After losing a close contest to Utah, UC Davis has strung together two consecutive wins including a 66-57 victory over Northern Illinois. To make it three straight, they must travel to San Diego to begin their three-game run against West Coast Conference opponents.
San Diego has also won its last two games. In their latest game, they beat CSUC 66-54. Saturday's contest takes place at the Jenny Craig Pavilion with tip-off slated for 10 p.m. EST.
The Aggies' defense starting to come togetherOne of the reasons for the struggles in the early part of the season concerned a young team trying to gel on the go. It was evident in their defensive showing, where they allow opponents to score 71 points per game.
However, in their last two contests, they've been finding their groove defensively. In each of their victories, they held their opponents to 66 points or under.
On Saturday, their defense should replicate their success as they face a San Diego offense that's struggled to score consistently. The Toreros average 67 points per game.
To keep the San Diego offense in check, the Aggies must challenge Joey Calcaterra who leads San Diego in scoring with 13 points per game. One area where he excels is in perimeter shooting where he makes 40% of his shots, so it's vital for the Aggies to challenge him so he doesn't get off to a quick start.
Offensively, UC Davis should have no problems in scoring. They face a San Diego defense that allows opponents to shoot 45% on their home floor. With this in mind, if players like Joe Mooney can have a hot start, the Aggies could control the pace from the opening tip.
Can San Diego exploit the Aggies' defense?While UC Davis has been playing better defense at home, their inexperience shows on the road where they allow teams to average 74 points per game on their home courts. This a matchup San Diego wants to exploit fully.
The key is to make the extra pass to find the best shot. This could be much easier too as the Aggies allow opponents to make 51% of their field-goal attempts and a staggering 40% of their shots from behind the arc.
With these factors in mind, if the Toreros can make shots early, then they can apply pressure to an Aggies' squad that's still gaining experience in road environments. This results in San Diego's offensive success extending to the defensive end.
The Aggies won't wow anyone with their offense. They average over 66 points per game, but they do make 44% of their shots and almost 39% of their three-point attempts. So, the onus is on the Toreros to apply pressure to create rushed shots.
UC Davis is:
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against West Coast conference opponents
Trends found on Odds Shark.com San Diego is:
- 4-1 ATS in last 5 at home