According to three sources--The Salt Lake Tribune, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein and the San Diego Union-Tribune's Mark Zeigler--San Diego State basketball is finalizing a 2014-15 home-and-home series with the Utah Utes of the Pac-12.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the first game would be held in front of "The Show" at Viejas Arena on November 18, 2014. The Aztecs would then travel to the John M. Huntsman Center in Utah next season.
This would be another strong addition to an already promising nonconference schedule for the Aztecs. SDSU is slated to play in the 2014 Maui Invitational, which fields Arizona, Kansas State, BYU, Missouri, Pitt and Chaminade. The Aztecs will also begin a home-and-home series with the American Athletic Conference's Cincinnati Bearcats by traveling to Cincinnati on December 17, 2014.
Utah isn't the cream of the crop of the Pac-12--you'd have to give that title to Arizona, UCLA, or even Colorado, Stanford and Oregon on their good days. But the Utes are a team on the rise and are poised for a big year in 2014.
The Utes finished last year 21-12 (9-9 Pac-12) and at eighth place in the Pac-12. They had several impressive wins against teams like BYU, Colorado and UCLA. Those impressive wins came largely due to three Utes: center Dallin Bachynski, forward Jordan Loveridge and guard Delon Wright. Bachynski, a 7-foot big man from Calgary, only played 18 minutes per game, but still averaged 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Loveridge, a 6-foot-6 forward from Utah, averaged 14.7 points and 7 boards in over 34 minutes per game. And Wright, a 6-foot-5 guard from California, averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 points and 5.3 boards per game in just over 36 minutes. He also played great defense, stealing 2.5 balls a game and rejecting 1.3 shots per game. Wright, Utah's version of Xavier Thames, played his way onto the All-Pac-12 First Team and the All-Pac-12 Defensive First Team.
All three players return to form a very, very formidable "Big 3." In fact, Bleacher Report named the Bachynski-Loveridge-Wright trio one of its 10 "Big 3s That Will Turn Heads in the 2014-15 College Basketball Season." The team won't lack any veteran leadership, either, as Wright and Bachynski are seniors and Loveridge is a junior.
Oh, and let's not forget returning junior Brandon Taylor. Taylor may not be part of the Big 3--he is, after all, 5-foot-10--but this guy drains 3-pointers like his life depended on it. He shot 42 percent his freshman year and 39.8 percent his sophomore year. Taylor fits his team perfectly: while opponents focus on the Big 3, Taylor will be wide open in the corner for a 3-point shot--that'll he most likely make.