CHARLOTTE, N.C. Aqeel Quinn was wilted into his chair, his top physique tremor with any moan that left into his hands, unhappy over what competence have been.
Next to him, Malik Pope spoke hardly above a whisper, positively sad, yet assured about what will be.
“It’s unsatisfactory right now,” Pope said. “But we can’t be unhappy forever.”
It might have seemed, dejected by a moment, as yet Duke’s 68-49 subjection on Sunday in a third turn of a NCAA Tournament set back, or during slightest stalled, a San Diego State basketball program.
No. It did not.
Even as a Aztecs looked mislaid during times, even as their biggest weaknesses were exposed, a good news was in a bad news.
That is, it’s now time to demeanour forward.
Steve Fisher began his postgame remarks to his group by revelation them to simulate on what they’d achieved – a sixth true NCAA Tournament appearance, winning a Tournament diversion for a third true year. He paid loyalty to a vacating seniors – Quinn, JJ O’Brien and Dwayne Polee.
He afterwards told his players to start meditative about removing better.
To see where this module is headed, we indispensable demeanour no serve than those adjacent lockers on Sunday, where one immature male wept and a younger male talked about removing behind to work.
Quinn, a former walk-on incited starter, reflects a program’s hard-fought ascension. Pope, arguably a many quite gifted partisan in propagandize history, represents a program’s roughly vast future.
The NCAA Tournament came to a deflating end for this San Diego State basketball team. For this basketball program, there are many some-more ahead.
“We’re going to get to a Final Four, man,” Quinn said. “I’ll be there watching.”
Such predictions are no longer to be seen as merely wishful. It is inevitable.
Even if that did not seem anywhere within reasonable expectancy on Sunday.
It is infrequently nebulous, a opposite between athleticism and talent. Other times, it is transparent what separates a dual traits. On this day, a inconsistency between a good group and an chosen group was painfully obvious.
If this was a measuring hang for SDSU, it would need a prolonged stick. And some trigonometry.
The Aztecs did not have an answer for Duke’s multiple of pressure, certainty and precision. Not to discuss talent and size.
And in those passing durations where SDSU did seem tighten to during slightest mitigating a gap, it had no approach to stop Jahlil Okafor, a 6-foot-11, 270-pound beginner expected to be a No.1 collect in June’s NBA Draft.
It is not unfit to consider SDSU could have beaten Duke in one game. But, really, a Aztecs (27-9) were not good adequate to compare adult opposite this installed team. One tiny satisfaction is not many teams are. The Blue Devils are 31-4 and pierce on to their 28th Sweet Sixteen as a No.1 seed in a South.
Within a completeness of Duke’s annihilation, we saw SDSU’s issues.
Once they staid down Sunday, switched adult a lineup and figured out how to fight Duke’s continuous and effective pressure, a Aztecs were still eventually weighed down by bricks.