Frank Rogers’ Road to Redemption at San Jose State

Posted by Andrew Murawa (@Amurawa) on December 17th, 2015

Even if you consider yourself a college basketball fan, there’s a good chance you don’t know the name Frank Rogers. If you have ever heard the name, you’ve got a great memory and it probably came up for a reason that Rogers would rather have you forget. In mid-December last season, San Jose State head coach Dave Wojcik indefinitely suspended five of his players. Two of those players returned after missing three games; Rogers — at the time of his suspension a 6’9” junior who was the team’s third-leading scorer — was among the other three who did not. During the ensuing offseason, he wasn’t listed on the team’s roster. After a season in which San Jose State suffered the indignity of a winless conference season and a year where its only two wins were over non-Division I opponents, it appeared from the outside that Rogers and the program had gone their separate ways. If you figured he was a guy you’d never hear from again, you probably weren’t alone.

After Being Dismissed From His Program In January, Frank Rogers Has Rebounded (Terrell Lloyd)

After Being Dismissed From His Program In January, Frank Rogers Has Rebounded. (Terrell Lloyd)

Flash forward to the Spartans’ second game of the season where it hosted a good Montana team coming off a 20-win season. After San Jose State took a 12-point lead into the half, the Grizzlies had fought all the way to within a point with under two minutes remaining. It looked like an all too familiar scene for the Spartans. A Brandon Clarke three was awry, but there was that guy – Frank Rogers – pulling down a big offensive board and finding his way to the basket for the hoop and harm to give his team some breathing room. On the next defensive possession, he challenged a Martin Breunig layup attempt at the rim before securing the missed attempt. By the time Princeton Onwas threw down a dunk in transition a minute later to put the finishing touches on a breakthrough win, Rogers had tallied 16 points, 10 boards, a couple assists, a steal and a block, and laid down the newest chapter in his story of personal redemption.

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Ranking the Mountain West Coaches

Posted by Andrew Murawa on January 30th, 2014

Any time you get around to comparing one coach to another, it’s a shaky situation. Isn’t the real decision about who is the better coach decided on the court? Sure, one coach may have more talent than another, but then again, isn’t pulling in talent part of the job description? So, prior to unveiling my rankings of the coaches in the Mountain West, lets offer up some criteria. For the most part, recruiting is excluded from this analysis. The question that we’ll attempt to answer instead is this: Pick any random team in the country — you don’t know its roster or its strengths and weaknesses — which Mountain West coach would give you the best chance over this and the next couple of seasons to get the most out of those players and leave the program in the best possible place at the end?

Well, here’s one man’s take, feel free to disagree.

Steve Fisher, San Diego State

The Dean Of Mountain West Coaches, Steve Fisher Is Among The Best In The Nation. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

  1. Steve Fisher, San Diego State – The results speak for themselves. Not only are the Aztecs the best team in the conference this year, Fisher’s done the most unbelievable job of building a program in the conference. Seriously, his track record at SDSU may not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as elite program-builders with national titles under their belts like Lute Olson and Jim Calhoun, but this trajectory is very, very close. Put it this way: There’s one sure-fire Hall-of-Famer in this conference and it is this man. He’s head and shoulders above the rest. The knock on him when he was at Michigan was that he could recruit well but wasn’t much of a teacher or a tactician. And earlier in his career at San Diego State, he struggled with some end-game scenarios (the 2006 NCAA Tournament First Round loss to Indiana still upsets me). But these days, his record in unimpeachable. He gets his players to improve from one season to the next and throughout their careers. Even while bringing in solid talent, he gets his team to exceed expectations. The team that he puts on the court is something that his supportive community can be proud of. Not only is Fisher far and away the best coach in the Mountain West, he’s on the very short list of the best in the nation. Read the rest of this entry »
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