First of all, CBS had this game scheduled before the season began, when neither team was ranked in the preseason ESPN poll. Kudos to them, and they should have a lot of people watching this game all over the country.
I just read an article online that said if SDSU can get out and run, they should easily win the game. I would have to disagree with that. BYU’s transition game is as good as it gets and that is how they get their open threes. SDSU is more of a defensive team and it would not be a good idea to get into a track-meet with BYU. That’s how Jimmer gets going.
Speaking of Jimmer, he is shooting 38% over his last 6 games including 31% from three. He has definitely slowed down from the pace he was shooting at even before SDSU came to Provo. He is still getting his points, but he is taking a lot more shots to get there. You have to wonder if he is starting to get a little fatigued with having to carry such a load for so long.
Emery has to shoot well for BYU to come out with a win
Speaking of fatigue, an 11 am start time may not be in BYU’s favor because SDSU has had the week off and BYU just finished a grueling game on Wednesday against Colorado State. Not to mention the travel BYU has to do and there is something to be said for sleeping in your own bed before in early game. BYU has to bring a lot of energy somehow.
Speaking of energy, Jackson Emery has been playing a lot better in the last five games. He is shooting 48% while averaging 14.2 points over that span. He was a nonfactor offensively against SDSU in Provo so it is a good sign that he has been playing well to provide offensive help for Jimmer.
Speaking of offensive help for Jimer, BYU felt like a one man show (with some help from Davies) leading up to, and for a while after the first SDSU game. Charles Abuou and Stephen Rogers didn’t make a single shot in that first game. Both of those players have been playing much better (and much more) to provide more of an offensive spark for the Cougs. Although Jimmer hasn’t been playing out of his mind lately, the rest of the team has shown more depth and balance.
Speaking of depth and balance, SDSU has been getting no help from its bench for the last several games, especially now that James Rahon is starting. Their starters have had to carry even more of the offense than BYU’s starters have. That too may be affecting SDSU’s top guns
Speaking of top gun, Kawhi Leonard is only shooting 33% from the field over the last 7 games. That is a horrible number for a big guy. He is still rebounding at a ridiculous rate though.
Speaking of rebounding, Malcolm Thomas has been averaging 10 rebounds himself over the last 5 games. He has also been averaging 14 points over that span including 21 over the last two games. He had a terrible game against BYU and felt like he single
The Show has been asked to behave against BYU. I wouldn't count on that.
handedly cost them the game. I expect him to have a very good game and to come out with a lot of energy the second time around. He may be the difference maker.
Speaking of different, I thought Billy White’s defense on Jimmer was better than DJ Gay’s in the first game. I would expect to see White guard Fredette more often this time around which may also save Gay’s energy so he can be a factor on the offensive end. He didn’t make a shot in the first game because he was so focused on watching guarding Jimmer. White’s length could be very disrupting on D.
Speaking of defense, SDSU doesn’t have anyone who can make Jimmer play defense. New Mexico was very successful at giving the ball to whoever Jimmer was guarding and dribbling right at him. SDSU doesn’t have enough weapons at guard to pull that off.
I honestly don’t have a prediction after all that. I can see either team winning and that is why I’m so excited about watching the game.