The San Diego State men’s basketball season is officially over but the offseason transfer market is heating up. With over 1,000 players in the transfer portal, Coach Brian Dutcher has publicly stated he intends to use the transfer portal to reload for another NCAA tournament run in 2022-2023. How many transfers needed will depend on the decisions of a few current Aztec players.
Nathan Mensah is expected to make his decision whether to return in the next week or two. Aguek Arop who was arguably the team’s best interior defender during post season play also has yet to decide. If one of them leaves, expect Dutcher & co. to make signing a center a top priority. If both players stay, the front court with the addition of TCU transfer Jaedon Ledee, redshirt freshman Demarshay Johnson and incoming freshman Elijah Saunders should be set.
With Trey Pulliam out of eligibility and sophomore Keith Dinwiddie opting to transfer out of the program, the Aztecs are already searching for one or two combo guards who can play both point guard and shooting guard.
The transfer portal can be a thrilling and agonizing experience for both coaches and fans. Last year, the Aztecs snagged Matt Bradley from Cal early in the transfer season. Ledee and Tahirou Diabate followed shortly after. The 2nd priority of signing a wing lasted longer with top targets such as Timmy Allen and Noah Gurley choosing teams from power conferences instead of SDSU.
The Aztecs waited patiently and found their guy when Chad Baker-Mazara committed in May. Expect the coaches to take a similar approach and not hit the panic button when a top target commits to another school.
Don’t be discouraged if the Aztecs don’t land your top choice. More players enter the portal everyday. Here are my Top 5 Transfer Player Rankings for SDSU based on roster need and realistic chance at signing.
1. Warren Washington, Center, Senior, Nevada
This is a priority only if Mensah leaves. The 7-foot San Marcos native would immediately fill a need at the 5 spot. While he doesn’t have the defensive prowess of Mensah, Warren may be an upgrade at the position on offense. He hit 60% of his shots from the field and over 70% from the free throw line last season for 10.5 pts/g to go along with 6 rebounds. Considering he is from San Diego County and the Aztecs have reportedly reached out to him, I would have to think SDSU is the favorite to land him if Mensah leaves.
2. Jarod Lucas, Combo Guard, Junior, Oregon State
Jarod would bring much needed NCAA tournament winning experience. Lucas was an integral part of the Beavs’ Elite 8 run in 2021 and played his best basketball during championship season. He is ideally suited for the 2 guard position but can also drive into the paint and hit mid-range jumpers.
Lucas is a highly intelligent player- his dad coached him at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights. SDSU has reportedly shown interest in Jarod since he entered the transfer portal. The allure of playing closer to home and getting back to winning ways (Oregon State won only 3 games in 2022) may give the Aztecs an advantage in recruiting Lucas but he has many teams after him including power conference schools.
3. Cameron Spencer, Combo Guard, Junior, Loyola-MD
A big shoutout to Aztec Breakdown on Twitter (@AztecBreakdown) for identifying this player soon after he put his name into the transfer portal. Cam can play both on or off ball and uses an effective pump fake to create open looks. Spencer has a high basketball IQ and like Jordan Schakel doesn’t take bad shots. His offensive efficiency including high assist to turnover ratio would be a welcome addition to the Aztecs. Cam’s older brother Pat plays with Schakel on the Washington Wizards G-League team. I hope Jordan is putting in a good word for us.
4. Joe Quintana, Shooting Guard, Senior, Loyola Marymount
A deadly 3 point shooter with NBA range. The highest effective FG% among this list of guards. Better suited to play off ball in a similar role to Adam Seiko. Don’t be turned off by the Loyola Marymont caliber of player either. Playing in the WCC Conference doesn’t necessarily give many opportunities—Gonzaga aside—but the caliber of opponents there have been somewhat translatable to the Mountain West.
Listen below to our full SDSU Basketball Season Recap where we talk more about the potential transfer portal targets listed here in the article! Subscribe anywhere podcasts are available!
5. D’maurian Williams, Combo Guard, Sophomore, Gardner-Webb
6’ 5” guard from Phoenix who played his high school ball in Connecticut would bring more size in the lineup at guard to go along with high 3 point and free throw percentages. He was named All Big South Conference in 2022 and taking his game across the nation to SDSU in Southern California could be a great way to increase his visibility as a player moving forward.
Who do you think San Diego State should target in the transfer market? Hit me up on Twitter at @sdsportsfiend and let’s talk some Aztec hoops.