The celebration will go on.
Despite Tuesday night’s disappointment in Boise—the Aztecs’ basketball program will recognize and honor its seniors Saturday evening in the season’s final home game versus Wyoming.
Prepare to be standing and applauding for quite some time.
This year, SDSU counts eight seniors on the squad. Each and every one of them deserves praise for his contributions to the success of this program and the way in which they’ve conducted themselves in their SDSU careers.
You can start right here with the current season.
Yes, the 66-60 loss to the Broncos stung and reinforced some concerning trends, but SDSU (14-3 in league play) has clinched a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. That means another banner to hang and no doubt another invite to the big dance this month.
With a win over the last-place Cowboys (4-13 in MWC) on Saturday, or a Boise State loss on the road at Utah State, the title will be theirs alone. Kiss the Rings! The Mountain West Championship truly does go through Viejas.
Let’s take a moment here to call out the eight seniors who have helped bring another banner to Viejas Arena.
The 6’1” guard from Los Angeles has been a mainstay on the Aztecs’ practice squad. While he’s received some game time, his significant contribution to the team is in helping the team prepare for its next opponent. Teammates and coaches alike have all sung his praises and spoke of the value he has brought to the team on & off the court. Hopefully Saturday night will give us all a few more glimpses into what Jared can do on the court.
Jared is majoring in communications.
The TCU transfer sat out last season as a redshirt. At 6’9” and 240 pounds, LeDee provides a physical presence that had been lacking down low.
With LeDee, there is never a reason to question his effort and work ethic. His play in the paint will be crucial in the games to come. Though no official word has been given on LeDee’s return to the Mesa next season—his one more year of eligibility would truly be a much more dominant season.
LeDee’s game has begun to take form now towards the end of this season. All signs point to his ability on becoming not only a starter for Brian Dutcher’s team next year, but a bonafide star in the conference.
Jaedon is majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
Although Trammell may not have provided the consistent scoring many fans expected when he arrived on the Montezuma Mesa last summer, the transfer from Seattle University has been a significant contributor to the team’s success this year.
His defensive pressure on the ball in the backcourt has aided SDSU’s overall defensive performance. His shooting touch seems to be returning too, as he’s hit some big shots in the last two games. Trammell’s passing ability, court vision and maturity handling the ball, add strength in some of the key areas this team cannot do without.
As with LeDee, Trammell also has no official word of his return to the Aztecs program just yet. We feel Darrion once again be an standout performer with another off-season under his belt on the Mesa.
Darrion is majoring in Africana studies.
Without question, Bradley’s game has evolved since coming to San Diego State. He can still score no doubt. His 16 points against Boise State led the team and represented the 20th time he has hit double digits in points this season.Where Bradley has elevated his game is his contributions on the boards among other areas. His six rebounds, which also led the team the other night is one example.
Additionally, Bradley has become a willing facilitator and improved defender. Most nights this season Matt’s scoring output wasn’t the most crucial element needed of him and he has taken the backseat to find others the ball. The willingness to do so should not be undervalued.
On the defensive end, the past two seasons have seen Matt play at the trademarked Aztec-D level. Something he was not going to be a part of at his former years at Cal-Berkeley.
Matt took the chance to transfer into an SDSU program close to home and with a winning tradition. These were the most important factors to him and it has been a fun ride to watch and be a part of. The opportunities to win more games on the big stage are before Bradley and the Aztecs will need to continue to lean on their broad-shouldered guard heading into tournament play. Wether it’s through scoring or elsewhere.
Matt is currently majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
The forward from Oakland has also made major strides in his overall game this year. Johnson appears much more comfortable in his role this season and has produced his share of highlight-reel plays. His averages of nearly eight points and five rebounds a game don’t tell the whole story of his impact on the team’s success.
Keshad is a curious situation in our eyes. His physical ability and potential translate to the next level no doubt. But what would serve him better next season, another year as a much more marqee player in college ball? Or the chance to take his game full-time at an opportunity to the professional ranks and earn some compensation.
The risks are present at both decisions, but regardless if you ball the game has space for you. Showtime, as he’s been known, is a fan favorite for his electricity and passion on the court. Saturday will be a celebration of who Keshad is stay or leave next season and we relish at the opportunity to do just that.
Keshad is currently majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
The reigning Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year continues to excel on the defensive end of the court. His 44 blocks this season give him 215 in his Aztec career, the second highest total in school history to just Skylar Spencer.
Mensah’s offensive game has improved this year, with standout performances scattered through-out the season. But still there is an unlocked potential inside Nathan that has even more room to grow.
After battling health issues that sidelined him for the majority of SDSU’s triumphant season of 2019, Nathan has battled and more than held his own against some of the biggest & baddest opponents. It is no wonder that Aztecs fans have come to expect SDSU defenses to rank always favorably in the metrics. Nathan is a big component to that.
The safety net a team has knowing a rim protecting force awaits whoever gets passed them is a luxury not every team has. For being such a dominant big man in the conference and on the national scene, the unfortunate aspect to Nathan’s time in the red & black has been the league’s officiating discounting his importance.
While not always perfect, time after time quick officiating whistles and game altering calls have disrespected the all-conference big man on a curve that hasn’t allowed Mensah to get in offensive grooves that he is capable. Losing valuable minutes on the floor has been an issue this season. At his final go round in the tournament, we sure hope the shapers of this athletic theater allow the big man to play.
Having a strong African presence to this years class with Nathan, an international student from Ghana, among others is to be celebrated. For that we mention the good work being done with the African Youth Basketball Organization. Nathan in his time at SDSU has earned a degree in business administration and is currently enrolled in a master’s program in the same field.
The “super senior” guard has turned into a dead-eye three-point shooter making 46 of his 95 attempts from beyond the arc for a 48% clip this season. The output in conference games is slightly better, which is absolutely ridiculous.
Seiko embodies what the SDSU basketball culture is all about – family, a willingness to play defense and a team-first approach.
Being utilized early in his Aztec career has made Adam a familiar face to SDSU fans. His trademark dial it up from 3 hand gestures after each shot has brought smiles to many faces and his heat checks after many string of consecutive buckets have brought many to their feet.
It will be interesting to see just how he is utilized in the post season to get more open looks. Seiko’s game can’t be minimized to just a deadly jumper however. His defensive prowess is unmistakable and his hustle is inspiring. Though this is a farewell to the most winningest player to ever play at Viejas arena, there is something about the Uganda National team member that says we may be seeing his face around the program stay connected for some time.
Adam has earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies and is currently enrolled in a master’s program in counseling and school psychology.
AG has enjoyed a welcomed bounce-back year in 2022-23. He’s frequently been on the court in critical moments bringing a relentless motor and experienced play. His energy and enthusiasm for the game rub off on his teammates and are appreciated by Aztecs fans.
Arop is a big reason why SDSU’s deep and talented bench has been a huge contributor to the team’s success this year. Notably one of the most impactful players when on the court, Aguek’s high basketball IQ and experience has never been as integral as it has this season. Expanding his skillset on the offensive side of the ball has been a joy to watch and his presence alone off the bench makes this team’s depth an immediate advantage.
And to think this season was perhaps not a reality to the super senior from Omaha, Nebraska. Battling nagging injuries, Arop was on the verge of ending his SDSU career. Arop’s family came to the US as political refugees from war-torn Sudan. Which has uniquely shaped his path to this stage in his life.
After receiving his US Citizenship while a member of the SDSU basketball team, and being the 1st in his family to earn a college degree, we salute AG’s dedication and perseverance above whatever has been done on the court.
Aguek earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies and is currently enrolled in a master’s program in homeland security.
With one more win, the Aztecs will send their seniors out with a Mountain West Conference title all to themselves. Tournament play awaits right around the corner and with that, your season can end very quickly if you make mistakes down the stretch.
But for this moment, let’s celebrate this year’s seniors and the collective success they, and their teammates, have brought to Aztecs fans far and wide. From all of us at Sons of Montezuma, thank you and Go Aztecs!
Saturday’s regular season finale against Wyoming is set for 7:00 pm PT. CBS Sports Network has the television broadcast and San Diego Sports 760 the radio call.