This game could be in the 60s.
I don't know if that's a good or bad thing for the Aggies because A) that's where Pacific wants it to be, or B) because I don't know how the Aggies are going to score without Troy Gillenwater or Hamidu Rahman.
First a couple personnel notes from a conversation I had with Stockton Record reporter Jagdip Dhillon.
At 6-9, senior forward Sam Williard is the Tigers' best player, "by far". He's also their tallest player. Senior point guard Demetrece Young has been shooting the 3 well and he torched the Aggies for 27 last year. But outside of those two, the Tigers, much like the Aggies, struggle offensively.
"They (Pacific) shoot a lot of 3s and they don't make a lot of 3s," Dhillon said.
There are a couple keys entering tonight that will make it hard for the Aggies. Pacific is a good defensive team and they are patient offensively. The Aggies aren't a patient offensive team.
"Pacific runs a lot of sets and have a lot of looks," Dhillon said.
It doesn't sound like the Aggies will force a lot of turnovers in their full court, because Young is a smart player and a senior and all of the Tigers players can pass and help beat the pressure. But perhaps the pressure will make them take some time off the shot clock.
But it's not all bad for the Aggies tonight.
I think they will stay in the game if:
They crash the boards: Williard is a capable player and it would have been fun to see him work against Gillenwater. While the Aggies don't have much offensive punch in the paint, the young guys do have size and the ability to rebound. They need to keep the Tigers off the glass and get some put backs on the offensive end.
Pacific remains cold: Young has been the only consistent 3-point shooter for Pacific, getting no help from forward Pat Eveland or guard Terrell Smith or Allen Huddleston. When Eveland is in the game, it sounds similar to how the Aggies use Gillenwater with pick and pop situation, except Eveland hasn't knocked it down like Troy was prior to injury.
Pacific on the road: UTEP was their best win on the road. They are 0-3 since with losses to UCLA, Missouri State and Texas A&M