JayDee Luster named assistant coach
Over the past few weeks, the biggest news in the Aztec basketball world was a change at assistant coach. Jay Morris accepted a position at USC under head coach Andy Enfield, replacing Jason Hart, who left USC to become the new head coach of the NBA G League Ignite. Morris was an assistant at SDSU for the past three years. He was hired to replace Tim Shelton on the staff and was a major contributor to recruiting. He helped secure Keith Dinwiddie’s commitment to the Aztecs in September 2019 after recruiting him during his days on the coaching staff at San Jose State.
Replacing Morris is JayDee Luster, who spent the past five years as an assistant coach at Pacific. Luster has San Diego roots. He attended Hoover High School, graduating in 2007, and was on pace to break Jason Kidd’s national assist record until a car accident derailed his senior season. He still finished as the all-time leader in assists and steals for the school and led them to their first CIF San Diego Championship in 44 years.
Before Pacific, Luster also held positions with the Dallas Mavericks as a player development coach, Bradley as the director of basketball operations, and Arizona as a graduate assistant.
In the release announcing the hiring of Luster, head coach Brian Dutcher praised Luster “as a great recruiter…and also known to be excellent in skill development and checks all the boxes for what we were looking for in this position.”
“I’d like to thank Coach Dutcher, the staff, and everyone who was involved in this process,” Luster said in the release. “I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity, especially since it affords me the chance to return to the city I grew up in and a place I have always considered my home. San Diego State is one of the premier programs on the West Coast and in the nation, and I can’t wait to get started and continue to help bring in and develop the next generation of Aztecs.”
SDSU made the hiring of JayDee Luster official today.
"San Diego State is one of the premier programs on the West Coast and in the nation, and I can’t wait to get started and continue to help bring in and develop the next generation of Aztecs.” Luster said in a press release.
— East Village Times (@EVT_News) August 27, 2021
Luster also has Mountain West ties as he played at Wyoming from 2009 through 2012 and was the Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He credits his head coach at Wyoming, Larry Shyatt, as “one of the best defensive minds in basketball.”
During an interview with XTRA 1360 Fox Sports San Diego on August 28, Luster discussed how important recruiting is and how he has found success with it because he focuses on “building real relationships and getting to know people.” He allows people to really get to know him to build lasting relationships. “I am a people person and genuine…want the best for kids,” stated Luster.
Adam Seiko plays for Uganda
Adam Seiko is currently playing for the Uganda National Team in Rwanda’s 2021 FIBA AfroBasket tournament between August 24th and September 5th. In a tweet announcing his participation, Seiko wrote that he was “extremely blessed to rep my country.”
The tournament is a competition among sixteen African nations which takes place every four years. The last tournament took place in 2017 and was won by Tunisia. The sixteen teams are divided into four groups of four teams each, and each team plays a total of three games in group play (one game against each of the three teams in its group.)
Following group play, the top twelve teams are then entered into a single-elimination tournament to determine the champion, with the four group winners receiving automatic advancement into the quarterfinals.
Uganda finished its Group D play in third place after winning one game and losing the other two. In the lone victory against Cameroon, Seiko scored 20 points, including 4/7 from 3pt land. Seiko led the Uganda Silverbacks with a 15.3ppg average while shooting 50% from the field and 50% from 3pt land. 20 out of Seiko’s 26 total shot attempts in the three-game group play were 3pt attempts. Seiko also made all ten of his free throws.
Up next for the Silverbacks is a matchup against Nigeria for a spot in the quarterfinal round against Cape Verde. The game will be on Tuesday, August 31, at 6 am PDT, on ESPN+. Nigeria finished in 2nd place in Group C with a 2-1 record.
One of the best things for Seiko, whose mother was born in Uganda, about playing in this tournament is having the chance to compete with his younger brother, Arthur Kaluma, on the national team. Kaluma is a five-star recruit headed to Creighton in the fall.
Seiko stated in an interview with FIBA that he is “delighted that we both suit up [for] our country and contribute immensely.” Kaluma credits his older brother as “the driving force behind the success I have attained today.” This is the first time the brothers have played on the same team together.
2021-2022 Conference schedule
After altering the conference schedule last year to mitigate travel and exposure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mountain West has returned to its usual scheduling format. The Aztecs will play 18 conference games (nine home and nine away.) Since there are 11 teams in the conference, there are two teams on the schedule – Wyoming and Air Force – that SDSU will play only once. They will play the other eight teams twice.
The Aztecs’ conference schedule begins and ends in Nevada as they play at UNLV on New Years Day and conclude on March 5 at Nevada. The 2022 Mountain West Conference Tournament will be played from March 9 through 12 in Las Vegas.
2021 – 2022 Non-Conference Schedule
On Monday, the University of Michigan released its non-conference schedule and San Diego State was among the teams listed. On December 4th, the Aztecs will travel to Ann Arbor for a clash with the Wolverines. According to college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, there is no return game. Originally scheduled to take on Kentucky, Michigan head coach Juwan Howard will instead host his former coach Brian Dutcher. Dutcher was an assistant coach at Michigan and was instrumental in Howard’s recruitment.
— San Diego State Men's Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) August 30, 2021
The game certainly boosts the Aztecs’ non-conference schedule. Michigan finished fourth in the final coaches poll a year ago. They were a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost 51-49 to UCLA in the Elite Eight.
Aztecs non-conference schedule to date:
Georgetown in Wooden Legacy
USC/Saint Joseph’s in Wooden Legacy
Long Beach St
Mountain West Forfeit Policy
On August 27, the Mountain West Conference announced its COVID-19 Game Cancellation Policy for the 2021-2022 academic year applying to all sports.
“If a Mountain West contest cannot be played as scheduled due to a team’s inability to participate related to COVID-19 issues, the game shall be considered a forfeit for that team and will not be rescheduled. If both teams are unable to participate due to COVID-19 factors, the game shall be declared a no contest.”
While this policy is officially put in place for the upcoming year, it is in line with how the Mountain West Conference treated several conference basketball games that were unable to be played last year due to COVID-19. The Aztecs were impacted, as the two games against New Mexico that were unable to be played due to COVID-19 related issues with the New Mexico team were later ruled forfeits and wins for the Aztecs.
Additional language as part of the policy release was that “there shall be no minimum roster thresholds for competition.” This could prove to become an interesting policy note that could yield a basketball team potentially having to decide whether they will play a game with less than five players on the court.
Hopefully, this will not need to be discussed or written about in the upcoming year in any conference sporting events.
Mountain West Announces COVID-19 Game Cancellation Policy
This policy applies to all MW-sponsored sports pic.twitter.com/Q9Ne9nk4ZO
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) August 27, 2021
Matt Bradley wins Swish Pro-Am League MVP
Several current and former Aztec basketball players participated in the 2021 Swish Pro-Am League this summer. One of them, Matt Bradley, shined the brightest as he was named the MVP of this year’s tournament while earning All-League 1st Team honors. Former Aztec, Deshawn Stephens, was also named to the All-League 1st Team, while current Aztec, Keith Dinwiddie, took home All-League 2nd Team honors.
Another current Aztec was recognized with an award. Nathan Mensah was named the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year.
2021 Swish Pro-Am MVP!! pic.twitter.com/rQ3gSYFZVi
— Swish Pro-Am League (@SwishProAm) August 27, 2021