#AztecMBB to Face No. 16/16 Utah Monday on ESPN2
Nov. 14, 2015
SAN DIEGO -
NEWS AND NOTES
* San Diego State hits the road for the first time this season to face nationally ranked Utah in ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
* The Aztecs are participating in their fifth Tip-Off Marathon and are facing the Utes in the event for the second consecutive season. Last season, SDSU downed No. 25 Utah, 53-49, at Viejas Arena in San Diego.
* Prior to last year’s Tip-Off Marathon result vs. the Utes, SDSU faced Saint Mary’s in the event in 2009 (L, 58-80), No. 11/12 Gonzaga in 2010 (W, 79-76) and No. 11/12 Baylor in 2011 (L, 67-77).
* The Aztecs have held their own against AP ranked teams over the last two seasons, posting a 6-5 record, including a 2-2 mark a season ago.
* Since the start of the 2013-14 campaign, San Diego State is 2-0 in true road games vs. AP-ranked squads. In January of 2014, SDSU beat No. 16 Kansas in Lawrence, 61-57, before downing No. 25 Wyoming in Laramie, 60-52, last year.
* The Utah-San Diego State series is one of the oldest in school history with Monday’s match-up marking the 73rd all-time meeting. The Aztecs have played only seven schools more times than they have the Utes.
* The Utes hold the all-time series advantage over SDSU, 53-19, but the Aztecs visit Huntsman Center riding a series-long six-game winning streak (11.3 margin of victory). Prior to its recent success, San Diego State’s longest series winning streak was two games when it swept both meetings in 1982.
* Before sharing the hardwood last season in San Diego, the schools had not seen each other since their days in the Mountain West, a league Utah left after the 2010-11 campaign.
* As members of the Mountain West, the Aztecs won the final five games against the Utes, including all three in 2011 when San Diego State won a school-record 34 games and advanced to its first NCAA Sweet 16.
* Huntsman Center has not been kind to the Aztecs over the years, as they have won just four times in 33 visits. Three of the school’s four victories, however, have come under Steve Fisher, including SDSU’s last two trips in 2010 and 2011. San Diego State also won in 2006 to snap a 23-game losing skid.
* The Aztecs have enjoyed 10 straight victories over schools from the state of Utah, including posting a 3-0 mark last year after beating Utah, Brigham Young in Maui and Utah State. With the trifecta, San Diego State became the first school to beat the aforementioned Utah schools in one season since 1997-98 when Wyoming accomplished the feat.
* San Diego State boasts a 1-0 record after defeating Illinois State, 71-60, Friday night at Viejas Arena. The Aztecs, who ranked seventh nationally in field-goal percentage defense last year (38.4), limited the Redbirds to 30.8-percent shooting from the floor. SDSU, meanwhile, shot 47.9 percent, including 50 percent in the second half.
* True freshman point guard Jeremy Hemsley earned the starting nod vs. Illinois State and did not disappoint with a game-high 20 points, six rebounds and a team-best five assists. His 20 points and five assists were the best for an Aztec freshman making a season-opening start under Fisher.
* Hemsley was the 14th freshman to start a season-opening game for Fisher and the ninth during Fisher’s time at SDSU. The Rancho Cucamonga native joined Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Jerod Ward, Albert White, Bradley Jackson, Steve Sir, Brandon Heath, Richie Williams, D.J. Gay, Tim Shelton, Kawhi Leonard and Trey Kell.
* Hemsley became the first SDSU freshman to put up a line of at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists since Kawhi Leonard went for 23 points, 18 rebounds and five assists vs. Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 9, 2009. Leonard is a 2014 NBA champion and NBA Finals MVP, and the 2015 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
* San Diego State also received a solid effort off the bench from junior guard Dakarai Allen. The Sacramento native set a career high with 12 points in 13 first-half minutes before finishing with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting (7-8 FT) and a personal-best three blocked shots.
* Senior forward Winston Shepard, a member of the preseason all-Mountain West team, is 12 points shy of becoming the 30th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
* Senior forward Skylar Spencer, the 2015 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, is already the school’s all-time blocked shot leader with 233. He is 11 blocks shy of the conference record held by Wyoming’s Justin Williams (244).