Game Day Breakdown: Arkansas-PB vs. #25 SDSU

Game Day Breakdown: Arkansas-PB vs. #25 SDSU

Game Day Breakdown of Arkansas-Pine Bluff at #25 San Diego State: projected starting lineups, keys to the game, what to watch for and a prediction...

*One thousand tickets, normally allotted for SDSU students, have been made available for Wednesday's San Diego State men's basketball game vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The tickets are $10 and are available on GoAztecs.com or the Viejas Arena box office*

#25 San Diego State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2)

Head Coach: George Ivory
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Record: 50-82 / 5th season

Projected Starting Lineup

G – Tevin Hammond (So.) 6'0, 185

*G – Lazabian Jackson (Sr.) 6'3, 190

Jackson returns as the Golden Lions second leading scorer from an 11-22 squad last year. He's more of scorer than a shooter as he shot 26% from downtown last season and 23% so far this season.

*F – Mitchell Anderson (Sr.) 6'7, 190

F – Davon Hayne (Jr.) 6'8, 215

F – Terrell Kennedy (Sr.) 6'6, 250

The thick undersized big man is the leading scorer for the Golden Lions at 14.7 points per game. Most surprising stat is playing 36 of 40 minutes a contest.

Bench

What's a bench? Arkansas-Pine Bluff starters all play 29+ minutes a game as their bench averages less than 5 points a match.

#25 San Diego State (2-1)

Head Coach: Steve Fisher
SDSU Record: 260-161 / 14th season

Projected Starting Lineup

*G – Xavier Thames (Jr.) 6'3, 190

*G – Chase Tapley (Sr.) 6'3, 195

*F – Jamaal Franklin (Jr.) 6'5, 205

F – J.J. O'Brien (So.) 6'7, 225.

F – Deshawn Stephens (Sr.) 6'8, 225

"So I'm proud of what DeShawn brings to the table," Fisher said of Stephens on Tuesday. "Never complains, never does anything other than try to do exactly what we want. And he provides the energy and toughness that you win with. Forget about the bottom stat line. He helps us win games and he's a delight to have as part of this program."

Bench

Winston Shepard will serve the last game of his three-game suspension. Look for the Aztecs to get quality minutes from Skylar Spencer and Dwayne Polee. Games against lower level opponents will only help the younger role players. Would be nice to see James Rahon have his shot on before heading to LA on Sunday.

(* Returning Starter)

Keys to the Game

1) Complete game. Aztecs have yet to play a 40-minute basketball game against a Division-I opponent. Limit turnovers, attack the glass, get going in transition, connect from outside and continue to play harassing defense.

2) Prepare for USC and UCLA. This is nothing more than a "money game" for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. San Diego State will need to prepare themselves for the two LA schools in the PAC-12.

3) Build confidence in the bench. SDSU has seen positive moments from the guys on the pine. Both LA squads are big, especially USC, so getting Skylar Spencer involved more than usual to build confidence before some real tests would be ideal.

What to Watch

San Diego State

"They have a young team," Fisher said of MSU. "In what little I've read from publications, I think they're the fourth or fifth youngest team in the country. They have two redshirt freshmen that are very good. So you can't really count them as freshman. I think that adds a little bit to the deceitfulness of it."

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

"Right now, if I'm giving a scouting report on San Diego State, pack a zone in, make us shoot from the outside," Fisher explaining how to guard SDSU. "Or foul us and use your free throw defense to cause us not to make a free throw."

The Quote

"It's a game where they're traveling. That's all they're doing between now and January when their conference play starts, to get money for their athletic program. And we are their next stop. So we need to come excited, ready and not be thinking Thanksgiving as we're playing the ball game."

-San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher on Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Prediction

Arkansas-Pine Bluff starts the season on an 11-game road trip to raise money for their basketball program. This is more of a business trip than anything else. Don't expect the Aztecs to overlook this opponent after their rough shooting performance against Missouri State. I think SDSU gets going from outside with open looks and puts together full 40 minutes of basketball, blowing out Golden Lions.

San Diego State 79 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 51

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