The official signing period is done for the class of 2017 and that means it is time to turn our attention towards the class of 2018. Sure there are transfers in play for San Diego State which may affect their total scholarships, however recruiting for 2017 is essentially over.
As of right now San Diego State has five scholarships for the class of 2018. Three scholarships left over from this class and two that will open up with Malik Pope and Trey Kell graduating.
Transfers could fill up those three scholarships as San Diego State is in play for graduate transfer Kameron Rooks and traditional transfers Kavell Bigby-Williams, Devon Daniels, and Vance Jackson. The assumption is that at least one, maybe two, hopefully all three scholarships could be gone. Either way I am working on the assumption that in 2018 the Aztecs will have at least three scholarships available.
Here are all the listed players with a 2018 offer from San Diego State and the ones that you need to keep an eye. Offers from other Mountain West Teams are included in parentheses.
San Diego State basketball is a program that relies on big, long athletes to play in their system. It is rare for them to target a player that is undersized at any of the positions. Currently the Aztecs have four players at 6-9 or taller, however none of them is traditional center. Finding a traditional center type player has been an issue for the Aztecs and continues to be so.
The Aztecs have sent out offers to five bigs, three of which could slide into the five and play with their back to the basket. Probably the biggest target for the Aztecs, Nathan Mensah is a 6-10 forward who hails from Africa. He is currently playing on the Nike EYBL circuit with California Supreme.
The staff is aggressively pursuing Mensah and a commitment from him would not be surprising. Another offered big man is New York Jayhwaks center Majur Majak (Fresno State, Nevada). At 7-1 Majak is definitely a project as his game is very raw and he is rail thin. The third center prospect is Bryan Penn-Johnson (Nevada, UNLV). Penn-Johnson is a 6-10 center with a physical build. He is arguably the top player in the state of Nevada.
Two other big men with offers that do not play center are Warren Washington (Boise State, Nevada) and Joel Mensah. Washington is a local recruit from San Marcos, California, playing for Gamepoint on the Adidas circuit. The 6-10 forward should be deciding soon what college he will be attending and it appears that Utah may be the frontrunner.
Joel Mensah, not related to Nathan Mensah, is also from Africa and is currently playing on the New York Lightning of the Nike EYBL. While he is 6-10, he has a slightly smaller build that is not ideal to play center at the next level.
Currently on the roster the Aztecs have two true wings, redshirt junior Montaque Gill-Caesar and incoming freshman Jordan Schakel. Addressing the need is not critical at this time, however if a scholarship were available for one then getting a quality wing would be a luxury that the Aztecs can take.
The top wing on the board is five-star recruit Taeshon Cherry (Colorado State, Nevada). Cherry is going to be an amazing college player, but he appears to be at a level beyond the Mountain West. Three players received early offers from the Aztecs, but their interest at this time is unknown. Tevian Jones (Nevada, UNLV), Timmy Allen (Fresno State), and Jamal Bey (Nevada, UNLV) all received San Diego State offers in 2016, the questions is are the Aztecs still after them? Jones had a subpar junior year and for the moment it seems that San Diego State’s interest in him is weak.
He has blown up this spring at the Nike EYBL and his recruitment is picking up. Allen had interest long ago, however he has never really said much in regards to the Aztecs and it seems that there is not anything there between the two parties.
Finally, Jamal Bey is the cousin of former Aztecs recruit Tyler Bey, who went to Colorado. At a time Jamal Bey seemed interested in being recruited by the Aztecs, however there has not been any mention of a connection between him and San Diego State in a long time.
It appears that the Aztecs might get back into the mix for one of these prospects, but it would not surprise me if they do not. I do not believe they will settle for a player, rather they will wait for 2019 or a transfer at the end of the year.
This may come as a surprise, but the guard position at San Diego State is becoming quite thin. In 2018 you will see seniors Devin Watson and Jeremy Hemsley joined by sophomore Adam Seiko as the only true guards in the program.
Sure you could move Schakel over to guard, however this would cause a lack of depth on the wing. Getting a guard in here as soon as possible would be important to groom them to take on a large role for 2019.
San Diego State has offered three guards in the 2018 class, Khaleem Bennett, Jules Bernard (Colorado State, Nevada, Oregon), and Jordan Campbell (Nevada). Bennett, a Canadian-born player playing in Kansas, is the most recent offer.
He was offered after the second session of the Nike EYBL season. Bernard is the best of the bunch and his recruiting has some big names like Kansas, Oregon, and UCLA. He will be likely playing in a Power Five conference. Campbell is an under the radar guard who is reclassifying into the class of 2018.
San Diego State and Nevada are his two offers, however he is starting to pick up interest from other schools. He is an athletic guard who would fit extremely well at San Diego State.
Currently the coaching staff cannot go out and evaluate players until July. Until then expect to hear about visits and commitments in the coming weeks.