For some of the 2020 recruits their season ended before the leagues shut down, however each had a successful year. San Diego State is bringing in some winners this upcoming year and each showed a lot of improvement and promise moving forward.
We will start with the first player to commit to the program, 6-2 point guard Lamont Butler. Butler had a stellar senior campaign filled with accolades. He led the Bears to an undefeated Ivy League title. After the league season Riverside Poly was the #1 seed for the Division 1 Playoffs. The Bears made it all the way to the Division 1 Finals before falling to Windward. In the state playoffs the Bears came down to San Diego’s St. Augustine High School and upset the Saints to reach the Sweet Sixteen of the state playoffs. Riverside Poly’s season ended there with a six overtime thriller against Damien High School.
Butler had a very successful season, becoming Riverside Poly’s top scorer, passing former NBA legend Reggie Miller. He was recognized as the Ivy League Most Valuable Player and was All-CIF Division One first team.
Butler made huge strides in his senior season. Everyone knew he was a floor general, defender, and a facilitator, however this year he showed even more. He displayed more scoring and athleticism adding some offensive fire power to his game.
I expect Butler to come in and make a push for minutes as a freshman. This past season he showed that he can be a solid contributor right away. In the long term he is the future starting point guard for the Aztecs. Butler will be the catalyst for seasons to come and early on he will get the experience to prepare him for a bigger role in the near future.
Keith Dinwiddie did what he has always done, score at a high clip while leading his Fairfax team. The three-star shooting guard was the team’s leading scorer and senior leader on the floor. Fairfax ended up undefeated in Western League play and Dinwiddie was named Most Valuable Player. In the Open League playoffs the Lions lost in the championship game. In the state playoffs Fairfax lost in the first round, ending a strong season for Dinwiddie and his teammates.
Dinwiddie has been known as a big-time scorer and in his senior season he did not disappoint. He had many games where he had scoring outputs of over 20 points in leading his team to victory. Known as a shooter with incredible range, Dinwiddie showed that he could do more than shoot threes. This past season he scored more from inside the arc and was a facilitator. As a senior leader, Dinwiddie was depended on more to get others involved, not just score.
It is clear that Coach Brian Dutcher values scoring and Dinwiddie has shown that he can do that in high school. Depending on who is on the roster next year, there could be a real need for a player who can be trusted to get a basket at critical moments and Dinwiddie fits the bill. He will make an impact for San Diego State, however when that happens is up to Dinwiddie. The stars could very well align so that next year he has a huge year as an Aztec.
The final player of the 2020 class is 6-7 wing Che Evans. Evans essentially redshirted his senior year of high school as he was rehabilitating from an injury that he had previously suffered. On the season he only saw action in one game, where he scored 10 points in limited minutes. His Neumann-Goretti High School team won the Philadelphia Catholic League and the District XII 3A championship. Their run in the state playoffs, and any possible game action for Evans, was wiped off due to the coronavirus.
Evans has used this time to get healthy and to get better. He has been in the gym constantly rehabbing and preparing for San Diego State. His goal has been to be ready for college and based on conversations with his godfather, Dwayne Wise, and from the film I have seen he appears to be better than he was before the injury.
For many Aztecs fans it is hard to know what San Diego State is getting in Evans. When he started getting heavily recruited by the Aztecs he was already hurt and we have been unable to follow his development during his senior year. Based on what I have seen on film of him before the injury and his development during his rehab it is easy to see why there are high expectations for him. Should Evans be healthy I expect him to be a part of the rotation and to push for major minutes. Evans is an elite type talent, he just needs to be healthy and game reps to put it all together.
I am 10 times more excited about this class than I was before their senior year. Butler has grown so much and is fulfilling his potential. His senior year further cemented my belief that he will be an important part of the Aztecs program. Dinwiddie continued to show that he is a scorer and will continue to be one at the next level. His consistency makes me more confident that his game will translate to college and he will be successful. Finally Evans rehab makes me feel good about his chances to be ready for fall and on being a factor next season. This class is going to make Aztecs fans excited about the future.