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

LeDee continues historic season, sets more school records in first round win

The senior’s 32 points were the Aztecs’ most in an NCAA Tournament game, he also moved into first in another single season statistic
Chinedu Nwoffiah
San Diego State forward Jaedon LeDee readies to take a free throw during the 2024 Mountain West Men’s Championship Quarterfinals against UNLV on March 14. The senior has made 19 of his last 20 free throw attempts since that contest against the Runnin’ Rebels.

Much of the San Diego State men’s basketball team’s season has been supported by the broad shoulders of Jaedon LeDee, so it was only appropriate that he made more history in the Aztecs’ 69-65 first-round win.

The biggest number was his 32 points, the most recorded for SDSU (25-10) in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament since records dating back to the 1999-2000 season.

“I’m just out there playing my game, just playing with my teammates,” LeDee said in the postgame press conference. “My teammates (were) finding me in the right spots at the right times.”

Beyond the single-game record, LeDee’s 9-of-10 free throw shooting pushed him past Bob Bray from the 1953-54 team into first place for the program with 219 made free throws this season. Making 11-of-18 from the field moved LeDee into a second-place tie with Anthony Watson from 1985-86 with 246 field goals — just four shy of Michael Cage’s program record of 250 in 1983-84.

After being announced as just the fourth AP All American in program history earlier this week, LeDee was the rock that helped SDSU get into the flow of their opening round game against UAB.

He started the game with a steal and score, then after Jay Pal’s jumper on the next possession, the Scarlet and Black went to LeDee on the next three plays.

In total, LeDee scored 11 of the first 13 for SDSU, giving the Aztecs the lead at 13:21 of the first half with a jumper that they’d hold until the midway mark of the second.

“Jaedon is just a magnificent player, we can all see that,” said head coach Brian Dutcher. “He challenges the defense every time down the floor. They try to play physical with him, but he’s a physical player (and) he’s also a finesse player. So he’s a really hard guy to defend.”

UAB forwards Yaxel Lendeborg and Javian Davis experienced it firsthand, with both fouling out in the second half. LeDee drew the fifth Davis foul with one minute remaining, then two possessions later sent Lendeborg to the bench for good with 20 seconds to play.

Lendeborg, the Blazers’ leading scorer, played four fewer minutes than average due to the foul issues throughout while being held nearly three points below his scoring average of 13.8 points per game.

In total, LeDee drew 11 fouls.

He served as one of the key closers as well, scoring 12 of the Aztecs’ final 20 points.

LeDee’s individual list of accolades stretches all the way back to taking the chain as MVP of the Continental Tire Main Event tournament alongside seven different player of the week nods (five as National Player of the Week) during the season.

He earned the media’s Mountain West Player of the Year as well as First-Team All-Mountain West by both the coaches and media, was named an All American by three additional outlets and is a finalist for both the Karl Malone Award as well as the Lute Olson National Player of the Year.

For all the personal success, play in March is measured by teams surviving and advancing.

Performances like the one in the Round of 64 against UAB was exemplary of a rarefied individual season for SDSU basketball.

The Scarlet and Black faithful will find out just how much more history from LeDee and the Aztecs they’ll get to enjoy on Sunday against No. 13 seed Yale.

About the Contributors
Eric Evelhoch
Eric Evelhoch, '23-24 Sports Editor
Eric Evelhoch (he/him/his) is a senior media studies major who was born outside of Detroit, Michigan, and lived in Ventura County, California, for a decade-plus. He is a returning college student and transfer from Santa Barbara City College, where he served as Sports Editor for The Channels. Evelhoch is also a Sports Director for KCR College Radio, where he restarted play-by-play coverage post-pandemic. Currently, he serves as the play-by-play broadcaster for the SDSU ACHA DI hockey team and has filled in on the call for Aztecs sports on the Mountain West Network. His prior freelance experience includes print, digital, online video and audio-only, and broadcast radio formats covering football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and volleyball.
Chinedu Nwoffiah, Photographer
Chinedu Nwoffiah (he/him/his) is a fourth-year Communication major specializing in Digital & Social Media Studies. He has always had a passion for sports and storytelling and has been able to enhance his skills throughout his time at The Daily Aztec. Since joining in 2023, he has covered nearly every sport through photography and contributed as a writer, broadcaster, and multimedia specialist for men’s basketball.