The puzzle pieces of San Diego State's 2014-15 men's basketball season continue to assemble, as according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Coach Steve Fisher has confirmed that SDSU will play Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge next year. The exact dates and locations will be released when the official schedule is released.
The LBSU 49ers had made three straight postseasons before putting up a disappointing 15-17 record last season. In 2010-11, the 49ers went 22-12 and lost to Washington State in the first round of the NIT. They improved to an impressive 25-9 record (15-1 Big West) the following year, but they lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to New Mexico. And in 2012-13, the 49ers lost in the first round of the NIT to Baylor and finished the season 19-14. After their poor season in 2013-14, the 49ers look to return to their successful ways.
The LBSU roster is loaded with upperclassmen, including six seniors. And senior guard Tyler Lamb (6'5", 205 pounds), a UCLA-transfer, will put up All-American numbers this year after scoring 15.4 points per game on 41.5 percent shooting last year in his first year as a 49er. He's also a pesky defender with quick hands, averaging 1.4 steals per game last year and two the year before.
If you don't know Lamb's game, get to know it.
The 49ers also bring in four highly regarded freshman recruits, including Justin Bibbins, a three-star point guard out of Torrance, California. ESPN ranked Bibbins the 43rd best point guard in the class of 2014.
The Aztecs will also play Cal State Northridge, senior guard Aqeel Quinn's former school. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, SDSU plays Northridge in a "non-bracketed" game that is actually part of the Maui Invitational...even though it will be played on the mainland (I don't get it either).
The Northridge Matadors were one game away from the NCAA Tournament last year, but lost in the Big West Tournament championship game to the upstart Cal Poly team that lost handily to Wichita State in the Big Dance. Thus, Northridge finished last year with a 17-18 record and no postseason appearance. But the season was a success, nonetheless, as the Matadors hadn't won 17 games in a season since 2008-09.
Like LBSU, Northridge will also return a lot of upperclassmen, including 6-foot-6 senior guard/forward Stephan Hicks. You'll see this in the video below, but let me just tell you this right now: this guy can play. Shoot, block, run, jump--you name it. He averaged 17.2 points per game last year and has never averaged below 15 a game in his college career. He grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game last year--the lowest of his college career (yes, lowest). He stole 1.3 balls per game last year (he stole two a game the year before). Oh, and he shot 51.9 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from long range and 82.1 percent from the charity stripe. This guy will be a lot of fun to watch, the SDSU's guards AND forwards will have their hands quite full defending him.
He's No. 3.