Grades: CS San Marcos at San Diego State

DeShawn Stephens

AztecReport.com hands out grades for the San Diego State players after they defeated Cal State San Marcos 67-46...

AztecReport.com hands out grades for the San Diego State players after they defeated Cal State San Marcos.

San Diego State 67 Cal State San Marcos 46

Starters

Xavier Thames – 26 mins, 7 pts, 5 rebs, 3 ast, 0 blks, 3 stls, 2 TO

Thames ran the club efficiently especially in the second half, forcing the Aztecs tempo onto the Cougars. He managed the game well and locked down whomever he was guarding. (B)

Chase Tapley – 24 mins, 13 pts, 3 rebs, 2 ast, 1 blk, 2 stl, 3 TO

The senior guard led the charge in the second with 10 of his 13 points coming in the final 20 minutes. Tapley didn't force any shots and let the game come to him. Once the game became a track meet, other SDSU players found Tapley in transition. (B)

Jamaal Franklin – 23 mins, 7 pts, 7 rebs, 4 ast, 0 blk, 2 stl, 3 TO

The junior had NBA scouts from the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers in attendance for him but was quiet on the night. CSUSM's zone kept him silent in the first half and he didn't attempt a shot in the second half. Also not sure if it's a good or bad sign that he led the team in rebounds (7). (C+)

J.J. O'Brien – 20 mins, 8 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 1 TO

O'Brien earned the start for the Aztecs at the four spot. Most SDSU fans didn't know what to expect from the Utah transfer and those who watched the game, came away impressed. The 6-foot-8 forward played in the middle/high post of the zone offense and was able to attack the basket or find open spot up shooters. (B+)

Deshawn Stephens – 19 mins, 10 pts, 4 rebs, 0 ast, 3 blk, 1 stl, 2 TO

Stephens was quiet in the first half with only 3 points and 2 rebounds but once the Aztecs figured out the Cougars zone, the senior became the beneficiary. He played hard throughout, finished strong near the basket but had a couple blocked and gave up a few offensive boards. (B)

Bench

Winston Shepard – 18 mins, 3 pts, 4 rebs, 3 ast, 2 blk, 0 stl, 4 TO

Shepard was the first sub into the game along with Rahon. The highly touted freshman played nervous or too quickly but showed why he can be such an impact player for the Aztecs this season. He only shot once, a finger roll and-one, but was looking more to get his teammates involved. He's a very patient passer and two of the turnovers weren't his fault. (B)

James Rahon – 17 mins, 4 pts, 4 rebs, 0 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 4 TO

The senior struggled in this one. Rahon had just as many turnovers as he had points, two of them coming off offensive charges. He will continue to build chemistry with the second unit. (D+)

Dwayne Polee – 13 mins, 6 pts, 4 rebs, 0 ast, 0 blk, 1 stl, 2 TO

Polee didn't see too much action tonight. Coaching staff had him playing either the three or four. Struggled somewhat out of the high post but is aggressive with the ball, connected on both of his attempts. (C)

Matt Shrigley – 17 mins, 3 pts, 3 rebs, 4 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 1 TO

The San Diego native played well early on, hitting his first shot of the game. He struggled with the quickness of the game as he gave up the drive to the basket too easy at times but it's part of the growing pains. (C+)

Skylar Spencer – 15 mins, 4 pts, 2 rebs, 0 ast, 3 blk, 0 stl, 0 TO

The freshman showed exactly what one would want to see. Spencer clogged the paint, blocked shots and finished at the basket. He did give up a couple buckets but this game is a new speed to him. (B-)

LaBradford Franklin – 4 mins, 0 pts, 0 rebs, 0 ast, 0 blk, 0 stl, 1 TO

Aztecs backup point guard didn't see the floor until late in the game. (Inc.)

Teacher Notes

1) San Diego State's zone offense struggled in the first half (8/25 FG, 2/10 3PT and 11 turnovers). Early in the second half the Aztecs had a baseline runner that created easy dunks for Stephens, forcing CSUSM out of the zone.

2) Must get early offense against Syracuse. SDSU really got going in the second half due to getting stops then pushing the ball. Won't have much success against ‘Cuse if the game slows down to a possession-by-possession match.

3) The Aztecs ran a 10-man rotation tonight, it could have been 11 but James Johnson was unable to play, and I know it was only an exhibition game but expect something similar this season.

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