After taking us all on a month-long emotional roller coaster ride in which every invite to a team workout and every Twitter avatar change became a reason for panic, Jalen McDaniels is coming back for his sophomore season at San Diego State.
In an extremely SDSU student move, McDaniels waited until the last moment to complete his assignment, announcing his withdrawal from the NBA Draft with barely an hour to go before the deadline. Been there, man.
Self-help guru Tony Robbins said — in an ad I saw during the Olympics — “Progress is happiness.” That’s really the key to the three-game win streak the San Diego State men’s basketball team is riding. After a sloppy first half the Aztecs tuned in, turned on and dropped a 67-56 defeat on Air Force in Colorado Springs. Dwell in bliss.
SDSU is healthy, playing with energy, defending hard, throwing alley-oop lobs and generally bossing their mediocre conference opponents as the gods intended. From their recent depths of despair it’s real progress, a promising path to happiness. Robbins, Ram Dass and James Naismith himself would be proud. I’m ready to walk across hot coals for these guys.
Another day passed without the Yellowstone Caldera exploding in a supervolcanic eruption and altering life on earth. Good thing, because San Diego State beat Wyoming 87-77 in a men’s basketball game tonight. Those Cowboys have enough to worry about!
I was obligated otherwise during this game, however reports indicate Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher read all our tweets and was compelled to finally to give under-appreciated Nolan Narain some real minutes. And hells bells Narain was real good, making 8 of 10 shots for a career-high 18 points in just 18 minutes. Scoring a point per minute is excellent.
Seriously, what the hell happened to this program, man?
Remember when the San Diego men’s basketball team would lose a game — even a tough road game against a good team like this — and it would ruin your night? That was, like, four weeks ago. Right now, the only thing resembling sadness I feel is because I have to spend the next hour of my Saturday evening writing about that dumb game rather than drinking myself into a stupor in front of my Netflix.
SDSU finished dropping its 83-58 turd in Reno not 10 minutes ago, and I already don’t care. I didn’t even really care as it was happening. The only time I felt a twinge of agony was during the in-game interview with Steve Fisher, which was frankly an unwelcome reminder of what we’ve lost*.
The San Diego State University men’s basketball team lost again, 88-78 at UNLV. It’s an outcome now all too familiar and comfortable. Even in the new bad era of SDSU hoops, this one stands out: The first loss to the Rebs on their ugly-ass home floor since the 2012-13 season, when Chase Tapley and the Tecs wore the good uniforms with SAN DIEGO and STATE above and below the numbers, respectively.
That 2012-13 team was a 7 seed and won an NCAA Tournament game, a baseline standard of success fading into distant memory and totally unimaginable for the 2017-18 Aztecs.
I went into this game promising myself I wasn’t going to care about the outcome. Not after this week, when the San Diego State men’s basketball team suffered a loss to Fresno State so demoralizing it immediately changed the topic of conversation among the fans from “can SDSU play its way onto the bubble?” to “are Brian Dutcher’s players subtweeting him?”
Who was I kidding? It wasn’t going to last.
A couple of things quickly snapped me out of my apathy as I dug into the Woodstock’s pizza that acted as my CBS Sports Network subscription for the evening.
The first was that the Aztecs actually showed up motivated and with a plan, attacking the basket and dominating the paint to build a first half lead of as many as 13, and a halftime advantage of 10.