#57 San Diego State Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

San Diego State Aztecs
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #57
Conference Rank: #3 Mountain West
 San Diego State Logo
San Diego State won their second straight outright Mountain West title last season. However, this group was not quite as impressive as the group that went 30-2 in 2019-2020. Still, the Aztecs won 13 games before entering the NCAA Tournament. Once there though SDSU had a tough draw and was upset by Syracuse in the First Round. With their top three scorers gone, Coach Brian Dutcher has some reloading to do and that could keep this team from their third straight conference title.
2020-21 Record: 23-5, 14-3
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brian Dutcher
Coach Record: 96-31 at San Diego State, 96-31 overall
Key Departed Players:
Matt Mitchell, Forward, 15.4 ppg
Jordan Schakel, Guard, 14.4 ppg
Terrell Gomez, Guard, 8.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Nathan Mensah, Senior, Forward, 8.1 ppg
Trey Pulliam, Senior, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Keith Dinwiddie Jr, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Joshua Tomaic, Senior, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Lamont Butler, Sophomore, Guard, 4.3 ppg
Aguek Arop, Senior, Forward, 4.2 ppg
Adam Seiko, Senior, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Keshad Johnson, Junior, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Cade Alger, Sophomore, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Che Evans, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Jared Barnett, Junior, Guard, 0.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Chad Baker-Mazara, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Duquesne
Matt Bradley, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Cal
Tahirou Diabate, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Portland
Demarshay Johnson Jr, Freshman, Forward
Jaedon LeDee, Senior, Forward, Transfer from TCU
Derek Morhar, Soiphomore, Guard
Max Wilson, Freshman, Guard
Trey Pulliam returns to lead the backcourt after dishing out a team high 3.5 assists. If he plans to do more scoring this season, Pulliam will need to be more consistent with his outside shot. The hope is that he will not have to do much more scoring and can continue to set up his teammates and play solid defense. Nathan Mensah will anchor the frontcourt after averaging 8.1 points and leading the Aztecs with 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Joshua Tomaic, Lamont Butler, Adam Seiko, Keshad Johnson and Cade Alger are all returning after averaging at least a dozen minutes per game last year. That group will get an opportunity to play larger roles this year, but they will have to compete with a group of newcomers that includes four Division I transfers. Matt Bradley is the biggest name of the group. The three-year starter at Cal averaged 18.0 points per game last year. Chad Baker proved to be a very dangerous shooter as well during his one season with Duquesne. Tahirou Diabate is an experienced forward who was a starter for Portland for the better part of three seasons. Last year he averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds. Jaedon LeDee started his collegiate career at Ohio State and has been a role-player for TCU the last two seasons. With their success in the transfer market, San Diego State certainly has the talent to return to the NCAA Tournament, but those pieces will have to come together quickly and they should get more competition from MWC foes in 2021-2022 than they have in the last couple of years.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.6 (109th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.2 (8, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (107, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.2 (12, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.6 (57, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (43, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (133, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.9 (59, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (109, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (36, 1)