Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

Flynn is the sixth Aztec taken in the draft since Coach Dutcher has been on The Mesa and the second in as many years


Photo courtesy

November 18, 2020 (San Diego) - Former San Diego State men's basketball player Malachi Flynn has been selected by the Toronto Raptors in the first round (29th overall) of the 2020 NBA Draft, Wednesday night at ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Conn.  

The guard from Tacoma, Wash., is the second Aztec in as many years (Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets, 2019) to be taken in the NBA Draft. The 2020 Mountain West Player of the Year is the 25th Aztec in school history to be taken in the annual event and the first taken in the first round since Kawhi Leonard in 2011.

In the Brian Dutcher era, Flynn is the sixth player selected following Randy Holcomb in 2002, Jamaal Franklin in 2013, Xavier Thames in 2014 and the aforementioned Leonard and McDaniels. Dutcher has now coached 20 NBA draft picks, which includes his time as an assistant coach.

Flynn joins a Toronto team that finished the 2019-20 season with a 53-19 record, Atlantic Division champions, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and reached the semifinal round.

During his single season on The Mesa, Flynn led SDSU in points (564), points per game (17.6), field goals (184), field goal attempts (417), three-point field goals (76), three-point field goal attempts (204), free throws (120), free throw attempts (140), assists (163), assists per game (5.1) and steals (56), steals per game (1.8), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.86:1), minutes (1,072) and minutes per game (33.5). In addition, he was third on the team in rebounds (143) and rebounds per game (4.5).

Following the 2019-20 campaign, Flynn became the most decorated Aztec in a single season. He was named a consensus second-team All-American after being recognized by The Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), United States Basketball Writers of America (USBWA) and The Sporting News. With that honor, he joined SDSU Hall of Famers Michael Cage and Kawhi Leonard as the third consensus All-American in program history.  In addition, he garnered second-team All-American honors from CBS Sports, NBC Sports and The Athletic and first-team distinction from Sports Illustrated and STADIUM.

He was the Most Valuable Player of both the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational and Basketball Hall of Fame Classic, an NABC first-team All-District 17 and USBWA All-District IX performer.

Flynn was second Aztec to be named to the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team as well as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year, Naismith National Player of the Year, and Lute Olson National Player of the Year Awards. He was a first-team All-Mountain West performer in both the coaches and media polls. He earned the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, inclusion on the Mountain West All-Defensive Team in the coaches poll, and inclusion on the Mountain West All-Tournament Team. In the media poll he was Mountain West Newcomer of the Year in addition to twice garnering Mountain West Player of the Week honors and he capped his junior year being named the Mountain West Male Athlete of the Year.

His accomplishments in the classroom included being honored as an Aztec Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Mountain West designee, and inclusion on the NABC Honors Court.

In 32 career games with San Diego State, all of which were starts, Flynn scored in double figures 31 times and broke the 20-point barrier 10 times. He had 20 games of at least five assists including a season-high 10 against LIU which, combined with 13 points, resulted in his second career double double. He reached career-highs with 36 points at Nevada on Feb. 29, 2020 and 10 free throws at Utah State on Jan. 4, 2020, and equaled a career-best with nine rebounds against UNLV on Feb. 22, 2020.

He led SDSU to the Mountain West regular-season title and the championship game of the Mountain West Tournament last year, and along with his teammates expected to be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In his 94-game college career, 62 of which came at Washington State, Flynn averaged 14.4 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds.  

With Flynn being taken by the Raptors, San Diego State is one of 10 schools nationally who had at least one play taken in the NFL, MLB and NBA drafts in 2019 and 2020 and is the only school represented on that list which is not in a Power 5 conference.


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.