Men’s basketball finishes No. 6 in final AP Top 25 Poll

Sophomore+forward+Nathan+Mensah+%28left%29+and+senior+guard+KJ+Feagin+%28right%29+head+back+to+their+locker+room+after+defeating+San+Jos%C3%A9+State+59-57+on+Dec.+9+at+Viejas+Arena.

File photo

Sophomore forward Nathan Mensah (left) and senior guard KJ Feagin (right) head back to their locker room after defeating San José State 59-57 on Dec. 9 at Viejas Arena.

by Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

As with every other program in the country that had to endure the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, San Diego State men’s basketball may not have finished its season the way it wanted to but still made its mark in school history.

The Aztecs finished No. 6 in the final AP Poll of the season, tying the program’s highest finish in the rankings since the 2010-11 season.

Despite their loss to unranked Utah State in the Mountain West conference tournament final, the Aztecs only slid two spots down from their previous ranking of No. 4.

SDSU had a season full of team accomplishments that included becoming the nation’s last undefeated team and starting the season off a program-best 26-0 before suffering its first loss on Feb. 22.

A big reason for this year’s team success can be attributed to the play of guard Malachi Flynn, who took home Mountain West Player of the Year honors, along with Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.

Flynn is the first Aztec to earn conference player of the year honors since Xavier Thames in the 2013-14 season. Flynn is also the first player to win both player of the year and defensive player of the year since Utah’s Luke Nevill did it back in the 2008-09 season.

As a result of such a good year, head coach Brian Dutcher earned Mountain West Coach of the Year honors, while also winning USA Today Coach of the Year and being named a finalist for the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year — one of college basketball’s most prestigious honors.

Many will look back at this season for “what could have been,’’ but the 2019-20 season will be remembered for years to come.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email