1) What does an opportunity like this to for the Aztecs and their school?
This is an amazing opportunity for the men’s basketball team and the school. We have been steadily gaining national prominence over the last few years and playing on the USS Midway only helps that cause. I think by playing in this game, it shows the Aztecs are now capable of playing with any team in the nation.
2) What names should Syracuse fans get to know before Friday?
Syracuse fans should keep an eye out on No. 21 Jamaal Franklin. Franklin was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and All-American last season as well as the Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year this season. He’s not afraid to take the ball to the hoop, but also has the ability to pull up for a three-pointer. No. 22 Chase Tapley is also a player to look out for. He’s the best pure shooter on the team and one of the best in the country. Now, I don’t know how the wind will affect shooting tomorrow, but look for him to make an impact. Honestly, Steve Fisher is still tinkering with his lineup. SDSU returns four starters and now has several key transfers and freshmen. It’s tough to say who’s really going to stand out because no one is sure how many minutes each player is going to get.
3) Where do you think the match-up advantage is for SD State?
That’s a tough one. If I had to say SDSU has a matchup advantage, I think it would be shooting, but again, wind and sunlight could hinder shooting from beyond the arc. The Aztecs are not very big, as opposed to the lengthier, taller Orange, so I think it will be tough to get inside that 2-3 zone, drive to the hoop and get rebounds. And of course, an advantage is playing in San Diego, instead of flying across the country like Syracuse had to do.
4) What has been the fans/student response to a game like this being played on the USS Midway?
Response has been incredible for this game. The fans are excited to see SDSU play a marquee program like Syracuse at a venue like the USS Midway. With tickets being so expensive, I don’t expect many students actually at the game, but I guarantee they will be watching it on TV. There’s definitely a buzz around campus.