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How Will Aztecs Recover From Tough Loss To BYU?

Audio

Aired 2/28/11

What now stands between the SDSU Aztecs and the NCAA basketball tournament? We talk to North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris about how SDSU's loss against BYU could impact their seeding in the NCAA tournament, and what regular season challenges remain for the 28-2 Aztecs.

Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard shoots a jump shot against TCU.
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Above: Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard shoots a jump shot against TCU.

What now stands between the SDSU Aztecs and the NCAA basketball tournament? We talk to North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris about how SDSU's loss against BYU could impact their seeding in the NCAA tournament, and what regular season challenges remain for the 28-2 Aztecs.

Guest

Jay Paris, North County Times sports columnist.

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS. Of the new national rankings are out today, [CHECK AUDIO] ever so much hope, so much hype, and so much noise from fans in Viejas arena, the SDSU men's basketball team were overwhelmed by BYU Saturday morning, losing to the cougars [CHECK AUDIO] with my guest, jay Paris, North County Times sports columnist, good morning, jay.

PARIS: Good morning, how are we doing?

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, I'm doing okay, but [CHECK AUDIO].

PARIS: That sun still came identity on Sunday. All is not lost here. All is not lost. It's really pretty simple, them five are person us five, and they just had I better team, and they proved it 15 for the second time in season, and you tip your hat even more to them that they were able to do it in the hostile environment that Viejas arena has become. Certainly a disappointment. But this is a difference between being disappointed and being devastated. They would do well to be disappointed and, as they like to say, turn the page.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, in the pole numbers, BYU up to number three in the USA today coach's pole, and SDSU drops down to number nine. Do you think that's fair?

PARIS: Yes. And you know, they're still a top ten team, and we'll see where the AT has them when they're ranked. But every team wants to win their conference, and the Aztecs winning the mountain west conference, that's probably gone by the wayside, but there's still a lot on the plate here, and that's the beauty, and the theatre that college basketball is, with college football you lose a key late game, late in the season like this, and you go from maybe going from one of the top notch bowl games to the you really get smacked around and you lose everything you build up. But in college basketball, it's all about the NCAA tournament, and the San Diego state Aztecs will be heading in that direction. [CHECK AUDIO] tougher to advances that term goes on, but I know everybody was looking forward to that game, and while there was certain a lot of smiles turned outside down Saturday afternoon, all is not lost.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, as you say, turning the page.

PARIS: Right.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What can you testimony us with the Aztecs' match up against Wyoming.

PARIS: Well, they smacked Wyoming pretty good the first go around. [CHECK AUDIO] it's really a new team, they've got a new coach, they have gone to eye full core press, and all of that game tape, and video that, that coaches love to pour over. But they should handle Wyoming. That being said, they should handle Wyoming quite easily, then they come home Saturday for the last game of this magical season against Colorado state, and really, you kind of touched on it, while the team lost, it got to enjoy the build up, if got to enjoy being featured in sports illustrated, on ESPN.com, it knot to enjoy and reap the benefits of being on CBS and national telecast, so while that loss hurt, [CHECK AUDIO].

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And some of the good stuff includes the coaching job of Steve fisher that he's done this year, do you think that Fisher could be a strong candidate for coach of the year in the mountain west conference can.

PARIS: I think so. Certainly the BYU coach is gonna, you know, for -- they're gonna win the conference probably, but coach fisher is held in such high regard, not only locally, not only in the mountain west conference, but nationally. And 65�years old, for him to kind of chase the rain for more time [CHECK AUDIO] about coach Fisher, he's old school, he's calm, he doesn't rip off his jacket, he doesn't throw chairs across can the court. He's as all as a 65-year-old midwester [CHECK AUDIO] the whole picture here of what he's done in turning this program around, he's gonna get some votes, and he's gonna that get some respect, and I'd be surprise first degree he doesn't get it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I just want to does you quickly about the NFL holding its annual scouting combine for draft eligible player it is right now. First of all, maybe if you could tell us really quickly what this scouting [[]] stood out.

PARIS: Yeah, de-Marco sample son is down there, a couple of wide receivers, [CHECK AUDIO] Eto see how the football players play in T-shirts and shorts of there's no pads out there. And it's, you know, some people say it's glory fight touch football. But you're being -- you're crossing your measurables as the NFL guys like to say, how fast do you run at 40 -- how much can you lift? How do you look in those shorts and shirts? So, these [[]] in the games 'cause that really in terms of what kind of player you are. That said, you go down there and have a good combine and open some eyes, and with the San Diego state guys maybe not playing on big television every Saturday, they get to show what they can do and how they look, and you gotta do well -- it's a job interview, and you gotta show well, because there's some bilge decisions that are gonna be made next month.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: When does major league baseball season start? [CHECK AUDIO].

PARIS: Today is the first real state game for the Padre the. They have an exhibition game today in Seattle. And it's no more than three flies up, and taking grounders and just you knowing. They're just gonna be um[CHECK AUDIO] the competition begins, and now you got to see what the Padres have done in the off season, which have featured many membership changes.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So how is this roster shaping up so far.

PARIS: Hey, they're undefeated. They got as good a shot as anybody else at that championship.

CAVANAUGH: Well said.

PARIS: Yeah. But there's a lot of new face, in particular short stop Jason Bart the, and second base man Orlando Hudson, usually as good as your middle infielders, and two veterans are hoping can bounce back from off years.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You know, jay, we have a couple minutes left, and I want to talk about a baseball hall of famer that we lost over the weekend. Duke Snyder died in Escondido at age 84, tell us a little bit about him.

PARIS: Class. Class act, and really the main risk between it is all Brooklyn dodgers, [CHECK AUDIO] and the Los Angeles dodgers who lived up for years in avocado ranch in Fallbrook, he hit the last home run at Evan's field, [CHECK AUDIO] just about as much money as the regular folk coming out to watch them play, especially in Brooklyn where so many players lived in the burro, and such a fabric of that community. [CHECK AUDIO] mickey mantel was playing for the New York Yankees so right there really was the epicenter for the it [CHECK AUDIO] playing center field, you can just imagine the conversations and the arguments in the taverns, and it was just a special special time. And just on a side note, I got to introduce Duke to my father who was an old Dodgers guy, and to my son who likes the dodgers a little bit too, and he treated both of them with such great class, there's a true gentleman right there.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: There's a quote from Duke Snyder he says, I was born in Los Angeles, but baseball wise, I was born in Brooklyn.

PARIS: And some Padre fans can relate to, he was at a rookie dodger rookies were up at LA a few years back, and the first thing he told them is, gentlemen, you have to hate Halloween. And they said, why is that? "Cause of the colors. Black and orange. And as every Padres fans knows, that's the color of the Giants, and that was the color of the Brooklyn Dodgers' most hated rival. But a Hall of Fame player, and a hall of fame man. That's for sure.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And the passing of the legend.

PARIS: Yes.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, Jay Paris, thank you so much, I appreciate it.

PARIS: Okay. Also nice chatting with you.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And we're gonna turn the page and move on.

PARIS: Ata girl.

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