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What Should Be Aztecs’ Strategy Against UConn?

Audio

Aired 3/24/11

What will it take for the Aztecs to defeat the UConn Huskies in tonight's Sweet 16 matchup? We talk to Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton about the biggest game in SDSU basketball history.

Aztecs forward Malcolm Thomas elevates over a defender in a recent SDSU game.

Above: Aztecs forward Malcolm Thomas elevates over a defender in a recent SDSU game.

What will it take for the Aztecs to defeat the UConn Huskies in tonight's Sweet 16 matchup? We talk to Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton about the biggest game in SDSU basketball history.

Guest

Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, local sports talk show host. Lee 'Hacksaw' Hamilton hosts "Sportswatch" on XX1090 weekdays from 10-2 p.m

Read Transcript

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.

CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh you're listening to these days on K P B S the San Diego state mens Aztecs playing their first game ever in the Sweet 16 game this afternoon they face the UConn in Anaheim this afternoon. Everyone dressed in red and black are cheering on the Aztecs built will [CHECK] continue tonight joining us with more on the big game is our guest Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton local talk show host. He hosts sports watch on week days between and 10 and two P M. Lee, good morning.

HAMILTON: Good morning. Are you wearing red and black.

CAVANAUGH: I am indeed.

HAMILTON: This is so exciting. I've been here 25 years doing sports talk radio and will tell you never did I think the city of San Diego would become a basketball town yes it is indeed really electric.

CAVANAUGH: Now you know odds makers have UConn as the favorite by one and a half points. Why when S D S U is playing closer to home?

HAMILTON: I think history and reputation. Please understand UConn has won a national championship in the [CHECK] so I think nationwide recognition has got something to do with it. If you look at the [CHECK] there are three teams that have won NCAA titles and Duke and UConn they've played eight[CHECK] seven tournaments I think combined sixty four San Diego state has only one two in the entire history of the school and they of course were last weekend so I don't think odds makers just roll the basketball on the floor and let them play.

CAVANAUGH: Though the game is played in Anaheim does that give any home court advantage?

HAMILTON: Would you please look out the window and look out there's nobody. Did you know classes were cancelled. Nobody in class rooms because the professors are going to be in Anaheim too.

CAVANAUGH: Got you.

HAMILTON: It will be a home game in a sense because I got to believe every Aztec fan especially the student body who won't be in class today part of the show all the fans [CHECK] they're all going to be at the Honda Center in Anaheim today so you in a way I think that's fascinating to see the whole nation we see this thing on CBS T V and what a post card to represent San Diego to show the colors and the fans and to show the show and I'll tell you [CHECK] the fans have been get to watch too.

CAVANAUGH: Okay let's get down to the game itself what should be the Aztecs game plan today tonight?

HAMILTON: It's driven by unbelievable gifted guard [CHECK] player by the name of T Walker averages 31 points per game he's fast he's got a great shot he's electric now the [CHECK] of course maybe the mayor of the year for [CHECK] he makes a lot of things happen. For UConn he's not the outside shooter but he sure does try to get to the basket a lot of fouls and so I think the bottom line is can San Diego state contain and control Walker just like they did when they finally beat B Y U. I think that's the most important aspect of the game is UConn is huge. They have a seven foot center from Nigeria a six nine power forward. Those guys like a wall and fence around the basket so it's going to be interesting to see how San Diego state can make things happen and the [CHECK] Billy White it's going to be a little bit of a different challenge but Walker is unbelievably explosive he plays at top speed.

CAVANAUGH: So you out line the most dangerous aspect of Uconn what's the most dangerous aspect of the Aztecs game?

HAMILTON: It doesn't come up on a statistic sheet but they are so big and they play so long defensively six seven, six eight tremendously long reaches they go a [CHECK] they don't get you [CHECK] when San Diego state slowed down they sent the six seven Billy White out to defend out him and because Billy's long reach and he athleticism he took some of it [CHECK] I think your going to so will [CHECK] that's really the strength of San Diego state is their athleticism and their ability to play a long style of defense that screws up offense messes up their passing lanes you don't get good looks at baskets doesn't show up on a stat sheet but that's the reason [CHECK] to the.

CAVANAUGH: I'm checking with X X1090 sports talk show host Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton we're talking about today's big game the Aztecs against Uconn in Anaheim. You know I didn't watch the last game in Arizona but I heard the Aztecs game against temple described as an ugly win does this give us a warning for the game against U Conn.

HAMILTON: Yup. The only thing that's important is you get the victory you know the game against the Tempe a[CHECK] San Diego state struggled with that style but as the game wore on the Aztecs changed their defense a little bit very good coaching that allowed San Diego to really dictate the tempo of the game from about 11 minute mark in the first half and through a lot of the second half they were having trouble getting good looks at the basket a {CHECK] in the second half of that game when everything was on that line missed eight shots they had looks at the basket and they were intimidated by San Diego the defense they were worried about getting blocked, rejected, worried about closed in the shooter San Diego states interior defense was so good it doesn't necessarily show up on that sheet.

CAVANAUGH: Lee is it your belief if the Aztecs can beat Uconn that the Aztecs can beat anyone including the power houses. Duke [CHECK].

HAMILTON: I think it's a bit of a reach but how do you [CHECK] they returned so many layers the San Diego state could get to the tournament and get a couple of wins the first weekend and get to the sweet 16 I will view this as an unbelievable program now I tend to think they'd beat Uconn and they go against duke on Saturday that's going it be a who different challenge. Duke is bigger and better than Uconn I'm worried about that once we get through Thursday but anything starting at four o'clock this afternoon from that first type off to me is just icing on the cake the it because this has just been spectacular. I've been here 25 years Maureen doing sports talk radio I remember Steve Fisher walking on the campus his first season and they were 0 and 14 didn't win a game. [CHECK} walk across the campus handing out tickets asking fans hey come see us play. Now you can't get a ticket for a home game so it's really interesting.

CAVANAUGH: Let's talk minute about Steve Fisher and UConn coach {CHECK} they both won national championships will coaching be a deciding factor do you think in tonight’s game.

HAMILTON: I think the best phase old school been there done that. I don't think San Diego state gets intimidated at all. I think they played enough big games in a lot of hostile venues games of importance but all these kids are had this experience under their belt and don't think they unravel because they've been there before and these coaches to how to get them back into sink and the same thing is said for [CHECK] are now they were ninth place in conference and they won the [CHECK] winning five games in five nights so these are two really great coaches with just worlds of experience under their belt I think the kids trust the coaches the coaches will put the kid in the right position.

CAVANAUGH: Now from everything you said here about the excitement in town and how tar the mens Aztecs have come it sounds to me that even if they lose the future is really bright for this team.

HAMILTON: The coaches really lay the foundation there's a lot of things you say. How do they get there well to take this thing from ground zero no fans in the stands no wins no players to [CHECK] system in which he's been able to recruiter and coach them up is is just absolutely amazing understand this [CHECK] that are come from San Diego none of them are Aztecs they've all gone other places Kentucky, they're going to university of Arizona gone to U C L A. None of them has stayed which mean that Steven Fisher is getting the second level of recruits here in the [CHECK] what Steve has done and it doesn't happen very many other places his calling card he's bone able to get a quality junior college player and stay academically eligible and he's recruiting pipe line [CHECK] has bone social because he's picked up on the average from another school every year he's had 12 D one transfers that come in here and really contributed I mean, that doesn't happen very often normally when kids leave it's because they're bad or academic kids everyone of the 12 kids [CHECK] to he [CHECK] came here to get this to where they are right now example Brian Carwell the big center from Illinois he's found the right mix of finding a D one transfer plus it it high school kids now he's got {CHECK]schools can you believe that.

CAVANAUGH: It's hard to believe now.

HAMILTON: He might witness up as first round pick in the N B A after this tournament is over so Steve has done something really special here so your correct Maureen the foundation has been laid.

CAVANAUGH: Finally what's your prediction tonight?

HAMILTON: Well I must apologize and tell you that your meeting with your IRS agent has been canceled and must tell you your chiropractor will not be available this afternoon in fact your accountant will be wearing a loan collect they're all going to Anaheim for the game by bottom line; is that correct San Diego states defense is really good. I do think they will slow down Walker. I think the Aztecs will be a great game this will be more like a mud print here I really believe San Diego state is going to win this think I got sixty one 51 I don't think if they can take K walker out of the [CHECK] I do think San Diego has enough defense to get baskets off and enough offence playing Saturday against {CHECK] how about that to {CHECK] to basketball Gods here. How about that. Enjoy the day Maureen.

CAVANAUGH: Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton hosts sports watch... the Aztecs meet UConn in Anaheim at four 15. Our time it will be broadcast locally on channel eight. Go Aztecs. KPBS. Org if you like to comment. Coming up a preview of the new P B S serious Earth the Operators Manual.

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