San Diego State basketball has a new weapon headed into the 2014 season in forward Angelo Chol. As much as fans have raved about this year's decorated freshmen class, they should be equally excited about the addition of a second big-bodied rim protector.
Chol, a California Mr. Basketball Award runner-up at Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego, played two seasons at the University of Arizona before transferring to SDSU prior to last season.
As a freshman, Chol saw action off of the bench in every game for the Wildcats, averaging about 12 minutes per contest compared to just 8.5 minutes per game his sophomore year.
With minutes on the decline and current Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon on his way to Tucson, Chol decided to return home to San Diego State to play his home games at Viejas Arena, just three miles away from his alma mater.
So what does he bring to the table exactly? Standing in at 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds, Chol will provide a secondary source of interior protection behind current defensive stalwart Skylar Spencer, which is a luxury head coach Steve Fisher didn't have last season. If the Aztecs can find formidable offensive production from spots one through three, there's a possibility that you could see these two man the key at the same time.
Woah. That'd be pretty scary.
SDSU hasn't had two players finish a season with more than 30 blocks since the '06-'07 season when Jerome Habel and Lorrenzo Wade sent away 41 and 39 shots, respectively. Chol fell one block short of 30 during his freshman campaign as a Wildcat. Fisher said during last week's season opening press conference that he will try to add a man-and-a-half to his rotation this year, meaning the minutes are there for Chol's taking.
"After practice, we're all friends," Chol told the media during the Aztecs' first practice of the season on Friday. "But during practice, it's a war."
Don't forget that the redshirt-junior practiced with the team for all of last season, so familiarity with the system and his teammates shouldn't be an issue. He also doesn't lack confidence, telling the media at practice he thinks he's the fastest person on the team.
Here's a look at some of Angelo Chol's highlights from his time at Arizona.