By Mike Maciejewski
If you can play ball on the Mesa, the San Diego State coaching staff will find you. With all the big AAU tournaments going on right now, the coaching staff is spread out across the country searching for the next future Aztecs from the 2023 class.
SDSU Head coach Brian Dutcher & staff has shown that they can find the hidden gems, but they have also shown that they are not afraid to go after any player, regardless of who else is recruiting them.
Last week, Coach Jaydee Luster offered 2023 Duncanville High School (TX) prospect Ashton Hardaway. A 6-7 wing, Hardaway is the son of Memphis coach, and former NBA All-Star, Penny Hardaway. 247Sports currently has him ranked the 145th player in the nation.
During this live period Hardaway has been playing with Houston Hoops in the Nike EYBL. As a prospect, Ashton has incredible length and is a major threat from outside. Add his height to the advanced skill-set and he is the versatile type of player with which the Aztecs have success.
Since the beginning of June many schools have begun showing interest in Hardaway and he has received a flurry of offers. Schools such as Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, Boston College, and Southern California have jumped into his recruitment.
Hardaway believes his recruitment has been somewhat underwhelming due to the fact that his father is the coach at Memphis and most schools believing that he ends up there. The younger Hardaway has tried his best to dispel that notion with coaches and via Twitter.
If Hardaway truly is open to any school, which I do not doubt, then the Aztecs seems to be a great fit. At the end of last year in an interview with Rivals Basketball Recruiting Director Rob Cassidy he mentioned what he is looking for in the school that he ultimately commits to.
“I’m not sure what type of school fits me yet. I just want to go to a school where I can be versatile, shoot 3’s and go in the mid post. I want to work both sides of my game and get better on defense.”
If there is ever a defensive minded school on the West Coast, San Diego State is the place to be. Kawhi Leonard, Jalen McDaniels, Matt Mitchell, can all display the defensive work ethic the SDSU program puts forth.
Despite wanting to pattern his game like Kobe, Lebron, and his personal favorite Carmelo Anthony, Matt Mitchell—current member of the Denver Nuggets Summer League team—detailed his reasons for wanting to join the defensive minded Aztecs basketball program.
Watch below our latest Sons of Montezuma Podcast to get the full recruiting story of San Diego State’s Matt Mitchell.