Coming into this Saturday’s game against Illinois State (alma mater of Steve Fisher, who used to pass out free tickets to students in his first year as San Diego State head coach) in Normal, Illinois, it was not yet entirely clear how good this Aztecs men’s basketball team is.
We know they’re “good” but with three wins over three bad teams, one win over a good team, and two blowout losses to two very good/great teams, they had yet to make a significant impact – positive or negative – on their tournament resume.
While they have a long way to go until March, SDSU added what will probably end up being a pretty solid win with a 75-65 victory over the Redbirds and improve their season record to 5-2.
If you missed the game, it might be because this was the first Aztecs broadcast available exclusively on the paid-subscription ESPN+. Fortunately I was able to get the cost* approved by this blog’s editorial board so I could watch it for you. (*Free trial period only.)
No significant complaints about the broadcast itself, but it was still internet-only quality in some ways.
Anyway, the game. It went well!
Devin Watson led all scorers with 23 points and 7 assists. He and fellow senior Jeremy Hemsley were a combined 5-12 from three. In the team’s first true road game of the year, seeing the team’s only two seniors setting the pace and nailing shots is exactly what you want.
It’s also good to see your NBA-probable forward grab 15 rebounds! Jalen McDaniels did just that with 12 points for yet another double-double.
The Aztecs dominated the overall rebounding battle 47-36 and just generally seemed to be a step ahead of ISU in all facets of the game. Jackson State, this was not, so a drama-free double-digit win on the road is extremely encouraging looking forward.
What’s next for the men’s basketball ‘Tecs?
THE DESPICABLE TOREROS FROM WEST MISSION VALLEY. Apparently USD is Good™ this year? SDSU doesn’t have many more opportunities to pad their resume going into conference play, so it’s a welcome challenge back at home in Viejas Arena.
Let us pray to the old gods and the new for a swift and thorough defeat of the Linda Vistans, amen.