Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Steve Fisher, SDSU Creates a Feel-Good Story in Tourney

He is much too well-respected to be forgotten in this tourney, and respectfully, has been recognized for the recent development at one of the most ambitious universities in college hoops this March. The most powerful person is the local ambassador by the name of Steve Fisher, a cornerstone for San Diego State, considering that the Aztecs have endured 13 losing seasons in 14 years.


Realizing that he is verified as the modest coach on a campus prepared to embrace a miracle, Fisher is nearing a miraculous Cinderella story, especially if the Aztecs upset Connecticut in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. And while his players are optimistic, in the midst of a radiant dream to expunge all the downfalls in recent memories, Fisher is by far the strongest and spirited voice to truly inspire his players and diffuse the notion of common reasoning.

His presence alone, obviously, exhibits an identity on a basketball program, and since it is ever so true, he's a folksy custodian who has advanced to an all-time high in college hoops. The pedigree seen by San Diego State are signs of an irresistible miracle, which is upon us at a moment when the curiosity increasingly surges for a No. 2 seed in the West, coming off a 32-2 regular-season with a pair of losses against conference rival Brigham Young.

The other night, after a win over Northern Colorado, he finally captured much fame in this tournament and has been at ease ever since. There is, after all, a sense of belief that San Diego State can be the Cinderellas in March and wear the glass slipper by the end of the weekend. And honestly, we need a touching story in college basketball, a very unique tale. This is where the culture at San Diego State has strictly devoted itself to basketball, a school now in love with the game and even Fisher for installing aspiration to legitimize faith in the second decade of the 21st century.

In fact, he transformed the facet of an incompetent institution and eschewed the thoughts of nonsense, once deemed harmless and had been disqualified from experiencing the buzz of the one shinny moment in March Madness. So maybe we are simply growing accustomed to the refreshing portraits San Diego State has revealed over the last few weeks, quickly gaining superiority when much is at stake.


It's finally a marveled program of grandeur and mainly because Fisher is one of the respected coaches in the game. It's not difficult to discern, with its sudden emergence on the court where San Diego State is inconceivably 27-1, ranked fourth in the nation while accomplishing the improbable, that the birth of a basketball legacy is upon us. At this time, we'd be delighted to anoint Fisher for bringing life and belief into a program, the most magnificent basketball program, eager to attain the improbable in a suspenseful month filled with madness and extreme hype.

Not every coach can uplift the culture or personality within a program like the way Fisher has made a large impact on the Aztecs, producing a fairy-tale greater than ever for a university aiming towards the happiest ending. He's thrilled to be thrust in one of the proudest positions, dripping tears of joy and living for the moment, a fortunate moment in his fine career.

But if he has approached the greatest scene in his lifetime, we can suggest he'll mark such a historic journey on his lengthy resume, even if he was fired at Michigan two years before San Diego State hired him, even if he guided the Fab Five to consecutive national championship games losing to Duke in 1992 and North Carolina in 1993 and even if Michigan forfeited 113 wins for the immodest asterisk that hurt the Wolverines image.

The problem in his past is that he is presumably omitted from the record books in Michigan, not acknowledged when a federal investigation revealed that four of his players received more than $600,000 from a bookmaker. His credibility, although his reputation with Michigan was tattered and forgotten immensely, remained flawless ever since the hiring by San Diego State.

So, how serious and dangerous are the Aztecs? I'll dare say they are serious as many of the top-notch teams, many of whom represent the Big East conference. There are times, when well-experience coaches featured in national title events with another team years ago because of craft and knowledge for the game, that he can cleverly translate his consciousness and implant a winning mentality.

That is, no doubt, exactly what happened with the Aztecs, courtesy of Fisher's perspicacity to defy the logic of instrumental factors. The sweetest story in March, thus far, is Fisher's rebirth, of accomplishing a remarkable feat, of engraving a name for himself and of inheriting a place in San Diego State history books by leading the Aztecs to the NCAA tournament in his third season, ending the school's 16-year postseason drought.

The resurrection is maybe the most gratifying, attractive turnaround, when the Aztecs fairly qualified in consecutive seasons for the first time ever with the highest seed. The Aztecs, for what is a beautiful tale written in the spring, are one win shy of clinching a berth to the Elite Eight, and have suddenly reduced nightmares from hideous droughts in the past decade and recent memories.

For sure, he is lucky to have a couple of noteworthy studs, which consist of first-team All-Mountain West forward Kawhi Leonard and stellar point guard D.J. Gay, along with the sound shooter James Rahon, not to mention the Aztecs' flawless post game, a strength that has been a potent part of San Diego State tremendous progress.

"I feel great. I'm excited to be a part of it. I'm proud that I'm part of something that hasn't happened before," said Fisher, who'll be 66 on Thursday. "We've had tremendous support starting with Steve Weber, our president, and everybody around with, 'What can we do to make your job effective? What can we do? What do you need?' They've gone out of their way to try to help. Now that we've won, and this year won to the degree that we have, we've got a lot more people that are involved, in the arena, in the support group, and that feels good, too.

"Everybody likes to be loved, and they're loving this team right now. For me to be a part of it, it feels really good, for me, for the team, for everybody."

It's a good thing, given that the pressure isn't on the Aztecs but UConn entering Thursday's showdown, to be classified as darlings, the cutest, if not, one of the cutest stories. For once, in school history, San Diego State rightfully preserves national attention and Fisher is constantly admired because he reestablished the identity as his players fulfill the expectations, flirting with the likelihood of a Final Four appearance.

If so, then it's fair to suggest he'll be forever mentioned for simply leading the Aztecs to 34 victories, eight more than the prior school single-season record, nationally acknowledged for the first time ever. As for Fisher, once appointed by Michigan AD Bo Schembechler as head coach before the 1989 NCAA tournament to replace his boss, Bill Frieder, he essentially is a charismatic figure.

He's far from a bad coach leading his players in the Sweet 16, particularly when he's kindly talked about. The player he once coached, even though a dreadful mistake brought forth shambles for Michigan, is Jalen Rose, who still talks with Fisher, who call and send his former coach text messages.

Plenty of his players trust in him and personally are ready for the next challenge, aiming to stun the world with an upset over UConn by the end of Thursday night. If it is, some truly believe, the story might be enough to write the most fascinating story to mend Fisher's career.

Folks, a story could be in the making.