Date: Monday, Dec. 22, 2003
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
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San Diego State at a glance
Coach: Steve Fisher
Location: San Diego, CA
Starters Returning: 1
2002-03 Record: 16-14 (6-8)
Conference: Mountain West
Post Season: N.I.T.
Last Meeting: Arizona edged the Aztecs 89-81 on the road in 2002. UA leads 16-5.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona rallied from nine down in the second half to beat Saint Mary's. San Diego State Eastern Washington 79-66.
OVERVIEW: San Diego State just can't get over the hump. Fisher keeps bringing in talent, but can't keep them on the floor. Talented Evan Burns flunked out and former Arizona transfer Travis Hanour is injured.
This team is made up of a lot of transfers. They have players who have played at Arizona, Missouri and Oregon state and have added them to a roster of athletic players. They can go eight deep, but the starting five all average over 20 minutes a game. The Aztecs lack height and will often go with a three-guard line-up.
Aerick Sanders is a natural power forward but will log most of his minutes at center. He's a terrific player who averages a double-double. Lining up next to him on the front line is Chris Walton, Luke's brother, who is also playing out of position at power forward.
"Sanders could play anywhere, I mean anywhere," Lute Olson said. "He will be a definite challenge to Channing (Frye). It will be interesting to see how Channing reacts to playing."
The Aztecs shoot pretty well and have a couple of guys who can hurt you from behind the arc. Freshman Brandon Heath has been a pleasant surprise. He leads the team in scoring and is proving to be one of the better young players on the West Coast.
"Heath is very good player, a great shooter," Olson said. "Heath will be a challenge for us with this three-point shooting."
Former Missouri player Wesley Stokes takes over as point guard. Stokes is a better scorer than he is floor general, but provides some match-up problems with his left-handed shooting.
BEST PLAYER: Aerick Sanders, F/C. Olson says Sanders could start for anyone, and who are we to doubt. Sanders averages a double-double and will provide a nice challenge for Channing Frye.
SDSU'S STRENGTHS: The Aztecs have some athleticism and have a number of players who can score. Steve Fisher is an excellent coach and usually has his teams prepared. Aerick Sanders is a great player and could give Channing Frye some trouble.
SDSU'S WEAKNESSES:The Aztecs lack height. Chris Manker and Marcus Slaughter are big off the bench, but only Slaughter has been consistent. SDSU has talent, but have fallen to superior teams like Dayton and Texas Tech.
Frye and Sanders are both very good...
Adams is playing great, both he and Walton are out out of position. Give Hassan the nod due to athleticsim
Iguodala will provide a match-up nightmare for whovever tries to guard him.
Heath is playing well, Stoudamire is the veteran.
Stokes has experience, but Shakur has more speed.
It is the game before Christmas and anything can happen. After St. Mary's, SDSU has hope.
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