Last February, Erik Anderson of Only A Game affiliate KPBS took a look at the unexpected success of the San Diego State men’s basketball team. At the time, San Diego state was ranked No. 6 in the country with a 24-1 record, after winning 20 straight games to start the season.
Mike May, an associate director of the San Diego State athletic department said at the time, “When you have a special season, you can peak into that rarefied air where you’re mentioned with Duke and Kansas and Syracuse and Connecticut and those types of programs.”
The Aztecs entered the NCAA tournament with a 32-2 record, and received a No. 2 seed in the West region. However, they lost in the regional semifinal to Connecticut, who would go on to win the championship.
Following the season, the team lost its four leading scorers. Forward Kawhi Leonard entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season, where he was picked 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers (and later traded to the San Antonio Spurs). Forwards Malcolm Thomas and Billy White both graduated and went undrafted, but have played in the NBA Development League. Guard D.J. Gay is currently playing professionally in Europe.
Despite those key losses, however, San Diego State remains atop the standings in the Mountain West Conference, sporting a 20-3 overall record and a No. 13 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll.