"Why go somewhere that they have already done it all," asks Coach Chris Walker? "I tell my guys all the time, do you want to be the centerpiece or just a piece? If you want to be a centerpiece go somewhere where you can be the guy!"
And that is exactly what has happened today as TheRedMenace.com has learned that
"It is a good school and I think that coaches will help me to the next level," says the 6-10 Rusher. "I'm excited as I really like the coaches and the guys that are there. I think we can be a powerhouse!"
In my interview with Isaiah Rusher and Coach Walker that was the theme of the day. Being part of and turning New Mexico into a powerhouse basketball school and doing things never done before in the 505.
"Isaiah is looking to be part of something special," says Coach Walker. "He is looking at doing something that has never been done before. He can go to New Mexico and lead them to a Sweet 16 or Elite 8 and be something special, or go somewhere that they have already done it all and you are just another guy coming through the ranks."
According to Coach Walker Isaiah is a Top 50 player for the '07 class, but will reclassify and attend Patterson Prep in North Carolina. "The plan is for Isaiah to attend Patterson this season, sign this fall, and be eligible to play in 08," says Coach Walker.
I asked Coach Walker to talk a little bit about Isaiah's game right now. "Isaiah is Ben Wallace type of player," says Coach Walker. "He (Rusher) is an athletic, shot blocking enforcer, who is an explosive rebounder that is very strong, and tenacious."
According to Coach Walker the thing they want Rusher to work on the rest of this summer and upcoming season is… "Being more offensive minded," answer Coach Walker. He (Rusher) is a team guy and very unselfish, he will do whatever it takes to win. We want him to be more offensive minded and he has the ability to do it. Had he been more offensive minded this past season he would have easily been a 2007 Top-25 player."
Coach Walker finished off our interview with saying, "You all have a rare situation at New Mexico, both your head and asst. coaches played in the NBA. With Albuquerque being a big city, not a small town, and it being so close to Texas these kids are very interested in UNM. Also the pro atmosphere with 18,000+ going to The Pit makes New Mexico very attractive. It may not be in one of the "powerhouse conferences," but it is a unique situation that has players taking notice.
Obviously a 6-10 power forward took notice today.