The San Diego State Aztecs (8-3) will face off with the UC Riverside Highlanders (6-4) on Monday in the second game of a four-game home stand. Steve Fisher saw 12 of his players record minutes in the 70-57 win against Ball State last night, and the longer rotation will most likely continue Monday night.
The Aztecs didn't dominate Ball State like most people hoped that they would, and at times were unable to find a rhythm against one of the country's bottom teams. Turnovers have been an issue all season and SDSU coughed it up 15 times on Saturday night leading to 14 Cardinal points.
Aqeel Quinn started in place of Dwayne Polee II in attempt to jump start the offense and help Polee get back to the player he was down the stretch last season. Quinn responded beautifully with nine points, six rebounds, and three steals in just 19 minutes before exiting the game with a hip pointer in the second half. His status for Monday is not yet confirmed.
Although UC Riverside benefits from playing other low-level programs, the Highlanders have an offense that can put up some points. Riverside beat Saint Katherine College 102-49 in late November.
Big man Taylor Johns leads all Riverside scorers this season, averaging 16.5 points, 8.8 boards, and 2.1 blocks per game. Guard Jaylen Bland is next on the list, averaging 14.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He's also shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. Both Johns and Blend play upwards of 30 minutes per contest so expect to see them on the floor with regularity.
Between Skylar Spencer and Angelo Chol, SDSU has a couple big men that are well-versed on the defensive side of the ball and have played well this season against opposing interior threats. Everyone knows how harsh the Aztec defense can be in the backcourt, too, so expect them to have another night like Saturday where they forced Ball State into 22 turnovers on the game.