San Jose St. Spartans vs. San Diego St. Aztecs Pick & Prediction JANUARY 9th 2024

After a four-week absence from the AP Top 25, the San Diego State men’s basketball team is back at No. 19 heading into its Mountain West Conference matchup at San Jose State on Tuesday night.

The Aztecs (13-2, 2-0) regained the attention of pollsters after winning six in a row, most recently toppling UNLV 72-61 at home on Saturday.

Jaedon LeDee continues to lead the way for San Diego State, totaling 20 points and 11 rebounds against UNLV for his seventh double-double of the season.

LeDee leads the conference at 21.4 points a game.

“They’re starting to send two defenders at him every time,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said. “That can be frustrating, you know? You’re going to have to be a great playmaker now, Jaedon, because nobody really scores against two defenders. They don’t do it in the NBA with the greatest players in the world.”

LeDee was disappointed with his four turnovers against UNLV, with only two coming against a double-team.

“Just get back to the drawing board, keep getting better,” LeDee said. “Like Coach Dutch says, I think they’re going to continue to do that throughout the year. It’s just something I have to get used to.”

Dutcher said the best way to make opponents pay for the double-team is to find an open teammate, preferably one on the perimeter.

“That way they’ll be afraid to double because they don’t want to give up (open) 3s when they could give up tough 2s,” Dutcher said. “Jaedon is going to walk that line all year as our best player.”

The Aztecs last faced San Jose State in a semifinal at the Mountain West tournament in March and LeDee was limited to two points off the bench on 1-of-3 shooting in the 64-49 win by San Diego State.

LeDee didn’t face double-teams last season, however.

“He’s going to see every double imaginable. He’s probably already seen them all, but he’ll see more,” Dutcher said. “They are going to try to find ways to keep him from impacting the game.”

San Diego State is one of three Mountain West programs to be ranked this week, joining No. 20 Utah State and No. 17 Colorado State — whom the Aztecs face in back-to-back games in three weeks.

San Diego State is also ranked for the 104th week since the start of the 2010-11 season, more than any other California program in that span.

San Jose State (7-8, 0-2) has dropped its first two conference games by single digits, losing at Wyoming 75-73 last Tuesday and at home against Boise State 78-69 on Friday.

Myron Amey Jr. scored 30 points in the loss to Boise State, the highest-scoring game for a San Jose State player this season. The junior guard from Vacaville, Calif., sank five 3-pointers.

The Spartans also had 14 assists compared to just seven turnovers.

“Our defensive intensity of turning them over really helped our offense,” San Jose State coach Tim Miles said.

San Jose State senior forward Trey Anderson is a San Diego native who spent two seasons at South Carolina before playing the last three for the Spartans.

Anderson is tied for third on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game, one of four San Jose State players averaging double figures.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping