SAN DIEGO — For the third time in four seasons, the Aztecs will hang a Mountain West Conference championship banner from the rafters at Viejas Arena.
The Aztecs already wrapped up a share of the title and by beating last-place Wyoming Saturday, they will have it all to themselves.
“We know we’re going to hang a banner,” said Brian Dutcher, the men’s basketball head coach at San Diego State University. “We know we’re the number one seed in the conference tournament, we feel we’re firmly in the NCAA field, so now this is just being selfish. This is just saying, ‘We like Leon Rice, we like Boise State, but we don’t like them enough that we want to give them part of the title.’”
“We don’t want to share with anybody,” senior guard Adam Seiko said. “Boise won it last year. They beat us three times and we don’t want to share with them especially. We are selfish about that. We want to come in here and dominate and not take anything for granted.”
The Aztecs will also honor eight seniors Saturday night, including Aguek Arop who will go through senior night for a second straight year. COVID gave him an extra year of eligibility and last year at this time he wasn’t sure if he would take it. Now he’s sure glad he did.
“This year has been great,” Arop said. “I’ve been healthy. I’ve been able to not only contribute, but excel on the court, so it’s better than I expected. It was a great decision to say the least.”
Seiko will leave the Mesa as the winningest player in program and Mountain West Conference history — records he reveres.
“It’s an honor to be at a program that wins so much and throughout my career, I’ve been winning a lot and that’s what I want to be known for,” Seiko said. “I want to be known as a winner and a great guy on and off the court and so to have that honor has been a blessing. It’s surreal.”
The sixth-year senior has won 111 games, and with the conference and NCAA tournament ahead, he hopes to push that number even higher, starting Saturday.