Fisher leading Wildcats in Senior Year
A team-first attitude, Fish has simply looked to do whatever it takes.
by Quinn Peterson
“You know, a lot of young people just want to come in and play right away, but I waited my turn, I worked hard, I played since day one, and now all my hard work is paying off.”
Taking the torch from Scottie Reynolds has been a smooth pass of the baton. Earlier this year, Fisher joined Reynolds, becoming just the second Wildcat to notch 1,500 points and 450 assists.
“I do whatever my team needs. My team needed me to score in the second half and that’s what I did,” said Fisher after scoring a career-high 34 points against DePaul. “When they were sending two at me, I was dimin’ ‘em, gettin’ dimes. Just doing whatever my team needs. If they need defense, I’ma [play] D, if they need scoring, I’ma do scoring. I’m just trying to do everything.
Lately — especially with fellow senior guard Corey Stokes out due to injury — it’s been scoring and shooting that Nova has needed. And it’s been Fisher, in particular, that has stepped up (and we know he can score).
Even before his eruption in Chicago against the Blue Demons — a game where he willed his team to victory, personifying senior leadership — Fisher had been on a tear over the past few weeks, shooting 31-of-56 (55 percent) from three in his past 11 games entering Monday’s matchup against Syracuse.
Not necessarily the fast, quickest or most explosive athlete, Fisher finds an array of ways to get it done. Savvy penetration, a wide-ranging assortment of shots in the lane, pull-up jumpers, shot-fakes, step-back threes. A little bit of everything.
This year, he’s averaging career-highs across the board: 16.3 points, five assists, three boards and just under two steals. His minutes per game, assist-to-turnover ratio and shooting percentages are also better than they’ve ever been. In the process, 6-1 Brooklyn native embraced the leadership role vacated by Reynolds.
“I came here playing behind Scottie which taught me a lot, just preparing me for now to be a leader on the team,” said the Cousy Award finalist. “I’m the coach on the court, know what I mean. Coach [Jay Wright] has got a lot of faith in me, [tells me] just make decisions”.
Because of their guards’ success, Wright and the Wildcats are often looked as guard oriented. Nova’s emphasis on the guards has helped him out a lot, Fisher said, but he was quick to salute his frontline teammates, as well.
“A lot of people think we’re guard oriented because our guards score a lot and make plays for others, but we got bigs. We got legit bigs, Antonio Pena and Mouph [Mouphtaou Yarou].”
“We just out there taking whatever the defense gives us. If you gotta be aggressive, we’re gonna be aggressive.”
Much the same way Reynolds and others taught him, Fisher is now playing teacher to Nova’s younger faces. Amassing, thus far, a Sweet Sixteen, a Final Four and 98 wins — and counting — he certainly has plenty of experience to pull from.
“I’m just trying to teach all the young guys whatever I can, you know, if it’s on the court [or] if it’s off the court,” said the senior. “I got guys like Maalik Wayns, Dominic Cheek that’s gonna be leaders next year when I leave, you know, I’m just trying to show them everything. It starts with maturity. Each year, you get older and you just learn some new things, I’m just passing it on to them.”
Looking to end his career as a Wildcat on a high note, the goals remain the same.
“Just continue to get better, day by day, and that’s what we’re gonna do. We got good leadership on this team, great coaching staff and we’re just gonna get ready for our next game.”
As he shown this season, Fisher’s not letting anyone off the hook easy, and as graduation from Guard U. nears, his hunger remains.