We regret to inform that none of your loyal scribes were able to watch this game then write about it — which is to say; we were unavailable, except for one of us at the game as a visiting civilian with no intention of sitting down at a computer afterwards. Which is for the best as it turns out! San Diego State lost to the University of California men’s basketball team 89-83 in Berkeley.
The loss to Pac-12 cellar-dwelling Cal drops SDSU into the college hoops wilderness. With a résumé of a 30-point loss to Iowa State, a home loss to little crosstown rival USD and this loss to a bad Cal team, the Aztecs are now 5-4 and have squandered virtually any chance of an at-large berth to the big dance. It’s Mountain West tourney champs or bust, y’all, and it’s hard to imagine this iteration putting together a miracle run like last season, even if No. 6 Nevada weren’t standing in the way.
Jalen McDaniels led the Aztecs with 20 points and Jeremy Hemsley had 19, including 5 of 6 on threes. Neither was enough to keep the Golden Bears from finishing the game on an 18-5 run over the last 3:53. Justice Sueing led Cal with 23 points.
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.
Men’s basketball’s new NET rankings, the long-awaited replacement for RPI, had a bit of a bumpy launch this week with a bizarre Top 10 and math nerds saying very unkind things about the formula. After watching the telecast of tonight’s action at Viejas Arena, I’ll give the new rankings system this: Jackson State at 349 seems … about right.
San Diego State, which debuted at 96 in NET after losing by 30 to Iowa State in Maui last week, regrouped to crush the Tigers 87-44 in a performance as pretty as the Aztecs’ turquoise Native American Heritage Month unis. Or nearly as pretty, anyway.
Jordan Schakel works some magic and gets the and-1.
Look man, what do you want from me here? Would you like me to break down the deficiencies, misplays and tactical errors that led to the Aztecs’ 90-64 loss to No. 1 Duke in the opening round of the Maui Invitational? Why?
That would be a little like picking apart the structural deficiencies of a really nice sports car that just got demolished by a BNSF freight train. If you don’t want your ride to get wrecked, keep it off the damn tracks. But with the Aztecs in harm’s way amid the deepest Maui field ever, here we are.
Duke, as they say, is Duke —but this year’s freshman-laden squad is extremely Duke, save for two big differences:
They amazingly don’t have anyone on the roster who stands out as extremely punchable.
They somehow possess more raw talent and offensive firepower than we’re used to seeing. From Duke.
Barring injury or major upset, the Blue Devils are probably going to cruise to the National Championship in March. Coach K’s guys started their season by pummeling Kentucky by 34 points. Let it be known, for the record, that the Duke Blue Devils did not beat the Aztecs by that many points (SUCK IT, KENTUCKY), nor did they win wire-to-wire.
One month ago, Trey Kell was a tragic story. The San Diego native was a key part of a vaunted recruiting class that disappointed, producing diminishing returns every single season. The tragedy was capped with a cruel senior campaign that saw him injured and sick and injured again.
Today, the first-year head coach and the hometown senior capped off one of the most stirring comeback stories in San Diego State sports history, beating the New Mexico Lobos in an excruciating-thrilling-horrible-wonderful 82-75 come-from-behind victory in the Mountain West Tournament title game in Vegas. The Aztecs will go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons thanks to an improbable nine-game winning streak that had the kind of redemption arcs you only see in sports movies where the main character is a golden retriever or a field goal kicking mule.
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.
Give the Aztecs this: They’ve got the whole “beating the tar out of terrible conference opponents” thing down to a science.
The San Diego State men’s basketball team crushed Air Force 81-50 on Saturday night at Viejas in the kind of beating it usually dispenses to the likes of San Diego Christian or McCheese McNeese State. The stat of the game tonight was 3 — the number of minutes played by SDSU walk-on Michael Sohikish.
Our favorite men’s college basketball team played a match against fellow Mountain West title-hopefuls Boise State tonight. As a 29-year-old unmarried white male, I will express my feelings on the subject the only way I know how: Simpsons references.