2008 NIT Capsule: San Diego State
San Diego State Aztecs
Mountain West Conference (20-12, 10-6)
Big Wins: 11/19 at San Diego (69-64), 1/16 Utah (64-56), 2/23 BYU (69-65)
Bad Losses: 1/9 Northern Colorado (56-62), 2/9 at TCU (62-68), 3/8 at Air Force (43-46)
Coach: Steve Fisher
Richie Williams, Junior, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 3.1 apg
Matt Thomas, Senior, Guard, 2.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
D.J. Gay, Freshman, Guard, 5.9 ppg, 1.8 apg
Lorrenzo Wade, Junior, Forward, 14.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.5 apg
Ryan Amoroso, Junior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Kelvin Davis, Junior, Guard, 7.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Billy White, Freshman, Forward, 8.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
San Diego State will have to depend on their frontcourt if they hope to pull of an upset in the NIT. Lorrenzo Wade, a 6-6 wing who plays at the four spot, is the team’s leading scorer and most dynamic player. The former Louisville Cardinal is a superb leaper and he will have a couple dunks in the NIT that make it worth watching. Now a junior, Wade his found his role on the Aztecs and he has the athleticism to dominate the game on both sides of the floor.
Billy White has had a great freshman campaign. He is a superb athlete who can put up some big points and will always attack the glass. Ryan Amoroso is not quite as dynamic as Wade or White, but he is the big guy under the basket. Amoroso, at 6-8 and 257 pounds, is a bruiser in the paint. He is a decent scorer under the basket and will fight hard for rebounds, but he will also step outside and hit the mid-range jumper and stretch out the defense. Occasionally, he will hit the three-pointer, but he spends too much time taking three-pointers and waiting for that occasional one to actually go in the hoop.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The problem is SDSU lacks shooters. A large majority of their offense is slashing from the wing and scoring in the paint. If somebody on the perimeter can compliment that with some three-point shooting, Coach Steve Fisher’s group would be a lot more dangerous on the offensive end of the floor. As a team, San Diego State hits just 5.6 three-pointers per contest and they shoot a dismal 33.5 percent from beyond the arc. That is really the only major missing piece for the Aztecs and if somebody happens to be hitting the outside shot in the NIT, San Diego State cannot be counted out.
Who To Watch:
There are a couple guys who can hit the long ball. Kyle Spain was the best long range shooter on the team, but he has not been around for a month so that leaves the pressure on Kelvin Davis and D.J. Gay. Davis has cooled off late in the season and has only hit more than three-pointer twice since mid-January. Meanwhile, Gay, a freshman, has started show his potential late in the year and has had his best performances in the last month of the season. Still, it is hit or miss with the freshman and if he is knocking down his shot, San Diego State can make some noise.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.8 (196th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.0 (53, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.5 (150, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (191, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (260, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.5 (225, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (171, 6)
Rebound Margin: 3.4 (63, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (194, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (117, 6)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Florida
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