No. 19 San Diego State has plenty of room for improvement when the Aztecs host BYU on Friday.
The Aztecs (1-0) rolled over visiting Cal State Fullerton 80-57 in the season opener on Monday. Coach Brian Dutcher wasn’t satisfied with how San Diego State handled the ball or adjusted to the different looks that the Titans gave defensively.
“Teams switch things, they guard you in different ways,” Dutcher said. “We have to continue to evolve and adapt to all the different ways people play us.”
Dutcher said he grudgingly went deeper into his playbook against Cal State Fullerton than he preferred.
“I thought it helped us a little bit knowing where we were looking, but I don’t want to do that, I want to run, I want to play free, and I want them to make better decisions on the break,” Dutcher said. “I think that will come as the season goes on.”
BYU (1-0) had a much closer season opener against Idaho State than the Aztecs had against Cal State Fullerton.
Spencer Johnson made a step-back 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to put the Cougars ahead and they held on for a 60-56 win on Monday night.
Johnson is in his third season with BYU and his first as a starter.
“What most people don’t know is that moment has been 10 years in the making,” BYU coach Mark Pope said of Johnson’s final shot. “He is so hungry to be a great player, and there was never a moment where he stopped pushing. so when you put all that work in, and get your first start in a game like this, you are ready.”
BYU won the last two meetings against San Diego State.
Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas were the top two scorers against the Aztecs last season, as well as the entire season, but they’ve expired their eligibility, leaving players like Johnson and Fousseyni Traore to carry the load.
Traore had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win against Idaho State.
The Aztecs returned four starters this season and gained 5-foot-10 guard Darrion Trammell, a transfer from Seattle University and 6-9 forward Jaedon LeDee, who redshirted last year after spending the previous two seasons at TCU and his freshman year at Ohio State.
Trammell, who combined for 1,010 points the past two seasons at Seattle before transferring to San Diego State for his senior year, scored a team-high 18 points in his team debut against Cal State Fullerton, making 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
LeDee, who averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.2 minutes in his most recent season for TCU in 2020-21, contributed 11 points off the bench in 18 minutes against the Titans.
“I think that’s the thing we talk about all the time is our depth,” Trammell said. “I think we can wear teams down. We have a very deep team. Everyone has their own thing that they do, but that’s definitely going to carry us deep throughout the year.”
–Field Level Media