Mike Montgomery's Golden Bears have won six of their first seven games this season, with the lone loss coming to nationally-ranked Missouri in the title game of the CBE Classic in Kansas City. Since that setback, the team has won back-to-back games, topping Denver (80-59) and most recently, McNeese State (73-57).
Steve Fisher's Aztecs are off to another fast start with wins in seven of their first nine games. SDSU had a four-game win streak halted by Creighton this past week in a heart-breaking 85-83 loss.
These two teams have split eight all-time meetings. San Diego State has won two of the last three mettings, including a 77-57 rout in Berkely a year ago.
A defensive-minded team first and foremost, California is limiting the opposition to just 59.9 ppg. while boasting of the Pac-12's best rebounding margin at +9.9. While the offensive numbers are modest with the team averaging 72.3 ppg, there is some diversity in terms of scoring, with four players currently averaging double digits. Jorge Gutierrez leads the way with 14.6 ppg. He is followed closely by Allen Crabbe's 14.3 ppg. Justin Cobbs comes off the bench with 11.0 ppg, while Harper Kamp checks in at 10.0 ppg. In the win over McNeese State, Gutierrez and Crabbe were unstoppable, combining for 46 points. Gutierrez was 11-of-15 from the floor in the game en route to a game- high 26 points. Crabbed poured in 20, thanks to four three-pointers.
The Aztecs are a lot like the Golden Bears in the fact that the offensive numbers aren't overwhelming. San Diego State comes into this contest averaging 72.7 ppg on .446 shooting. Still, four players are averaging double figures, giving the team several options at that end of the floor. Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin are a formidable duo, averaging 16.3 and 16.1 ppg, respectively. Xavier Thames and James Rahon provide depth with 12.8 and 10.8 ppg, respectively. The Aztecs suffered a rare home loss last time out, having a 27-game non-conference win streak halted by Creighton. Thames led the way in defeat with 21 points. Franklin poured in 19 off the bench, while Tapley and Rahon finished with 15 and 11 points, respectively.