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Story and photo by Liz Alper

February 21, 2017 (San Diego) - Aztecs men's basketball has won three straight.  Again.  They have only won four straight once this season.  They're looking to do it again tomorrow night against Fresno State at home.  Coach Steve Fisher, junior guard Trey Kell and junior forward Malik Pope sat down with the media today at the team's weekly press conference.

"Big game tomorrow with Fresno State.  Big game for both teams," Fisher opened with. "Reflecting back, I like how we're playing.  Watching film, we're making progress in areas that have helped us be successful.  Progress, but still not where it needs to be.  And this game tomorrow, I know it will be hotly contested.  They are an aggressive team that will guard hard.  We're anxious to see how we'll perform."

Fisher was asked about Pope's status and health. "The reality is, we've got him, we've got him now reasonably healthy, he's been able to practice and he's improved his game.  He's improved his mental game...he walks into the locker room with a smile on his face.  And that's allowed him to take some steps forward...there's still a lot of upside that he can still have."

Pope agreed. "I think my game's starting to grow a little bit mentally.  Right now, I'm just taking it slow and just being more poised with what's presented in the game to me and not forcing shots."

On whether the Aztecs are thinking about winning the regular season title:  "I'm not thinking or talking about winning the regular season title."  

Kell echoed the sentiment. "To be honest, we're not really focused on that.  We know a lot of things have to happen for us to be able to achieve we're just focused on the next we're just taking it one game at a time.  If we keep looking too far ahead, we'll lose track of the games coming up ahead and the practices coming up ahead and that'll hurt us."

So did Pope. "It's one game at a time if we want to do anything or make anything possible."

Coach gave the scouting report on Fresno State. "Fresno has a group of athletes; they will be athletic.  They're like us; they guard you hard.  They will come at you defensively.  They will not allow to just pass, catch, move and put the ball anywhere we want to put it.  We're gonna have to play.  We're gonna have to play under some stress.  In all probability, we'll have another close game."

The Aztecs take on Fresno State at Viejas Arena at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night.  You can watch the game on CBS Sports Network and listen in on The Mighty 1090.

Watch a full video of the press conference here:

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