Notebook: Trey Kell emerging as unsung hero of the SDSU basketball offense

by Ryan Posner, Assistant Sports Editor

There’s no question the go-to guy on the offensive side of the ball this season for the San Diego State men’s basketball team has been freshman guard Jeremy Hemsley.

The freshman led the team in points going into the team’s 84-47 win over Nicholls State and led the team in the win with 20 points.

But an unsung hero has emerged in the form of sophomore guard Trey Kell.

Kell tied his career-high with 15 points Thursday and was the most efficient Aztec from behind the 3-point line, going 3-for-4.

“Trey is growing in his confidence that he can take shots and not worry, ‘Is it going to go in, or not?'” head coach Steve Fisher said.

He has scored at least 13 points in three of his last four games and the one that he didn’t was against Biola University, when he didn’t play the second half with a sore left knee.

In that stretch Kell has led the team in points twice, and against Long Beach State, hit three key 3-pointers to hold off the 49ers’ comeback.

“I think after Long Beach when he made those 3s, his body language looked a little bit different,” Fisher said. “He’s never been a guy that wasn’t confident, but now he’s saying, ‘I’m not going to worry, I’m going to play.'”

The sophomore from nearby St. Augustine High has had his ups and downs in his short career as an Aztec, but has provided consistency along Hemsley in a starting lineup without senior forward Winston Shepard and sophomore forward Malik Pope.

Aztecs convert turnovers into points

SDSU’s stifling defense forced 20 turnovers Thursday against Nicholls State, having the kind of performance against an inferior opponent it has lacked this season.

More importantly for the Aztecs was their ability to convert those turnovers into points as they scored 28 points off turnovers compared to just two for the Colonels.

The Aztecs also outscored the Colonels 22-0 on the fast break.

“We we’re watching film and coach (Fisher) was telling us one of the best things we do is what we call ‘fire in transition.’ So we’re just trying to make sure if we get a turnover or a missed shot that we run the floor,” Kell said.

With all the transition scoring came a large amount of assists. Hemsley and junior point guard D’Erryl Williams tied for a team-high of four.

The team had 17 assists, which matched the season-high set against East Carolina University.

However, Kell doesn’t think the transition points are related to the team’s new lineup starting to click.

“(Transition) is just something that we make sure we do every game,” Kell said. “That’s non-negotiable.”

Week off for SDSU

The Aztecs will get their “bye week” of the season next week as the team won’t play until next Friday against Grand Canyon University.

It gives players a chance to focus on their finals, but also gives the team a week off to prepare for its most talented nonconference opponent, University of Kansas.

Besides the extra time to prepare, it will give SDSU a chance to catch its breath after a memorable beginning of the season that saw a win against then-No. 14 UC Berkley on Thanksgiving and losses to Little Rock and University of San Diego.

What will the team be working on in its time off?

“Probably a lot of defense and just staying sharp offensively. Just try to execute better and stay more consistent,” Hemsley said.


“I was talking to him before the game and I was telling him I wanted him to shoot the ball every time he caught it.”

— Hemsley on freshman guard Ben Perez who scored a career-high 11 points Thursday after missing the previous two games with a concussion.