Aztec hoops preview

The San Diego State Aztecs began selling single-game home tickets today, which is a sign that college basketball will soon be upon us. On November 2nd, SDSU will play their lone exhibition game against UC San Diego. The Aztecs open up their official slate eight days later against San Diego Christian.

The Aztecs will be entering the 2017-'18 season having been picked to finish second in the preseason Mountain West Conference media poll. Nevada, who won the conference last year, were awarded with 19 first-place votes and 257 overall points. San Diego State finished with two first-place votes and 229 overall points, just ahead of Boise State, who also received two first-place votes and 211 points.

Brian Dutcher's teamwill have five players returning from the 2016-17 squadwho lost in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Trey Kell, Jeremy Hemsley, Malik Pope, Max Montana, and Montaque Gill-Caesar all will be returning to don the Aztec uniform in Viejas Arena. A few notes on the returning players:

  • Kell, a St. Augustine product, has been named to the Preseason All-MW team for the second straight year. He becomes only the third Aztecto be rewarded with that honor in consecutive seasons.
  • Hemsley, a junior, is coming off acampaign in which he registered career highs inpoints (12.4), rebounds (2.4), and assists (2.1) per game.
  • The long and lanky Malik Pope averaged 11 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game last season. He led the team in three-point shooting percentage (39.1%), and will look to get back on the NBA draft radar with a solid senior season.
  • Max Montana, formerly known as Max Hoetzel, battled through a knee injury to average 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
  • Gill-Caesar, a junior out of Canada, averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest in 2015-'16.

The Aztecs will welcome several new faces to the team: redshirt freshman F Jalen McDaniels, true freshman guards Jordan Schakel and Adam Seiko, true freshman F Matt Mitchell, junior transfer G Devin Watson, and senior C Kameron Rooks. They will all have the opportunity to make a major impact fora team that lost four seniors to graduation as well as Zylan Cheatham, who transferred to Arizona State University.

Head coach Brian Dutcher will be heading into his 19th season at San Diego State. With Steve Fisher retiring, this will be his first season as head coach. For the past six years, Dutcher has held an associate head coach/head coach in-waiting role with the Aztecs. Joining him on the bench will be associate head coach Justin Hutson as well as assistant coaches Dave Velasquez, Tim Shelton, and Mark Fisher.

A look at the rest of their schedule:

11/14/17: @ Arizona State

11/17/17: vs NcNeese State

11/20/17: vs. Eastern Illinois

11/23/17: vs Sacramento State (at Cal St. Fullerton)

11/24/17: vs. Georgia (at Cal State Fullerton)

11/26/17 (TBD)

11/30/17: @ University of San Diego

12/03/17: vs. Bradley

12/09/17: vs Cal

12/21/17: vs. Gonzaga

12/27/17: at Wyoming

12/30/17: vs. Utah State

01/02/18: @ Colorado State

01/09/18: vs San Jose State

01/13/18: @ Boise State

01/17/18: vs. Fresno State

01/20/18: @ New Mexico

01/24/18: vs. Colorado State

01/27/18:@ UNLV

02/03/18: vs. Air Force

02/06/18: @ Fresno State

02/10/18: @ Nevada

02/14/18: vs. Wyoming

02/17/18: vs. UNLV

02/21/18: @ Air Force

02/24/18: @ San Jose State

02/27/18: vs. Boise State

03/03/18: vs. Nevada

For more information on game times, click here.Wooden Legacy Tournamentgames shown in bold.