Coming into this off-season the realization for SDSU was losing it’s primary big man at the center position. Nathan Mensah the programs rim protector locked down the spot and held such a dominating presence for the defensive juggernaut Aztecs.
His accomplished college career and stellar post season performances on the road to the National Championship found Mensah gaining full momentum heading into the NBA draft.
Though not officially picked on the board, it was the Charlotte Hornets who saw the value and potential that Nathan possessed enough to select him as a free agent, giving him the opportunity to prove himself within the organization. We look forward to witnessing what he can do this Summer.
For SDSU, finding a replacement that would live up to the same quality of Mensah would be a challenge and a half.
With no veteran big men attainable for coach Brian Dutcher and the Aztecs this off-season, the program has seemingly moved on to what they have been so accustomed to doing, finding a gem of a talent on the cutting edge.
All of Aztec nation was awakened by a graphic announcing that “Veritas Prep’s Magoon Gwath had committed to San Diego State University.” And with that news, everyone scrambled to find out the answer to the question on all Aztec fans’ minds, “Who is Magoon Gwath?”
Ngwoth “Magoon” Gwath is a 6-11 big man who just finished his senior year at Veritas Prep in Los Angeles, California. Of Sudanese decent, Gwath was born in the United States and grew up in Euluess, Texas.
Playing in Texas he was overlooked on the basketball scene to some and made the move to California to play for Veritas Prep in hopes of increasing his exposure—and increase his exposure he did.
His name started to garner buzz at the Winter Prep Showcase, an event for prep teams, in December where according to Prep Hoops writer Jack Herron, “Gwath was one of the most impressive long-term prospects at the event, as the 6’11” big man is just scratching the surface with how good he can be and he was still the best player on the floor in Veritas’ game.”
The buzz continued and reached some of the most respected scouts on the west coast. Dinos Trigonis, owner and organizer of the prestigious Pangos All-American camp tweeted about Gwath, “making a great impression on myself & several scouts like @RonMFlores present was 6-11 2024 Magoon Gwath (Veritas Prep/CA). Long, active & very skilled big man from Sudan runs floor well, can face-up from deep & is quick off feet at rim.”
Gwath continued his strong play at the NCAA Section 7 event in Arizona where the Aztec staff decided to offer him an opportunity to join the team this upcoming season instead of taking a prep year at Veritas.
That opportunity was enough for Gwath to commit and he will be officially visiting this upcoming week, before enrolling for the second semester of summer school.
Reading several evaluations on Gwath it is obvious to see he has continued his growth since arriving at Veritas. Some of the skills most mentioned in the evaluations were in his offensive game like shooting, rebounding, passing, and IQ.
Overall it appears he does well on both ends of the court and is improving on all aspects of his game too. The obvious need is to get stronger and that is something that his coach, George Zedan, mentioned to Mark Zeigler, that he could see him doing at San Diego State.
This was an opportunity that the Aztecs coaching staff could not pass up—literally. With the teams reportedly after him (Saint Mary’s, USC, and Villanova) it is probable that getting him next year was going to be much more difficult—maybe nearly impossible.
Should he continue to develop in the same trajectory he’s been at, it will be noteworthy to monitor Gwath’s ability to be a contributor once he is deemed ready for play.
The staff at Veritas mentioned that Gwath may redshirt to get stronger or possibly be ready next season. Though the full needs of what Nathan Mensah was for the Aztecs can’t be replaced in the moment, there is definitely a real buzz building up with such a talented young big man added to the program in Magoon Gwath for the near future.