How Matt Mitchell’s Injury Affects San Diego State

The San Diego State Aztecs got off to a blazing start out of the gate to start the season. Now, unfortunately, they will be without star Matt Mitchell for a few weeks due to injury. Mitchell suffered a knee injury while playing the Aztecs’ first game against Utah State last week.

Matt Mitchell’s Injury a major blow to San Diego State

San Diego State Star Injured Against Utah State

The Aztecs lost Mitchell in the first game against Utah State. Mitchell, a senior, left the game in the final minutes after what looked like to be a serious knee injury. Mitchell drove and watched as his knee buckled and he lay on the ground for a good length of time.

The Aztecs’ star would get up and walk off under his own power but was clearly in a good amount of pain. Initially, it seemed as if Mitchell may be out for the season. Head Coach Brian Dutcher expressed his concern with Mitchell’s injury following the game.

Fortunately for the Aztecs and Mitchell, the injury wasn’t as serious as it first seemed. It was reported that Mitchell suffered a hyperextension and would only be out for a couple of weeks.

This is the best-case scenario the Aztecs could have hoped for. However, they will face a tough task in the next few games without Mitchell. The senior forward was off to the best start of his career. He is currently averaging 15 points with nearly five boards and two assists per game, often leading the Aztecs in scoring. Mitchell will more than likely be out until February. The Aztecs star said he has full trust in the coaches and the training staff who will be taking the necessary precautions.

 

The Effect of Matt Mitchell’s Injury

The Aztecs will have big shoes to fill without Mitchell, that’s no doubt. However, the bench pieces they have can certainly step up and produce. The question seems obvious, but how much of an effect will Matt Mitchell’s injury have on this San Diego State squad?

Northridge transfer Terrell Gomez has been huge off the bench all season and will have to do more until Mitchell comes back. Gomez is just averaging a little more than eight points per game but is shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc. He had 16 points off the bench in their first game without Mitchell.

However, Gomez might not be the biggest beneficiary of Mitchell’s absence. Freshman standout Lamont Butler played the most minutes in his young career on Saturday against Utah State. Butler played 25 minutes and finished with 15 points and five steals. Butler has a lot of talent and can cause a lot of problems for opposing teams. While the young guard from Moreno Valley, Calif. hasn’t played a ton, he will certainly get more minutes with Mitchell on the shelf.

Coach Dutcher also said he is considering a lineup change for the upcoming games versus Air Force.

Dutcher’s squad will have a plan and the temporary loss of Mitchell shouldn’t deter the Aztecs too much. San Diego State will play a two-game series versus Air Force this coming weekend before taking on Wyoming next Thursday.

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