Egret and crab

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Aztec Watch

I am going to my first San Diego State Aztec basketball game tomorrow night, against local D3 team Point Loma Nazarene. It should be interesting, hopefully the young bench should get a lot of minutes and experience.

The team is 5 and 1, having almost given a game away yesterday to Cal, the second game in a row like that.  Their center had a dominating game yesterday and we were once again beaten on the boards. But the Aztecs finally won in overtime and I guess that is what counts.

Coach Dutcher said he was hoping to be at least 3 and 3 at this stage. If this team continues to improve, it may be really something by March.

The Aztecs currently have the hottest scorer in the nation,  Jaedon Ledee, a Houston native who was asked to do different things last year but is now starting to really show what he can be on the court.

He leads the entire nation in points per game, after an off night last night where he only went for 19 and 7 rebounds. 

He has been garnering all sorts of National Awards, including Mountain West Player of the Week, ESPN National Player of the Week, Andy Katz's NCAA March Madness Player of the Week and the Lute Olson National Player of the Week. 

Ledee is an absolute monster in the lane, so imposing physically, more Michael Cage than Kawhi Leonard in my eyes. Was a point guard who grew big and still has a handle.

The Aztecs, the defending National Championship runner up, lost one game and were tossed out of the top 25 last week. FAU, the national darling, loses a game and sticks around the middle of the pack. Go figure? Once again, no respect for West Coast basketball.

Last year in the finals I came to the conclusion that 6'10" Mensah had problems with really big plus seven footers. I think that will also be a bigger problem this year, with the young Heide and Johnson in the center position. Heide is really green, got practically nothing yesterday and Demarshay is perpetually hurt. One of these guys is going to have to step up big.

Thankfully Ledee and Elijah Saunders are beasts inside and can help with the load. But we really don't have a Mensah/Skylar Spencer figure down low to play defense and block shots and it might ultimately hurt the team. There is a big guy seven footer coming next year from Sudan by way of Arizona, David Majak, but he weighs about 185 right now and they are really going to have to fatten him up.

Pharaoh Compton

Pharaoh Compton will be an eventual big help, playing the Ledee role at power forward. He has a serious nose for the basket.

This year, Saunders looks great as well as the USC transfer, Reese Waters. Incredible scorer, has not missed a free throw all year. Reese was 10 for 10 from the line last night, that is unheard of. He is a far better shooter than the departed Keshad Johnson, who is admittedly having a good year since transferring to Arizona for the NIL money.

Butler needs to get untracked, Trammell, who has had an injured shoulder, is finding his game. Parrish has had some great games but has been a little inconsistent, Byrd still real quiet. They went nine deep last year, they have gotten very little from the bench in the first six games.

I think the Aztecs chances ride on the shoulders of the two young big men, they need to grow up real fast for us to get very far in the dance this year.

No comments: