Wyoming trip hairy for Aztecs

Getting to Laramie, Wyo., isn’t easy even in ideal conditions.

It’s about a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport, and winter weather can add uncertainty to the journey.

So when San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher decided it was important to spend money on a rare charter flight for Tuesday’s game at Wyoming, it made sense.

But he couldn’t have predicted this.

The Aztecs chartered a 19-seat prop plane Monday, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune, that had to stop in St. George, Utah, to refuel. Inclement weather forced the plane to land in Cedar City, Utah, where snow stranded the Aztecs for the night.

They then left at 8:17 a.m. MST on Tuesday before, yes, stopping in Grand Junction, Colo., to refuel again.

“Next stop Wyoming,” forward Garrett Green tweeted. “This has been one very interesting adventure … I’m ready to play & get back to San Diego.”

San Diego State landed in Laramie at 11:31 a.m. MST, too late for its morning shootaround. The Aztecs were scheduled to tip off about seven hours later and after the game return on the same plane to San Diego.

Maybe the hassle of getting to Laramie is the real reason the Aztecs are leaving the Mountain West Conference in 2013.

■ VIEW FROM THE RIGHT — Goalie Tim Thomas is one of two Americans who play for the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, but he chose not to join his teammates in a White House ceremony Monday.

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People,” Thomas posted on Facebook. “This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.”

He added this wasn’t about politics and that both major parties “are responsible for the situation we are in as a country.”

Thomas might be sincere, but this comes off as a political move that shows disrespect for the office of the presidency. No doubt he has Bruins teammates who hold similar political views, but they not only chose to attend the ceremony, unlike Thomas, those players placed the focus on the team over an individual.

■ PAC-1 CONFERENCE — With UCLA basketball players scattered to UNLV and New Mexico, the Bruins are a shadow of what they used to be.

Much like their conference.

There is a possibility the Pac-12 will send only its champion to the NCAA Tournament. California leads the conference with a Ratings Percentage Index of 35, and the league is 1-23 against top 50 teams and 8-41 against those in the top 100.

Not since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 has a power conference failed to send more than one team. Forty percent of the selection committee is made up of officials from the West Coast, Big West, Western Athletic and Big Sky conferences.

As SI.com’s Andy Glockner pointed out, those officials “represent leagues that may benefit from (the Pac-12’s) current condition.”

Maybe that’s why Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott went to China last month. He was looking for basketball players.


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