San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU Men’s basketball welcomes new and returning faces

San Diego welcomes three incoming freshmen to the team as well as a returning redshirt freshmen
Owen Ekstrom
Last season’s Aztec basketball team walks onto the court before their game against UNLV.

The SDSU men’s basketball team welcomed three new faces to their roster: Miles Byrd, Elijah Saunders and Cam Lawin. Additionally, they have a returning player, Demarshay Johnson Jr., who redshirted last season. 

Freshman guard Miles Byrd is a Stockton, California native who is majoring in business administration. Byrd mentioned the SDSU program stood out more than the other schools he had to choose from.

“I just needed to have a connection with the whole program,” Byrd said. “I feel like I had that with the whole staff, managers, and players here. Overall, (I just chose) what school I thought could advance my skills so that I can be an NBA player in the future.”

Byrd has a positive mindset and tries to uplift his teammates during their practices. On the court, he wants his teammates to be involved. He is the type of guard that likes to pass up the ball, giving his teammates a chance to make a play. In his words, he can shoot from three-point range, never gives up and does what is best for the team. 

Freshman power forward, Elijah Saunders is from Phoenix, Arizona and is majoring in criminal justice. According to Saunders, he brings substantial assets to the team including his positive energy and also considers himself a good shooter.

Now on the next level, Saunders said college basketball is way different than high school basketball, “everyone is bigger, stronger, and faster.” 

Freshman guard Cam Lawin is from Chicago, Illinois, majoring in business administration. Lawin mentioned his first practice with the SDSU men’s basketball team was a challenge. 

“I was a little nervous at first,” Lawin said. “Coming into this huge program and seeing all the guys especially because we got an old team this year and I’m coming in at 18… I had to get used to the speed and the intensity of the game.” 

Additionally, Lawin mentioned that he’s ready to play in Viejas Arena and hear the crowd. 

“I heard it’s all-electric in there for the big games and hopefully the fans show up this year,” Lawin said. 

Freshman forward Demarshay Johnson Jr. is from Oakland, California, and is majoring in interdisciplinary studies. Johnson was on the team last season but did not play because he utilized his red-shirt freshman season. 

Red-shirt freshmen are players who are academically a sophomore but are in their first season of athletic participation. Johnson was able to practice and workout with the team, but he wasn’t able to play on the court against other teams. 

Since Johnson was part of the team last year, he has been with some of the veterans and had some advice for his new teammates. 

“Just pay attention to the older guys. They know what they’re talking about, just listen, play defense, and play hard. That is all you need,” Johnson said.

Johnson said sitting out last season was difficult and led to some internal doubt.

“It was hard,” he said. “I didn’t know how to adjust to it. I was watching other players play without me and it was just hard. I thought I didn’t belong. So I am just ready to get back out there.”

After not being able to play, Johnson is excited to get back on the court. 

“I haven’t played a game in two years which has been rough,” he said. “I’m very excited to get back out there and just play.”

A positive of using his redshirt freshmen was that Johnson was able to improve his body as well learn the routine of the organization. 

 “I was working out every day, getting my body right, conditioning, and just learning how to play in the system here so I can be a great contributor,” Johnson said. 

All four players are excited about the season and all can agree that their mission this season is to go to the Mountain West Championships.

The 19th-ranked SDSU Men’s Basketball team will host an exhibition game against San Diego Christian on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Viejas Arena.

About the Contributor
Abigail Segoviano
Abigail Segoviano, '24-25 Mundo Azteca Editor
Originally from Richmond, California, Abigail Segoviano is a second-year student, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Spanish. This is Abigail’s second year at the Daily Aztec where she got the opportunity to expand her writing skills as a journalist. As a staff writer last year she had the opportunity to mainly cover the entire season of women’s volleyball and also covered a couple of games for women’s basketball. This year her main focus is to branch out and write for different sports. Additionally to get involved in other sections such as Multimedia and Mundo Azteca. Abigail is the Vice President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (SDSU Chapter). Abigail received an award from The Daily Aztec: “Consistent Contributor.” In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching sports, listening to music, and going on adventures with friends.
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SDSU Men’s basketball welcomes new and returning faces