#67 San Diego State Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

San Diego State Aztecs
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #67
Conference Rank: #3 Mountain West
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Brian Dutcher had a successful first year as San Diego State head coach, leading the Aztecs to their first NCAA Tournament since 2015. San Diego State won nine straight games to finish the season, winning the Mountain West Tournament and securing their ticket to the Big Dance. Despite a first round loss, it was a strong showing for Dutcher in his first year at the helm. This season, San Diego State loses two starters, including top scorer Malik Pope. However, the Aztecs should have enough talent back to compete for another NCAA Tournament appearance.
2017-18 Record: 22-11, 11-7
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Brian Dutcher
Coach Record: 22-11 at San Diego State, 22-11 overall
Key Departed Players:
Malik Pope, Forward, 12.8 ppg
Trey Kell, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Max Montana, Forward, 6.9 ppg

Kameron Rooks, Center, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Devin Watson, Senior, Guard, 12.2 ppg
Jalen McDaniels, Sophomore, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Matt Mitchell, Sophomore, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Jeremy Hemsley, Senior, Guard, 7.3 ppg

Nolan Narain, Junior, Forward, 4.7 ppg
Jordan Schakel, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Key New Players:
Aguek Arop, Freshman, Forward

Ed Chang, Freshman, Forward
Joel Mensah, Freshman, Forward
Nathan Mensah, Freshman, Forward
Adam Seiko, Freshman, Guard
San Diego State returns three starters, including second-leading scorer Devin Watson. Watson had a strong debut year with the Aztecs, averaging 12.2 points, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals while leading the team in three-point percentage. Watson will be a senior this season and will give the Aztecs a strong presence at point guard. Jalen McDaniels and Matt Mitchell both had strong freshman campaigns last year. McDaniels considered entering the NBA Draft, but he will be back to improve his game as a sophomore. McDaniels is an impressive athlete who averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as a freshman. Mitchell averaged 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals during his first season. Jeremy Hemsley is also back as a steady, experienced guard. Hemsley averaged 7.3 points and 2.1 assists in a reserve role last year and could become a starter next to Watson this season. Nolan Narain and Jordan Schakel should see elevated roles this season after each averaged between three and five points per game a year ago. The Aztecs also bring in five freshmen to strengthen their rotation. With only six rotation players returning, there will be ample opportunity for the first-year players to find playing time. A repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament will be difficult to achieve, but the talent remains for San Diego State to be towards the top of the Mountain West this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.1 (79th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (59, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (114, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (54, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (217, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.7 (243, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (162, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (39, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (93, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (91, 2)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#32 Jalen McDaniels