Monday Aztecs Basketball – A Special Time

Posted by on March 23rd, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

The season is over, I accept that.  A 27-win campaign, playing the likes of Arizona and Duke and Washington, and Cincinnati, was a pretty good run, especially for a team with suspect shooting and overall offensive issues.
But it was another great campaign, and a run down the streets of March Madness, even if ended with a bashing by basketball royalty, the (68-49) Duke Blue Devil beatdown.
Steve Fisher, the Aztecs coach, is such a joy to be around.  A man of integrity, experience, intelligence.  A proven commodity.
He put on a clinic in Philosophy 101 at the Media press conferences in Charlotte, explaining the life’s experiences he had, good and bad at Michigan, and what it meant to him upon arriving at San Diego State.
The man who delivered the Fab 5-to Ann Arbor, and then had his career sidetracked by that same group of kids, because of their involvement with a dirty booster, that cost him his job, holds no grudges.
In fact, he used the Fab 5-calling card to get into the homes of blue-chip recruits, the players and families, wanting to learn about the coach and how he built Michigan, and what he intended to do with their sons, if they became Aztecs.
It was fascinating to hear him talk about beginning on the recruiting road at SDSU, coming off that (0-14) first season, and how he went into homes and learned that a recruit wasn’t good enough to play for close friend Rick Majerus at Utah, but would consider SDSU.  Fisher’s response, “I want Majerus type players”, and he went out and got them.
Yes Duke out manned State in the 2nd round of the tourney yesterday.  NBA type recruits, like Jahlil Okufor and Justise Winston will do that to most any team team.  They went a combined (39P-23R) againgst an overwhelmed Aztecs team.  But think of what is up ahead for San Diego State.
You say good bye to a blue-collar guy like JJ O’Brien.  Dwayne Polee finishes his career with a good year and a half of excitement under his belt.  Aqeel Quinn, the Northridge transfer, proved what walk-ons could be if given coaching and the chance.
The Aztecs return 11-players off this team, all who played lots of minutes and lots of roles.  Sky Spencer and Angelo Chol.  Winston Shepard and Matt Shrigley.  The bench bunch led by Malik Pope, on the brink of stardom, and the well tested Trey Kell, each who have had a few shining moments.
Then you add those who sat and learned, sat and got healthy, guard Kevin Zabo and big forward Zylan Cheatem.  And the incoming recruits, guard-Jeremy Hensley and power forward Broderick Jones.
A ton of talent as next year probably begins next week for all those kids.
Though Duke marches on, after trampling State, think of where the Aztecs are now.  An annual rite of spring to play in March Madness.  Think of the roster now compared to back then.  Think of what Steve Fisher has accomplished from that 5-win first season and that winless conference record..
There are no Syracuse type academic scandals; no North Carolina type arrests, no St. John’s drug issues, no USC apathy..

Special coach, special man, making special kids out of these recruits in a very special basketball program each season.

Aztecs basketball, better today for what they learned yesterday.


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