A couple notes about Tuesday's game.
First of all, Menzies said it's possible that Robert Lumpkins will start at the four spot. I think Sy will be better coming off the bench right now anyway but he could end up being the guy if once he finds his comfort zone. The bench will be important for the Aggies this season and Sy adds some athleticism and length off the bench.
Teddy Feinberg is going to be on here during the game with updates so check that out and comment during the game if you can't make it to the Pan Am.
For those of you that I know will ask, BJ West and N'doye won't play and have not been cleared.
On paper, it seems like the Aggies have the experience and size edge, but Menzies says not so fast.
"When we sub Hamidu out, we really take a hit at the five in terms of size and they have an advantage. You have to look at the whole 40 minutes, not the 27 that Hamidu is going to play. There is an opportunity for us to go head to head and see who wins. But it's like that every position. From the point guard, where they have a very good point guard, to the four man where we don't have a lot of experience and they have a senior who is an all conference player. It's going to be a good matchup because all of the pieces are all over the place. Their marquee guys are our marquee guys are at different positions."
Three seems to be the longest win streak either team can muster in recent years. The Lobos current streak is their second three-game streak since 03-04. The Aggies won three straight from 02-03. The last time either team won more than three was during a seven-game Lobos run from 95-jan. 2 of 99.
Neither Alford or Menzies really say too much about the rivalry other than it's nice to win against the other school in your state. Here is an interesting take from Alford on why winning this particular rivalry isn't as crucial in terms of building a program against the other.
"To us, it's just like any other game but it's the rivalry in our state. In the three years I've been here, there is not that much impact in recruiting. I don't think we have ran into any situation the three years I've been here where we were going after the same kid. It seems that we recruit in different circles and go after different kids. At the same time it's a same state rivalry and to win those games is always nice."
Menzies has a unique situation at NMSU where he has four games automatically scheduled for him every year. That can be a good or a bad thing for all parties involved but for the most part, all three teams are competitive.
"When I first got here I didn't think it made much of a difference but the more and more I evaluate it and look at your ability to not have the flexibility that you would like in scheduling. Every year, you have four games that are already scheduled for you and that's rare in any situation. I can't think of one other or that I've been around that is four games already scheduled for you. It ties your hands a little bit. I'm a team player and if that's what the powers that be want, I'll do it. It's pretty clear that's what has existed and what is going to exist. On the flip side, you know you're always going to have four quality games and if you do well, it works in your favor."
I don't know if the UNM series will continue to be the second game, but I'm certain the rivalry games will not be scheduled without the student body in the future like last season.
"I would always like to play UNM and UTEP when we have our students here.I think that's a huge advantage to have your students come out. They are always boisterous and bring a lot enthusiasm and energy to the crowd. That's a big plus. (The Lobos) do a phenomenal job in Albuquerque with their fan base so we have to meet the challenge and try to match that same passion with our fans. I think scheduling early will help us in that direction."