Game Day Breakdown: USD at #18/15 SDSU

Game Day Breakdown of USD at #18/15 SDSU: projected starting lineups, keys to the game, what to watch for and a prediction...

18/15 San Diego State vs. University of San Diego
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Location: Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA

University of San Diego (6-5)

Head Coach: Bill Grier
USD Record: 74-98 / 6th season

Projected Starting Lineup

*G – Christopher Anderson (So.) 5'7, 150

The short floor general has the ability to score but he's more of a facilitator (5.9 assists per game). He'll look to get into the lane off the bounce and create for himself and others.

*G – Johnny Dee (So.) 6'0, 175

The sophomore shooter is averaging 15 points a contest by connecting on 46.7% of his field goals and 45.6% from deep. Dee has also won WCC Player of the Week twice so far this season.

"He [Dee] can score the ball," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "He knows how to score, finds ways to score, quick release. He's a very good player and he proved that since the day he stepped on campus."

*F – Ken Rancifer (Sr.) 6'5, 215

Rancifer had his best game of the season in USD's last game against Arizona Christian. The senior scored 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

F – Chris Manresa (Sr.) 6'9, 245

*F – Dennis Kramer (Jr.) 6'11, 235

Bench

USD uses a 10-man rotation with everyone playing at least 13 minutes a ball game. Manresa slid into the starting lineup after 7 games pushing 6-foot-10 Simi Fajemisin, starter last season, to the bench. Texas Tech transfer Mike Davis is the lead contributor off the bench averaging 8.4 points in just about 20 minutes per game. Toreros have two other big men coming off the bench with 6-foot-9 John Sinis and 6-foot-9 Jito Kok. Also expect senior guard Cameron Miles to spell the sophomore backcourt.

18/15 San Diego State (7-1)

Head Coach: Steve Fisher
SDSU Record: 265-161 / 14th season

Projected Starting Lineup

*G – Xavier Thames (Jr.) 6'3, 190

*G – Chase Tapley (Sr.) 6'5, 205

Let's see if the long layoff cools off Tapley because that might be the only that can slow down the senior at this point. He had 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 6-of-8 from downtown against UCSB.

*F – Jamaal Franklin (Jr.) 6'5, 205

"We ask Jamaal to do things that we don't talk about," Fisher said. "One of them is that he guards multiple spots. You'll see him guard out on the perimeter and you'll see him guard 6-foot-9 guys in the post. He's effective with it."

F – J.J. O'Brien (So.) 6'7, 225.

F – Deshawn Stephens (Sr.) 6'8, 225

Bench

This will be the final game before James Johnson joins the team, as he'll be playing against Point Loma on Tuesday. The Aztecs could use him with the amount of big guys USD will be throwing at SDSU. Offensively the bench has really been hit or miss so we'll see who steps up tonight.

(* Returning Starter)

Keys to the Game

1) Stop the sophomores. While USD is deep, the offense begins and ends with Anderson and Dee. San Diego State must cut the head off the snake by getting the ball out of their hands.

2) Shake off the rust. SDSU hasn't played since last Thursday so will the guys come out fresh or rusty? Need to start strong.

3) 40 minutes of hell. The Aztecs have been able to put together stretches of harassing defense but not an entire 40 minutes. USD will put this D to the test for the entire game.

What to Watch

San Diego State

"We gave them two days off after Santa Barbara and rarely will we give them two days off. We gave them Wednesday off so that's three days off since the Santa Barbara game," Fisher said. "I think it's been good for us. We came back and competed hard. We'll have a shorter practice today [Thursday] and tomorrow [Friday] but it will be competitive."

University of San Diego

"They are different team," Fisher said of the Toreros. "USD is not the same team we played last year. Faces might be the same but this is a different team."

The Quote

"Our team has gotten better. Obviously the last few games we have shot the ball exceptionally well but the key to be really good is defending. We have guarded, guarded effectively and that's everybody."

-San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher on his team

Prediction

The Aztecs are coming off an 8-day layoff so scoring and getting into the rhythm of the game could take a hit. This game means so much to USD, in the way SDSU battled UCLA, so I think the Toreros come out focused and ready to play. The away team led by Dee keeps this game within striking distance but it's not enough. San Diego State's winning streak moves to 8 games.

San Diego State 71 University of San Diego 61

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