-0 at home so far.
Junior Forward #13 Winston Shepard is San Diego State’s leading scorer with 10.2 points per game. He also averages five boards a game, and strokes the ball at 44% beyond the arch. The Aztecs average 62 points per game and shoot the ball at 40% as a team. However, from the free throw line the team shoots just 62.1%. Collectively, the team does not shoot three-pointers well either. This will shape up to be a game involving two excellent defensive teams.
Despite playing suffocating defense, the Bearcats offense simply did not play well against Nebraska. Freshman Gary Clark has been coming on strong as of late and is leading the Cats in rebounding. We will need Octavius Ellis and Troy Caupain to have great games, and for the UC bench to step up and score like they did against the Cornhuskers. Let’s hope Mick Cronin can get his squad to move past the Nebraska game instead of having another letdown at home.
By Andy Smith