Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Next Step

A wise AztecTalker reacted to my column about this being the best time in SDSU basketball, their Golden Age:

I know it's been a while since my Greek lit class but doesn't a society's "golden age" immediately precede a catastrophic event that wipes out the whole society?

If so, I would much rather characterize this time as SDSU's bronze age. Up from the stone age and just now learning the potential of their initial set of tools. Still very much prehistoric though and a lot of room to grow but still the potential to go the way of the Anasazi.

Brilliant, 1610aztec!  For this society of basketball to take its next evolutionary step, it must get past an old enemy, with an old-school name.  The Gaels, besides fitting our metaphor perfectly, have beaten these Aztecs in each of the last two years.  Both games were nip and tuck and decided late, mostly on Daimon Simpson putbacks and a lucky hoop by Omar Samhan.  

For the Aztecs to win tonight and advance to New York, they will of course need to contain Patty Mills and shut down his dribble penetration.  This is actually what I'm most confident about in the matchup.  SDSU has done a pretty good job shutting down the lead man on most teams this year.  Richie is quick enough to at least keep up with Mills and if the Aztecs close out and contest on the perimeter they should be OK.

The real issue will be defensive rebounding, denying Simpson 2nd chance points, and positioning on Samhan to keep him from his prime operating areas on the floor.  White and Amoroso are the guys on the spot.

Finally, for this team to take that next step, I still feel in my gut that they will have to make a big outside shot or two down the stretch, when the Gaels are denying Wade the ball.  Step up and hit the shot, and send the Aztecs to the Big Apple.  

25 wins is a great season for SDSU basketball.  But I know if I was on this team, I wouldn't feel like we had accomplished much unless we took that next step by proving we could beat a good team like St. Mary's on our home floor in a game that really mattered.  


  1. A Golden Age does precede a period of decadence but there is no predetermined time for which a Golden Age should last so do not fear the fall. This is but the genesis of the Aztec era....

    Every civilization experiences a Golden Age during its history but they rarely occur simultaneously....SDSU's prosperity is in its infancy. 25 win seasons (or 26) and NCAA births are building blocks for something more enduring.... the philosophical giants of ancient Greece who needed disciples to sustain these traditions so their civilization could continue to flourish.... so too will the Aztecs rely on the contributions of returnees and the new recruiting classes of tomorrow to prolong this age....

    .....or our expectations are so low that NIT's turn our crank.

    ...just sayin'

  2. That's a big win with the exposure provided last night.

    The question now is whether it was better to lose to Utah in the MWC final? Is it better to still be playing in a less meaningful competition or to have been (possibly) eliminated in round 1 of the NCAA?

    I'm leaning towards the NIT based on 12,000 people showing up to Cox last night...and winning.