No one at SDSU is overconfident or overlooking Houston. Not a chance. There’s much respect for Houston by coaches, players and fans. Just heard soundbites from the two coaches’ pressers yesterday. Sampson was making SDSU sound like the second coming of Phi Slamma Jamma due to their height. Dutcher, who’s known Sampson for a long time, was having none of it. He chuckled and said something to the effect, “That’s why Sampson is the wiley old coach that he is.”
As for our recent wins over Nevada, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Nevada is a very, very good team. And a month ago they were maybe a potential Top 10 team. But the loss of their starting PG to an achilles tear was devastating. They came into the season with only 8 scholarship players. Those eight were all outstanding, including two likely first-round NBA draft picks and maybe a couple second rounders. With the loss of their PG, they were without arguably their best player/scorer and they ran only 7 deep. Their 8 and 9 guys were literally plucked from the football team. One guy who’s seen playing time over the past month has been Nevada’s starting tight end who also played h.s. basketball. In both recent games against SDSU, Nevada got eaten up by SDSU’s depth. The Aztecs run 9 or 10 deep without a lot of drop off. Nevada just cracked due to fatigue in both losses.
As for SDSU’s 9-game win streak, that’s nearly entirely due to the fact that the team is finally at full strength and injury free. They’ve been discombobulated nearly the whole season. Up and down due to key injuries, especially to Kell. This team is sh*t without him. Now he’s back, healthy, and playing the best hoops of his career.
The bottom line is that as I pointed out in another post, Houston ranks as the No 8 hottest team in the country over the past 30 days. SDSU ranks No. 10. Should be a barn burner. Good luck to each.
And, of course, no good deed goes unpunished. The No. 1 hottest team in the U.S. in Feb/Mar happens to be Michigan. Yikes.