Sure, San Diego State beat UNLV 55-49 Wednesday night, and the Runnin’ Rebels are a tough opponent.
Sure, SDSU has the longest winning streak in the nation now that Duke lost. The Aztecs have won 18 straight.
Sure, for all you sentimental fans, it was head coach Steve Fisher’s 400th career victory.
But if the Aztecs play 10th-ranked BYU later this month the way they played UNLV tonight, they’ll get embarrassed. You won’t find Jimmer Fredette University making a putrid one of 18 3-pointers from the field like the Rebels did this evening.
Yes, SDSU won. But no, they didn’t intimidate anyone with the performance. They didn’t keep their cool, either.
Following the game, a local television reporter asked Malcolm Thomas how SDSU was able to keep its composure in such a heated game.
There was no such thing from the sixth-ranked team in the country against UNLV (and that ranking is likely to rise when the new polls are released). At halftime, following a skirmish that drew a flurry of technical fouls, Fisher told his players to keep poised.
In the second half, the Aztecs procured yet another technical and Billy White yapped and yapped and yapped.
Sure, Thomas had 14 points and a ridiculous 16 rebounds. But he also shot twice from beyond the arc. Thomas has no business shooting 3-pointers – he’s made just one all year. That’s not composure.
Tim Shelton also served up two prayers that went unanswered. Like Thomas, Shelton has made one 3-pointer since the season started.
Kawhi Leonard: two 3-point attempts, two misses. Leonard was shooting .277 from beyond the arc entering this contest, yet he shot more from downtown than James Rahon, SDSU’s most accurate long-range shooter, who attempted only one 3-pointer, which he nailed.
Tonight was the Aztec’s first conference home game. It was against a rival and a tough opponent, and it was in front of a sell-out crowd that got boisterous.
“It was impressive. I got goose bumps when I walked out,” Fisher said of the attendees.
Many fans came into this game expecting to see one of the best teams in the nation, but walked out having seen a mere shadow of that distinction.
Fisher will need more focus from his players in New Mexico this weekend and in Provo, Utah later this month, or someone else will have the nation’s longest winning streak.