I do not know how much of a poker player Coach Brian Dutcher is, but he continues stacking chips for the 2018 class. First he added 6-10 big man Joel Mensah then quickly followed it up with 6-2 point guard Jordan Campbell. He is back at it again, this time adding 6-10 center Nathan Mensah. Nathan Mensah was long considered a San Diego State lean and our Commitment Probability Index (CPI) had him at 82%. Even though he previously visited Oregon State, he ultimately decided to commit to the Aztecs after officially visiting the San Diego State campus.
Nathan Mensah was one of the staff’s top targets and they have been on him for a long time. Their persistence and dedication in recruiting him finally paid off with his commitment. The staff followed him during each and every evaluation period and was routinely two to three deep for him. During the Nike EYBL Nathan Mensah played with California Supreme. When he was not playing with Supreme, he was playing at events with San Diego-based AAU club Coastal Elite. San Diego State’s staff will continue their strong relationship with Nathan Mensah as he finishes his senior year in Nevada at Findlay Prep.
The impact of getting Nathan Mensah is enormous as pairing him with Joel Mensah adds two players that can play center, which had been an issue in recent years. San Diego State now has not one, but two centers for the next four years. The great thing is that they are not exclusively playing at the five; they can play together or either could play the power forward role if the Aztecs bring in another center.
Nathan Mensah is a big body and has the strength to bang down low with the big boys in college right now. On defense he is a strong rebounder and shot blocker. He uses his physical tools and high basketball IQ to position himself well and secure rebounds at a high rate.
On offense Nathan Mensah makes his money down in the post. He is able to bully his way towards the basket and has a number of post moves that help him score. He has a nice jumper with a soft touch, which is unusual for a big man, that extends to just inside the three-point line, however he is not afraid to take an open three when it is available to him.
Developing a more consistent jump shot will help in keeping defenders honest. Nathan Mensah’s jump shot is already good, however to excel at the college level he will need to develop consistency with his shooting. Were he to add that dimension to his game during his senior season you would see his ranking soar and he would become a bigger offensive threat.
Nathan and Joel Mensah were 1a and 1b when it came to my 2018 rankings. In a down year for big men for San Diego State to come away with both of these guys is huge. I do not know what the coaching staff has planned for Nathan Mensah in the future, however I would not be surprised to see him slide into the starting center role sooner rather than later.
San Diego State has one more scholarship left for 2018.