There could not be a more welcoming sight for the San Diego State Aztecs than Viejas Arena, where they are a perfect 5-0 on the season. It also has to be a comforting thought for the scarlet and black knowing they will host a much inferior Ball State squad, who currently is still trying to tally its first road win on the season.
It may be difficult and hard to understand, especially after how SDSU has played in recent weeks, but the Cardinals pose little threat to the Aztecs on their home court. Unlike the three teams that SDSU has suffered losses to this season, Ball State does not possess a top-flight defense or the depth to face a Steve Fisher defense.
This should not come as a surprise by now, but the Aztecs' offense is in a desperate need of a leader and playmaker to space the floor and create shots for his teammates. Fortunately for SDSU this will mean little in their matchup against BSU, as they will look to capitalize on their height and athleticism to attack and finish in the paint.
The Aztecs will be able to exploit mismatches all game long as the Cardinals point guard stands a mere 5-foot-9 and their two-guard stands 6-foot-2. To put this into perspective, the shortest starter for SDSU is point guard Trey Kell at 6-foot-4. So do not be surprised if the Aztecs dump it in the post consistently and try to bully past their smaller defender on their way to the hole.
On the less glamorous side of the ball, SDSU fields an elite defense that should have little to no trouble containing the Ball State offense. True freshman Sean Sellers started the season tearing up defenses, averaging 22 points through his first three games. But since then he has fallen back to earth, only mustering a 7.6 points average in his last five contests.
Zavier Turner can pose a threat from the point guard position as he can drain it from deep, averaging 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. He's also dishing out 4.5 assists per game. But due to his diminutive size and the bevy of long, athletic defenders head coach Fisher can throw his way, he should be held in check.
The only reason this game could be close is if the Aztecs' continue to get in their own way offensively. Everything is in place for an easy win and the possibility for the entire bench to check in. That said, this game will be close in the first half with SDSU unable to pull away, but in the second the Aztecs will continue to attack the paint and wear BSU down and take the commanding lead.