Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
After coming off of a very tightly contested loss to Saint Mary’s only two days earlier, the Aztecs were looking for a bounce-back victory. They got that for sure, and more by dominating the Kennesaw State Owls from start to finish on Monday night by 34 points, the score 88-54.
As a team, San Diego State shot 50.8% from the field, 33.3% from three-point range, and 72% from the free throw line. All these numbers were above or about the same as their season averages.
In blow-out games like this one, not just one person plays well, the Aztecs got many great contributions from multiple players.
Player of the Game – Micah Parrish
Originally tweeted by San Diego State Men's Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) on December 13, 2022.
The player of the game was hands down forward Micah Parrish. Leading the Aztecs in scoring with 19 points, Parrish had a phenomenal game. Off the bench, he shot 8-13 from the field, including 3-7 from beyond the arc. The biggest area of need of this Aztecs offensive struggles.
In the first half, when the Aztecs were struggling to hit outside shots, Parrish hit two three-pointers to get the Aztecs in more of an offensive rhythm. In the whole first half, Parrish had 10 points to help give San Diego State a 15-point lead (39-24).
In the second half Micah continued the success he had in the first by scoring an additional 9 points before the freshman came in to mop up the Owl’s in the game’s final minutes.
Throughout the game, he didn’t just score in the same fashion. Parrish made catch-and-shoot three-pointers, pull-up jumpers, and also showed his ability to score at the rim by driving to the basket for points.
Darrion Trammell Bounces Back
Another player that played really well was starting guard Darrion Trammell. Trammell scored 14 points while shooting 5-13 from the field, and knocked down 2 three-pointers. Darrion also dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds.
In addition, Trammell really led the Aztecs by pushing the ball on the fast break and really set the tone by getting the offense great shots. Unlike the other games, SDSU didn’t have to rely or fall back into the bad habit of too many isolation plays.
Credit to excellent ball movement and spacing which led the Aztecs to put up 88 points, which was tied for second most points the Aztecs have put up in a game this year.
Jaedon LeDee Gets Going
Another stellar performance on Monday night was Forward Jaedon Leedee. Off the bench, in only 17 minutes LeDee put up 14 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. It was a much needed performance for the young transfer based out of Texas.
LeDee used his 240-pound frame to body up his defenders and get great looks at the basket. The only way for Kennesaw State to stop him was generally a foul. Or so they thought. At the charity stripe, LeDee was a near perfect 10-11.
“I think as the season goes on, you’re going to see a lot more. It might be up and down because he still hasn’t played in a long time, but at the end, you’re really going to see how good Jaedon is.” Micah Parrish candidly spoke of his teammate’s outlook for the rest of the season.
And the Aztecs will need a steady incline of improvement from LeDee if they are going to fully recapture the notoriety that was given to them in the preseason.
The Aztecs got an amazing performance from their defense. They allowed Kennesaw State to only shoot 34.7% from the field, and 34.8% from beyond the arc. In addition, the Aztecs also forced Kennesaw State to commit 20 turnovers. SDSU out-rebounded the Owls by 11, (39-28), and allowed very few second-chance points.
The offensive explosion was undoubtedly spurred on by the overpowering defense. But one has to wonder if or when any staring 5 changes should be implemented as conference play is at the doorstep.
It may not come unless the offense fails to catch on against tougher talent in the Mountain West.
Kennesaw State’s best performance came from 6’3 guard Kasen Jennings. Jennings, who was making his first start of the season led the Owls in scoring with 17 points. He was the only Kennesaw State player to score in double figures. Jennings shot 4-8 from three-point range, and also was 5-6 from the free throw line.
The Aztecs next face UC San Diego (4-5) on Tuesday, December 20th at Viejas Arena at 7:30 pm. The game is nationally broadcasted on Fox Sports 1.
Good recap – love the merch options.
Check your spelling of “Lamont Butler”