If there's one thing that should console San Diego State fans after such a heartbreaking loss to an Indiana squad that they appeared to have on the ropes before coming apart at the seams towards the end, it's the team they return next season. Juniors Brandon Heath
and Marcus Slaughter
still both appear to be hopelessly caught between positions and nowhere near ready to enter the NBA draft, while fellow junior Mohamed Abukar
is still an unknown quantity for NBA scouts and clearly needs his senior year as well. All 3 should be expected back for their senior years to continue to work on a defined NBA position and take care of some unfinished business in the NCAA tournament.
be taken away from this game, though, is the fact that Abukar particularly appears to be poised to break out as a star in his final year at SDSU. He gave the Hoosiers all they could handle in this game, showing an extremely intriguing arsenal of offensive skills from both inside the paint as well as from beyond the arc, and finally being willing to use those skills consistently for an entire game. The timid player NCAA fans might remember from his first two years as a Florida Gator appears to have matured into a man during his redshirt year, putting plenty of weight onto his promising frame, being more willing to do the dirty work that he never seemed capable of doing under Billy Donovan
and still showing the type of athleticism in a 6-10 frame that has to get NBA scouts excited about his potential as a player.
Abukar was indeed the key to the Aztecs even making the NCAA tournament, helping his team win 15 of their last 19 games after sitting out the fall semester because of transfer rules, while averaging over 15 points a game in conference play.
A player with his size, skills and athleticism is always going to get plenty of looks from NBA scouts, and considering the fact that SDSU should
return all their players from a team with no seniors to be found on the roster, there is a lot of talent to look forward to in 2006-2007 for Aztec fans.