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Basketball

3-POINT PREVIEW: San Diego State Aztecs

Nov 20, 2018; Lahaina, HI, USA; San Diego State Aztecs forward Jalen McDaniels (5) reacts to making a three point shot against the Xavier Musketeers in the second half during the second round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Maui, Hawaii

TV: ESPN2

KenPom Prediction: 75-71, Iowa State

1 – There is no room for let up

San Diego State completed the third-largest comeback in program history on Tuesday by coming back from a 19-point deficit to beat Xavier. Prior to their comeback, the Aztecs had been outscored by 45 points in their first 51 minutes of play on the islands, including a 26-point loss to No. 1 Duke on Monday.

This is a game in which if the Cyclones take a lead, they cannot relax and allow the Aztecs to rebuild any sort of momentum. They shoot the ball well, including knocking down 11 3-pointers against the Musketeers, and are capable of making up a deficit in a short period of time.

2 – McDaniels and Watson

Senior guard Devin Watson is the unequivocal leader of San Diego State’s offense, averaging 17.5 points, 5.3 assists, shooting 48 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, junior forward Jalen McDaniels has been nearly as good this season while averaging 16.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shooting 48 percent from the floor. The 6-foot-10 Federal Way, Wash. native poured in 26 points, eight rebounds and 3 blocks in the win over Xavier.

3 – Only three leave with two

There will only be a trio of teams who will leave Maui with a pair of wins. Iowa State and San Diego State have a chance to be one of those three.

Despite losing in the first round, going 2-1 in the stacked field of the Maui Invitational will look great on someone’s NCAA Tournament resume. If the Cyclones play the way they’re capable, see Tuesday’s second half against Illinois, they have a great chance to leave the islands with two wins over quality programs.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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