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Matt Mitchell, SDSU's Leading Scorer, Grew Up a Fan of Syracuse, Melo, Boeheim

Mitchell is looking forward to facing the Orange in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse and San Diego State are set to square off in the NCAA Tournament Friday night. There are many layers to this matchup, but a new one revealed itself on Monday when the Aztecs leading scorer spoke with the media.

"Actually, growing up, Syracuse was my favorite school," Aztecs' leading scorer Matt Mitchell said. "As a young kid, if you talked to my parents or anybody that knew me as a kid, I wanted to be Carmelo Anthony. Growing up, I kind of modeled my game after him and that's kind of where I get my mid-range game from. Wanting to give people the business down low and bully people, and allow myself to get to my spot. 

"It's definitely hindsight 20/20. It's kind of surreal to be playing Syracuse the first round out, but this is an opportunity like no other. It's an opportunity to play against an all-time great coach in Boeheim and a great team. I'm looking forward to it." 

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Mitchell said he did not have an Orange jersey, but wore an orange headband around from ages seven to twelve, modeling it after Carmelo Anthony. 

In addition, Mitchell said he grew up a fan of Jim Boeheim including the vaunted 2-3 zone. He is hoping that will help him Friday night, as San Diego State has not faced zone this season. 

"I can say I could draw up their 2-3 zone and place it pretty well," Mitchell said. "I spent a lot of time in my middle schools years and especially my high school years liking Syracuse. Liking Jim Boeheim. Everything he did offensively, defensively with his players. I definitely could draw up that 2-3 zone pretty well. Hopefully when it comes to the game I can dice it up." 

Mitchell's father wanted Matt to be his own player. To stop trying to be Carmelo Anthony and just be Matt Mitchell. Mitchell has become quite a player and was named Mountain West Player of the Year this season. Mitchell is a versatile defender who can matchup with multiple positions, he is a three level scorer and plays with infectious energy. He averaged over 15 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a major reason why San Diego State has won 14 games in a row entering Friday night's matchup with Syracuse.