Rank: #3 MWC
24-9, 13-3, 1st
There are all
sorts of reasons for all sorts of teams to win the Mountain West
and San Diego State is no exception. Finishing third in the MWC
will be no easy task this season, but an NCAA bid for the third
place squad will be pushing it. With four starters returning
Coach Steve Fisher has an experienced and talented group.
Reaching the top 25 is a feasible goal, but things will look
different without Marcus Slaughter on the floor.
Slaughter averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks as
a junior before heading to the professional ranks. With the
graduation of part-time starting centers Trimaine Davis and
Mohamed Camara, the interior depth will be an issue. Sharp
shooting guard John Sharper provided a nice spark off the bench
and averaged 8.8 points per game during his senior campaign.
Wade will add some more athleticism to the Aztec squad. The 6-6
transfer from Louisville appeared in 35 games for the Cardinals
as a freshman and will use his explosiveness to thrill SDSU fans
for the next three years. Jerome Habel was rated one of the
best junior college transfers heading into this season. The
6-10 power forward averaged 16.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.5
blocks per game last year at San Bernardino Valley College in
California. Coach Fisher needed an experienced big man to help
quell the loss of Slaughter and there aren’t many better options
than Habel. At 6-9, John Pastorek has the size to play the
post, but after growing nine inches in high school, the Anaheim,
California product has the skills of a perimeter player.
Jervaughn Johnson has the strength to compete right away in the
MWC. The 6-6, 225 pound Compton, California native can play
either forward spot and has adequate skills inside and out.
Point guard Kashif Watson will spend the year coming off the
bench. He’s long, quick and tough and should gain some valuable
experience as a freshman.
Who to Watch:
Mohamed Abukar averaged 14.3 poinst and 4.7 rebounds per game
after missing the first ten contests of the campaign due to
transfer rules. The 6-10 power forward has a nice mid-range
jumper, but the Aztecs will need Abukar to step up his
rebounding this year. Kyle Spain may need to spend some minutes
at the four instead of his more natural small forward spot.
He’d be undersized at 6-5, but the sophomore is a solid
rebounder no matter where he ends up playing. While the
backcourt might have the stars, the play of the frontcourt will
determine how successful of a season this will be for the
Brandon Heath is
the big man on campus after averaging 18.4 points per game as a
junior. The All-American candidate has a knack for scoring and
will be the team leader. Heath ranked first in scoring, free
throw percentage and three-point field goals made in the MWC
last year and by the end of this year, we will probably be able
to add a few more distinctions to that list. Point guard Richie
Williams had a tremendous freshman season and big things are
expected this year as well. He’s only 5-9, but Williams can
sneak through the lanes and find his open teammates with the
best of them. The only real issue for SDSU is the lack of
experienced depth. The other problem is what is shaping up to
be a tough top of the MWC. Over the last few years, this SDSU
would be first in the conference, but not in 2006-2007.
Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 points per game
Senior, Guard, 18.4 points per game
Sophomore, Forward, 9.2 points per game
Senior, Forward, 14.3 points per game
Junior, Forward, DNP last season