The Aztecs had an uneven performance in their victory in the exhibition opener against Chaminade. Looking back at the game there were a lot of positives that the staff could build off and of course there were some things that the Aztecs can improve on. Tyler and Michael present to you some of their takeaways from the first look at the exhibition.
Rebounding – The Aztecs were outrebounded by a Chaminade team was not as tall or strong as them. (Tyler)
Turnovers - The team struggled with keeping care of the ball. San Diego State turned the ball over 11 times in the 1st half; 16 total in the game. (Tyler)
Free Throws - The Aztecs made more free throws than the Silverswords attempted, however they only shot 57.7% from the charity stripe. (Michael)
Bench - The Aztecs bench only scored six points, all from Nolan Narain, in a combined 42 minutes. Mind you that the rest of the bench were freshmen playing for the first time in front of a college crowd, but hopefully they can add a bit more on offense in their next game. (Michael)
Jordan Schakel - A positive from the exhibition was the play of Jordan Schakel who had 16 points, made three three-pointers, and didn't commit a turnover. (Tyler)
2nd half defense – After a sluggish start the Aztecs defense was on point to start the second half. In the first half the defense sagged off their men, however in the second they were playing tighter defense. Last year’s success coincided with an elevation of the defensive effort. The second half showed what the Aztecs could do. (Michael)
Jalen McDaniels - On the second Aztec possession McDaniels hit a three-pointer. It was just one example of McDaniels’s skill set. He showed a different game from last year and even though he was saddled with foul trouble he finished with a solid line (14 points and seven rebounds). A number of times I had to stop and just say, “whoa, that is new.” (Michael)
Jeremy Hemsley – Hemsley has struggled the last couple of years, however he had a solid game in the exhibition. It was good to see him hit double-figures, being aggressive and taking it to the rim, and only turning the ball over once in the 33 minutes of play. I think he will have a good year and I would not be surprised to see him finish his Aztec career with a bang. (Michael)
The Aztecs need to play better in the season opener and the next game offers the opportunity to improve on their first performance. The expectations remain the same, return to the NCAA Tournament, and one performance should not diminish this. Come Tuesday it is official, the games count and what happens from here on out will be what matters.