Aztec Hoops: SDSU Draws Powerhouse Duke for Maui Invitational

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San Diego State Aztecs forward Jalen McDaniels (5) dunks the ball on a rebound as the Aztecs cruises to a win against the Nevada Wolf Pack in the semifinal round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Photo courtesy of Derrick Tuskan/SDSU

Summer’s not over yet and basketball season’s several months away, but the San Diego State men’s basketball team learned Tuesday who it will face in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

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The Aztecs will face the Duke Blue Devils on their first game of the tournament. SDSU and Duke have met on the court three times before with the Blue Devils emerging victorious in two of those three meetings.

The last time the Aztecs faced off against the Blue Devils was in the round of 32 at the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

“This year’s field is one of the best in recent memory and will test us as we prepare for the rigors of the Mountain West,” SDSU coach Brian Dutcher said. “We fell two points short in our quest to win the tournament back in 2014 and are looking forward to competing this season against some of the best teams in the nation.”

Dutcher has won against Duke four times as an assistant coach at other programs but has yet to defeat the Blue Devils in two tries with the Aztecs.

This will be SDSU’s fourth trip to the annual tournament and first since 2014 when it advanced tot he championship game. That season, the Aztecs defeated Brigham Young and Pittsburgh before falling to Arizona. SDSU has a 5-4 lifetime record in the tournament.

Next season, San Diego State will return four of the six top scorers (Devin Watson, Matt Mitchell, Jalen McDaniels and Jeremy Hemsley) from last season’s team that went 22-11, won the Mountain West Conference title for a record 11th time and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

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