Sunday, January 21, 2007

FSU-SJSU at SMC Monday

'Dogs in dire need of a win at home

Coming In:

The Bulldogs return home Monday night after tough 3 game stretch on the road that has done damage to their confidence. They are coming off of an 85-75 loss to Nevada, a game in which there were many positives to draw from including a season low 5 turnovers.

The opponent at the Save Mart Center Monday will be the San Jose State Spartans who are coming off of a difficult 57-56 loss at home to a surging Utah State team. Guard Carlton Spencer had an opportunity for a game winner from 35 feet, but his attempt glanced off the rim and the Aggies came out victorious.

The Spartans trailed much of the second half but were able to make a late run that fell just short. They were plagued by both 14 turnovers and an 8-14 effort from the foul line that proved costly in such a close contest. Center Menelik Barbary lead the Spartans with 16 points, while guards Jamon Hill and Spencer Carlton chipped in 13 and 12 points respectively.

How the Bulldogs defeat the Spartans:

For Coach Steve Cleveland to get the Bulldogs back on track they need to return to some of the things they were doing prior to this 3-game skid. Notably, they need forwards Quinton Hosley and Dominic McGuire to attack the rim relentlessly, but improve on their ability to finish around the basket. Both players need to attack the rim and initiate contact instead of trying to avoid it and make a spectacular shot because the percentages drop immensely when they aren’t going towards the rim.

The ‘Dogs will also look to protect the basketball just as well as they did in Reno versus Nevada where they only made a few unforced errors late in the game. They will also look to continue with the free throw shooting effort they had at Nevada where they shot an excellent 13 of 16 from the line.

The Spartans will again try to utilize the zone defense they effectively employed in their first meeting with Fresno State, a zone which forced the Bulldogs to shoot quick shots and frustrate them in their half court offense by negating the slashing of Hosley and McGuire.

Point guard Kevin Bell and fellow backcourt mate Javance Coleman will need to improve on the 3 point shooting from their previous outing in which they combined for a dismal 2-12. Lastly, look for guard Eddie Miller to chip in off the bench with another double digit effort which has become his norm in conference play.

MBs Take:

Its a home game at the SMC, they have lost three straight on the road, and they lost to the Spartans a short time ago which tells me the Bulldogs will beat the Spartans by 8-10 points. They will jack up 28-32 threes and make 10-12, but will find a way to shoot worse from two than three. They will also shoot worse from the line and turn it over more than they did on the road at Nevada.

This is how it is with this team, never dull yet always perplexing.

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