Lady Aztecs Advance To Second Round Of The NCAA
DWANE BROWN (Host): One San Diego State team is advancing in the NCAA basketball tournament. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris. Hey Jay, before we talk about the men’s team and their loss last week. Let’s talk about the good news. The Lady Aztecs beat Texas for the second time this year to advance to the second round. They did it yesterday 74-63. How did they actually get it done?
JAY PARIS (Sports Columnist, North County Times): You know, they got it done by playing fearless. This team went to the Mountain West Conference and swept everything there. It was a confident bunch rolling into Austin, Texas. Not only to beat Texas but to beat them on their home campus and really put them away early and never let up was real impressive. The outside shooting which really did the men in, in their loss to Tennessee is what propelled the Lady Aztecs. Jene Morris was 32-points. It was a thorough beating. Now they’ve got to go up a couple notches. They’ve got to play West Virginia next and that’s a number three seed. They finish runner-up to Yukon in the big east. So, the stakes go higher and the games mean more as you keep winning. But, what a great showing in the opening round.
BROWN: Yea, you mentioned in the men’s loss to Tennessee last week, busted my bracket along with Kansas, but is there a silver lining for the men’s team?
PARIS: There is. You know, you wanted to get that win. They’ve been carrying that monkey since they put the hoops up over at San Diego State. They’ve never won NCAA tournament game. They keep making these small steps. This is five straight years, 21 seasons. Five straight years of going to the playoffs post-season. So, the momentum is there. The foundation has been laid. The structure looks good and it looks even better with Kawhi Leonard and Billy White and Malcom Thomas and D.J. Gay. All those guys are coming back. So, this wasn’t really a year where they had to reload and take their lumps and hey, we’ll get them next year. They went after it pretty good. Things are looking good on Montezuma Mesa for the men’s team ‘cause their credibility and their reputation is only growing.
PAMELA DAVIS (Host): Jay, practice rounds begin this morning for the inaugural LPGA Classic Women’s Tournament at La Costa Spa in Carlsbad. Why is this tournament a big deal?
PARIS: It’s a big deal because golf is returning to La Costa, which is one of the great sites for any golfer or any golf tournament, but mostly it’s a 144 player field. I think it’s 49 out of the top 50 women in the world are going to be there. Nearly a $2 million purse. Lorena Ochoa, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, all those names that you know in women’s golf will be out there, so this… it’s not a major, but it’s just a tick below. So, and also note that the LPGA is really going out of it’s way to be fan friendly. This isn’t an event where the players won’t talk to you or won’t sign autographs or won’t look you in the eye. They are out in front with a new commissioner and they really want to maybe seize on people who haven’t been introduced to women’s golf, to come on out.
BROWN: Well, uh, the San Diego Chargers made some moves. They got rid of their quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, the back-up there. Were you surprised at all?
PARIS: A little bit. I mean, Charlie’s been around since 2006 and has never thrown a pass in an NFL game. With Phillip Rivers there and Billy Volek in his way. He really wasn’t going to see much action. The only surprise maybe is how much General Manager AJ Smith was able to receive from Seattle for Charlie. I mean, like I said, he’s never thrown a pass and they were able to move up 20 spots in the second round this year and get a third round pick next year. So, Pete Carroll, Seattle’s new coach certainly saw something in Charlie. He’s trying to build a new organization up there and he felt Charlie was worth the price. It was a pretty steep price now for a number three quarterback. So, hats off to AJ for pulling the deal.
DAVIS: North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris. Jay, thanks for joining us this morning.
PARIS: Alrighty, cheers.