The six best things about the 2018-19 basketball season

Wait, what the hell? The basketball season starts tonight? How the hell did this happen?

Sigh. You know what that means.

It’s time to crank out some cheap listicle copy to capitalize on your enthusiasm get you ready for hoops with our list of the six best things about the 2018-19 season!

Best reason to watch every game
Jalen McDaniels
It was during a random game against conference bottomfeeder TCU in 2010 that Kawhi Leonard did this.

It was during an early season bodybag game against Southern Utah in 2011 that Jamaal Franklin did this.

Apparently that Southern Utah game was televised using Abraham Zapruder’s Bell & Howell Zoomatic, but that’s not what I’m getting at here. My point is that NBA talent isn’t something you generally get to see every day when you’re a fan of a mid-major. At SDSU, we’ve been fortunate to cheer for two guys who would make it to The League. There’s a good chance we’ll be watching No. 3 this year.

It’s very probable that this will be sophomore star Jalen McDaniels’ last season in Red and Black. Honestly, I hope it is. I hope he kicks ass this season as the Aztecs’ star, breaks out on the national stage in March and then goes and gets himself paid.

In the meantime, we need to appreciate what we have with McDaniels, every moment we have it. It’s possible Jalen will produce an iconic moment in one of SDSU’s home games against the slew of horrible opponents, such as Jackson State or Cal State Dominguez Hills or UNLV. Don’t miss it because you decided not to use your tickets.

Best reason for optimism
Team chemistry
Over the summer, senior guard Jeremy Hemsley dropped this quote on Mark Zeigler that I found … interesting.

“It’s just a better feel,” senior guard Jeremy Hemsley said, “because we don’t really have as many knuckleheads as we did in the past — dudes just doing crazy stuff off the court. This squad, everybody is about getting better. The fact that we have everybody here is showing. We’ve been close, we’ve been hanging out off the court and on the court.

That is one hell of a subtweet. Is he talking about Malik Pope? Max Montana? Can’t imagine it’s Trey Kell.

Regardless, the roster has turned over and, by most accounts, the chemistry is much better. Will be the salve for a team that has mightily underachieved over the past couple of seasons?

I’m going to say yes because that’s what I want to believe.

Best home game to attend
Dec. 22 vs. BYU
I was a little bothered at first when they announced the date of SDSU’s rivalry renewal home game with BYU. It’s slated for Dec. 22, which means the students will be out of town and unable to replicate some of the, um, mildly-problematic antics we remember so fondly.

But the more I think about it, I’m pretty OK with that. These kids today, they just don’t get it mannnnnn. The Cougars have not befouled Viejas Arena with their sanctimony since 2011, meaning only the real ones will remember why BYU sucks fucking ass.

Hand the keys to the student section to the Showlumni, for just one night, and let whatever happens happen.

Best large adult son
Nathan Mensah
I remember seeing Matt Mitchell for the first time and wondering how the hell he was a college student, let alone a freshman. Like, was he just out of the Navy or something? I eventually came to the conclusion that he was probably a 30-something newspaper reporter who had gone undercover as a student-athlete to write a feature column about college student culture. Common journalistic practice.

Anyway, freshman Nathan Mensah is the new freshman who makes other freshmen look like 8-year olds puking in the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit. The 6-foot-10, 225 pound Ghanaian is SDSU’s new rim protector and is also a grown ass man. Here’s a photo of him working in the paint on large professional basketballer and noted ketchup enjoyer Skylar Spencer.

Dude’s a freshman. I am excited to see him start wrecking fools as soon as his middle finger heals.

Best heckling target
Eric Musselman

After years of searching, we may have found our new Rat Boy McClain. Eric Musselman is an incredibly good coach and recruiter and his Nevada team this year is one of the nation’s best, so you have to respect the job he’s done. One the other hand,,,,,

See you on Feb. 20, time zonesplaining American Psycho lookin ass coach.

Best reason to skip work
Facing Duke in Maui
Does your job offer you paid vacation and sick time? Well, you’ll probably want to use it on Nov. 19, as the Aztecs take on Duke in what could be (but probably won’t be) a TOP TWO VICTORY IN SDSU HISTORY.

Does your job not offer you paid vacation and sick time, because you are in America in 2018? Well, there’s still time to put in your two week’s notice.

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Author: Aztecs Killing Him

Former proprietor of AztecsKillingHim dot com, a long-dead SDSU sports blog that was possibly dumber even than this one. On Twitter at @akh_blog.

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