Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bakersfield: Three keys and a prediction

There are a couple ties to Bakersfield. Keith Brown coached there until 2011 and Bakersfield showed some interest in Aggies sharp shooter Kevin Aronis while he was at Santa Rosa Junior College, before ultimately choosing NMSU with Brown doing most of the work bringing him in.

"They were a tiny bit my freshman summer after that first year of junior college," Aronis said. "After that, it kind of went away."

This is a last place WAC team playing on the road and I believe you will see Sim Bhullar tonight in limited minutes.

If the Aggies avoid the temptation to look past the last place team for Saturday's game against first place Utah Valley, the Aggies win rather easily 89-75

Limit Grayson: Bakersfield point guard Issiah Grayson is the only Bakersfield player scoring in double figures at 15 points per game. The Aggies have struggled defending small point guards who can score this year, most recently against UMKC. If KC Ross-Miller returns to the starting lineup, he has to do a better job defending ball screens because Grayson is a better 3-point shooter at 47 percent. If he doesn't Daniel Mullings probably guards him initially. Grayson is the focal point of the offense so it will be interesting to see if they take the ball out of his hands or let him get his numbers and stop everyone else.

3-point line again: Daniel Mullings told me Tuesday that the Aggies needed to get back to playing the type of defense they did in the non conference, and that getting teams off the 3 point line was a big part of that. Teams are shooting 37 percent against the Aggies and Bakersfield shoots 41 percent and scores 33 percent of their points from long range.

Rebounding: Bakersfield is actually third in the WAC in rebounding margin at plus 1.9. They do get nearly 12 offensive rebounds per game, so the Aggies have to keep them off the boards, something that did hurt the Aggies for a stretch this year.

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