White still rolling; training pays off

by Edward Lewis

Courtesy of Antonio Zaragoza.

TUCSON, Ariz. — San Diego State sophomore guard Chase Tapley crumpled to the floor in elation. Senior guard D.J. Gay flashed a huge smile. Malcolm Thomas grabbed his jersey and flaunted the “San Diego State” to the thousands of fans at the McKale Center.

The scene for Aztecs fans was gratifying, amazing, epic and unbelievable.

Or, to use another popular word, it was sweet.

Take a look at some of the news and notes from SDSU’s win which sent it to the Sweet 16.

White continues to roll

Billy White posted 16 points and 13 rebounds and recorded his third double-double in as many games. After the game, everybody wanted to know why a guy who had two double-doubles in his entire career before the Mountain West Conference Tournament two weeks ago, suddenly turned into a rebounding and scoring machine.

The media asked White, then some of his teammates, before head coach Steve Fisher finally gave the reason.

“We showed Billy … a cut of Billy standing and watching when shots would go up,” Fisher said. “And we said, ‘How can you get a rebound if you don’t go after a rebound?’”

Apparently White got the memo.

In his last three games he has 12, 13 and 13 rebounds to go along with 21, 12 and 16 points. SDSU has won all three of those games.

“I’ve just been trying to rebound, you know,” White said. “I talked to Coach Fisher and talked to my teammates and they just wanted me to just step up a little bit more and I just took it to myself.”

Training day

The Aztecs had four players play 43 or more minutes on Saturday night.

“I feel good,” sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard, who played 46 minutes, said. “Well, I don’t feel good.”

That was the sentiment most of the starting Aztecs had at the end of the night. They all felt good because of the win, but they all walked gingerly up to the press conference podium.

“I was exhausted,” Tapley, who played 39 minutes, said after the game.

In the postgame locker room, sophomore guard James Rahon revealed the team put on football cleats and went out to the football field in the summer to prepare their bodies for a game like this.

“It was hard,” Rahon said of being a basketball player running around in football cleats. “We had to come early on Saturday mornings. But we all knew if we fought through this it would only make us better.”

Short Shots

SDSU won its 34th game of the season, which is the most in the nation. … If SDSU ends up playing UConn, it will have some sort of familiarity with the Huskies. Freshman guard Jamaal Franklin said he played against superstar guard Kemba Walker when the two played AAU ball. … Fisher improved his record to 48-22 in postseason play.

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