The Wooden Legacy basketball tournament was started in 2013 to honor the great John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach. This is a four-team event with each club playing two games.
In the nightcap on Thanksgiving, Georgetown will battle San Diego State and the winner will face the victor between USC and St. Joseph’s. Both these matchups are on ESPN2 and should be good viewing with some leftovers or pumpkin pie.
Georgetown opened the season with a stunning 69-60 home loss to Dartmouth as 16.5-point favorites. They bounced back to win their next two, but American U. and Siena are not quite as formidable as San Diego State.
The Aztecs are off to a 3-1 start, yet have not been impressive at 1-3 ATS and we will explain what the problem is and how that could impact tonight’s tilt. Sportsbooks like Caesar’s have San Diego State at -7 with a total of 132.5. Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of this battle.
Georgetown Hoyas vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 11:59 PM EST at Anaheim Convention Center
Georgetown Must Show Patience on Offense and Get to the Charity Stripe
Coach Patrick Ewing has no doubt told his team that San Diego State plays a sticky type of defense that is about fronting each man up with the ball. All non-ball defenders are expected to be ready to help the defense to stop dribble penetration while looking for soft passes that could be picked off for breakaway dunks. Opposing teams are shooting just 38.4 percent from the field and a mere 25.6% from behind the arc.
That makes it imperative for Hoyas guards Donald Carey and Dante Harris to protect the ball, not to pick up their dribble and keep continual movement in the offense. This pair is tied for the lead in assists and Carey is their leading scorer at 15.3 points a game and Harris is third at 11.7 PPG.
Georgetown is not a big team but they have good size at guard or the flexible wing player and all their players will have to be aggressive to get to the free-throw line to try and accumulate dead ballpoints against the Aztecs stingy defense.
San Diego State Has to Improve Shooting
This San Diego State squad reminds many of Steve Fisher’s clubs when they first started winning. Those teams were tenacious and relentless on the defensive end of the floor, offering no quarter to opposing offenses.
However, there is a reason why coach Jim Dutcher’s club has only covered the betting odds once in four tries. The Aztecs convert on just 40.7% of shot attempts and beyond the three-point arc, they connect on less than one of four hoists at 24.6%.
Top scoring guards Matt Bradley, Trey Pulliam, and Lamont Butler are not going to remind anyone of Stephen Curry even from his Davidson days, but each player is shooting below their career norms. Granted, the four teams they have faced are all defensive-oriented and that is exactly what they will see in Georgetown.
To alleviate this problem, San Diego State shooters have to work harder to free themselves and run better cuts off screens and keep a more watchful eye for open shooters. Of course, if you find the player that is open and he has to execute the shot as well.
What is the Best Side to Be On?
San Diego State and Georgetown are meeting for just the second time, the last, almost 40 years on Dec. 5, 1981. For college basketball picks, this sure seems like a very controlled defensive conflict. Each has the ability to limit what the other can do, though one aspect does stand out.
Georgetown has faced weaker competition, yet, they average nine threes a contest, while San Diego State is at only four treys. Even if the Hoyas make a couple fewer and the Aztecs manage to drop a couple more, that still sets up a close outcome and because of this, we’ll take the points with Georgetown.
NCAAF Pick: Georgetown +7 (-110) with Caesar’s