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November 25, 2011

Mailbag on the Mesa

Editor's note: Every Friday ASR Publisher Edward Lewis will answer some questions from fans about the Aztecs in this weekly mailbag. Send questions to edwardflewis@yahoo.com, @EdwardLewisASR on Twitter, post questions on the message board or put questions on ASR's Facebook page.

Vince: I heard former Oregon SG Jabari Brown is enrolling at State. Is he going to play ball, do you know?

Glad I only got about 15 of these Jabari Brown questions this week. I've read the reports that say this is a "done deal" and he'll be enrolled shortly, but I think it's too premature at this point to call it that. He likes San Diego State, no doubt. SDSU likes him as well, no doubt. He's a five-star recruit who was ranked No. 19 in the entire Rivals150 2011 class. He was also rated as the No. 5 shooting guard in the country coming out of high school and would be the highest-ranked recruit to ever come to SDSU. But things didn't work out at Oregon after only a few months at the school, and that has to raise somewhat of a red flag. The Aztecs have great chemistry right now and they need to do their due diligence in making sure he'll be good for their program. Also, Brown is being courted by plenty of other schools at this point. But SDSU has the coaching staff to handle just about any player, and I have a suspicion that if the Aztecs do indeed invite him for a visit and offer him, he'll be wearing SDSU red and black within the next few weeks.

I also received a few, "How would Brown's signing impact Winston Shepard?" questions. The short answer is it won't. SDSU is enthralled with Shepard, and one of the reasons why is because he can play any position on the floor. So if Brown comes in and plays the two or the three, that's fine with the Aztecs and Shepard, because he'll come in and run the point. Or if Brown is a one or a two with SDSU, the Aztecs would put Shepard at the three. Brown coming shouldn't have any impact at all on Shepard's recruitment.


Mcerve: How does a potential move to the Big East affect hoops? Do you think we have a chance of joining the Pac-12, Big 12 or WCC for non-football sports?

I don't know the plan for "other sports" if SDSU football does join the Big East, but as each day passes and more and more reports come out, it's certainly looking like the Big West is the likely landing spot. Which, in my opinion, is absolutely awful for the Aztecs' basketball program, and should honestly prevent SDSU from heading to the Big East altogether (again, in my opinion).

Look, I understand the Big West is not as bad as its public perception. They have some very good basketball programs and play some solid hoops there. But this is the real world, and perception is reality. I've said it before and I'll say it 100 times more, recruits dig conference prestige. They love the Pac-12 persona and the ACC legend, and they're starting to come around to a Mountain West Conference that allows them to play versus Vegas twice a year and head to The Pit once year and be in a league that can basically get as many bids as it wants if it has the right records. If SDSU goes to the Big West, I just think it really hurts some of the chances at big-name kids who hear "Big West" and say "Who?" Plus, I think it really hurts the national exposure the Aztecs can get, because if you thought playing in the MW and getting on TV was hard, you should try the Big West. It'd just be too tough, in my opinion, to say, "Hey basketball team, we know you're doing well but we're going to stick you in an inferior conference because football may or may not make us more money in the Big East." I have a hard time agreeing with that.


Ian: Let's say Nico Siragusa commits to SDSU. Would this be the best offensive line class you've seen sign at San Diego State in your time covering them?

Yes. Now these guys still have to play, still have to live up to the hype and still have to block somebody on Saturdays, but you could argue that if they got Siragusa, their top four best commitments this year would be linemen in Austin Maass, Siragusa, Kwayde Miller and Arthur Flores. The scary part about that is SDSU wouldn't even be done with offensive line after those commits. The Aztecs still have a legitimate chance at Eduardo Middleton, especially if Washington State gives its coaching staff the boot. And they are still going hard after Colby Cyburt and J.J. Dielman. This could be a very special OL class by the time signing day rolls around in a few months.


Aztec05: What's your take on Matt Morin being asked to come early? Given his senior stats, if anything, I would've thought maybe greyshirt and let him workout at a junior college for a fall with decent receivers, polishing up. What does it say about the coaches view on Chad Jeffries / Adam Dingwell and do you think it means the coaches feel Morin's stats are more a result of a bad scheme / talent around him?

I can't for the life of me understand this whole Morin bashing thing people have come up with. This guy throws a very pretty ball, and if you doubt his arm strength, just take a look at this throw. The thing about his stats, like I wrote in the Morin story earlier this week, is the offensive scheme he runs at Chaparral High does him no justice. In fact, he was actually on crutches at Saturday night's Boise State game because he ran a zone-read option and took a helmet right to the hip.

I'm not bashing any coaches at all, because they have to do what makes their team win, but the guy is the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the entire country, and when he's running a zone-read, spread-option offense, of course his stats aren't going to be that good. He may not win the quarterback job next year, but I guarantee you he's going to put up a pretty good fight in Andy Ludwig's pro-style system. And trust me, we'll be covering it all for you here starting on Day One in spring drills.


Matt: I read in the paper this week that some visiting fans called SDSU's student section bad and rude and mean. I don't think this at all. What have you seen?

I read this too, and was actually dumbfounded by it. This is college basketball, not men's tennis. There are up to 2,500 21-year-old students who may or may not be liquored up cheering on a team that represents them. I'm not sure what you want them to say to you when you roll into Viejas Arena and chant "D-U-I, D-U-I" every time Jamaal Franklin steps to the free throw line or sit in row five of their student section.

I've been to many road games to cover SDSU in my time here, and I've seen and heard people make fun of The Show's gecko, call the Aztecs' cheerleaders nasty things and chant "S-T-D-S-U" any chance they get. It's all part of college basketball, and if you don't like it, then you should probably think twice before you stroll onto a campus decked out in another school's garb. That's just my two cents on that matter.



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