SDSU men’s hoops looking to make a statement against CSU

Aztecs guard Jeremy Hemsley (42) attempts a basket. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) per GoAztecs.com

The San Diego State men’s basketball team has had a tough time living up to the expectations given to them before this season started.

The Aztecs were the favorites to win the Mountain West conference. Outside of a two nationally recognized games (Gonzaga and Arizona State), the schedule was destined for a magical Steve Fisher season like we’ve seen several times in his time at SDSU. However, we are about halfway through the season, and the Aztecs are barely .500, opening the door for a lot of criticism from their hometown fans.

After falling to 10th in the MW conference a couple weeks ago, SDSU quickly rebounded with three consecutive wins in the conference, giving supporters of the Scarlet and Black some hope. The Aztecs, however, suffered another frustrating loss to Air Force, which further pushed SDSU’s title dreams out of the picture.

With 11 games still pinned on the schedule, all hope is not lost for the Aztecs.

Fisher is more than capable of leading SDSU on a prosperous run to close out the season, a run that will start with earning a win in Viejas Arena against Colorado State University on Saturday.

“All we have to do is look at the stats right now, Fisher said. “One game separates those of us with three losses from first place, and one game separates those with three losses from eighth place. So every game is crucial to have a chance to win this league.”

The Aztecs (12-8) will look to climb out of sixth place in the MW with a win over fifth-place CSU (12-8).

Led by redshirt senior guard Gian Clavell (16.3 PPG) and senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo (13.3 PPG), the Rams’ offense has flashed their horns in recent weeks.

SDSU will lean on their backcourt in sophomore guard Jeremy Hemsley (14.9 PPG) and junior guard Try Kell (13.3 PPG) to rally the Aztecs’ struggling offense to new heights.

Additionally, look for SDSU to rely on senior forward Matt Shrigley to spark their offense with some key three-pointers in transition.

The Aztecs’ defense, on the other hand, has maintained its strength this season despite the team’s poor record. SDSU’s defense has held opponents to less than 61 points per game in each of their last four games.

With that, the Aztecs’ defense must again carry the load against CSU’s highly talented offense in order to keep the pressure off the team’s inconsistent offensive attack.

Follow @KCRSports to see live tweets from Saturday’s game starting at 3:00 p.m. (PST).

A Year In Concert Review (Or More Like Half A Year)

2016 is winding down and it’s been quite the year to say the least. Unfortunately, I was MIA from the concert scene for the first half of the year due to insufficient funds. However, the second half of the year was enough to fulfill all of my concert needs.

August- Flogging Molly

Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater at SDSU

This concert was an early birthday present from my brother and it was incredible. The open air theater is not my favorite venue because if you have cheap seats, it’s difficult to see the stage. However, the dancing middle aged adults and great Irish music made the literal height of the seats manageable. I always welcome an excuse to celebrate my Irish heritage, other than wearing green and eating copious amounts of potatoes.

 

October- Yellowcard

House of Blues

Even if you don’t know me, a quick click on any one of my social media accounts will tell you that I am OBSESSED with the band Yellowcard. So, I was obviously biased going into this concert. I loved it, aside from their new music which is sub-par at best. This show was advertised as their last show in San Diego ever, but they have since added another San Diego show in March. Although I am a die-hard fan, I was really off put by what seems like a ploy for more money.

 

November- Watsky

SOMA

I’d never been to SOMA before this show, but there’s nothing really exciting to say about the venue. It’s got a warehouse kind of vibe, which would definitely be cool at a punk kind of show, but this was a white rapper kind of show. The phrase “white rapper” gets a negative connotation typically and rightfully so (cough, cough G-Eazy). George Watsky changed my opinion on this as his rap really leans into the poetry aspect of rhythm and poetry (aka rap) and he is accompanied by an actual band. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this show, I highly recommend checking out Watsky.

 

November- Iration

Del Mar Fairgrounds

Iration seems to be the perfect musical sound for the San Diego area, cool and calm. Did I already say cool? That needs to be stated multiple times. This concert happened immediately following the horse races at the Del Mar Racetracks, which is important to note because that brings a cast of interesting characters to the show. This includes high class San Diego race goers wearing fancy hats and smoking jackets as well as the hordes of college students pretending to be them. Then there were people like me, dressed in dark colors, solely there for the music. Anyways, this was my favorite concert of the year because I really felt the music. It was one of those unexplainable music moments; I will always be able to look back on that day and remember exactly how I felt listening to my favorite song, “Falling”. My holiday wish to all of you is that you get to experience one of these unforgettable moments, whether it be at a concert or at home with your family this holiday season.

 

A Week of Miracles

miracle week

Aztec Dance Marathon is one of hundreds of Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon events that take place across the country (and Canada). Each of these dance marathon efforts benefit a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, this one being Rady Children’s of San Diego. The year long initiative comes to fruition at the overnight dance marathon where participants or,”dancers” are on their feet for 15 hours in honor of and celebration for the kids who cannot. They have raised over $120,000 for the hospital in just two years on campus, making them the highest fundraising philanthropic organization at SDSU.

miracle week

SDSU’s Aztec Dance Marathon celebrates a week of astonishing achievements as the highest fundraising philanthropic organization on campus

While the third annual official event is scheduled for February 2017, this week offered a series of events on campus promoting their mission, values, purpose, and encouraging students to join the movement. Miracle Week can be closely compared to a homecoming week of sorts. It was presented as a time to unify students under one cause. The week began with an inspiration day where members of ADM wore and distributed gold ribbons to celebrate awareness for childhood illness. With an initial goal of registering 250 new dancers and raising $10,000 throughout the entire week, they astonished the campus as the organization went above and beyond all expectations. On recruitment day the group managed to oversee over 1,000 participants who created an online fundraising page, pledging their commitment to collect funds and participate in the event this spring. Education day was a time to really get down to the core of dance marathon and the patients it serves. Members of the organization hosted an event in the Aztec Student Union with giveaways, music, and an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more information.

miracle week thermometer

This is the final thermometer posted from the Aztec Dance Marathon social media pages, although I’m sure a new total will be revealed at the end of the 24 hour mark.

With the fourth day of Miracle Week: Fundraising Day rapidly approaching, fundraising chair Mackenzie Kahl was nervous about maintaining the momentum of the week throughout this “Push Day.” She confessed that the burden of reaching such an ambitious goal of “Five K in One Day” was weighing heavily on her, but she had faith in her team and the dancers they recruited. In one day alone…and really just about 12 hours, the organization raised an overwhelming $13,000. These thermometer posts were revealed throughout the day, keeping followers updated on the stance of their efforts. The overall goal of dance marathon is $101,000 and the final fundraising total will be revealed in the final hour of the overnight event on the morning of February 25th. There is still another day left in Miracle Week, focused on offering recognition and appreciation to registered dancers and everyone who has contributed to the cause. For more information about Aztec Dance Marathon, or if you want to contribute to the cause, feel free to visit their Facebook page or any of their other social media accounts.

Indecision Starts (And Ends)…Here

undeclared logo

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul Justice in the Division of Undergraduate Studies: Undeclared Students here at SDSU. He shed some light on one of the more misunderstood, but ever important parts of our academic programming and advising.

In our interview, Paul informed me that at any given time there is anywhere from 800-1300 students who fall under his jurisdiction of “undeclared.” Majority of these students are freshmen, however there are instances where students change their mind or fail to meet the requirements for a major and rescind into undeclared. This is far from a negative thing. Paul reiterated that being undeclared opens students up to resources that would not be as readily or easily available to the average student set in their respective departments. He revealed the best tool for undecided students that he developed and updates regularly…an Excel spreadsheet. This sheet cannot be found elsewhere and includes: every department’s unit requirements, advisor contact information, trial courses to take if interested in the major (before having to declare), GPA requirements, and more. This is a living, breathing document that he plans to never perfect, but continuously grow and adapt.

For those who are unaware, San Diego State University offers a degree program that is rather unique and coveted by other universities. This was designed to assist students who are unable to meet course requirements for a particular major, or who have decided upon a major that SDSU does not offer. Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to work with three different major departments to craft a personalized field of study. Paul oversees this program within Undeclared. He understands that students may become discouraged or want to transfer schools when they cannot seem to find a department or major that is right for them, Interdisciplinary Studies is the answer.

Lastly, Paul wanted to make sure that I let everyone know (especially parents of incoming students) that it is okay to be unsure. He insists that not having your mind made up at 18 is far from radical, and his department will offer the tools needed to get you where you (eventually) want to be. More than that, he has started a program for students who were once Undeclared, but found their home at SDSU. These students now have the opportunity to mentor current undecided students. Paul leads workshops with the assistance of these mentors. Each month has a different theme and they are open to all students interested (undeclared, or not). The purpose of these is to build and maintain a sense of comaradarie. or a “cohort” as he likes to call it, where students can develop a connection to each other and the university. Feeling connected to the university is something that, previously, these students were lacking. Sometimes this led them to transfer schools, or have a diminished Aztec experience. The hope is that this program will alleviate both. It is for these reasons that Paul is confident that indecision may start in the Office of Undeclared, but it will end there also.