San Diego State dealt with a stomach bug that swept across the team, its coaches and even some of the coaches’ wives leading up to Sunday’s loss to Duke.
Coach Steve Fisher wasn’t making any excuses for his team or its play, though.
“It hit a lot of people from coaches to players to coaches’ wives and that’s not fun to deal with that,” Fisher said after his team’s 68-49 loss to the Blue Devils. “But that had no impact on how we competed, what we did, how we played. That had no bearing on it.”
Aztecs guard Aqeel Quinn wasn’t feeling well Thursday afternoon after eating a turkey sandwich. He vomited throughout the night and didn’t feel healthy during the second half of SDSU’s win against St. John’s on Friday.
Initially thought to be food poisoning, Fisher and the Aztecs surmised it was an illness after multiple people connected to the program fell ill.
Last-minute change: As much as he was proud of his team’s win, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was even more impressed with its ability to alter its usual strategy in a day-and-a-half and successfully implement some different defensive concepts.
“Usually we’re a team (that is) always giving help, we play kind of like they do, a little pack-man defense,” Izzo said. “But because they run these flare screens and they’re so good at it, we couldn’t get caught up in that. So we used our bigs in the middle and we just kind of changed what we do.”
Senior forward Branden Dawson offered this example: “Coach told me during this game that I can’t go for any steals, I can’t gamble, and I didn’t go for any steals. So, coach, I listened to you.”
Izzo, sitting on the other end of news conference table, clapped his hands.
Tough end for Gill: Former Charlotte Christian standout Anthony Gill led Virginia in scoring with 11 points, but he, like his teammates, struggled from the field on 3-for-9 shooting. He finished with five rebounds and one assist. Gill, the team’s leading rebounder, scored 16 in the Cavaliers’ 79-67 victory Friday against Belmont.
By the numbers
23 Years between NCAA meetings for San Diego State coach Steve Fisher and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
100 Percent from the free-throw line for Jahlil Okafor after going 2-for-2. Okafor entered the game as a 51 percent free-throw shooter.
▪ “I don’t think we made him uncomfortable. I thought he was too comfortable at the very beginning..” – Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon on Michigan State guard Travis Trice.
▪ “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I wish the season started tomorrow.” – SDSU’s Skylar Spencer.
▪ “Draymond Green actually this morning said don’t let this be your last game and I texted him back and said, I won’t.” – Trice, referring to the former Spartans player now in the NBA.