M. Hoops Opens 2017-18 Season Friday vs. San Diego Christian

Nov. 7, 2017


SDSU Men's Basketball Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | SDSU Broadcast Flip Card Get Acrobat Reader

* Game No. 1 of the Brian Dutcher era begins when San Diego State plays host to San Diego Christian. The Aztecs are entering their 97th season of men’s basketball and the 48th of in their Division I history.

* SDSU has won four straight season openers and 11 of the last 12 lidlifters. The one hiccup came in 2012-13 opener when San Diego State fell to No. 9/9 Syracuse on the USS Midway.

* The Aztecs have won 11 straight season-opening games against unranked teams, a streak that dates back to the 2005-06 campaign. SDSU’s last loss to an unranked foe on opening night occurred on Nov. 19, 2004, when it was on the wrong end of an 80-72 double-overtime score. SDSU has also won seven straight openers that have taken place at home.

* Dutcher will look to become the third consecutive SDSU head coach to win in his debut, following in the footsteps of Fred Trenkle in 1994-95, and the recently retired Steve Fisher in 1999-2000. Dutcher was alongside Fisher 19 seasons ago when he helped the Aztecs defeat UC Riverside, 73-57.

* Although new to head coaching at SDSU, Dutcher is no stranger to the University or the program. The 19th-year Aztec coach has experienced 386 victories and 10 Mountain West championships while atop Montezuma Mesa.

* The Aztecs go into the season opener with a 62-6 record in their last 68 games vs. California schools and 50-1 in their last 50 vs. non-league California teams (50-0 in last 50 in games played indoors).

* San Diego State has faced San Diego Christian in each of the last seven years, but has never opened the season with them. In seven victories, the Aztecs have won by an average of 27.3 points.

* SDSU enters the game with the Hawks having played just one exhibition, a 98-79 decision over UC San Diego last Thursday night at Viejas Arena. San Diego State had six players score in double figures, shot 60.7 percent from the floor, including 53.8 percent from the three-point arc (7-13), and committed just six turnovers.

* Senior guard Trey Kell, a preseason all-Mountain West selection, led the Aztecs in the exhibition with a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds and game-high seven assists. Starting backcourt teammate and junior transfer Devin Watson added 13 points in his first action in an SDSU uniform.

* A pair of freshman enjoyed strong first showings in the game vs. the Tritons. Redshirt freshman forward Jalen McDaniels registered 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds, and true freshman Matt Mitchell posted 13 points and a game-high two steals. Both came off the bench and played more than 20 minutes (Mitchell - 22, McDaniels - 21).

* Returning starters Malik Pope and Jeremy Hemsley also had solid showings vs. UCSD. Pope, a senior, turned in 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and six boards, while Hemsley made five of his seven attempts from the floor and also finished with 11 points.

* Last month, San Diego State was picked to finish second in the MW’s preseason media poll. SDSU earned 229 points and two first-place votes and trailed only Nevada (257 points; 19 first-place votes). The Aztecs, however, were ahead of third-place Boise State (211; 2), fourth-place Fresno State (188) and fifth-place Colorado State (154). The remaining first-place tally went to UNLV, which was predicted to finish in sixth (138). The rest of the poll: Wyoming (7th; 133), Utah State (8th; 102), New Mexico (9th; 93), San José State (10th; 41), Air Force (11th; 38).

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