Mesa's Fuller brushes aside lack of interest from colleges - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Mesa's Fuller brushes aside lack of interest from colleges

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 12:40 am | Updated: 8:39 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Mesa High boys basketball coach Shane Burcar could only scratch his head.

Late last winter, interest by colleges in standout swingman Aaron Fuller was somewhere between slim and none.

And when that carried over into the 2007-2008 Jackrabbits season, Burcar was dumbfounded.

"There's been so much from coaches wondering if he would fit their team because they aren't sure if he's a 3 or a 4," Burcar said.

A few teams took fliers on the 6-foot-7 Fuller at the end of last season, one in which he averaged 18.1 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field and 67 percent from the line.

But with double-doubles coming regularly, and the Jackrabbits in control of the 5A East Valley Region, Burcar and Fuller are confident the easy-going senior will have a college to call his home next fall.

"Basically, I didn't worry about it," Fuller said. "I've gone out and played my game. I haven't felt pressure. It would be nice to know where I'm playing next year. The way I see it I have nothing to lose. Just show that I can play."

Fuller has done that with regularity. He's the primary reason teams "Fear the Hop," the Mesa High motto this season.

Through 23 games Fuller is averaging 24.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, and almost half of his rebounds are on the offensive end.

Many coaches are shocked to discover after games that he's dumped 28 or 30 points on them. That was the case last Thursday when Mesa knocked off Mesa Red Mountain.

"I thought he had 18 or 20," Mesa Red Mountain coach Greg Sessions said after learning Fuller hit for 31. "He goes about his business smoothly and methodically."

Fuller's game has expanded this season. He's a threat, if not lethal inside. He has also worked on extending his range.

"He didn't shoot 3s much last year," Burcar said. "He's doing it more now and he's good at it. He's only going to get better."

Fuller took just five 3s last season and made two. This year he's attempted eight times as many and is hitting 37 percent from beyond the arc.

"I've spent a lot of time trying to improve my outside shot," Fuller said. "That and free-throw shooting and ball handling. That's what I've concentrated on.

"If there is a position to play at the next level for me it's the 3. But really, either one is all right with me."

The school pursuing Fuller with the most vigor is Michigan. Two weeks ago, Michigan assistant coach John Mahoney came to town to watch Fuller. This past Saturday, Wolverines head coach John Beilein attended a Jackrabbits practice to eye Fuller.

"He liked him and the intangibles," Burcar said. "He wants Aaron to come for a visit but doesn't want him to come until the season's over. He's respectful of our season and wants Aaron to concentrate on that. They are very interested."

Fuller is arguably one of the top three players in the state this year, along with Phoenix Pinnacle's Taylor Rohde and Mesa Mountain View's Brendon Lavender.

That pair has committed to ASU and Arizona, respectively.

Burcar hopes Fuller will know his fate soon.

"Whoever gets him is going to want him because they are getting a great basketball player," Burcar said. "He can help you win."

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