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November 18, 2011

Mailbag on the Mesa

Editor's note: Every Friday ASR Publisher Edward Lewis will answer some questions from fans about the Aztecs in this weekly mailbag. Send questions to edwardflewis@yahoo.com, @EdwardLewisASR on Twitter, post questions on the message board or put questions on ASR's Facebook page.

David: Jamaal Franklin went from G.O.A.T. to goat in one game earlier this week. What do you think we'll see more of this year: a human highlight reel leading us to victories, or a really talented kid trying to do way too much and getting in his own way? And is there really any slight chance he has a shot at the NBA after this year, or is that pure internet BS?

Based on the Aztecs schedule, I think you'll definitely see more of the NBA JAMaal (top 10 best Show sign I've seen at SDSU in my five years) than stumbling Jamaal like you saw in the Baylor game. To some extent, if you can bear with me, I'll almost compare it to SDSU football running back Ronnie Hillman. When Hillman is playing teams like Wyoming or Cal Poly or New Mexico, he looks like the next Gale Sayers. When he's playing teams like TCU or Michigan or Utah last season, he looks like an average Mountain West Conference back. But there are more UNLV's than TCU's on SDSU's schedule, so most of the time he looks tremendous.

I think that's how Franklin's season will go this year. When he's playing Southern Utah and UC Davis, he's going to out-athleticism the court and look like the best player. When he's playing ranked teams such as Arizona or Baylor or Cal, I think he's going to come down to earth a bit. He's still so raw and so young, it's going to take time for him to be able to showcase all those skills against an equally athletic / talented opponent, in my opinion. As for the NBA rumors, I think in any conversation with SDSU's coaching staff, candid or not, they'll tell you he's nowhere even close to the NBA at this point. His shot has come 180 miles from where it was last year, but he still has a ways to go. At some point in the next few years, though, you have to believe his name will start getting kicked around by NBA scouts.


Krish: It was mentioned on another forum board that James Rahon is playing on a broken foot? That can't be true? If so, how much can we really expect from him the rest of the year?

I guess the answer to this depends on your definition of broken. He reportedly has a small chip in his injured foot. That's not necessarily him playing with his foot cracked in half, but it's also not him playing with just a strained tendon either.

Watching him these last two games, you honestly wouldn't know he has an injured foot unless somebody told you, though. He has no limp, gimp or hitch. He's running fine, planting fine, stopping fine, and seems to be jumping fine. The only thing I even remotely noticed about his foot was he changed his shoes and socks from the first half to the second against USC on Thursday night.

As for those who blame his 1-for-10 shooting night on the injured foot, I don't think I'm going to buy that. Steve Fisher didn't mention the foot once in his two-minute response to a Rahon question on Thursday night, which tells me he doesn't think it's that big of a deal. Also, the shots weren't that far off. A few rattled in and out and a few were just an inch or two from a swish. I think it's more of an off game than a, "Oh my goodness, that foot his killing his jumper." I guess we'll see, however.


Frank: Why is everything so quiet on Polee? Did I miss the news of a denial? I thought we would have heard by last Monday at the latest? What do you know, my man?

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, everything about this Dwayne Polee situation is extremely weird. As of Thursday night, SDSU officials said they still have not received any word on his hardship waiver status.

All of it is weird because A) It took seemingly forever and a half for SDSU to just send in the paperwork, and B) It's taking the NCAA seemingly two forevers to let the Aztecs know what's up. In talking with Fisher, it sounded like he thought the NCAA would have the decision to SDSU within a week or two of sending in the waiver. Now it's looking like it could be a lot longer. And then you have all of the pessimism surrounding this decision, where Polee and Fisher both went on record last month saying they didn't think it was going to happen, yet they hadn't even sent in the paperwork yet. It's just an all-around weird situation. My bet, though, is it gets resolved by the end of the month.


Tim: Just read in the paper there are going to be "dozens" of recruits at the Boise State game. Any idea which ones?

Glad you asked, been compiling a list of the big-name ones since about Tuesday. Check it out here on our premium message board. If you need a subscription, you can grab a free seven-day trial right here. Don't think you'll regret it.



Jeffrey: Gut feeling, what happens with Ronnie Hillman and his ankle sprain on Saturday?

I know Hillman wants to play badly, which is the reason going on record with this might come back to bite me. But I'm going to say SDSU errs on the side of caution and rests its starting tailback. The Aztecs have two more games left after this Boise State one, plus a bowl game. It can't waste all of Hillman's bullets on this one. Plus, he's been in a boot all week and has only practiced 15 plays the entire week. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't even want to see him out there limping around and trying to make cuts on that busted ankle either. SDSU should rest him, and I think it ultimately will.



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