Brian Dutcher, left; Malachi Flynn, right. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher has reached a final four of sorts, just not the one he probably preferred.

Dutcher this week became one of four Division I coaches named as finalists for the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Award.

Baylor’s Scott Drew, Dayton’s Anthony Grant and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton join Dutcher in the running.

Retired Aztec coach Steve Fisher earned the award nine years ago.

Fans will be able to support Dutcher by visiting the Naismith Fan Vote site beginning Friday to cast their ballot. Voting remains open through April 1. The fan vote accounts for 5% of the final tally.

The winner will be revealed April 3.

STADIUM and NBC Sports, meanwhile named guard Malachi Flynn as an All-American, with first and second team designations, respectively. These latest All-American honors became the fourth and fifth the Tacoma, Wash. native received in the last week.

Flynn also earned first-team honors from Sports Illustrated.

The junior finished the regular season averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 44.7% from the floor.

Dutcher and Flynn led the Aztecs to the best regular-season record in program history (28-1).  San Diego State won the Mountain West regular-season championship and earned the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Tournament, before falling to Utah State in the title game.

With 17 league victories, San Diego State set a school and conference record for most conference wins.

Under Dutcher’s guidance, SDSU was the last unbeaten team in the nation for more than a month, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 22.

Mountain West media members and coaches named him Coach of the Year. On Monday, he became the USA Today Sport’s Coach of the Year and the United States Basketball Writers Association District IX Coach of the Year.

– Staff reports

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