Fisher breaks down Arizona

San Diego state coach Steve Fisher met with the media on Monday. Read on to see what he says about Arizona, Thursday's atmosphere, and more.

San Diego State coach Steve Fisher met with the media on Monday and the topic of conversation was Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup with Arizona.

"We're well aware of who we're playing," Fisher said. "They were rated number one in the country for a great part of the year. They beat us up pretty good here in the second game of the season. So we know we're playing a really, really good team, but you're supposed to be good if you're in the round of 16.

"We believe that we're really good, so I think it will be an exciting game. Hopefully it will be one that everybody wants to tune in to if you're not ticket in hand going to the game. It's what we all aspire to do. Get in the tournament is number one, and then make a run when you get there, and then make a deep run."

There are some similarities between both squads in that they make a habit of being strong defensively.

"I think we both kind of pride ourselves in saying we're going to guard very effectively," Fisher said. "Mark Fisher showed me or told me that in one of these evaluations on per possession efficiency that Arizona's number one in the country for defensive efficiency, and we were seventh.

"It's two really good teams defensively going at one another and closure for defense is rebounding the ball. They rebounded the ball better than we did here. Hopefully, we'll be a little better at it on this go round."

Fisher is referring to the early season matchup in which Arizona won 69-60 at Viejas. Since then, the head coach believes both teams have gotten better.

"If you're playing now, you're better than you were in November, so I'll say first they're a lot better.," he said. "They're better in every regard. We're better also. I think our offensive efficiency is more improved. I think we're doing things more offensively to move you around, and we're going to play a guy that was, because of me, missing in action in the first game. Didn't put in Dwayne.

"So hopefully that will play a big positive role for us. He's been sensational. He's now our sixth starter, and he's good, and he did not play a second in that game."

According to Fisher, the biggest improvement with Arizona is on the offensive side of the ball.

"Their offensive flow to me looks a lot crisper," he said. "They're so much quicker with their cuts and movement. They can hurt you in so many ways. We're a good scout team, so if you run a lot of set plays, we do a good job of saying we're going to not let you run set plays. They run motion better than anybody in the country, and they're good at it.

"They take you one way, go back the other. They'll give you multiple ball screens. They attack off the dribble when you give them an angle, they know whether to drive it or draw and throw it up to somebody to dunk it in. They're very, very impressive.

"Their defense has I'm sure gotten better too, but to me as I watch them, they looked really crisp with their offensive efficiency in the half court."

One of the most exciting aspects of the game will be the atmosphere, as fans from both Arizona and San Diego should dominate the Honda Center.

"Arizona travels well," Fisher said. "You've got a lot of Zonies that come here for the racing season and get in the way. Now they're here for they came for the tournament here, and a lot of them have stayed.

"They are a great fan base that travel as well as anybody in the country. There will be a lot of red in that building, and there will be a lot of Aztec red, there will be a lot of Arizona red, and there will be a pretty good contingency of Wisconsin red. I'm proud that we're going to have a big crowd. Arizona's going to have a big crowd too."


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