Getting to Know Syracuse Opponent, the San Diego State Aztecs

By Matt Josephs

Syracuse’s season starts on Sunday with a very interesting opponent in San Diego State. Here’s a digest of what you need to know about the Aztecs:

Record Last Year: 26-8 (10-4)…Lost in NCAA Second Round
Starters Lost/Returned: 1/4

Head Coach: Steve Fisher. One of the best in the business, Fisher has turned the Aztecs into a factor in the NCAA year after year.  He’s 258-160 in 13 years at San Diego State.

Assistant Coaches: Normally it wouldn’t matter whom the opponent has here, but there’s a familiar name for Syracuse fans in Tony Bland.  That’s right, the transfer who left Syracuse for the Aztecs after two seasons in New York. Bland was one of the most frustrating players to watch while at school.  Kid had talent, but just didn’t put it all together. He had 1,368 points, 331 rebounds, 319 assists while playing in 127 games and making 95 starts during his college career.

Names to Know: It all starts and ends with Chase Tapley. The guard averaged 15.8 points per game last season in the Mountain West leading the team in steals and minutes played.  He made a team best 77 3-pointers.  Tapley is aided by Jamaal Franklin who was the Mountain West Player of the Year last year leading the team in points and rebounds.  James Rahon is also important to the success of the Aztecs.  CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein pointed to Rahon as someone who needs to shoot better if they hope to win the game. There are six newcomers as well.

Importance of Victory (1-10): 7. If the Orange is able to pull this one out outdoors then it would be nice for their resume.  They’ll get plenty of chances to build the resume in-conference, but besides Temple, this is one of the best victories out there away from the Big East.

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