The Mountain West Conference held its annual men’s basketball media days this year.
Usually held in person, the MW chose to facilitate the interviews with coaches and players virtually.
Below are notes from the San Diego State session on Wednesday involving head coach Brian Dutcher and senior guard Trey Pulliam.
- The team has a lot of talent and will be good, but how soon that will happen is yet to be seen.
- Size and strength is important, but SDSU is also looking to find ways to play extremely small; have to be versatile playing in this conference, spread the floor, attack, and shoot the ball.
- Immediately eligible transfers buy into the culture right away because the Aztecs are a player-led team, and the returning players set the tone and show the new guys the Aztec way.
- Pulliam was maybe the most important player down the stretch last year.
- This is the deepest the conference has ever been, largely due to the returning players from all the teams.
- Dutcher has not been back in the building at Chrysler Arena for 20+ years; Juwan Howard was one of his biggest recruits, so he looks forward to coaching against him.
- Being ranked second in the preseason media poll despite losing three starters from last year’s team is a testament to the respect and culture that came from Steve Fisher.
- Generating ways to score the ball is the number one focus for his team before their opening game.
- Lamont Butler’s role will increase this year, and he is a key defensive contributor.
- Playing meaningful games over the summer for Adam Seiko at AfroBasket was important, and his shooting will be vital for the team given the shooting of the graduating players.
- Pulliam knows how to pick and choose when to play his game and when to look for teammates.
- Matt Bradley and some of the other guys from last year’s team who did not play a lot of minutes like Keshad Johnson and Lamont Butler have impressed him so far.
- The opportunity to play higher caliber, bigger conference teams with size in non-conference play will help them come tournament time; last year, they played a team that was bigger (Syracuse), and they were not as used to playing against that size.
- He looks forward to playing at Viejas Arena with fans again this year; it means a lot to the players to play in front of the great fans.
- It is beneficial for him to get to play another year, to learn and show what we can do in front of scouts, and to win another championship for San Diego State.
- Bradley is built the same as Matt Mitchell, is a great scorer, great shooter, and knows how to use his body.
- He is definitely embracing the leadership role, steps into that role wholeheartedly; likens it to similar leadership roles he was in before coming to SDSU.
- Che Evans and Keith Dinwiddie can score the ball; Dinwiddie is one of the better shooters he has seen, but defense is what gets you on the floor at SDSU, so they know they need to excel on that aspect.
The media picked the Aztecs to finish second in the conference in its Preseason Poll behind Colorado State and named Matt Bradley as Preseason Newcomer of the Year. The Aztecs did not have a player selected to the Preseason All-Conference team.
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As noted in the recent EVT article, San Diego State was not ranked in the Preseason AP Top 25 but received some votes. The Aztecs host Saint Katherine on Wednesday, November 3, in an exhibition game before officially beginning their season against UC Riverside at home on November 9.
Avid sports fan and historian of basketball, baseball, football and soccer. UC San Diego and San Diego State alumni living in America’s Finest City. Diverse team following across multiple sports leagues, but Aztecs come first in college athletics.