There’s a lot tied up in Brian Dutcher’s mind regarding Michigan, from his coaching growth to his personal investment in the program and the community.
“It’ll be the people that I see that bring back the memories,” the San Diego State coach said of his return Saturday where his Aztecs take on No. 24 Michigan for the first time.
Dutcher spent a formative decade in Ann Arbor, mostly under former head coach Steve Fisher, and in 1990 began recruiting the fabled “Fab Five,” including Juwan Howard, now the Wolverines’ head coach.
But there’s also the impact a victory against Michigan could have on his team. He called it “a resume win.”
“This is a chance to go play a ranked team on their home floor. If we can get that win … it’ll help us immensely come tournament time. It’s an opportunity that we want to take full advantage of,” Dutcher said.
They’ll have to do it without Lamont Butler, who suffered an injury Tuesday in San Diego State’s runaway win over Long Beach State. The Associated Press reported that he fractured his left wrist.
SDSU (5-2) will meet Michigan (4-3), which won a Big Ten title last year, as they attempt to bounce back from Wednesday’s 71-52 loss to North Carolina.
The challenges the Aztecs face Saturday include overcoming center Hunter Dickinson. Dutcher called him a “high-IQ player,” naming him, along with Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, as the two best post players in the country.
San Diego State answers with Nathan Mensah, leading the team with 7.9 rebounds per game,
and 16 blocks, and Matt Bradley, averaging 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
The matchup starts at 10 a.m. and airs nationally on CBS.