I have said on this blog that Marvin Menzies did the right thing by sitting Jonathan Gibson at Long Beach State so we won't talk about that loss. He did the right thing by sitting players for the crimson and white butthe Aggies haven't won a close game in the past two years except last year at San Jose State when Gibson hit a shot after the Spartans came back and the WAC semi vs. Nevada comes to mind. This year the Aggies are 0-for 3 (Ok, i included the Long Beach game) in games decided by five or less. Two of those, the Aggies didn't get a shot off on the final possession. To be honest, they only got off one quality look in the last minute on Tuesday and that was from a player who attempted his first field goal of the game with the game in the balance in the last minute (Laroche)
Last year, I remember Justin Hawkins talking about how the Aggies just played ball, and it worked out alright since they had guys like Justin or Passos who they could go to. This year they have talented individual players who can go one-on-one at times but no resemblance of an offense if they aren't getting buckets in transition.
Youth is certainly a factor. One series that stands out to me is when Hernst Laroche found Wendell McKines for a dunk with a beautiful no-look through some traffic from the top of the key for a dunk to put NMSU up 66-63, but UNM got to the foul line again to make it a one-point game. The next time down, Laroche made a great read on an offensive rebound off a Jahmar Young miss, but he dribbled it off his foot with 52.6 left. Alford called a timeout and Faris hit the game winner.
Menzies made a point to talk about the youth of his team in his postgame comments but it doesn't change the fact that San Jose State has seniors in the starting lineup, Fresno State has big-time freshmen and a ASU transfer and the Aggies are 0-6 on the road.
Both hoops coaches at NMSU have talked about all of the non-conference games are just preparation for WAC play. Well now WAC play is here and although its weaker than in the past on both sides, growth is fine but you still have to enter the games with the intent to win and not just gain experience and I think that message should come from the head coach.