Game Day Breakdown: SDCC vs. #25/23 SDSU

Game Day Breakdown of San Diego Christian at #25/23 San Diego State: projected starting lineups, keys to the game, what to watch for and a prediction...

#25/23 San Diego State vs. San Diego Christian
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Location: Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA
TV: Fox Sports San Diego
Radio: KOGO 95.7 FM & AM 600

San Diego Christian (0-1)

Head Coach: Tim Cook
SDCC Record: 9-17 / 2nd season

Projected Starting Lineup

G – Kwaminique Brandon (Jr.) 5'11, 185

"I didn't think he would impact the game on the offensive end as much as he has," Cook explained. "He's really done a good job of picking his points, being a facilitator then also score when he has opportunities so he has been a pleasant surprise."

*G – Raphael Rodriguez (So.) 6'1, 185

Rodriguez led SDCC in scoring the last 10 games of the season last year. The Hawks have played two exhibition games, USD and UCR, but in the one regular season game he had 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting including 4-of-9 from downtown.

G – Andy Saharan (Jr.) 6'6, 190

Saharan is the lone D-I transfer (UC Riverside) on the SDCC roster.

"He has really good athleticism, really good shooting ability," Cook said. "He took a year off so it's a little hit or miss right now but as he gets back into the flow of things. Phenomenal athlete that's long and rangy but he's got to get better on the defensive end. He spreads the court for us so our guards can go to work and you have to guard since he's a good shooter."

*F – Kevin Dawson (Sr.) 6'6, 215

F – Garrett Elwood (Jr.) 6'10, 255


The Hawks usually use 4-to-5 bench players for a 9-to-10 man rotation but in this matchup expect them to use all of their players. The major reserve for SDCC is junior guard Derek Dickerson who could possibly be their best shooter. Other key reserves include 5-foot-9 junior point guard Derrick Thompson, 6-foot-3 senior forward Jacob Garcia and 6-foot-7 junior big man Peter Beale-Wirsing.

San Diego State (0-1)

Head Coach: Steve Fisher
SDSU Record: 258-161 / 14th season

Projected Starting Lineup

*G – Xavier Thames (Jr.) 6'3, 190

Thames has struggled from the field so far this season. Great way to get back on track is against an NAIA team.

*G – Chase Tapley (Sr.) 6'3, 195

*F – Jamaal Franklin (Jr.) 6'5, 205

Lets see how Franklin bounces back after a very frustrating performance on national television.

F – J.J. O'Brien (So.) 6'7, 225.

F – Deshawn Stephens (Sr.) 6'8, 225

Stephens can use this game to implement things into his game that he doesn't feel comfortable against top tier competition. Games like this will pay dividends for the senior come December and beyond.


Expect to see a lot of the bench unit: Winston Shepard, James Rahon, Skylar Spencer and Dwayne Polee. Spencer and Polee didn't get much run against Syracuse but will have plenty of opportunities Tuesday night to help them receive more minutes down the road. Shepard should be able to get more comfortable and confident against lower level competition.

(* Returning Starter)

Keys to the Game

1) Score until you can't score any more. Aztecs need a confidence booster and this game will be the perfect pick me up after the Battle on the Midway loss. While it won't be any test but a up and down blowout win will have SDSU leaving Viejas with a smile.

2) Get ready for Missouri State. You never want to overlook an opponent but heading to Springfield (Miss.) this upcoming weekend has to be on the minds of the Aztec players. SDSU should try to use this game to prepare for the Bears.

3) Just win. Plain and simple.

What to Watch

San Diego State

"We are probably going to get a little hit on the backend of this game," Cook said. "They [SDSU] are going to be pretty hungry to get a victory and go back to their normal ways of getting up and down, pressure you and use their athleticism to their advantage. We know what we are running into. We are just trying to compete."

San Diego Christian

"We are a push the tempo type of team," Cook said. "We like to get out and we're pretty athletic for our level. We will have to do a few things to take the air out of the ball a little bit with this team because if you try to play San Diego State's game you're going to get ran out of the gym."

"We run a lot of sets that flows into four-out and one-in. There is a lot of motion to that, a lot of continuity to that but we always run something into that."

The Quote

"I watched them [SDSU] play on the ship and that is not anywhere near indicative of what you're going to see. You're talking about a team that's superbly athletic, can shoot the ball, have all the pieces to play defense. They just happened to run into a buzz saw in Syracuse that plays a 2/3 packed in zone. You have to shoot the ball and the wind was blowing. I watched the whole game. It was nothing like you'll see from them for the rest of the year. Syracuse has a chance to win a national title. They are probably one of ten to fifteen teams this year. State has all the pieces to make another good run."

-San Diego Christian head coach Tim Cook on San Diego State losing to Syracuse


The Aztecs are coming off a season opening loss to Syracuse on the Battle on the Midway. They shot an embarrassing, much to do with weather, 17-of-63 from the field (27%). It's extremely hard to imagine SDSU doesn't come out angry and with a lot to prove. The home team won't have any problems, as this one will be quick and easy.

San Diego State 84 San Diego Christian 51

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