Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BYU/SDSU Keys To The Game

It goes without saying that if SDSU harbors any dream, ANY dream at all, of making the field of 65 without running the table in Vegas, then tonight's game is a must win.  Absolute must, no doubt about it, lose this game and it's either win the MWC tournament or NIT here we come.  So how do you win the game?

1) Make Cummard earn his points.  He will sometimes get hot from the outside, and he has a midrange game as well.  But Lee Cummard's just OK at those things.  When his game turns from good to all-MWC is when he's weakside rebounding, scoring on tip-ins and second-chance points. The Aztecs need to identify Cummard every time the ball's in the air and box him out.  Ammo, Mehdi, this means you. Cummard is also a very good help defender, so Wade or Spain needs to go right at him when they are matched up in single coverage man-to-man in hope of having him pick up fouls.  

2) Guard the secondary break.  BYU is one of those teams that runs to shoot a three, to hit the trailer in the corner (Jimmer Fredette or Jonathan Tavarnari), or to hit the high post and then have that post man kick out to the wing player who is running behind the play, the secondary fastbreak.  It's a communication and court awareness issue, and SDSU can be vulnerable.  

3) Gay and Amoroso vs. Fredette and Chris Miles.  In home games, the difference is often the role players stepping up and hitting their shots, the same shots they'll miss on the road.  DJ Gay has been missing home AND road for a while, but he needs to get double digits tonight.  And Amoroso is particularly important on defense and the glass, and can't get two quick fouls out on pick and roll defense or outside the paint.  Fredette is very dangerous from outside and Miles runs hot and cold, they are the secondary players who need to be knocked off their game by the Cox Crazies.  I'll check this +/- with these four players after the game.  

4) Who steps up?  Billy White being out of the game is very important, especially on defense.  Someone needs to fill that void if the Aztecs are going to beat BYU tonight.  Is it Ammo?  Is it Mehdi?  Will Wade have a superstar game to fill the void?  

I have good thoughts about this game, even without White, and hope that the crowd will help carry SDSU to a 73-68 victory.  Go Aztecs!

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