WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question and answer session with Mark Zeigler, who covers San Diego State men’s basketball for the San Diego Union-Tribune, on Wednesday’s game with the University of Wyoming.
Tipoff is at 9 p.m. MT at Viejas Arena in San Diego.
Follow on Twitter: @sdutzeigler
Despite a loss at Boise State Sunday, San Diego State is tied for first in the Mountain West and currently hold the tiebreaker with Wyoming. Are the Aztecs the best team in the MW in your opinion?
I still think so. I’m not saying they’re a great team by any stretch, just the least mediocre team in an increasingly mediocre league. If they play defense like they can and make a
few shots, they’re very good (ask Utah State). If they play defense like they can and shoot like they usually do (poorly), they just scrape by. If they don’t play elite defense and don’t make shots, they lose 61-46 at Boise State. The one advantage they have over the rest of the field is the schedule, with Wyoming, Colorado State and Boise State all at home down the stretch, plus games against San Jose State and Nevada. I think they get to 14 wins, which should be enough for at least a share of the title if not outright.
We know the Aztecs are one of the best defensive teams in the nation, and that they often struggle to shoot the ball. But why do they struggle to shoot the ball? is it shot selection, is it mental? What are your thoughts on that?
They had a stretch where it seemed like every player they recruited was categorized as “athletic wing, can’t shoot.” That is definitely part of it. Not having Dwayne Polee II hurts, since he was their best perimeter threat at the end of last season (making more than 50 percent of his 3s over the final month). Freshman Trey Kell was billed as having one of the best perimeter strokes in the prep class of 2014, and so far that hasn’t materialized. Matt Shrigley has been streaky. The shots they get aren’t horrible, since teams generally sag and clog the paint, almost daring them to fire away. But they also have shown the capacity to make them in bunches (ask Air Force), and there was a recent four-game stretch where they ranked in the Top 10 nationally in 3-point field-goal percentage.