SDSU men's basketball team heads to the Final Four with plenty of new fans
The Aztecs fly out to the Final Four in Houston on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday’s game against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday at 3:09 p.m.
Head Coach Brian Dutcher said the team is excited to make it this far for the first time in program history. “(We're) going to a Final Four and it’s exciting," he said. "Exciting for me. Exciting for our team, for our families. Exciting for San Diego State University and exciting for the city of San Diego.”
Dutcher said this has been their goal since the beginning of the season.
“We have to go out and finish a job. We recruit saying we’re going to be good enough to win a national championship, now we have to find a way to do it,” Dutcher said. “Obviously the bar’s been raised and so the standard is to get back, so we’re going to enjoy this one, but we’re always going to fight to maintain the culture and the reputation of this program.”
Dutcher said while the team wants to win the national championship, it's also taking time to enjoy the current moment.
“I’m one guy that I’m not sitting there obsessing about what’s next. I take time like Coach (Steve) Fisher used to say, ‘To smell the roses along the way’ and so I enjoy everyday. I come to this campus, I walk this campus. I’m still in amazement I’m working somewhere with palm trees on campus,” Dutcher said.
Now that the team is gaining national attention, fans are jumping on the SDSU bandwagon.
“We’ll take as many fans as we can get,” Dutcher said. “The bandwagon has got room for everybody and we embrace the fact that people that didn’t know San Diego State University basketball are starting to find out about it and the national stage gives us an opportunity just to show what a special place this is and what a good program we have.”
The San Diego Sockers, San Diego Padres, San Diego Wave, San Diego Zoo, California Gov. Gavin Newson and even Vice President Kamala Harris have shown their support on social media.
“Now that we’re getting more of a national stage, people that don’t know anything about San Diego State are starting to appreciate how hard our kids play,” Dutcher said. “We play the right way. We do the right things.”
Senior Guard Darrion Trammell loves the new fan support.
“It’s just extra motivation. Just to have it be bigger than yourself," he said. "It’s for the team. It’s for the city of San Diego, for San Diego State.”
Junior Guard Lamont Butler appreciates all the support.
“It’s great. It’s a great feeling,” Butler said. “It’s kind of awesome being outside and a bunch of people coming up to you that are just supporting us. So, we need all the support we can have and we’re going to try to win this thing for them.”
Both Trammell and Butler said the team wants to win the men’s basketball national championship for San Diego.
“That’s the goal that’s been set from the start of the year. It’s going to be very important, very exciting and we can’t wait,” Butler said.
“You can just feel it when we’re around each other, we’re not satisfied and it’s all about bringing one back to San Diego, especially for the first time ever. We just know how much bigger this thing can get. So, we’re just excited about that,” Trammell said.