SAN DIEGO – The San Diego State Aztecs play two tough games this week, so they’ll need big contributions from everyone, including their MVP – most versatile player – JJ O’Brien.
The Aztecs moved up two spots in the coaches’ poll to No. 22, but for the second week in a row, they got no love from the Associated Press writer’s poll.
This week they face Colorado State Wednesday and then at UNLV Saturday. They’ll be counting on O’Brien.
The Aztecs’ game program lists O’Brien as a forward, but it could also list the 6-feet, 7-inches junior as a guard because he has played the point. It could also list him as a center, because he leads the team in offensive rebounds.
Or, the Aztecs could take Coach Steve Fisher’s advice and list him as “He’s our Do it All, our Mr. Fix It,'” Fisher said. “He does a little bit of everything and does it very, very effectively. He’s quietly become maybe our best offensive rebounder.”
“It’s definitely a good nickname,” O’Brien said. “It’s just something I’ve grown accustomed to, being in different spots on the court. That’s just what it is now. I’m glad to be in that position.”
O’Brien transferred from Utah and had to sit out last season. With nagging injuries to Xavier Thames and Chase Tapley, his versatility has meant even more to the Aztecs.
“It makes the game easier when you have a player like that,” Taple said. “(Someone who) can play any position and be out there on the floor at any time, any situation and have confidence in the person that they can do the job that needs to be done. It just makes everybody’s job easier.”
O’Brien said he chose to transfer to SDSU because of the chance to play multiple positions. The Rancho Cucamonga native said he doesn’t really have a favorite spot on the floor. He just wants to be on the floor as much as possible.
“You get to show people what you can do by being at all spots on the floor,” O’Brien said. “You can be on the floor at any time doing anything. It’s definitely fun.”