The San Diego State basketball team that was supposed to be in a transition season is now behind only Arizona, Syracuse, Michigan State, Villanova, Wichita State and Florida in the most recent Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls.
And there’s a good chance the No. 7 Aztecs (16-1, 5-0 in the Mountain West) will go higher if they handle road games against San Jose State and Utah State this week. Villanova, ranked fourth in AP and fifth in the coaches, was blown out at home Monday night by Creighton, which, of course, the Aztecs beat.
“Well, we’ve won 15 in a row and we’ve beaten some good people along the way and we’ve managed when it hasn’t been pretty to win, and not too many people have one loss,” Coach Steve Fisher said. “Our goal is to stay there and see if we can climb a little higher if we can continue to win.”
Consider that two months ago, the Aztecs were not only unranked but not even receiving votes. They entered the AP poll after knocking off Creighton and Marquette to claim the Wooden Legacy tournament, then steadily rose with the momentum of a 15-game win streak. Over the last three weeks alone, they have climbed 14 spots.
The No. 7 ranking is not the highest in school history, but it’s getting close. The high was No. 4 by the 2010-11 team that started 20-0 and finished 34-3. On this date three years ago, they were No. 6.
The danger game is Saturday night at Utah State, a new addition to the Mountain West with one of the most formidable home courts in college basketball. The Aggies are 109-11 in their last 120 games at the 10,270-seat Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah, including 10-1 this season.
Not limiting Sky
Fisher watched tape of Saturday’s 63-52 win against UNLV and had this takeaway:
“Usually I say we’re not as good on the tape. I told them, ‘I watched this tape and there’s one of you who played better than when I watched live. And it’s Skylar (Spencer).’ Skylar did so many little things that went unnoticed, even by me at times. He did a great job with how he helped, how he kept it out of the post, how he stunted. He saved us about three baskets just by getting a couple blocks or a couple (shots) they threw up because they were afraid of him.”
Spencer’s line: six points (3-of-3 shooting), seven rebounds, two assists, one turnover, four blocks in a career-high 33 minutes.