Beware of SDSU….
The Aztecs are now 20-0 and I was there to confirm it. It was a solid basketball game and the Falcons of Air Force put up a calculated fight. Throughout the game, the Aztecs were just more physically imposing. The Viejas Arena was packed and the Aztecs luckily won the hard fought battle 68 to 55.
On Wednesday night January 19th, I sat about thirty rows from the court on the opposite side of “The Show.” Those kids were crazy, but except for the student section, the arena was oddly mellow. Everyone was cheering for San Diego but the fans in my section were the stoic type.
During the game, “The Show” only had three chances to distract free-throw shooters (The Aztecs don’t commit fouls). The sea of giant cardboard head cut-outs splashed around but not one head was a distinct distraction. It was the relentless noise and stomping that intimidated the Air Force and brought their coach to his knees. After the game, Falcons coach Jeff Reynolds went to the SDSU student section, known as “The Show.”
“I told them that the reason the Aztecs were undefeated was because of them,” Reynolds said. “That’s a great atmosphere. They’re into it. That’s what college basketball is supposed to be about. Their kids are into the game and they do it the right way.”said Reynolds. I wonder if he heard them chanting “Bullshit” whenever a call went against San Diego.
There is no doubt that the momentum in “The Show” is what fuels the Montezuma Monster. Air Force got smoked on the rim. Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Thomas combined for nineteen rebounds and four blocks.
Uncharacteristically,the Aztecs offensive fundamentals on Wednesday night were a cause for concern and quieted the crowd. The teams relentless determination for rebounds, their senior experience, and a consistent three point threat out of point guard DJ GAY earned San Diego the win. To compound the offensive woes, the Aztec’s squandered their free-throw chances and at times they left the door open for an upset.
To compete against the Big East the undefeated Aztecs must be fierce the entire forty minutes. They have to follow their killer instincts as a unit. They must expose then exploit an opponent’s defensive weaknesses consistently. The Aztec’s defense versus Air Force was ferocious, but on fast break turnovers they would over throw the ball out-of-bounds,bobble the dribble, and disconnect on dunks. The team’s composure was in question, their passes were off timing, and at-times they looked foolish. Air Force was ready for Wednesday and it was plain to see that the Aztecs were getting complacent.
Thankfully, The Aztecs still pulled it out, and earned their twentieth victory. So you can look at this game’s outcome from two perspectives: The Aztecs can even win during an off night or that now we know that the Aztecs can possibly have off nights.
The salvaged win will bring some positive momentum into Provo, UT. next week where No. 6 SDSU is taking on No.9 BYU. After how those uptight-Christian Cougars cheated the Aztecs on the football field last season, it’s about time for Montezuma’s revenge. VIDEO HERE
By Tony Fantano