TUCSON, ARIZ. (AP) - Riding back from the Mountain West Conference tournament last week, San Diego State’s players learned coach Steve Fisher had a copy of the new documentary about Michigan’s famous Fab Five recruiting class.
Most of them didn’t know much about the team Fisher coached to consecutive national title games, so they asked him to pop it in on the bus trip home.
“They enjoyed it,” Fisher said Wednesday. “I do think that they heard a lot about it, but most of them weren’t born when the Fab Five were playing. But they still had fun with it. They ribbed both myself and (assistant coach) Brian Dutcher about how we looked then and how we look now, and all that stuff. So it was fun.”
The 1991 freshman class of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King was one of the most heralded in college basketball history and had a good run in Ann Arbor.
The fivesome’s legacy, though, was overshadowed by scandal after prosecutors said now-deceased booster Ed Martin gave Webber, Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock more than $600,000 while they were student-athletes.
The film, produced by Rose and aired on ESPN, looked at what happened to the Fab Five both on and off the court.
Fisher said he got a copy of the movie last week before playing in the MWC tournament and had no problem with it.
“I smiled. It brought back a lot of memories,” Fisher said Thursday. “I enjoyed it. I thought it was a good portrayal of who they were, what happened.”
As for his players, it was a nice insight into the life Fisher had before arriving in San Diego.
“Before the movie, I didn’t know too much about the Fab Five,” San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard said. “I just knew they were all freshmen and they went far in a tournament. But after seeing the movie, I learned a lot about them and Coach Fisher, and it’s inspirational for us on the team.”
BIG EAST BLUSTER: Yes, you go through a lot when you play in the Big East.
Does it translate to success in the NCAA tournament?
Louisville coach Rick Pitino isn’t so sure.
“It’s not as significant as you may think,” he said.