Brian Dutcher was on track to field a talented basketball team next season, even if the biggest question of the offseason didn't go the Aztecs' way. On Thursday an answer came, and with it returns a big piece of the puzzle for SDSU.
Nathan Mensah is back.
The Aztecs announced the 6-foot-10-inch center's decision to return. Mensah tested the NBA waters before opting to play one final season on the Mesa.
“I am very happy to get this announcement out of the way,” Mensah said in a statement released by the Aztecs. “I really appreciate everyone at San Diego State giving me the time to make this very important decision. I have explored my options and after consultation with many people: my advisors, family, NBA scouts, general managers, and others, I have decided that to achieve my goals, the best thing for me is to return to San Diego State for one more year.”
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
The reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Mensah is one of the most impactful big men in the country on that end of the floor. He averaged a career-high 2.2 blocks per game as a junior. Mensah's 171 career blocks rank third most in Aztec history.
His junior campaign included a five block, five steal performance against New Mexico.
Mensah has averaged 6.8 points over the course of his career. According to SDSU, his team is 22-5 when he scores 10 or more points. When he brings down double-figure rebounds San Diego State is 13-2.
He joins a talented roster that includes leading scorer Matt Bradley. In all, Dutcher returns seven of his top eight scorers from the 2021-2022 season. The Aztecs will add key transfers in point guard Darrion Trammell, along with forwards Micah Parrish and Jaedon LeDee.