San Diego State Basketball: 2021-22 season preview and outlook for Aztecs

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Brian Dutcher San Diego State Basketball (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

While one of the better Mountain West programs these last couple of decades, San Diego State basketball has really shined in the last few seasons. Steve Fisher built this program, but coach Brian Dutcher has done a fantastic job moving it forward since taking over back in 2017. That recent success included a couple of MWC Tournament titles, the last two regular-season champions, and that amazing 26-0 start back in 2020 before the pandemic washed away the postseason.

It’s now year five for Dutcher and there’s a bit of change in the air. While still clearly one of the best mid-major conferences in the nation, the MWC hasn’t been as fantastic in recent years, but that could change very soon. After these last two regular-season titles, San Diego State will have a tough time making it three straight, especially with the influx of talent and development at programs like Boise State, Colorado State, and Nevada.

Going forward, the biggest challenge for Dutcher and these Aztecs is building a strong defensive team and figuring out the rotation without star seniors Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel, the program’s two top scorers from last year. They were two dynamic pieces of that 2020 team and played starring roles during their time with the Aztecs. As it goes in collegiate sports, all good things must come to an end, but you can believe that Dutcher has found plenty of talent to slide into that lineup for this coming season.

There’s no doubt that San Diego State remains a top program in the MWC, and their results these last few seasons have proven it. We don’t know what fates holds for the Aztecs going forward, but one can only hope their postseason luck turns around. That amazing 2020 team didn’t get a chance to put together a run, and last year’s MWC champions were upset by an upstart Syracuse squad in the first round of the Tourney. But there’s no use wasting time wondering what could have been; the Aztecs know that this is a top-notch program and they’ll have another shot at glory.

Will the Aztecs be reloading their talent a bit this year? While this might be the case, it still wouldn’t be a surprise to see San Diego State atop the MWC standings as the calendar turns towards March. If Dutcher can continue to bring talented and under-the-radar players into this program, then watch out because San Diego State is here to stay. Let’s look at some of those gems that still make up the Aztecs roster.

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