November 10, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; General view of the USS Carl Vinson as crews work to finish the court during media day prior to the Carrier Classic game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan State Spartans. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Q&A For The Battle Of The Midway

January 21, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs guard Jamaal Franklin (21) during the first half against Air Force Falcons at Viejas Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE


This is my second Q&A with David Frerker from San Diego Sports Domination about the upcoming basketball game between Syracuse and San Diego State on the USS Midway. You can read the previous Q&A here.

ITLH: On our Q&A way back when, I asked you what the expectations for this team was this season. Has anything changed since then since watching the team play an exhibition?

DF: My expectations for SDSU are still very high. After watching the team in action on Midnight Madness SDSU fans were extremely excited. SDSU then played a local school Cal State San Marcos who helped us run the zone as we are not used to playing against it. The team looked flat committing 22 turnovers. The team this year has a ton of height and they are very lankly. The defense was blocking shots left and right. We will see tonight if the team has disregarded their first game jitters.

This is a quote from Jim Saia the head coach of CSUSM:

Then when we’d get in a gap, they are so dang long. We’d get layups and they’d block it. That’s why they are a top-20 team.

ITLH: The game almost fell through because of a lack of sponsorship. Now that the sponsorship has been added, are there any events being added that fans will enjoy before the game happens that might be under the radar right now?

Feb 29, 2012; Boise, ID, USA; San Diego State Aztecs head coach Steve Fisher during the first half against the Boise State Broncos at Taco Bell Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

DF: This was a big issue surrounding the game was the possible lack of sponsorship. The Zito foundation who was planning to host a concert on the deck of the Midway pulled out of the event. The game did lose all events that were planned. As of now the only major event that we have knowledge about is the Coaching clinic. The information for the clinic is listed below.

San Diego State men’s basketball head coach Steve Fisher will participate in the Battle on the Midway Coaching Clinic set for Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6-10 p.m. PT aboard the USS Midway. Joining Fisher will be Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, former SDSU and NBA star Michael Cage, former NBA head coach Don Casey and current NBA D-League coach Reggie Theus. The clinic is $55 in advance or $65 at the door. Coaches interested can register online at or mail checks to Midway Coaches Clinic, 2048 Hills Lake Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020. There is a 2-for-1 deal if you sign up by phone. The phone number is (800) 207-8065. Parking for the event is available next to the USS Midway (910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92132). Check-in for the clinic runs from 4-5 p.m. PT and those participating may view the team’s shootarounds from 5-6 p.m. PT.

The Aztecs do have events planned for the military who will be in attendance this weekend on the U.S.S. Midway. The San Diego State Aztecs Football team is hosting the Air Force Academy at Qualcomm Stadium at 12:30pm the next morning. The first 20,000 fans who attend the game will be given a free SDSU camouflage hat.

We also do know that NCAA College game day will be broadcasting before the game on the U.S.S. San Diego to thank the troops for their service. We don’t yet know if the event is open to the public we are looking into the event.

ITLH: Syracuse fans believe this game is very important for the Orange to win to start off the season. The expectations are high again this season for a run at another conference title and a run at the national championship. What is the vibe out in San Diego for this game? Do fans think it is a crucial game for the Aztecs to have?

February 25, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs guard Chase Tapley (22) makes a shot while being defended by Colorado State Rams guard Kaipo Sabas (15) during the second half at Viejas Arena. The Aztecs won 74-66. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

DF: The vibe in San Diego could not be higher. This past weekend our football team were 16 point underdogs to No. 19 Boise State who was 86-3 at home. The Aztecs went into Boise State and upset the Broncos 21 – 19 that was just the 4th Boise State loss since 1999 in Boise. On Sunday the SDSU women’s soccer team won the Mountain West tournament to go 19-1-1 (No. 6 in the nation). Each of the SDSU teams draw off each others excitement. The SDSU men’s basketball team is looking forward to playing a hard fought game against Syracuse and gathering another win against a favored opponent.

The Aztecs know that is this a crucial game for the program and we are excited that the nation will finally get to see SDSU play a quality program like Syracuse on the national stage. The Aztecs this season have an enormous bench with the likes of Dwayne Polee II, Winston Shepard, etc… The fans in San Diego believe that this Aztec team will be better than our 34-3 team who reached the sweet 16 just two years ago.

ITLH: What players do SDSU have that will be most effective against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone? Did the Aztecs go against a lot of zone last season?

DF: The most effective players for us against the zone would be our second team All-American and returning Mountain West Conference MVP Jamaal Franklin. Other players that will help SDSU with the zone is returning starter Chase Tapley and James Rahon they are the SDSU 3 point shooters. They might have problems with the win on board the Midway. If their are high winds I would suggest Skylar Spencer the freshman block machine and Matt Shrigley. This Aztec team will get their fare share of breakaway chances the goal for SDSU is to not rush the shot. The Aztecs are a high flying dunking team and could rush passes if they get to excited. SDSU did not play much against the zone last season. The Aztecs have played against the zone this season as stated above the CSUSM team played zone in order to help us get ready to play Syracuse.

For more information regarding game day weather and information, visit here. Thanks again to David for his answers!

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