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February 24, 2012

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.

Craig: I'm hearing that SDSU might not go to the Big East. Is this true and if so where do they end up?

You know, I've heard this rumor several times now, and I just find it funny the only people reporting this are journalists based out of Las Vegas. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly saying this is some UNLV propaganda smear campaign. But UNLV President Neal Smatresk has been the most outspoken proponent of this whole Mountain West / Conference USA merger, and in fact was the only person quoted in the initial merger press release sent out to media outlets earlier this month. So it makes sense to me that reporters based out of Las Vegas, who likely have UNLV sources, would be the ones spreading this "SDSU and Boise State are seriously contemplating backing out of the Big East" rumor.

They may ultimately be right, as I have heard absolutely no chatter or whispers about this from my end that confirm or deny the rumors, but right now it just really smells of a, "Let's get fans riled up and maybe we can force them to stay in the MW/CUSA." Because as of right now, I cannot fathom, in any way, shape or form, how this new alliance, full of 24 super mediocre teams spread out in the most random pattern along the United States, gets a better TV deal and more money than the new Big East, even though that conference isn't exactly the SEC either.

And for argument's sake, let's just say the new merger conference does get a bigger TV deal. Well you're still cutting up that TV money pie 24 different ways, as opposed to 12 ways in the new Big East. I just cannot see how that works. Maybe geographically it makes more sense to stay with the MW for SDSU, because there are more West Coast teams in that league, but even then, Aztec Athletic Director Jim Sterk said the additional football travel was only going to cost them around $200,000 more. And when we're talking about the additional revenue of millions more, that sounds like an OK sacrifice to me.

We'll see how this how all plays out, but barring something ridiculously nuclear, I really don't see how the Aztecs find their way out of the Big East and into the new MW.


Matt: Who are some incoming frosh looking to get lots of playing time right away?

There have only been two days of spring football practice so far, but you can kind of get a read on position depth already. It's clear that receiver is by far the deepest position on this team, so I'd rule out Lloyd Mills and Eric Judge for this year. Running back is also a cluster, so Alex Howard likely will see a redshirt this season, and quarterback looks deep as well, so Matt Morin and Chase Favreau (although he's expected to grayshirt) would be guys I wouldn't count on seeing the field this season either. Offensive line is terribly thin, especially with Alec Johnson and Nik Embernate out with injuries, so I really think Nico Siragusa and Kwayde Miller have a really good shot this year. In fact, Siragusa was out watching practice on Tuesday and told me he's itching to get into the red and black, and said he'd even play guard this season if it meant getting on the field.

I'd also keep an eye on Kendrick Mathis and Damontae Kazee in the secondary, because the depth there seems a little thin as well. And of course, Seamus McMorrow and Jeff Overbaugh should start right away. One other player I'm incredibly intrigued in is Micah Seau. He has to be one of the biggest non-lineman true freshmen I've ever seen. He could be a really good one for the Aztecs.


Krish: Do you think coach Steve Fisher goes back to a traditional starting lineup with Garrett Green and Tim Shelton starting together? With James Rahon struggling in the starting lineup he would appear to be a good candidate for sixth-man scoring position.

Personally, I would really like to see this. And no, it's not because Rahon's three-point shot has been nonexistent for the past few weeks. I think for a team with this little depth, this late in the season, SDSU could really, really use a spark off the bench once in a while. And while Green and LaBradford Franklin have done a somewhat decent job of doing that recently, I just really think that would be a great role for Rahon at this moment, especially given the way he's struggled offensively as a fulltime starter. Maybe getting more minutes to sit and breath and watch the action from the bench gets his legs a little more underneath him and his mind right and helps him start burying baskets like he used to.

With that being said, though, Fisher has stated Rahon is one of the best defenders, if not the best defender, on this team, especially during this shooting slump. So I'm not too sure if you can afford to take him off the floor for extended minutes. It's a lineup dilemma I'm glad I don't have to deal with, but given the way the Aztecs have played this past month, you sure wouldn't mind seeing some kind of shakeup.


Matt: How will football money help keep coaches in other sports I.E. Tony Bland?

Really not too sure how that football money will help the coaching budget, because I know Rocky Long would have liked a chunk of that to keep Dan Finn here as well. But I have to assume at least some of that money will be available for keeping coaches.

And that's a good thing for Fisher and SDSU's basketball program. Who would have thought losing Justin Hutson would have actually been an upgrade for the Aztecs? Bland has been unreal on the recruiting trail, and is actually out recruiting as you're reading this. SDSU is starting to become a hotbed for young coaches, and it's going to need some of that extra cash to make sure it can keep all of them.


Dan: What's the status on Norvel Pelle, Anthony January, Alec Williams, and LaBradford Franklin for next year?

Seriously, got this question about 15 more times this week. Not too sure how many more different ways I can write an answer to this. I guess just take a look at the last three mailbags we've posted up:

Mailbag on the Mesa 2/17

Mailbag on the Mesa 2/10

Mailbag on the Mesa 2/3

I do always appreciate your guys' questions, though. Keep them coming.


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