San Diego State vs. BYU: Mountain West Conference Showdown
It's finally here. No. 4 San Diego State ventures into the Mariott Center to play No. 9 BYU. 23,000+ fans and scouts will be in attendance to see the long-awaited showdown of these Mountain West powers colliding where the winner takes sole possession of first place.
The chance to see Jimmer Fredette and Kawhi Leonard draws fans and scouts alike, two of the best at their respective positions; both have first-round grades- Leonard projects to the late lottery-to-mid-first round, while Fredette is making his way up draft boards and will likely be selected in the mid-to-late first round in June.
It's more than just a conference matchup or a chance to see two of the nation's best players, it's two of the top teams with NCAA seeding implications at stake. If San Diego State can come through on the road, they'll extend their school winning-streak and maintain the inside track for a No. 1 seed. But if BYU wins, the nation's top RPI team will be on the way up- wins over recently ranked teams: Utah State, St. Mary's, UNLV and Arizona.
The game will be a clash of styles- BYU, known for it's high-powered offense, against the Aztecs', one of the top defensive teams overall, especially on the interior. But neither team has a glaring weakness, which should make this game even more entertaining. According to Ken Pomeroy, SDSU ranks 20th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 23rd in adjusted defensive efficiency; the Cougars ranked 6th offensively and 40th defensively by the same measured.
What doesn't BYU do well offensively? They shoot the ball well from any range, especially Fredette, who has demonstrated his range out to 30-feet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qsPLN6pTPA&feature=player_embedded). They convert from the foul line and rarely turn the ball over. By the same measures, the Aztecs aren't as good from the perimeter, but can be dominant inside with a trio of forwards: Leonard, Malcolm Thomas and Billy White. These three can hit the offensive and defensive glass and control the lane defensively.
Can senior point guard D.J. Gay offset Fredette? Can Noah Hartstock and the BYU frontcourt contain Leonard, White and Thomas? Will San Diego State remain undefeated or will the Cougars take over possession atop the MWC?
Tune in at 10 PM to find out all of the answers to these questions. We'll be tweeting live from the game.