Nathan Mensah, a San Diego State forward. Photo credit: Ernie Anderson, via goaztecs.com

A top college basketball observer predicted this week that the San Diego State men’s basketball team will finish second in the Mountain West conference.

Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated and WFAN in New York, also singled out three players for individual recognition.

The host and commentator announced his predictions on Twitter and via his podcast “College Hoops Today.” His “Off-Season Power Rankings” placed Utah State on top, followed by SDSU and New Mexico.

The Aztecs went 21-13 last season and entered the 2019 Mountain West Tournament as a No. 4 seed.

The team defeated UNLV and Nevada to earn a spot in the championship game. There, the Aztecs fell to to Utah State.

San Diego State returns six of its top nine scorers, but will replace its starting backcourt. SDSU will look to a pair of transfers to fill the void, junior Malachi Flynn, from Washington State, and graduate KJ Feagin, from Santa Clara.

Rothstein focused on the new Aztecs in his predictions, calling Flynn and Feagin two of the top-10 “Impact Mountain West Transfers.” He also named Flynn as a probable first-team All-Mountain West honoree.

He also tapped sophomore Nathan Mensah, the team’s leading rebounder, shot blocker and percentage shooter, as a likely breakout player in the Mountain West.

Last month, ESPN ranked Feagin as the No. 2 point guard among transfers set to play in the coming season.

Fans will get their first look at Mensah, Feagin, Flynn and the rest of the team when San Diego State faces Creighton at the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 28.

– Staff reports

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