San Diego State Basketball Freshman Report: Matt Mitchell, Jalen McDaniels, and Jordan Schakel
Who were the standout freshmen for SDSU?
A look back at the Aztec freshman
This past year the San Diego Aztecs had a somewhat disappointing season. However, on the bright, season SDSU has been blessed by fantastic play by their three freshman players: Matt Mitchell, Jalen Mcdaniels, and Jordan Schakel. Those three helped the Aztecs make a run and win the Mountain West tournament.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward averaged 11 points and four rebounds per game. He has been the most consistent freshman for SDSU this season and exceeded the expectations which were placed on him at the start of the season.
Sometimes his shots don’t fall but he makes it up by rebounding at a good rate and playing great defense. Mitchell has started all but one game for the Aztecs. Mitchell is shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. Next season, in Mitchell’s sophomore campaign we could see him drop a few “fat” pounds and gain it with more “muscle.” Aztecs fans can see his numbers go up with Trey Kell and Malik Pope graduating.
Jalen Mcdaniels who was a redshirt freshman had a solid first season. The 6-foot-10, 195-pounder started off the non-conference season on the bench to figure out what type of player he was.
Ever since the Gonzaga game, McDaniels turned up his game and put up phenomenal numbers for a freshman. In conference play, McDaniels averaged averaging 13.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. If his progression increases throughout his sophomore then McDaniels could be one of the best players on the Aztecs team. He needs to be more consistent and it wouldn’t hurt to get stronger.
McDaniels did declare for the NBA Draft but he did not hire an agent so there is a chance he could return for a second season.
The third and last freshman of this year’s freshman class is Jordan Schakel. The 6-foot-6 guard from Torrance, California, was a solid contributor for the Aztecs this season.
He shot well from three-point range making 36.1 percent of his shots. Even though he’s only averaging 3.5 points per game, SDSU coaches have been very pleased with his performance during his freshman campaign. In addition to his stellar three-point shooting, Schakel plays solid defense and gives his best effort every single game.
Next year, Schakel could be even more productive then he was than this season. With a productive guard like Trey Kell graduating the Aztecs will need someone else to pick up what Trey gave SDSU for four years. Schakel certainly can fill the void.