New Mexico State hoops

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nevada takes a hit

Things wil get better for Aggies fans if Nevada sophomore center JaVale Mcgee gets drafted this summer. The seven footer, who led the WAC in blocked shots, has reportedly hired an agent with intentions of entering the draft. An official release will come Monday. I'm not certain, but I don't think Marcelus Kemp hired an agent last summer while he tested the interest of the league. If Mcgee is gone, I'm sure the Wolf Pack will find other weapons, but they had a big time nucleus coming back next year in the backcourt, espeically with the addition of a mcdonalds all american small forward Luke babbitt from Reno set to join next year.

Herb Pope and Coach Spence

Just a couple of news items looking forward this summer. According to Herb Pope's attorney, Pope will enter a program for first time offenders that will eventually erase the DUI from his criminal record. Personally I believe Pope will remain out of trouble, regardless of if if remains in Las Cruces still remains to be seen, but to be honest, he didn't light the WAC on fire in his short time on the court, so that could end up helping Menzies and the Aggies keeping him around, even if other schools are interested.
Darin Spence will get a new deal, most likely after the NMSU Board of Regents meet again April 9, approving McKinley Boston's recomendation. Well deserved after the year he had, and despite a couple of key losses, the women's team could be more athletic and better in the backcourt next year.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reggie Larry

Personally, I thought Reggie Larry was the WAC's MVP this year, but check this out.

http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/new/2008-collegehoops-net-high-major-all-americans-42222

Larry was named to the CollegeHoops.net First-Team High-Major All-American. team. Here are all of the teams. A few names of note were Jaycee Carroll to the second team, UNM's J.R. Giddens on the third team, UTEP's Stefon Jackson on the fourth team and Justin Hawkins and Marcelus Kemp among the honorable mention.

CollegeHoops.net First Team High-Major All-American
G: Drew Lavender (Xavier)
G: Robert Vaden (UAB)
F: Gary Forbes (UMass)
F: Reggie Larry (Boise State)
F: Trent Plaisted (BYU)

CollegeHoops.net Second Team High-Major All-American
G: Eric Maynor (VCU)
G: Adam Emmenecker (Drake)
G: Jaycee Carroll (Utah State)
F: Will Thomas (George Mason )
F: Will Daniels (Rhode Island)

CollegeHoops.net Third Team High-Major All-American
G: Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga)
G: Rob McKiver (Houston)
G: Dionte Christmas (Temple)
F: J.R. Giddens (New Mexico)
F: Pat Calathes (St. Joseph's)

CollegeHoops.net Fourth Team High-Major All-American
G: Brian Robers (Dayton)
G: Josh Young (Drake)
G: Stefon Jackson (UTEP)
G: Lee Cummard (BYU)
F: Josh Duncan (Xavier)

CollegeHoops.net High-Major Honorable Mention:
Wink Adams (UNLV), Antoine Agudio (Hofstra), Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), Bryant Dunston (Fordham), Osiris Eldridge (Illinois State), Randal Falker (Southern Illinois), Leemire Goldwire (Charlotte), Justin Hawkins (New Mexico State), Marcelus Kemp (Nevada) Jermaine Taylor (Central Florida), Jeremy Wise (Southern Miss)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Better luck next year

The Boise State women's basketball team lost its second round game of the Women's NIT on Sunday to mercifully end the basketball season for the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC's postseason record finished at 1-6 between the men's and women postseason tournaments, 0-3 on the men's side and 1-3 in women's hoops. Next year should be better in both men's and women's leagues.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Luster leaving

Confirmed today (Saturday), JayDee Luster asked for his release on Tuesday and was granted it. didn't come as a surprise to the coaches or administration, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to readers. Personally I never saw what people liked so much about him on the court. I could be proven very wrong, but I think Terrence Joyner will be a better player at the point guard slot and I think that Luster was never going to be more than a role player or a back up point guard anyways.

The move shows some selfishness also, as he probably didn't get the minutes he thought was entitled to. He did pass Chris Cole on the depth chart as the season went on and would have continued to have an opportunity to compete for minutes, but after being told you are a star your whole life, it must be hard to play a supportive role.

I'm not going to bash the kid, and honestly I only talked to JayDee on a few occassions throughout the year, but I thought he was a good kid and hopefully he will land on his feet somewhere, but as for a Division I point guard, I never saw it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Idaho Coach

Idaho has announced the hiring of Utah State assistant Don Verlin. Verlin has spent 16 years with Stew Morrill at Colorado State and Utah State for 10. Don't know much other than that, but I think George Pfeifer did a solid job late in the season with Idaho. I know the program had a lot of player turnover from Pfeifer's first to second year there, but it seems the Vandals were on the right track. Now another coaching change.

I've seen people who called for Menzies firing at times this season. How long do you give him, considering this season. If he doesn't win next year, do you as fans think they should continue a coaching carousel or does Menzies have a few years to build?

Recruiting dates

April 16-May 21 Regular signing period. My understanding is the Aggies are still determining which players can afford to pay their own way versus taking up a scholarship. Chris Gabriel signed early, but even he could pay his own way or get some academic help since he is a solid student. Plus Menzies has Terrence Joyner, Faisal Aden, Troy Gillenwater, Robert Lumpkins and Hamidu Rahman to try and get going for next season. I'm going to try to clear those things up in the coming weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menzies

I've seen a lot of people 'grading' Menzies this year. I think there is a lot to being a college basketball coach so there is not one true grade. I would break his performance into three categories and go from there.

Recruiting: B+
He brought in Wendell McKines to play this year and McKines continued to improve throughout the season, really peaking last week during the tournament. But he is just part of what Menzies has already done. He has also added Troy Gillenwater and point guard Terrance Joyner, who originally signed with Arkansas. I think those two highlight a class that will add nicely to next year's team. And Menzies went about it the right way, bringing some players in who might have struggled their first year academically. This way, they can get their grades right and still work out and be around the team.

Game management: C
I think Menzies improved in this area as the season went along. At the beginning of the year, he would let his team play through it if the other team went on a run, but late in the season, he used a timeout here or there to stop the bleeding. I don't think he was outcoached in the championship game, the Aggies just couldn't knock down shots against the zone. As he got used to the personnel that he had, I think the substitution pattern he had was pretty solid. He had a pretty good feel for which one between Jonathan Gibson and Jahmar Young had the hot hand and I thought he used Iti pretty well, letting Passos carry the load. His assistants are also new so I think they will also improve with scouting and developing a gameplan.

Team managment: A-
Menzies got thrown into the fire and I think responded very well. I don't know how a season could have more bumps than this year did, and to get the team to the conference final says a lot. He is a player's coach and I think once he has all of his own players, the off the court problems will decrease. Practice was closed but on the few occasions I was able to watch practice, Menzies runs a pretty tight practice. He also had to deal with a lot of dominating personalities in that lockerroom. The grade would have been an A or A +, but there were some silly things that happened during the course of the season that every program has to deal with.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nevada

I'm really looking forward to tonight's game between NMSU and Nevada.
I don't expect Nevada's guards to have back to back off nights, which I feel makes Hatila Passos more important tonight. Even though he is a senior, Nevada's sophomore JaVale McGee has gotten the best of him this season. McGee is a great shot blocker, but Passos will need to play stronger tonight and hopefully the NMSU guards can match Nevada's perimeter players. If I had to pick a winner at this point, I would go with Nevada, but perhaps the Aggies will feed off the energy of their students.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Women's semifinal matchups

Halfway through Wednesday's women's games and the first semifinal on Friday between No. 1 Fresno and No. 5 La. Tech promises to be a good one. Fresno won both regular season games handily but the tournament setting is a different story. The Bulldogs will need to somehow find a way to slow the game with the up and down Bulldogs so their posts can go to work, but that's easier said than done since Fresno makes you play their style.

All Conference

I hate to start the blog on a negative note, but I had a couple thoughts on the All-Conference team. I don't think I have played favorites all season long, but where was Hatila Passos?


Here is a little scenerio. One player averages 13 points per game. The other is seventh in the WAC in rebounding and first in field goal percentage and second in offensive rebounds. The first player is Utah State's Gary Wilkinson and the second is Passos. Wilkinson was on the second team, as was Idaho's Jordan Brooks, which was a head scratcher I thought. Perhaps they look at scoring more,which would punish Passos since he plays on a deeper team.

The other omission was Jahmar Young on the new comer team. Sure, Pope was highly regarded, but he didn't play half of the season, not to mention Young dropped a 33 point game, which at the time was the highest point total of any player in the WAC.