Syracuse and San Diego State are set to duel in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. The Fizz has had plenty of content previewing the game, including:
- San Diego State’s Only Weakness
- Syracuse Sits at Magic Number 11
- How Much Will SDSU’s Inexperience Against a Zone Help SU?
- How Tourney Teams Beat the SU Zone the Last 10 Years
- Syracuse’s Competition: Midwest Region Breakdown
Now, it’s time to take an analytical look at San Diego State by checking what the numbers say. A big shout out goes to KenPom for these advanced statistics.
Offensive Efficiency: 110.8 | 44th in NCAA
To put this stat in perspective, 102 is average in offensive efficiency. So anything above that is fantastic. San Diego State shoots the three-ball at a 38% clip and really relies on those deep balls. 34% of the Aztecs’s shots are from beyond the arc. That great shooting combined with below average competition has helped bolster their offensive rating. Syracuse ranks 22nd in offensive efficiency.
Defensive Efficiency: 89.5 | 11th in NCAA
The defensive side of the court is where San Diego State makes its money. The Aztecs are almost top-10 in the entire country in that category, thanks to holding opponents to just a 47% field goal mark. They also average eight steals and three blocks per game. Syracuse ranks 89th in defensive efficiency.
Adjusted Tempo: 66.1 | 298th in NCAA
San Diego State likes to play reallyyyyyy slow. The Aztecs average 16.8 seconds per offensive possession and 18.8 seconds per defensive possession. They like to slow it down and play in the half court, which is different from what Syracuse is used to. All but two ACC teams this season played slower than SDSU. Syracuse ranks 139th in adjusted tempo.
Turnover Percentage: 16.9% | 74th in NCAA
The reasoning behind including this stat is to just say, plain and simple– turnovers will be the key to this game. The Aztecs don’t cough up the ball much, while the Orange rely on causing turnovers on defense. Keep an eye on that battle come Friday. Syracuse ranks 31st in turnover percentage.
Bench Minutes: 35.3% | 76th in NCAA
San Diego State has a very solid starting lineup, headlined by Mountain West Player of the Year Matt Mitchell. Plus, you add in All-MW Second Teamer Jordan Schakel and All-MW Defensive Teamer Nathan Mensah and you have a really talented five. Due to that, the Aztecs don’t need to rely on their bench that much. Now, they will go to the reserves if needed, keep an eye out for Joshua Tomaic and Adam Seiko, but the starters should run the show on Friday. Syracuse ranks 344th in bench minutes. Yikes.
Experience: 2.43 years | 16th in NCAA
Experience is one of San Diego State’s biggest strengths. The Aztecs are top-20 in experience and all but two of their players that see consistent minutes are upperclassmen. They aren’t just experienced, they are battle tested as well. SDSU has all of these older players that have been on a ranked team for multiple years. Experience plus continuity equals a dangerous opponent for the Orange. Syracuse ranks 233rd in experience.