“Aztecs-USD Basketball-Rivalry This Year”
San Diego State is off to a rock-solid start, despite the blowouts in the Maui Clasic….they are on a roll. Next stop-USD on Wednesday night. Brian Dutcher’s team faces a USD’s been building for this. State is (5-2)…USD is (6-2). It’s been a series dominated by San Diego State, with the rare exception being the Toreros win at Petco Park.
Whereas the Aztecs have become an NCAA tourney team yearly, under Steve Fisher and now Brian Dutcher, there has been little success cross town. Brad Holland left after a couple of good seasons, Bill Grier came from Gonzaga and pulled off an NCAA tourney win with Holland’s players, then failed. Lamont Smith laid the ground work but self destructed with lifestyle decisions, getting fired. Sam Scholl inherited a lot and his team is playing very well. Only time tells if this is a 1-time good season there. Comments this week from the Aztecs basketball leaders.
Devin Watson is hot-paired with fellow guard Jeremy Hemsley-both are excited. Both talked about where they are now
..Love the atmosphere at Viejas
..We needed the win at Illinois State to get back on track
..USD really playing well
..Leadershipi s what we want…help the young guys too
..I’m a senior..young guys come up to me asking about being a freshman and sophomore
..We are playing free out there…with a purpose-but now what we have to do
..We learned at Maui…not come out timid…come out aggressive.
..We don’t think about what we have to do…we do it.
Dutcher is seeing his young players step up, especially in the road win at Illinois State.
..We won in tough environment–tough travel
..We rebounded better…defended against fast break
..USD is playing well
..They have a lot of experience-one of oldest teams in country-4 seniors
..Lot of minutes together…4-veterans
..USD runs a Princeton type offense
..Isaiah Pinero-really strong-tough..averaging 21-a game
..Carter shoots at elite level
..They are playing amazing schedule…Colorado-Ole Miss-Washington
..We’ve both played tough teams to get ready
..We got quality minutes from all 3-of our young guys
..They are getting more comfortable out there
..Nathan Mensah played really well…rebounded-boxed out
..We’ve challenge him defensively-help on ball screens
..Need to rebound with 2-hands not one…21-rebounds last two games
..Shot blocking is important-he gives us more length.
..Player driven teams better than coach driven teams-vets helping kids
..We are growing as a team
..We don’t recruit the same type of kid as USD does
..I don’t think we have gone head to head against them
..Amazed at what Nevada has turned into
..Coach Mussleman-Big difference maker
..Challenge with Missouri Valley Conference
..Talking with Atlantic 10 about a different tourney
..We had 3-and-half hour fight and 2-hour bus ride-long trip….
..Alot of travel
..Would rather play at Pac 12-home and home
..Watson-Hemsleuy-leadership role-played massive minutes…got 40-points ISU
..I sleep well because I have senior guards-