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.
Happy New Year! On the second day of this Gregorian calendar year 2018, the San Diego State men’s basketball Aztecs beat the Colorado State Rams 77-68 in Fort Collins, Colorado, town of backward-ass bumpkins, elevation 4,982 feet.
I caught glimpses and overheard fleeting commentary of this one while making a salad, a cocktail, a phone call and sitting for dinner with a friend. 2018 is a Tomorrowland year in roboto font, everything is digitized and dystopic, the future careens unstoppable toward us all. Save yourselves! Become a vegan. Put all your money in cryptocurrencies. Build your bunker now. In the meantime, here’s some things about a basketball game:
It all came down to one final shot — an off-balance prayer that had the entire city of San Diego on the edge of its collective seat. The attempt was true, rattling home and sending the raucous crowd at Viejas Arena into hysterics.
Red Panda had done it.
Five bowls, flipped onto her head from atop a god damn unicycle.
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.
I always forget San Diego Christian College’s moniker, which is silly because we play these human traffic cones from Santee every single year as an early season appetizer. I’m pretty sure it’s a majestic bird of some kind, right? The San Diego Christian Embezzling Buzzards? That seems right.
Aw hell, I’ll just Google tonight’s game so I can know for sure.
Right. The, uh, San Diego Christian Gray Crests. Got it.