Updated: Jul 3, 2019
This past Saturday I made my way to the San Diego Swish League to get my second look at the Aztecs. The thing I noticed immediately was the high-level of play and the improved chemistry among the teams. If you are a young player or parent with a child who wants to see what it takes to play at the next level I urge you to make it out to Miramar College for the games, they are intense.
First up was our second look at Yanni Wetzell as his Belmont Park team faced off against Team Del Mar. In this game we saw a lot more of Wetzell’s post game. Offensively he got the ball low in the block and attacked the rim for some easy baskets. Other times he got the ball at the free throw line and put the ball on the floor, using his speed and some nifty moves to get past his defender for some layups. I walked away from this outing more impressed with Wetzell as he depended less on his strength and more on his skill on the offensive end. Wetzell finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Team Belmont Park 91 – Team Del Mar 84
In game three of the day it was my first chance to get a look at Aztecs big man Nathan Mensah of Team Balboa at Swish League. Mensah was a man amongst boys yesterday as he dominated the paint and the glass. He started the game off strong with two monstrous dunks and by half he had a near double-double (eight points and 10 rebounds). His game was not flawless as he left a number of points on the court after missing some free throws and some easy put backs, but overall it was a dominant day. Most of his points came in the paint, however he did get some contested jumpers to fall. In the end Mensah finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, a dominant effort in a blow out victory. Team Balboa 86- Team 619 67
The final game of the day saw three Aztecs hit the floor as Team Pacific Beach, led by Matt Mitchell and Nolan Narain, faced off against Team Washington Park, which has Caleb Giordano on the roster. Keeping with the theme of the day, the Aztecs were hot and that started with Mitchell. Mitchell was dominant, scoring from all three levels and getting baskets any way he wanted. Whenever he put his head down and made his way to the basket, it was a near automatic bucket. His jumper was good from mid-to-long range and it seemed he could not miss. He finished with 17 points for the game.
Narain had a strong game, and was much improved from last time I saw him. He displayed strong post moves and finished around the basket through contact. He carved out space in the paint and was confident with the ball in his hands. Narain finished with 13 points.
Surprisingly the highest scoring Aztec of the day was the walk-on Giordano. Last week Giordano did not have the jumper working, however Saturday was a different story. Giordano has shown himself to be scrappy and has a high motor, but yesterday he had his jumper going and was a threat from all three levels. Like last week Giordano was a menace near the hoop, taking the ball to the basket off the dribble, however this week he showed his vertical and tenacity on the offensive glass, pulling down rebounds and a highlight-worthy tip in. On top of that his three-point shot was on as he displayed some deep range. Giordano led all Aztecs in scoring on the day, finishing with 19 points in the loss.
Team Pacific Beach 85 – Team Washington Park 77
The Swish League will be on break until Thursday, July 11th due to the 4th of July holiday. By that time the rest of the San Diego State team should be on campus for the second summer session, so hopefully we see some more Aztecs on the court. Stay tuned for our next update.