One tough Mama's boy
Niagara's senior sharpshooter leads the nation in scoring (27.9 ppg) and may also lead in maternal support. Fisher's mother has made all but two games of Fisher's senior season from her home outside of Philadelphia and has become quite a celebrity among the Purple Eagles supporters. Rogers says she does a "roll call" for the Niagara players before each game and keeps up the enthusiasm for 40 minutes.
"Everyone can hear her," says Fisher. "She gets the end zone going at home and we get a big advantage."
The frequent trips Rogers has made have not been easy. As a daycare provider, Rogers says she needs to give ample notice to her clients so they can make arrangements when she is away. Financially, Rogers does whatever she can to make trips, including selling pizzas and candy on the side over the summer.
"She really doesn't have the money to fly to places," Fisher says. "Every game is a struggle. She gets help from family members with plane tickets, or takes the train or shares rides with people. It is tough for her to get here, so that is why it is so important to me to get the job done."
Rogers was able to make Niagara's trip to San Francisco in December for the two-game Cable Car Classic, which it won, and she has everything lined up for the rest of the year, including a possible NCAA tournament trip. Rogers missed last year's Niagara-Kansas first-round matchup because of a weather delay and she says she cried for nearly a week.
"I love the game of basketball and I love seeing my son play," says Rogers, who wears one of four purple-and-black outfits to every game. "I feel like he needs to hear my voice. That's all I do. I don't party. I go to church and I go to my son's games. That is my enjoyment."
There has been plenty to enjoy lately. Fisher scored 45 points at Loyola (Md.) on Feb. 10, and had 41 in his next game against Iona, becoming the first player since Gonzaga's
Fisher has been on the floor every game this season, something that had not happened since arriving from Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High in Philadelphia. His freshman season was cut short with 13 games left by a knee injury. As a sophomore, an injury to his other knee caused him to miss the final 10 games. Last year, Fisher missed the first eight games after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault following a fight outside a Niagara nightclub.
According to the
"What I am proud of is he has clearly been terrific on the floor, but he has been just as good off the floor," Mihalich says. "He's been a great leader. Watching film, in the locker room, on the bus, he is just a coach's dream. When he was a freshman, I didn't know if he was going to be a coach's dream by the time he was a senior, but he is."
Mihalich credits Rogers for Fisher's maturation. "If Charron ever gives me a hard time, and I can't resolve it, I make one phone call [to his mother] and everything is taken care of," Mihalich says. "She is an incredible mom. She is a very strong person."
Mihalich lets Fisher go in his wide-open offense, and Fisher doesn't hesitate to take advantage of the freedom. He is averaging 22 shots per game and has taken 39 percent of his team's shots, which is No. 1 in the nation according to kenpom.com. He is shooting 39.4 percent from the floor, a number that has NBA scouts a little leery about Fisher's prospects in the league.
"In six years on the road, I've never seen a guy have as much of a green light as this guy," one NBA Eastern Conference scout said.
Mihalich if quick to point out that if Fisher does not score, the Purple Eagles will have trouble winning. Fisher is averaging 29.5 points per game in wins, 24.4 in losses.
At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Fisher is built like a linebacker, so much so that many schools, including Rutgers and Penn State, wanted to sign him to play football. Fisher says he never really liked football in high school, where he was a star linebacker and wide receiver.
"It was just something to stay in shape for basketball," he says.
Virginia offered him an opportunity to play both sports, where he could have played hoops with AAU teammate
"We want to get a game against a good team and win one," Fisher said about a possible return trip. "Our guys are focused and we're really starting to lock down and get that hunger back that we need to win this league."