An oft-cited truism holds that “cellar door” is the most beautiful phrase in the English language. “Cellar dweller” on the other hand, while a pleasant rhyme, is an altogether depressing concept.
With this 72-69 loss to Nevada-Reno, the San Diego State men’s basketballing Aztecs are presently dwelling in the cellar. They are 0-2 in conference play, 8-6 overall and winless on the road. At this rate they’ll need to win in the play-in round of the conference tournament to even get into the tournament proper.
These things aren’t supposed to happen to this program. Remember the Sweet Sixteens? Blue-chip recruiting classes, running Cali, bullying the Mountain West? That image is fading. If you bump into Coach Fisher on campus, maybe ask if he’s handing out free tickets. (Don’t do that.)
The particulars aren’t all that important in this game, but you should know that SDSU’s student-athletes competed hard to the end. Jeremy Hemsley in particular tried to will his squad to a win with a career-high 30 points and six 3-pointers. And yet his supporting cast hit just 14 of 42 attempts from the field, with a glaring 1-12 performance from Trey Kell that was an o-fer until he hit a three late.
Hoetzel drained a few NBA-range threes, going 5-9 from well behind the arc, and remains a defensive liability.
ESPN2 didn’t show a single isolated shot of Malik Pope far as I saw, so I’m unable to report whether he still has tire tracks from the bus he was thrown under yesterday. This team is going nowhere quite rapidly without him.
Aside from their usual shooting woes, the story of this game was swatted Aztec layup attempts and emphatic Nevada putback dunks. 2017 Aztecs: Feel the Softness.
[Aztecs were] down 10, [and they] look[ed] listless.
Ooof. Seriously: this is a still from an ad during the broadcast of a fan who browses San Diego State gear online, buys some stuff, then magically sprouts war paint because he’s so Aztec 4 Lyfe. Whoa dude.
Enough with the war paint, Aztec Shops and SDSU marketing. It’s hard to believe your blind spot is still this huge.
San Diego State MBB visits Boise State this Saturday at 8:00 PM on ESPNU.