Game Recap: Fresh-faced freshman propels Aztecs to blowout of Bradley

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Freshman hoops players come in many forms.

There are the guys who step in on Day 1 looking like grown-ass men, able to easily get a role as an extra in the kind of pro basketball movie that stars either a Wayans brother, a golden retriever or both. Matt Mitchell or Tim Shelton circa 2007 are great examples of this.

Then there are the guys who would definitely get their IDs thoroughly scrutinized were they ever to attempt to buy a pack of smokes. Even after a redshirt season, wiry 6-10 forward Jalen McDaniels definitely falls into this category.

Every time I see McDaniels on the court, I’m struck with the strangely maternal urge to go home and bake him a pie. Eat, eat, Jalen – you’re skin and bones!

(Note: I will not actually do this. Not only should Jalen not accept homemade pastries from strange bearded men, it’s also the kind of NCAA infraction that would get a mid-major program the death penalty.)

Yet McDaniels is starting to show signs that his game is more mature than his physique might lead you to believe. In a couple of productive performances at the Wooden Legacy last weekend, McDaniels looked like a useful reserve. In the Aztecs’ 75-52 home win over Bradley Sunday afternoon, he looked like a weapon.

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Game Recap: Aztecs hoops gets up off the mat, beats Georgia

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Before I dive into the SDSU men’s basketball team’s win over THE ESS-EEE-CEE on Friday, I must offer an official mea culpa. It was fewer than two weeks ago that the Aztecs played a half of basketball in Tempe so heinous that I kind of had a nuclear meltdown in the game recap. I thankfully stopped short of calling this a lost season, but I sure didn’t imply that it wasn’t.

Since then, SDSU has handily beaten three really bad teams, which could easily be dismissed as irrelevant on account of those teams being really bad and stuff. But this — a gutsy 75-68 win over a possibly pretty respectable Georgia Bulldogs squad in the Wooden Legacy Tournament semifinals — was something else.

So ignore the idiot blogger boy. The Aztecs (5-1) might actually be good this year, friends.

Hooray!

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Meet the men’s hoops newcomers – we think you’ll like them!

Last year at this time, the Aztecs were welcoming two new scholarship players to the squad. This season, five newcomers will join the team on the Mesa for the first time, including three new transfers. You might even see one or two of them tonight! Let’s talk about how each of them will contribute this season – and enjoy their Twitter words of wisdom.

Continue reading “Meet the men’s hoops newcomers – we think you’ll like them!”