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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The forgotten Aztecs

If you thought the only sophomore phenom in the Mountain West Conference was Andrew Bogut, you would be wrong.

San Diego State is led by two sophomores who would be in the middle of a two-way battle for conference Player of the Year were it not for Bogut.

Marcus Slaughter and Brandon Heath might not boast the national recognition of Bogut, but these guys can play.

Heath is a 6-foot-8-inch forward with a scoring average of 17.5 points per game-good enough for fourth in the MWC. He is currently ranked second in the conference in rebounding with 9.1 per game, and his 1.39 steals per contest (sixth in the MWC) prove that he can force turnovers under the basket.

Heath’s stats are just as good, if not better. Heath is third in the conference in scoring with an average of 18.2 points, fourth in the conference in assists with 4 per game and second in the conference in steals with 2.5 per game.

Heath and Slaughter are a big part of the reason the Aztecs lead the MWC in steals. They also almost never leave the floor. Heath and Slaughter both rank in the top four in the conference in minutes played, so the Utes won’t be left wondering who will pick up the slack when the sophomore stars go to the bench-they never go to the bench.

The Aztecs (9-10, 3-3) haven’t had much success in the win column this season, but their future looks very bright-and with so much talent, they still have the potential to be dangerous now.

The Aztecs didn’t figure to play into the mix in the battle for the conference title after posting a 6-7 non-conference record. But they opened conference play with two consecutive road wins, and in the process shook up the MWC. SDSU’s first two conference wins came against BYU and UNLV-in both cases they came in as huge underdogs and walked away with jaw-dropping wins.

SDSU dropped its first conference home game in an overtime thriller against Wyoming, but quickly recovered with a home victory against Colorado State.

The Aztecs’ 3-1 start was the best one to conference play the Aztecs had posted since 1997.

Since then the Aztecs have lost two in a row to even up their conference record at 3-3. The Aztecs think they still have a shot at the MWC title, and if the Utes aren’t careful Saturday, they could find themselves in a hole quickly.

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