San Diego State Basketball: Aztecs are Among Nation's Best

By Demario Phipps-Smith
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst a season where there are two teams vying for a perfect record late into February and a freshman class that rivals any in recent history, San Diego State has slipped into obscurity despite boasting one of the best teams — and seasons— in Division-I college basketball.

Most fans can count on their hands how many times they have seen a SDSU game broadcasted on a major network (or even mentioned by name on television). Those same fans have probably seen Jabari Parker, Syracuse University and Aaron Gordon plenty of times. There is good reason for this as Parker is the country’s most prolific freshman, Syracuse is undefeated (still) and Gordon plays for the most balanced and complete team in NCAA basketball.

However, the Aztecs have victories over some big names in college basketball which include Creighton, Marquette and Kansas. SDSU completed this string of victories with unquestioning thoroughness as it outscored CU (86-80), outlasted MU defensively (67-59) and defeated KU at Allen Fieldhouse (61-57).

This Aztec team is equipped with both length at nearly every position and stingy defenders. SDSU has the third-best scoring defense in the county at 57.0 points allowed per game. The length of San Diego State accounts for the 5.8 blocks per game — 22nd overall in the nation.

In the post, senior Josh Davis has been dominant. He is averaging over eight points and 11 rebounds on the season. Davis’ best quality is his aggressiveness on the offensive boards. Most games he is unstoppable down there and he averages 3.7 offensive rebounds per game. In the victory against Kansas, Davis snatched six rebounds from the offensive glass.

Fellow senior Xavier Thames has been just as special from the perimeter. The 6-foot-3 guard is the team-leading scorer at 17.7 PPG and also leads in assists at 2.8 APG. The explosive Thames scored 26 against Creighton and went 4-of-5 from three-point range.

San Diego State is a legit threat for an NCAA tournament title and should not be taken lightly or slept on.

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