Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

March 16, 2012

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.

Stephen: Well that loss was brutal. Put a bow on the season for us. Give us your take on the season and what we should be looking forward to next year.

We're going to have a Reporter's Roundtable "End of the Season" awards coming out sometime next week to put the final stamp on the 2011-12 season for us here at AztecSportsReport.com, but if somebody had told you SDSU would win 26 games, smash all the Pac-12 teams it played, win a Mountain West regular season crown, finish in second place in the MW Tournament, and would make it to the NCAA Tourney, I don't think a single fan would have said, "No, that's not good enough."

The Aztecs were supposed to win barely 20 games this year, play a couple NIT home games and then gear up for this monstrous upcoming 2012-13 year. Instead, they played some terrific basketball, grew a real-deal super star in Jamaal Franklin and got some more NCAA Tournament experience for a team that figures to make a deep run next year.

I think the only thing SDSU fans should be disappointed with this year was the Aztecs' seeding / draw. How a team that wins the MW crown and finishes in second place in the conference tournament plays that NC State squad that far away from home at that time of day, while UNLV, the most underachieving MW team I've ever witnessed, gets Colorado in The Pit at a good time, is beyond incomprehensible to me. The Selection Committee should have awarded the Aztecs with at least one winnable game before they faced the inevitable buzz saw of the ACC or Big East. But I digress. Nothing to hang your head about today if you're an SDSU player, coach or fan.


Philip: Which underclassmen have made a positive impression in spring ball so far?

If you've been keeping up with the message board and past mailbags, you know how much I've gushed about Brandon Wright this camp. He looks really, really good. Strong runner with deceptive speed.

Darius Guillory, even though head coach Rocky Long said he looked "lost" running with the first team earlier this week, has shown some incredible athleticism. When he figures out the system and puts on a few pounds, he could really be a star for this team.

Larry Clark and Jemond Hazely have also made some really nice plays in camp. But if you're looking for a couple unknown guys who have a chance to play significantly this year, look at walk-on wide receiver Tim Vizzi and walk-on kicker Wes Feer. Both have done some impressive things, and could find a niche on this team in the fall.


Rob: How has Ryan Jack been practicing? And how's Ezell Ruffin looking in spring?

Jack isn't practicing, as he's one of the many players out with injury. His knee is still not quite 100 percent, so he's been working with Adam Hall during practices. He's a little shorter than I expected, but he's still stocky and has a solid frame for a true freshman.

As for Ruffin, he might be the one player I get asked about most often. Truthfully, though, I'm really not too sure what to make of him yet. Some days in camp he wows you, and other days he's just kind of there. Either way, he would have easily been the third wide receiver, and maybe even the No. 2, last year if he had found a way to get his academics sorted out. So that should tell you something about what kind of player he is.


Matt: Does Jamaal Franklin test the NBA waters or come back and lead this team deep into the tourney next year?

I'm glad you asked this, because a new rule was put into place a couple months ago that I think a lot of SDSU fans overlooked at the time. Basically, the NCAA has eliminated the "test the waters" rule it used to have. Now, kids have to either be in the NBA Draft or out of it by mid-April. In years past, they could declare for the draft, but then had until early May to withdraw if they didn't hire an agent.

So I think that should put to rest the "Jamaal is going to leave this year" stuff. Without the ability to go to several camps or have extensive individual workouts, I don't think there's any way Franklin can improve his stock high enough to where it's smart for him to leave. So with that said, I definitely think he's coming back, and I certainly think he'll lead SDSU relatively far in next year's tourney.


Jeff: Might not make it to the scrimmage tomorrow if it rains, but if I do go, what are some of the things I should look for? Any key matchups or battles?

We'll be out there rain or shine, so if you don't go, come back here to read some recaps and notes.

Anyway, of course you have to keep an eye on the quarterback battle. Adam Dingwell and Ryan Katz have been going head-to-head all camp, so it'll be interesting to see who plays better in the pressure situation of the spring game. Also keep an eye on Bryce Quigley, who has made the seamless transition from tight end to left tackle so far.

The one guy I'm sad you all likely won't get to see yet is Brice Butler, who probably won't play with a shoulder injury. He has been dynamite all camp and has been the best playmaker so far. Lastly, be on the look out for key recruits. Fifteen are supposed to show up, so it could be a big day for the program.


7-Day Free Trial: Get premium access to AztecSportsReport.com!


Mississippi State NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos BulldogBlitz.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.