2. Avoid foul trouble against a team that likes to draw fouls
As with typical Aztec teams, this one remains a good defensive unit that can get into ugly games. They rank in the top 50 in terms of free throws attempted and made, as well as drawing over 30 fouls a game. That’s an issue that this particular Gonzaga squad has to be careful with.
As mentioned before, LeDee on his own gets a lot of fouls called. The Bulldogs can handle him but it’s the guards that can’t afford to get in foul trouble. The team only has three healthy guards on the roster, with Nolan Hickman, Dusty Stromer, and Ryan Nembhard all playing over 36 mpg against legit teams.
If this game gets in the mud and slows down, San Diego State will have the advantage. Outside of Reese Waters, they don’t rely on much scoring production from the backcourt. Still, guys like Lamont Butler and Darrion Trammell have experience playing in big games and can score just enough to keep them in the game.
But if Hickman or Nembhard has to sit on the bench and force Jun Seok Yeo into this kind of game, that’s going to be a problem for the Bulldogs. How smoothly this game is run and called will be an indicator of how close this game will be.