San Diego State Men's Basketball 2016 NIT Tournament Capsule

San Diego State Aztecs
Mountain West (25-9, 16-2)
It took some time for this San Diego State team to come around. Nonconference losses to Arkansas-Little Rock, San Diego and Grand Canyon had many thinking that this was not the Aztecs team we thought they were. However, things changed once Mountain West action began and the Aztecs dominated. But it has been a down year on the whole for the conference, so it remains to be seen just how much San Diego State has improved throughout the season.
Big Wins: 11/26 vs California (72-58), 12/1 at Long Beach State, 1/19 Fresno State (73-67)
Bad Losses: 12/6 vs San Diego (48-53), 12/18 Grand Canyon (45-52), 2/27 Boise State (63-66)
Coach: Steve Fisher
Why They Can Surprise:
One thing that is for sure is that San Diego is not going to get blown out. This is a superb defensive team that allows just 60.0 points per game. That ranks fifth in the country. They rank first in field-goal percentage defense at 37.0 percent. It is the versatile group of forwards that keeps this defense so intimidating. Skylar Spencer is the only major shot blocking threat, but just about everybody on the team can block some shots and San Diego State blocks 5.4 shots per game. Spencer is also a big reason for the Aztec’s success on the glass, but fellow forwards Winston Shepard and Zylan Cheatham certainly help out in that regard as well. Shepard is a big, versatile 6-8 forward who not only averages 6.4 rebounds per game, but adds 11.2 points and 2.8 assists. He is a tough matchup for any team in the country. With Angelo Chol and Malik Pope, Coach Steve Fisher has plenty of frontcourt depth.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Once again this is a San Diego State team that grinds out wins. They usually have some long offensive droughts and allow the other team to stay close, but in the end they win. At least that is how it has ended up in Mountain West action. Against better competition that is coming up in the postseason, San Diego State needs to make sure the offense does not disappear for long stretches. Much of that falls on the backcourt duo of freshman Jeremy Hemsley and sophomore Trey Kell. They are the top two scorers on the team, but consistency is key and not always there. Also important are turnovers. For a team that limits possessions as much as San Diego State does, they commit way too many turnovers. The young backcourt will have to play smart and knock down some outside shots if the Aztecs want to make that clutch play at the end of a game and make a tournament run.
Probable Starters:
Jeremy Hemsley, Freshman, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 1.9 apg
Trey Kell, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 1.6 apg, 4.0 rpg
Winston Shepard, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Skylar Spencer, Senior, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Zylan Cheatham, Freshman, Forward, 8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Key Roleplayers:
Dakarai Allen, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
Angelo Chol, Senior, Forward, 3.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Malik Pope, Sophomore, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.2 (276th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.0 (5, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (255, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.0 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (280, 10)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.2 (284, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (204, 7)
Rebound Margin:  6.3 (30, 1)
Assists Per Game:  10.7 (326, 11)
Turnovers Per Game:  12.7 (170, 6)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round win over St. John's
2015    NCAA Third Round loss to Duke
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 3/6