New Mexico State hoops

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

N'Doye practices, Menzies still waiting on NCAA

7-foot center Aboulaye N'Doye practiced for the first time today (Wednesday) I'm doing a story on the big fella from Africa for over the weekend. I didn't really know what to expect but I came away from the short interview impressed. One non-basketball thing that I found interesting about him came when we were talking about what he had been doing the past year. It seems that we have been talking about this kid for two years and Wednesday was his first practice. He said that his studies in Africa really prepared him and were more demanding than what he has faced in the short time he has been at the university level in America. Some noteworthy hoops info on him – he has only been playing basketball for four years and his first game in an Aggie uniform will be his first time in organized basketball. ... Also, because of a complicated transfer process, the Aggies will have his services on the court for three years. ... As far as his physical ability, it has yet to be determine.

Here are some quotes from Aggie assistant Mick Durham, who works with the Aggie big men on how they will work him into the flow after getting a knee scope last month. I will say that when we were talking, Hamidu Rahman walked by and N'Doye clearly has a couple inches on Rahman, who is listed at 6-11, although Rahman has had the benefit of three years in the weight room.

"We had him in individuals for a handful of workout sessions but his knee kept swelling and he had to get his knee scoped. We have to start really basic with him. The downfall is missing six weeks of conditioning so we have to get him back in shape and then slowly work on his skills but we need another big body in practice."

Bodies in practice doesn't seem to be an issue. I've only been around the team for two seasons so far but I can't remember a time where there were so many able-bodies guys in the practice gym. I believe there were 15 guys there on Wednesday.


Finally, Menzies on the eligibility of BJ West and Bandja Sy


"There is a 50-50 chance that BJ could be done (Thursday). There is an outside chance that Bandja could be done the following day but not cleared. Just cleared to practice. Then we are going to start a waiver. You get to go until they finish the waiver."

Menzies on Justin Standley and Jacoby Patton

"It's nailed down that (Standley) is going to redshirt but its not nailed down if he will be able to practice or not. We are still working on trying to get him to be able to be a practice players. Jacoby is also in the same boat. We are trying to hopefully get him cleared so he can be a full practice player but he is going to redshirt either way."

Menzies on the first week of practice

"We have a lot of new kids who are trickling in with the process. They are picking it up very quickly based on their own basketball IQ as well as the returners helping them through things. It's easy to develop in a basketball system if you have a lot of people who know the system. Everybody goes out and runs the plays the right way. The first group goes out. They all know everything that we are doing already, we are going to tweak some things later. So the new guys get to sit back and watch their position go and run through it correctly first even if it's just repeating what that guy did, eventually they will understand the nuances of reading the defense and the options within it. But they get a chance, every rep, to see it done correctly before they actually step on the floor."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great work JG. I was the one asking you to get a quote from MM on the clearance issues. Appreciate it. However, it's a real pain that we are already in October (half way through the semester) and these guys have not been cleared yet.

Justin said...

If anyone remembers the Pope and JY clearinghouse sagas, we were hearing these "tomorrow, or maybe the next day statements" about 10 days before they were actually clear. In October, it was still a "sometime soon".

So to me, this is good news, taken with a grain of salt.

Nice reporting, JG.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean that BJ is 50-50 for thursday? If not cleared, does that just mean more time is needed or he's out?

Jason Groves said...

Justin is right and so is anon 805. This seems typical for freshmen, I think even Wendell missed a few practices as a freshman, Joyner was out for awhile etc. I'm not worried about West but like 805 said, with the prep school factor, he might take awhile longer. And Anon 9:30, yes, Menzies meant that it would take longer and not that West would be out.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many other college teams deal with this same problem year in year out. I doubt the Kentucky's and UCLA's of the world have to deal with this nonsense. Is it based on the type of recruits that Menzies (and Theus) gets? Or is it normalcy? Either way it's very frustrating and nerve racking. Especially with Wen and Troy out.

Anonymous said...

What is Zach Adams', recent MVCS graduate, status with the Aggies? Coming from a small school, he's got some maturing to do, but could he compete for time in a couple of years?

Justin said...

Anon 6:22,

I've been thinking about the same question. I was a collegiate athlete in a non-revenue sport 10 or so years ago, and my clearance (both initial, and when I transferred) happened in a matter of 2-3 weeks in the summer. None of my teammates had issues either, including some international athletes. In the last 3 years, NMSU has had at least 8 MBB players who weren't cleared when practice started, and that's 2 months into the semester.

I would guess that Menzies, et al, are playing the mid-major recruiting game as best they can. The ideal recruit is a great player, great citizen, and good academically. The Kentucky's and UCLA's of the world pick up those recruits, and the mid-major's of the world are left to pick 2 of 3 or 1 of 3. I think NMSU (and a lot of other non-BCS schools, for that matter) have made a conscious program decision to get great athletes who may be compromised in either their citizenship or academic prowess. Thankfully, since the Menzies era began, we've moved away from those who are bad citizens, and are now merely dealing with those who have had past academic difficulty.

Wendell didn't qualify at his first school of choice as a freshman (USF), which is why he was available to us. Same with Gillenwater, Joyner, and to some extent, Pope. It's not so surprising that we face later academic issues either getting these players cleared or keeping them eligible.

andgar said...

is N'Doye cleared to play at the start of the season

Jason Groves said...

yes andgar

Anonymous said...

While Nevada has a McDonalds All American on their roster, we have a kid who is waiting for his first game of organized basketball. I love the size, and appears to be a good, intelligent kid. I hope he develops and becomes a force.

Anonymous said...

haven't had problems with players? you must be watching a different program. it doesn't matter though because it is all about getting the "W" around here.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard anything on West or Sy yet?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:06 Babbitt is listed a something like 6'9 and if N'Doye is "a couple inches" taller than Rahman who is listed at 6'11.

Then that is why were are giving significant basketball experience to get the size of N'Doye. We just going to try and develop that talent. And just because he hasn't played quote on quote "organized basketball". That doesn't mean he has no basketball experience what so ever. Even though his experience is probably limited.

Anonymous said...

10:52,

Its about getting the "W" everywhere. Not just around here.

If you're a sports fan, its about getting a "W" for you too.

I personally wouldnt trade the success that Neil McCarthy had for the stuff that followed. And most people wouldnt either. Aggie basketball uner McCarthy was not only on the map, but also a force well recognized throughout college basketball. The Pan Am was packed for most games.

The bottom line in college athletics is to get the "W"

Anonymous said...

anon 7:55 your opinion is so wrong, and it part of the problem with college athletics.

Anonymous said...

12:43- Yes I know its a problem in college athletics, and I'm not saying its right. I am saying however, that its the reality. The bottom line is to get the "W". Do you think coaches are paid millions of dollars to make kids graduate? They get millions to pack the stadiums and arenas. On our own team, if it was all about academics and graduating good citizens, Big Wen, Gillenwater, and Young would all get their scholarships pulled. Even Menzies, who I like, and is doing a good job of building a team, is sacrificing good citizenship for wins.

Anonymous said...

saw on menzies' twitter that bandja sy has been cleared to practice. does that mean he is cleared for games as well?

Anonymous said...

Groves--throw us a bone. Everyone is clearly getting excited for the season (see all the posts), and you can't get in more than one post per week. Even telling us that there are no updates is still giving an update. How is practice going? Clearinghouse progress? New players? Etc.