That was impressive, even if San Diego State wakes up looking at a loss on Tuesday from their Monday night game at Utah.
The Aztecs went hammer-and-tong with the big-bruising Utes, playing race horse basketball against the plodding Pac 12-team.
State would not wilt, not when Utah built a 9-point lead early, not when the hostile crowd turned wild over officials calls, and never giving up when at times, other young teams would cave in at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Winston Shepard had a strong second half, and needs 17-point halves like that to become the go-to veteran on the floor.
Dakarai Allen shows no fear firing up three pointers, as he showed early on with 3-treys to keep State close.
Zylan Cheatem is not afraid to dive to the bucket, and this is a young redshirt freshman playing with the big boys.
Sophomore Trey Kell is bigger and stronger and can drill three point shots.
There’s still alot of growing to do with Malik Pope, who can get hot, but can also take a bunch of errant shots that kill momentum.
Jeremy Hemsley is so very young, but not afraid to matchup against veteran guards, or to take it into the paint against tall timber.
The bigs are the bigs, but it is disappointing there are still offensive deficiencies with some of these guys.
Skylar Spencer doesn’t have much of an offensive skill set. For all the basketball Angelo Chol has played, you’d think he would have developed any type of a jumper, or a move to his right, to compliment his lefthanded power drive hook shots to the bucket.
Steve Fisher said he’d use the trip to Utah to figure out what the personality of his team would be. I think he knows now, attack the rim, take it to the hole, kick it out, hit threes, and play big boy defense with shot blockers.
They lost to a firepower Pac 12-team, but they were not bullied. SDSU is enormously athletic, and gifted with the ball. Just think where they will be by January when conference play starts.
Good luck Boise, New Mexico, UNLV, the others who thought they were going to be basketball royalty in this conference.
I don’t think anyone can provide the blast furnace offensive and defensive power that State showed, on the road, in a brutally tough barn in Utah.
It might have been a last second loss, when Utah hit 20-of-22 free throws in the 2nd half to stave off the multiple SDSU comeback attempts.
But it was a win, to hang tough, keep roaring back, and finding out how good this bunch of guys wearing Black might be. Really good. Wow.