The San Diego State men's basketball team will welcome Point Loma Nazarene University to Viejas Arena tomorrow in its first and only preseason game of 2014. The game won't count, but it'll pretty much be the same. A packed house, seas of red, and you know, The Show.
I know Aztec Nation is happy just to see this team in action, but here are a few things to look out for come tip-off:
I know Steve Fisher has mentioned that he's going to use multiple lineups throughout the season, and that his starting five is subject to change. But it still means something. Come game one, the head coach is going to put out the five players that he thinks are the most ready. If an underclassmen or new face starts in place of one of the four returners, that means that he's earned it.
Speaking of underclassmen and new faces...
Watch out for Angelo Chol, Trey Kell and Kevin Zabo. Watch Chol, the 6-foot-9 junior transfer -- that swears he's the fastest guy on the team -- mix it up in the paint and on the boards for the first time as an Aztec. Zabo and Kell, one half of SDSU's heralded 2014 recruit class, will be seeing their first action against college competition. They're the future of the Aztec backcourt, and will be two very impactful freshmen this season.
Points from Shepard and Polee
There was this guy last year named Xavier Thames. He led the Aztecs in scoring and minutes. Well he's gone now, and with him goes 17.6 points per game. From a glass half-full perspective, that means that Thames' 12.7 shots per game are just waiting to be had. Winston Shepard and Dwayne Polee II should make up the difference as the Aztecs are relying on their two athletic wings to get a little more stingy on offense than in recent years. Chances are high that one of these two leads SDSU in scoring in 2015. A slow start from this duo could lead to what Mark Zeigler of U-T San Diego said is possible (not necessarily going to happen, but possible).
@SanDiego_Sports Utah, BYU, Pitt, Ariz, at Wash, at Cincy. Say they split those, which would be very good (only Utah at home). That's 3 Ls.— Mark Zeigler (@sdutzeigler) November 5, 2014
This year the lion's share of point guard minutes is up for grabs, so watch for four different players conducting the offense tomorrow night. Senior Aqeel Quinn, a more natural off-guard, is definitely in the conversation. Freshman Kevin Zabo is the hot pick that no one knows about, while sophomore D'erryl Williams would be considered an underdog by many. Word around the gym is that freshman Trey Kell runs a solid point too. What could be more interesting to see, however, is who runs the point when none of the four previously mentioned Aztecs are on the floor.