February 23, 2024
Jaedon LeDee in SDSU’s Oct. 30 exhibition win over Cal State San Marcos. Picture credit score: Derrick Tuskan through goaztecs.com

San Diego State’s long-term success on the court docket has made them a Mountain West group to beat for years.

However a Closing 4 run and a spot within the NCAA Match championship recreation? That places SDSU on a complete new stage. And that’s simply superb with head coach Brian Dutcher.

“Final 12 months’s success, we’re grateful we had it, however we wish expectations,” he mentioned. “I don’t need to come into this 12 months and say we’re not going to be pretty much as good. I need to imagine we’re going to be higher. And if I don’t imagine that, how do we now have an opportunity?”

The No. 17 Aztecs’ season begins Monday, towards Cal State Fullerton at 7:30 p.m. at Viejas Area. It’s a brand new look SDSU group, with out stalwarts Matt Bradley, Nathan Mensah, Keshad Johnson and Aguek Arop, although the latter’s regular presence stays, as Arop joined the teaching employees.

Now Miles Byrd, Elijah Saunders, Demarshay Johnson Jr. be a part of the combination, together with transfers Reese Waters and Jay Pal, whereas Lamont Butler, Jaedon LeDee and Micah Parrish present the veteran presence. They’ll begin the season although with out Darrion Trammell, who’s nursing a shoulder harm.

The usual set by final 12 months’s group – a 32-7 document, regular-season and Mountain West event titles, storybook finishes to achieve each the Closing 4 and the title recreation – will probably be robust to beat.

Of their Oct. 30 exhibition, an 81-50 victory towards Cal State San Marcos, Butler, Waters, Ledee, Parrish and Saunders bought the beginning.

Dutcher’s evaluation? “I preferred how we performed. I believed we had been anxious, and I anticipated that. We most likely shot the ball too fast. All people took the primary shot they’d, and we all know over the course of the season, that’s not going to work out very nicely.”

Because the Aztecs tackle Fullerton, which went 20-13 final 12 months, Dutcher famous the Titans’ aggressive method.

“They draw a variety of fouls, and so it’ll be a problem for a younger group to step on the market and see how they reply. The veterans I’m not apprehensive about, however the brand new guys’ first recreation towards an aggressive driving group … we’ll see if we’re capable of keep out of foul hassle.”

However first, the Aztecs will benefit from the pre-game pomp – seeing a pair of Mountain West banners and its first Closing 4 banner raised excessive into the rafters at Viejas. Butler is aware of precisely that these honors characterize.

“We’ve all the time had a goal on our again. It’s simply going to be even larger now since we went on the nationwide stage,” Butler mentioned. “We will probably be prepared; the fellows will probably be prepared. This will probably be enjoyable for us.”