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Can Winston Shepard Lead the San Diego State Aztecs?

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San Diego State Aztecs

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The San Diego State Aztecs will have to deal with the losses of their two best players in the 2013-14 college basketball season. However, can Winston Shepard lead the Aztecs in the upcoming season?

First off, he will not be the only good player on the team, which means he will not be all by himself. San Diego State has been a good team for awhile now and that will once again be the case.

However, the Aztecs will need a new leader.

As a freshman, Shepard averaged 5.7 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game and two assists per game in just 20.3 minutes per game. He needs some work on his game, but he was only playing in his first season in college hoops. He will also have a much bigger role in the upcoming season or I would at least hope so.

Shepard was the No. 53rd ranked recruit for the 2012 class, according to ESPN. So, the potential is there for him to succeed and that very well could be the case in the 2013-14 season.

San Diego State has a great coach and a pretty good basketball team–on paper. Entering the season, the Aztecs will be expected to compete for a MWC title, like always. It is important to note that they finished four games back in the standings last season, which was probably not expected entering the year.

If San Diego State can deal with the losses of some great players, it will dance once again. However, it will be interesting to see if Shepard can lead the team. He definitely has the talent to do so.

If you’re a tweeter, feel free to follow me @TheTrevorLowry or add me to your network on Google.

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NCAA Tournament Profile: San Diego State Aztecs

Record: 26-8

RPI: 26

BPI: 42

Conference: Mountain West Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 8 in the South

 

Another year in the Mountain West, and yet another year the San Diego State Aztecs were one of the conference’s top teams (tied for first place with the Boise State Broncos in the regular season conference standings).

The MW hasn’t been getting a whole lot of love this year, but this isn’t San Diego State’s first rodeo — not even close. In fact, most fans probably expect the Aztecs to make the tournament on a yearly basis now.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Aqeel Quinn, Winston Shepard (11.1 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Winston Shepard (5.3 RPG)

Leading Passer: J.J. O’Brien (2.5 APG)

Bad Losses: Fresno State, Washington

Good Wins: Utah, BYU, Pittsburgh, Wyoming (twice), Colorado State (twice)

 

Needless to say, the Aztecs challenged themselves this season, and got a huge win over Utah. They also played the Arizona Wildcats (only lost by two points) and Cincinnati Bearcats (lost in overtime). Both teams are also part of the field of 68.

Yeah, San Diego State certainly didn’t have an easy non-conference schedule, but that should only benefit it in the dance, a tournament that features an endless amount of talent and a boatload of teams with different playing styles.

The Aztecs made it to the Sweet 16 last season, but that team also had Xavier Thames. The NCAA tournament can be a weird beast, though, so it will be interesting to see if this version of San Diego State can go on a deeper run.

The San Diego State Aztecs are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The San Diego State Aztecs will be making yet another appearance in the NCAA tournament.

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