The San Diego State Aztecs lost their everything last season. Jamaal Franklin, now a member of the Memphis Grizzlies organization, led the team in points, rebounds, steals and assists last season. The Aztecs have managed to overcome such a tremendous loss under the direction of head coach Steve Fisher this season, and find themselves back in the top 25 at No. 24.
San Diego State finds themselves as the lone ranked opponent in the Mountain West Conference, although conference foes New Mexico and Boise State are also on the cusp of breaking into the top 25. After two tough wins against Creighton and Marquette, San Diego State found themselves in a peculiar dog fight against inter-city rival San Diego.
Three days after putting their fan base on cardiac arrest watch, the Aztecs faced the pesky Washington Huskies. Washington is two days removed from poaching the unpoachable Chris Petersen, and it appears the football program’s big win rubbed off on their basketball team. Well, in the first half anyhow.
San Diego State’s leading scorer Xavier Thames sparked a 17-2 run at the beginning of the second half. Thames was relatively quiet in the first half, but made up for it when it mattered, scoring 14 of his 19 points in the second half. San Diego State just didn’t get it done on the offensive end, their defense picked it up too. The defense held Huskies field goal-less for the first seven minutes of the second half. The Aztecs played well enough on both ends to win 70-63.
Franklin or no Franklin, Fisher’s Aztecs are still one of the top teams in the MWC. Jan. 5, San Diego State will have to travel to the unfriendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS to face the Kansas Jayhawks.