Brian Dutcher On Facing Duke: “You Want To Play Against The Best”
Dutcher and the Aztecs look to knock off the nation’s top-ranked team Monday
San Diego State faces No. 1 Duke on Monday
Brian Dutcher and the San Diego State Aztecs have been tasked with an Everest-like opportunity Monday, battling the nation’s top-ranked Duke Blue Devils in Maui.
A 13-point underdog, Dutcher will hope to get the most out of his Aztecs in the most challenging single-game matchup in program history. Duke, led by its Hall of Fame coach in Mike Krzyzewski, is off to a thunderous 3-0 start and skyrocketed to the top of the AP Poll after a jaw-dropping 118-84 blowout win over Kentucky on opening night.
Duke has everything that a championship-level team possesses and then some. The Blue Devils have the nation’s top three freshman out of the 2018 class: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish. The three have combined to averaged over 65 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists per game.
“We don’t want to go all the way to Maui and not play Duke” -Brian Dutcher
Duke has experience in the Maui Invitational as well. The program leads the way with five Maui Invite titles – a perfect 15-0 record over the previous five appearances on the island.
San Diego State will have its hands full Monday against the No. 1 team in the country. Dating back to Valentine’s Day, the Aztecs have the third-highest winning percentage in the nation, tallying 11 victories in 12 games.
Head coach Brian Dutcher understands the challenge and is looking forward to Monday’s showdown.
“[Playing Duke] is not like any other game. We want to play Duke. We don’t want to go all the way to Maui and not play Duke. That’s why you play basketball. You want to play against the best,” Dutcher told Mountain West Wire.
The game is set to tip at 2:00pm PT and can be viewed on ESPN2 or the WatchESPN app.
Eli Boettger is the lead basketball writer at Mountain West Wire. He’s covered Mountain West basketball since 2015 and his work has been featured on Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, MSN, and other platforms. Boettger is a current USBWA member.