Keshad Johnson calls it “the miracle team” – the San Diego State players who ran off a 26-game winning streak in the 2019-20 season on the way to a 30-2 record.
They didn’t get to finish the job – as COVID showdowns began, officials canceled the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
“Hopefully we can be as good as that miracle team, but we’ll be as good as we allow
our own selves to be,” the senior said, days before SDSU’s season opener against Cal State Fullerton. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Monday at Viejas Arena.
They gave fans a preview in last week’s 102-52 exhibition win over San Diego Christian. SDSU had four players in double digits, led by Johnson and fellow seniors Matt Bradley and Jaedon LeDee, who each finished with a team-high 13 points. LeDee added nine rebounds as SDSU shot 66% in the second half.
“It’s a very talented team, very deep, and so now we’ll take what we learned this game and try to make the next step forward leading into the opener against Fullerton,” head coach Brian Dutcher said.
The team, ranked 19th in the nation in the preseason Associated Press Top 25, is also predicted to finish atop the Mountain West.
Fullerton, the reigning Big West Tournament champion, went 21-11 last year with an 11-4 record in the conference. The Titans, however, placed seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll for the 2022-23 season.
SDSU finished last season with a 23-9 record, earning a No. 8-seed in the NCAA tournament, but suffered an early exit, losing in the opening round. The Titans also made it to the tournament, but drew No. 2 Duke, which bounced them in the first round.