It began with a disappointing December, it ends with a disappointing March. In between it was alot of fun, but it’s over now.
San Diego State’s roller coaster of a ride of a basketball season came to a crashing conclusion last night at Madison Square Garden, the (65-46) beating by George Washington.
Whomever was wearing Red & Black last night, did not look like the Aztecs team we saw go (16-2) in the conference and then storm thru the first three games of the NIT schedule.
Maybe it was the cross country trip to New York; maybe SDSU was too hyped up to play their game early on before the game got away; or maybe they just were really not the equal of GWU.
The poor 40-minutes of play in New York was a flashback to how badly Steve Fisher’s team played in an ugly loss to a bad USD team, or a disappointing loss to Little Rock. It resembled a blowout loss they suffered to Kansas.
Maybe it’s the end result of a good team tearing apart a bad Mountain West Conference, but not being equal to the task of playing other really good people. There was just 1-win against a Top 50-team all year.
They looked tight, out of sync, and outworked. They got beat on 50-50 balls, got shoved aside trying to get defensive rebounds, got pounded in the paint, their 3’s didn’t fall, and the interior of their defense down under just disappeared.
George Washington is tough and diverse and can play lots of different styles of ball. This is a team that beat highly ranked Virginia and took out 28-win Monmouth too.
It was hard to believe what we were seeing on ESPN. State did not score a basket on their first 13-possessions. They had only 6-baskets the entire first half. They wound up shooting (3-for-22) on 3-pointers. They kept driving to the basket, only to get bodied and miss close up shots. They shot 28% from the floor for the entire game.
Ty Cavanaugh and Kevin Larson, their two gifted big men, made all kinds of shots, and dished the ball to everyone else, who converted too.
State was out-scrapped, out-hustled, out-performed all night long.
They come home (28-10). It was tough to see the final minutes of the careers of Winston Shepard, Angelo Chol, Matt Shrigley and Skylar Spencer end this way.
But in tournament time, someone wins and goes on, someone loses and has to go home. This will leave a bad sour apple taste in your mouth coming out of the Big Apple.
Good season, bad ending, wished those kids could have gotten to the finals.