Breakdown: Arizona vs. San Diego State

Arizona will face San Diego State in the Maui Invitational Championship Game on Wednesday. Read on for a closer look at the game, statistics, and a score prediction.


Arizona at San Diego State
Nov. 26 at 8 pm
TV: ESPN
Lahaina Civic Center

ARIZONA

SAN DIEGO STATE
Overall Record
5-0 (1.000)
5-0 (1.000)
Location Record
2-0 (1.000) at neutral site
2-0 (1.000) at neutral site
Scoring/G: PF&PA
78.3
59
68.8
55.2
Rebound Margin/G: RM
8.7
2.8
Steals/G:
S
10.75
10.3
Assists/G: A
15
11
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%
50.6
39.5
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%
33.3
26.3
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%
39.2
33.9
Ranking:
Coaches' Poll
#4
#15
Ranking:
AP Poll
#3
#15
RPI
34 (.6628)
12 (.7198)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Sr.) vs. Trey Kell (6-4, 190, Fr.)

Kell is not a point guard, but is forced to play one for the Aztecs. He played well against Pitt and BYU, but struggled mightily in the first three games of his career, making 2 of his first 16 shot attempts. McConnell is experienced and good enough to guard Kell defensively, but the freshman is likely going to have some difficulty with McConnell’s quickness.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: San Diego State
SG: Gabe York (6-3, 185, Jr.) vs. Winston Shepard (6-8, 205, Jr.)

Last season, Arizona basically went with the strategy of having no respect for Shepard’s jumper and it worked, so we assume we will see a similar strategy Wednesday. He is a better player than York because of his defensive ability and contributions on the glass, but York should be able to hold his own here.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Stanley Johnson (6-7, 245, Fr.) vs. Dwayne Polee (6-7, 195, Sr.)

Polee is off to an awful start this season, as he is shooting around 30 percent. Johnson is stronger than Polee and considering how he gets the majority of his points, should be able to guard him as well. We think this is a good opportunity for Johnson to attack the glass and do well offensively. He’s the better player and continues to improve with each game, so we have little reason to give Polee the advantage here.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-9, 230, Jr.) vs. J.J. O’Brien (6-7, 220, Sr.)

O’Brien is a solid player that does a little bit of everything, but he is also a nice matchup for Ashley, who is the bigger player. O’Brien is a good passer and has deceptive range as well. Ashley is coming off a game in which he had six turnovers, but he is still off to a fast start this season. He is also the better player, so we’re giving him the nod.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C:Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 245, Jr.) vs. Skylar Spencer (6-10, 235, Jr.)

Spencer is another common SDSU athlete that is strong defensively. He does not take a lot of shots, but is able to impact the game on the glass and with his shot blocking ability. Tarczewski is coming off one of the best games of his career and although Spencer is good defensively, Tarczewski should be able to get his.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: The Aztecs have their best bench in years with guys like Kevin Zabo, Angelo Chol, Aqeel Quinn, and a few others. Quinn is dangerous because of his ability to shoot. If he gets it going, he is dangerous, but if not, he tends to be irrelevant. Chol is a guy plenty of Arizona fans are familiar with and Zabo is a decent player offensively. Hollis-Jefferson is clearly the best player coming off the bench, but the rest are pretty equal. Rondae gives the Wildcats the advantage, but we doubt there’s much of one beyond that.

Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Even
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Steve Fisher

There aren’t many coaches in the country that are better than Fisher. He will go down as an all-time great and always has SDSU has a major contender. However, Miller has been able to match Arizona up with his SDSU squad and the although we might be saying the obvious here, this one isn’t coming down to coaching.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
65
60
Prediction: There is not going to be a lot that is pretty about this game. It’s one that we are accustomed to by now and the teams know each other despite having different rosters than last season. The way we see it, SDSU is going to have major difficulty scoring. Xavier Thames was a huge piece of that puzzle when the Aztecs faced the Wildcats in the past, but who is going to step up now?

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