June 1, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State has approved an Offer of Athletic Aid for J.J. O'Brien, which puts him on track to join the Aztec men's basketball program in 2011-12. As a four-year transfer, the 6-7, 215-pound wing must sit out the upcoming campaign, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2012-13.
"We're very excited about J.J. O'Brien's decision to come to San Diego State," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "We recruited him extremely hard out of high school, played against him three times last year and we're very aware of the entire package he brings to San Diego State.
"He is a true student of the game and he has the flexibility to play multiple positions on the floor, both offensively and defensively," Fisher added. "He is a winner in every sense of the word and we're extremely excited to have him as an Aztec basketball student-athlete."
The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native played at Utah last season and averaged 6.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, which was the second-highest average on the team, and 1.3 assists, while starting 21 of the 22 games he saw action in. The freshman started the season opener vs. Grand Canyon, but missed the next nine games due to a broken foot.
O'Brien returned from his injury against eventual national runner-up Butler in late December and then went on to start the final 20 games of the season, the final seven of which he played at least 36 minutes.
The Alta Loma High School graduate scored in double figures six times and grabbed 10 or rebounds on five different occasions. O'Brien picked up his first career double-double against Brigham Young when he went for 13 points and a personal-record 11 rebounds. Then two games later vs. New Mexico, he scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. O'Brien later matched his career best with 11 rebounds at New Mexico.
In three games vs. San Diego State, O'Brien averaged 6.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 31.7 minutes. In his first meeting against the Aztecs, which occurred at Viejas Arena, O'Brien posted his first career double-figure rebounding performance with a team-high 10.
Prior to attending Utah, O'Brien averaged 24 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 rebounds in his final season at Alta Loma and guided his squad to a 22-8 record and the third round of the CIF playoffs, the furthest ALHS had advanced in more than 20 years. O'Brien ultimately finished his career as Alta Loma's all-time leading scorer with 2,200 points.
The Aztecs are coming off a banner season in which they won a school-record 34 games, won their first-ever Division I NCAA postseason game and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. SDSU was ranked in the top 25 all season long and earned a program-best ranking of No. 4 during its MWC championship campaign. San Diego State finished the year ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll and No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today rankings.