Despite the fact that some folks looked at the 2013-14 season as one of transition for the San Diego State Aztecs, Steve Fisher’s team won 31 games (and the Mountain West regular season title) and reached the Sweet 16. The reason why it was seen as a year of transition was the pending arrival of a very good recruiting class, which included four-star forward Zylan Cheatham.
Unfortunately for Cheatham he won’t be on the court when the season begins, as it was reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune that the 6-foot-8 freshman broke a bone in his left foot. How long will Cheatham be sidelined? Taking into consideration the rehabilitation process, and the fact that he won’t be able to put any weight on the foot for 6-8 weeks, Cheatham is expected to miss anywhere from three to four months of action.
“I was told the worst thing you can do is not do the surgery,” Fisher said. “So we’re going to do the surgery, put a screw in and the screw will stay in. The second worst thing is to try to come back too quickly. So we’ll just see.”
Unfortunately for San Diego State, Cheatham isn’t the only freshman dealing with health issues. According to the report forward Malik Pope hasn’t done anything more than shoot by himself due to the rehabbing of a leg he fractured twice while in high school. Joining those two in San Diego State’s 2014 recruiting haul are guards Kevin Zabo and Trey Kell.
The Aztecs, who will have to account for the loss of guard Xavier Thames and forward Josh Davis, do return some key pieces from last season’s 31-5 team. Winston Shepard III, Dwayne Polee Jr., J.J. O’Brien and Skylar Spencer lead the way, and it should also be noted that Arizona transfer Angelo Chol will be eligible to give the Aztecs even more depth in the front court.