This has been something to behold, not the sunsets in Hawaii, but the shooting spree San Diego State’s basketball team is on in the Maui Classic.
State is off to (5-0) start, outgunning Brigham Young on Monday night, then smashing the Pitt Panthers last night. The shot 48% one night, and were at 62% from the floor last night.
For a team that was shooting an awful 35% from the floor after the opening three games of the season, Steve Fisher’s gang has found its range, found the mark, and are putting the ball thru the hole, and are dangerous at both ends of the floor..
The abysmal outside shooting has been washed away, just like the Pacific waves wash away things across the street in Lahaina. Trey Kell comes out firing last night, hitting 7-shots in the first half. The night before Angelo Chol started sinking mid-range left-handed sky hooks, and everyone else got hot..
Ageel Quinn, more grinder than star shooter, is hitting from outside and on drives. You know Dwayne Polee is going to start dropping bombs before long, eventhough his minutes and role are a bit different now.
JJ O’Brien does the dirty work and gets put backs, and Winston Shepard drives, penetrates, and is hard to defend layups. Still to come, the growth and development of Malik Pope and Kevin Zabo, just getting used to this level and that team.
Tonite it is a West Coast hoops fan delight. The Aztecs meet Arizona, now becoming their hated rival. They play them in season, they have played them post season. Games have been closely contested, hotly defended, and will often be debated.
And debate this too. We have seen the 30-wins seasons led by Kawahi Leonard and Jamal Russell, DJ Gay and Xavier Thames. Might this year’s Aztecs be better than either of those shining star squads? Based on what we have seen in Maui against good teams, might be.
This will be a good one this evening for the Maui Classic title. San Diego State, really a national power, no longer shooting bricks, now burying baskets, in what shapes up as potentially a really great college basketball season.
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