AztecReport.com hands out grades for the San Diego State players as they took on UCLA.
San Diego State 78 UCLA 69
Xavier Thames – 33 mins, 19 pts, 2 rebs, 4 ast, 0 blks, 0 stls, 3 TO
The Aztecs were leading the Bruins 31-29 at halftime. Xavier Thames had 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting. After intermission Thames went into "DGMGB" mode. He along with Franklin took UCLA out of their 2-3 zone defense. His jump shot that dramatically improved over summer showed it's face at the Honda Center as the junior guard made all five his second half shots, three pointers, including making his only two free throws of the game. (A-)
James Rahon – 19 mins, 3 pts, 1 rebs, 2 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 0 TO
Rahon earned the start with Chase Tapley playing hurt with a knee strain. He struggled on both ends especially on defense where he just couldn't guard the UCLA perimeter scorers. (D)
Jamaal Franklin – 34 mins, 28 pts, 7 rebs, 3 ast, 1 blk, 2 stl, 4 TO
In a game that was filled with NBA prospects no one helped their draft stock more than Franklin did on Saturday night at the Honda Center. The junior played inspired basketball that trickled to his teammates, the coaches and the crowd. Yes, Franklin scored the ball well, 9-of-18 shooting, but also fought hard for rebounds, laid his body on the deck and played for his team rather than himself. Hell of a game for the future NBA pro. (A+)
J.J. O'Brien – 28 mins, 0 pts, 2 rebs, 5 ast, 0 blk, 1 stl, 3 TO
It wasn't the best night for O'Brien who was unable to score on the night and only brought in a pair of rebounds while playing 28 minutes. He was key on the offensive end playing the middle of the zone, connecting for five assists. (C-)
Deshawn Stephens – 25 mins, 12 pts, 6 rebs, 0 ast, 0 blk, 2 stl, 1 TO
I'm guessing the hip was fine because Stephens might have played his best game as an Aztec. He made 5-of-7 shots and both his free throws, showing that the Wear twins were no match inside for the senior. He was all over on defense with solid rotations. (A-)
Chase Tapley – 23 mins, 9 pts, 3 rebs, 3 ast, 0 blk, 1 stl, 0 TO
Double deuce came off the bench with a hobbled knee but it didn't stop him from being effective. The four-year starter showed that will matters much more than anything UCLA brought to the table on Saturday night. Tapley didn't make it look pretty out there, hobbling late in the game, but played inspired basketball that picked up the intensity level for the rest of his team. (A-)
Skylar Spencer – 14 mins, 2 pts, 3 rebs, 0 ast, 3 blk, 0 stl, 0 TO
Spencer only played 14 minutes but he gave a huge boost off the bench with his interior presence. He blocked 3 shots with 3 rebounds but was around the ball much more than the stats showed. The freshman really stepped up in a huge game. (B+)
Winston Shepard – 20 mins, 5 pts, 1 rebs, 1 ast, 0 blk, 1 stl, 4 TO
If there were ever a game Shepard was going to have a coming out party it would be against UCLA. And well it was. Shepard struggled in the first half but Fisher relied on him heavily in the second half guarding Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams. This type of game will only build the confidence of the talented freshman. He also hit his first three-pointer of his collegiate career. (B+)
Dwayne Polee – 4 mins, 0 pts, 0 rebs, 0 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 0 TO
Polee played only four minutes and shot once, a contested three-pointer. (Inc.)
Grades: San Diego State vs. UCLA
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