San Diego State was announced today as the pick in the preseason media poll to win the Mountain West Conference, but coach Steve Fisher knows better than to feed into the hype.
He knows that never before have the Aztecs won a Division I NCAA tournament game. Despite putting scares into Tennessee last season and Indiana in 2006, they remain 0-6.
And first comes actually making the NCAA tournament. After all, the last time the Aztecs were picked to win the conference, they finished tied for third and settled for an NIT bid in 2007.
In an interview with The Mtn. Fisher talks about making sure his players get the message about dealing with expectations.
"Expectations will be exponential, too high, but that comes with the territory.
"I think they're doing OK with it. We talk about it. Don't get caught up in all your buddies telling you how good you are. Don't get caught up in your AAU coach telling you you got to shoot more. Do what we ask you to do. Help us win, and everyone will benefit including you."
But given that three other teams in the conference made the NCAA tournament last season, if the Aztecs are going to win their first regular-season crown since 2006, it will have been earned.