San Diego State signed their 2020 recruiting class yesterday and I for one am extremely excited about the three players the got. Lamont Butler Jr., Keith Dinwiddie, and Che Evans Jr. make up the class and all three are expected to be a major part of the Aztec future. We take a look at what each player brings and look at what we expect them to contribute as they develop within the San Diego State program.
The first commitment the Aztecs got was from Butler, and he is a major piece of this class. Probably the player I wanted most from all our recruits, since I had been following his development for so long, I was excited when I caught him on campus during his official visit and saw that we were still involved. When he committed to San Diego State I was ecstatic because of the value that I see in him as a player.
Undervalued by the national scouts, Butler is the type of player that all good teams need, a true point guard. San Diego State went through a short stint without a true point guard and their offense suffered due to the inability to get things going out of set plays. Butler is the type of point guard who can facilitate as well as score. Never one to force the ball in any way, Butler lets the game come to him. An exceptional passer, he has range all the way to beyond the three point line, while also able to use his strength to score around the basket.
Long term I believe that he is likely a starter by his sophomore year and the central piece to the Aztec lineup from there on. By the time his sophomore year comes around KJ Feagin, Trey Pulliam, Jordan Schakel, and Malachi Flynn will all have graduated and the backcourt will need an experienced guard. At that time, enter Mr. Butler, and the future just seems set at the position. It may seem like I am adding high expectations to the young man, but I truly believe in him as an important piece of the San Diego State program and I feel like he could be the next DJ Gay. Suffice to say Aztecs fans should be overjoyed with Butler and expect big things from the young man.
After Butler committed the Aztecs hosted a number of recruits on visits but one recruit did not wait long after his visit to announce his intentions to attend San Diego State. Dinwiddie committed days after his visit and joined Butler in the 2020 class. A virtual unknown to casual Aztecs fans, Dinwiddie was a prospect who was linked to San Diego State in June, but interest developed quickly and it was a perfect fit. After watching film and talking to people that had seen him play I was intrigued about what the Aztecs were getting with Dinwiddie.
The mold of the prototypical Aztec player is long and athletic, but not necessarily a big-time shooter. Dinwiddie is the opposite, he is not necessarily long or tall (6-1), but boy can he shoot. Every time I look at games in which Dinwiddie is playing, I tend to find him among the scoring leaders. When hot, he is unconscious from anywhere on the court and is a threat to score in bunches.
Like Butler, by his sophomore year the Aztecs will need Dinwiddie’s scoring. The team will lose a lot of points out of the backcourt and Dinwiddie will step in to replace that scoring. Similar in stature to Flynn, that is the player I could most see Dinwiddie developing into. He has the physical tools and scoring ability like Flynn, he just needs to show that he can do it at the highest level. Dinwiddie could end up being a bigger steal than I already believe him to be if he continues developing.
The final piece of the three-man puzzle is Evans who hails from Maryland, but is finishing his high school career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Evans may be the biggest get of the entire class as he was a top 75 recruit before injuries and inactivity caused his stock to tumble. Power 5 schools recruited him throughout his development, but some shied away due to his injury. In the end he was down to San Diego State and Boise State, who had long been recruiting him, but he chose the Aztecs due in large part to the relationship he had with former Broncos and current Aztecs assistant coach Chris Acker.
Evans is an absolute cheat code on the court with his ability to score at all three levels. At 6-7 he is long and presents a mismatch on the wing with his shooting as well as his ability to get to the basket. Watching film of him it is obvious to see how much more skilled he is than everyone else, as he shows off a complete arsenal on the court and does not rely on his athleticism or height to score. His mixture of shooting, ball handling, athleticism, and size make him a prospect that will be an absolute force on the Mesa. He just needs to get healthy, which he is on track to do as soon as next month.
If Evans rounds back into form after his injury I will be surprised if he is not named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year in 2020. An ambitious young man, Evans has strict plans of making it to the NBA, which he has been mentioned for in mock drafts, and would like to see it happen in two to three years. To do that he will need to make a splash at Viejas Arena, something I see him doing, quite early in his career. As a freshman I expect him to fight for a starting role. But as a sophomore I expect him to be the man at the wing and a focal part of the offense. Evans is talented and you can rest assured that he will be an impact player, the question is when. As a freshman? Or will we have to wait until his sophomore year to see him break out. Either way we will know more when he returns to the court from his injury. The Aztecs scored big with Evans and he could very well a star, not just on the Mesa, but beyond.