San Diego State Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

San Diego State Aztecs
Mountain West (26-8, 14-4)


San Diego State has now reached their sixth straight NCAA Tournament under Coach Steve Fisher. There have been better Aztec teams in those years, but this group could be built for another big tournament run. Even though the offense has been painful to watch at times, SDSU will stay in every game they play because of their stifling defense.

Big Wins: 11/18 Utah (53-49), 11/24 vs BYU (92-87), 2/14 Colorado State (72-63)
Bad Losses: 12/7 at Washington (36-49), 1/3 at Fresno State (57-59), 2/28 Boise State (46-56)
Coach: Steve Fisher

Why They Can Surprise:
San Diego State has some amazing defense numbers. They allow just 53.4 points per game, which ranks second in all of DI basketball. They allow the opposition to shoot just 37.6 percent from the floor and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc. They block over five shots per game. And they do it all without fouling, while also nabbing 7.1 steals per contest. Much of the success on defense has to do with Coach Fisher’s depth on the bench and the size he puts on the floor. After senior guard Aqeel Quinn, the Aztecs often start four forwards. Winston Shepard is a star in the frontcourt and leads the way. J.J. O’Brien is a very capable scorer and a superb rebounder. Dwayne Polee II missed some time with an illness, but he is a great talent when healthy. Perhaps the most underappreciated frontcourt member though is 6-10 junior Skylar Spencer. He is not going to score much, but he is the reason this is such a great shot blocking team and he is a very good rebounder as well.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Teams that play such great defense are not going to score many points of their own, but San Diego State has taken it to a whole new level. It is not just the scoring offense that is poor, it is shooting from everywhere on the court. In theory, a big frontcourt oriented team that does not take a slew of three-pointers should shoot well from the floor. SDSU shoots just 42.0 percent. They connect on just 31.6 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc and are one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country at 62.5 percent. The offense can go huge stretches of time without a point. The good news is the defense may not give up a point during that stretch either. As long as San Diego State stays in the 50’s or low 60’s, they should be able to keep it close enough down the stretch and give themselves a chance to win.

Probable Starters:
Aqeel Quinn, Senior, Guard, 11.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
Matt Shrigley, Sophomore, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Winston Shepard, Junior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg
J.J. O’Brien, Senior, Forward, 10.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Skylar Spencer, Junior, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Dakarai Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Angelo Chol, Junior, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Trey Kell, Freshman, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 1.5 apg
Dwaynee Polee, Senior, Forward, 7.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Malik Pope, Freshman, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 62.4 (287th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 53.4 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (256, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.6 (6, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (275, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.6 (284, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.5 (336, 11)
Rebound Margin: 3.2 (80, 4)
Assists Per Game: 10.7 (291, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (99, 8)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over New Mexico State
2014    NCAA    Third Round win over North Dakota State
2014    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Oklahoma
2013    NCAA    Third Round loss to Florida Gulf Coast
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to North Carolina State
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Northern Colorado
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Temple
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Connecticut
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Tennessee
2009    NIT    First Round win over Weber State
2009    NIT    Second Round win over Kansas State
2009    NIT    Quarterfinal win over St. Mary's
2009    NIT    Semifinal loss to Baylor
2008    NIT    First Round loss to Florida
2007    NIT    First Round Win over Missouri State
2007    NIT    Second Round loss to Syracuse

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules