New Mexico State hoops

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hawaii

I expect a lopsided Aggies victory tonight. It's not necessary but i think it would help the Aggies to create some early separation and finish a team off which they couldn't do the other night against San Jose

Hawaii
Kareem Nitoto
Paul Campbell
Flemings
Adams
Amis

NMSU
Laroche
Young
Gibson
McKines
Rahman

UH 18, NMSU 16 11:35
I think Roderick Flemings is the only Hawaii player who has the green light to shoot against the zone. too bad for the Aggies that he's more than capable. he has six points here in the first eight minutes but Hawaii is doing a good job getting back early and making the Aggies work on offense

NMSU 24, UH 23 7:52
Hawaii is certainly taking its time on offense against the Aggies zone and slowing the pace down which is expected

NMSU 35, UH 28 1:59
McKines with a three point play opportunity out of timeout. I was going well for the Warriors until the Aggies opened up in transition a little bit and now we will see if Hawaii can answer the bell. NMSU went over 3 minutes without scoring but are on a 9-2 run

NMSU 39, UH 31 HALF

NMSU 44, UH 39 14:18
Gibson is 2 or 11 from the field. Gordo came in

NMSU 59, UH 47 7:35
CASTillo has knocked down three triples and Terrance Joyner did a nice job pushing the ball in transition and pulling up, putting nmsu up by their biggest margin. Hawaii is struggling shooting so if nmsu rebounds, they should continue to pull away


NMSU 82, UH 72
I wont be watching the re air of this one

Friday, January 30, 2009

follow up

What a weird game that was.

How does NMSU get outrebounded 42-27 with San Jose State's best rebounders C.J Webster (18 minutes) and Chris Oakes (26) hampered by foul trouble? and still win. The Spartans had 40 shots compared to 29 NMSU shots in the second half, probably due to 20 offensive rebounds

how does san jose state lead by five with five minutes left despite 21 turnovers and check out this state line by point guard Justin Graham (0 points, 0 rebounds, 3 fouls, 1 assist, nine turnovers)

I think the answer is simple. Jahmar Young and Adrian Oliver. I hope Oliver is ok after hurting the same knee that knocked him out at Boise State. He hasn't played in enough games to show up on the wac leaderboard, but to me, he is probably the second best newcomer i have seen behind Idaho's Mac Hopson. Their coach seemed to think the injury wasn't as serious as before and he was moving ok after the game.

Young was terrific. I still don't understand why teams zone the Aggies. They haven't been consistent in too many areas this season, but the one thing they have are shooters and once Jahmar found the range on some ball movement and drive and kick opportunities there was no stopping him

Here are some comments from Coach Menzies that didn't make the paper

"We would get going and get on a run and they would change defenses. Our defensive transition was bad in spurts and it was because we were taking ill advised shots. we had a lot of guys that were a little quick on the trigger at times. When they play within themselves and shared the ball and the posts looked for the other posts and the guards drive and dish, we looked good. We can makeopen shots because we're a very good offensive team. its just a matter of being patient and passing up the challenged shot for a good shot."

"At home, you're in a more comfortable atmosphere and that;'s a good way to put a team down and out is to not just make a shot but to run some clock and make them play defense for a while and then make the shot. It really zaps their energy and takes the air away."

"The last five minutes, they may have worn down a little bit and our defensive pressure kind of helped us turn the corner a little bit."

On San Jose State's zone
"We were expecting them to zone more and because we were so effective against it early i think he got early. when they went to man thats when they climbed back into it. when they were in the zone, we were pretty good and then in the second half we weren't as patient as we should have been. we settled them down and reminded them where the sweet spots were in the zone, they started looking post to post and short corner and high post and Troy facing the basket where he couldnt get doubled so that was good."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

San Jose State game

San Jose
Pierce
Graham
Oliver
Webster
Oakes

NMSU
Young
Laroche
Gibson
McKines
Rahman


Rebounding should be an interesting matchup with mckines and the aggies against oliver and webster. the Spartans are undersized so maybe rahman will get some looks early

NMSU 17, SJSU 5 14:11
NMSU has six steals and SJS turned the ball over nine times. they also insist on zoning the Aggies which you cant do. nmsu is 3 of 4 for 3sand on a 15-2 run

NMSU 31, SJSU 21
If it weren't for Adrian Oliver, the game would be over early. Oliver has 11 points after scoring his team's last nine. The Aggies press is really bothering san jose as the aggies have scored 12 points off 11 san jose turnovers

NMSU 37, SJSU 28 3:57
Jahmar Young is 4 of 5 from the field and 3 of 3 from 3-point land. he hit his third to put the aggies up by their largest margin36-21. Graham is struggling...he's turnove it over six times with no assists and no points. ouch

NMSU 43, SJSU 38 HALF
Oliver vs. young.
Oliver is 5 of 8 from the field and 9 of 10 from the foul line for 19 points
Young is 3 of 4 from long range and 4 of 7 from the field for 14 points
Gibson returns in the second half after sitting out much of the first half with two fouls

NMSU 52, SJSU 43 15:59
With Gibson back, thepace has quickened a little bit

NMSU 63, SJSU 57 11:44
The Aggies led by 14 only to see anothersan jose run. The Spartans are on a 9-4, mostly in transition. Young has a free throw out of the media timeout for a three point play

NMSU 77, SJSU 77 3:44
Young with one and one out of timeout

NMSU 89, SJSU 81

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home stand

In my last entry I posed the question of a game being a must-win. This time I'm saying that these two games against San Jose and Hawaii are must win games for the Aggies. At least if they hope for a high seed (say No. 4) in the conference tournament and a somewhat favorable matchup in the first round.
I know that Coach Menzies will say its too early, but in my opinion, 5-4 is much better than 3-6 or 4-5 at this stage in this league. Especially when Idaho has Boise and Nevada this weekend. Boise also has to return to Las Cruces, so the No. 3 seed is still possible, but getting swept or splitting this week makes it that much tougher considering the Aggies still have to travel to Utah State and Nevada and I can see this team dropping one they shouldn't somewhere along the way, perhaps vs. fresno or at la tech or hawaii.
Not only are this weeks games against SJSU and Hawaii must wins from a standings standpoint, but because one game (san Jose) is against a team they already beat on the road, and the other is against a last place team that their coach said was in a tailspin in the WAC conference call on Monday. A loss on Thursday is possible as it seems the Spartans have survived injuries to their best two players in Adrian Oliver and Tim Pierce but the spartans are one of the two teams the Aggies have been able to beat in a close game (idaho being the other). And if i understand correctly, the Pan Am isnt friendly to the Spartans.
Hawaii has a couple of decent pieces but Coach Nash talked about his team's inability to knock down shots from the perimeter, meaning the Aggies zone will be useful to shut down Amis and Roderick Flemings inside. Hawaii is the one team i haven't seen thus far on television or in in person so they are a mystery to me, but losing to a one-win team at home would probably be the low point of the season.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Idaho trip

Do you think tonight's Idaho game is a must win? I kind of do.
The Vandals have proven that they are legit and Boise State just beat La. Tech so they are keeping up what they started. It's almost halfway through the league and with the next two games at home against one team that the Aggies have already beaten (San Jose) and Hawaii coming to the Pan Am next week, I think the Aggies have a good shot to get a win streak going.

This is just a thought and perhaps its too late in the game to shake the lineup up, but I think they need to do something. I think Wendell has shown an improved abilty to put the ball on the floor and knock down an occassional jumper, so why not start him at the small forward and get Gillenwater into the starting lineup at his natural position, the four with Rahman at the center.

So who gets left out? I hate to say it because I like watching him play, but I think Gibson comes off the bench. I think he would bring instant offense and athleticism to the lineup and J.Y. would play the two, which would fit his stature and game. Justin Hawkins had two inches on Jahmar as the small forward last year. And just because Gibson would be coming off the bench, he would probably get starters minutes anyway because the Aggies play small a lot, but if Gillenwater continues to rebound like the other night and with Wendell at the three, the Aggies wouldn't get outrebounded at those two spots at least.
Gibson's role is expanded this year and it doesn't seem like he has made the necessary adjustments. He played within himself in a win against Idaho and then reverted back to his old self at Boise. We shall see what he does tonight

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vs. Idaho

Theus is here.
And Gabriel is starting
I don't know which one means mroe

Idaho
Hopson
Simmons
Wiley
de Souza
Watson

NMSU
Gabriel
Young
Laroche
Gibson
McKines

NMSU 16, IU 14 11:20
Both teams started off well shooting. . I think the Aggies might go small for the majority of this game because Idaho has some athletic players and they aren't that big


NMSU 21, Idaho 19 7:41
Idaho is keeping it close but I have the feeling that the Aggies are significantly better than this team, just waiting for a run

NMSU 28, Idaho 25 3:33
Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater provided a little boost, combining to score the Aggies lastseven points and Gillenwater is shooting 1 and 1 coming out of the media. The Vandals are settling for the 3 where they are 3 of 10 and the Aggies are going inside. When the Aggies are in man, Gibson has done a good job on Hopson

NMSU 40, Idaho 35 HALF
The lead could be bigger if the Aggies could have gotten back in transition late as Idaho guard Trevor Morris hit some 3s to keep Idaho close

NMSU 48, Idaho 40 15:44
Idaho started 2- of 5 and it seems like Gibson's defense has translated to the offensive end here early, as he has scored the Aggies last four points

Idaho 61, NMSU 59 7:31
Idaho just took its first lead since early in the first half, moving the ball around in the zone and finally getting it inside

Idaho 66, NMSU 62 3:48
Gillenwater shooting two out of timeout. another idaho transition triple gave them a four point lead.

NMSU 74, Idaho 71 FINAL

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kerry Rupp boots Cooper

Louisiana Tech lost part of its one-two punch in the paint. By lost, I mean Kerry Rupp said enough. He's serious about building a program there and looks like it's paying off because they played Nevada and Utah State tough.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Utah State

Utah State
Williams
Quayle
Newbold
wesley
wilkinson

NMSU
Young
Laroche
gibson
mckines
rahman

USU 21, NMSU 15 10:22
Wilkinson scored eight quick points, but the Aggies zone just got a stop. Aggies ball out of the media timeout

NMSU 23, USU 23 7:45
The Aggies press has been effective. Utah State turned the ball over 8 times in the first 10 minutes and Gillenwater has been good off the bench again

USU 34, NMSU 29 2:38
Wilkinson just made one of the best hustle plays i've ever seen during a USU run. NMSU turned the ball over four times in three minutes. Gillenwater just hit two to make it 34-31

USU 38, NMSU 34 HALFTIME

USU 54, NMSU 45 11:26
Everytime the Aggies make a run, USU answers. They move the ball around well against the Aggies zone and then the Aggies can score on offense to set up the press which has helped cause 18 turnovers.

USU 60, NMSU 53 7:09
young made it 46-45 and then he hit a 3 to make it 54-51. The UtAgs just got an and 1 after two offensive rebounds

USU 77, NMSU 67 FINAL Two tough losses. There is a clear difference between Utah State and the rest of the WAC I think, losing the Nevada game could loom large later on. I think their game on the 22nd i believe at Boise might just be a must win

Friday, January 9, 2009

Question for fans

Following Thursday's Nevada game, there has been a lot of chatter questioning Menzies' during that particular game which is fine since he's the head coach. But I don't think he got outcoached in this particular game because the simple fact is the players didn't rebound. The Aggies were up with a chance to win even at the very end and one player beat three Aggies to the ball and then another offensive rebound sent it to overtime. Menzies can't rebound from the bench.

I was critical of Menzies after the UNM game but I think Menzies did some good things on thursday although that opinion is in the minority. I liked the fact that Menzies shortened his bench to three. Gabriel didn't fit in for that game but he could see mmore time against Utah State, and Lumpkins shouldn't be near the court unless it's garbage time. Eight is a good number for this team...His use of timeouts was solid although they didn't execute coming out of them. He had to call his last timeout as Laroche got stuck and it kept them from a turnover.


Now if you want to talk about getting outcoached on a preparation basis leading up to the game, I can see that point as far as an offense that struggles in the halfcourt and failing to get active on the boards, but I don't think Fox drew up any big adjustments at halftime because their offense was basically let babbitt or johnson drive and crash the boards. NMSU just didn't rebound.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nevada game

nmsu
Young
Laroche
gibson
mcKines
rahman

nevada
Burleson
Babbitt
Cooke
johnson
hunt

Four minutes until tipoff and the turnout is not impressive. I guess the national championship game is more important


NMSU 13, Nevada 12 11:47
The Aggies press was effective early. NMSU was up 13-6 and Nevada is on a 6-0 run right now. The press seems to be effective even when it isnt forcing turnovers because the Wolf Pack have taken some quick shots

NMSU 26, Nevada 21 7:22
It's been a game of runs. The Aggies went up 10 twice thanks to the play of Troy Gillenwater, who has eight points and a couple big blocks in transition. Gillenwater's 3 point play put the Aggies up 24-14 and Nevada is on a 7-2 run with Kraemer about to shoot two

NMSU 36, Nevada 28 2:29
Gillenwater has the crowd going with a dunk in transition when Young threw a lob for him and Nevada's johnson tipped it but it went to the rim to set up Gillenwater's dunk. nevada is 2 of 13 from 3 point land and arent really doing much against the zone

NMSU 40, Nevada 31 Half
Gillenwater has 12 points in the first half, Babbit has six and Nevada is 36 percent from the floor and 2 of 13 from 3-point land

NMSU 42, Nevada 34 15:41
ugly start to the half by both teams. Nevada struggles vs. zone, the Aggies are struggling vs. man in the half court

NMSU 45, Nevada 41 11:32
Babbitt scored the last four to get the Wolf Pack back in it while the Aggies opened the second half 2 of 13 from the field

NMSU 58, Nevada 57
5:29

NMSU 64, Nev. 61 1:35
WENDEll shooting two out of a fox timeout. the aggies have gotten some big stops

NMSU 67, Nev. 67
Cooke follow with 12.5, Young drove to the basket and the aggies couldnt get a follow

NEV. 79, NMSU 71 OT
Sorry. I got caught up in deadline
Menzies said the stale offense was his fault and he talked about rebounding. The Aggies were outscored 12-4 in OT and outrebounded 34-16 in the second half

Monday, January 5, 2009

Impressed

I picked the Aggies to split their road trip and they swept it. Just by listening to the game on the radio, very impressed by the continued play of Hamidu Rahman and looking ahead, I believe only La. Tech and Utah State have big men who have a clear cut advantage, but Rahman has held his own thus far.

I think San Jose is a good team and this win says more to me than the Fresno game or the losses on the road at long beach and north texas.

Gibson was good in the second half it sounded like and the Aggies played solid defensively. A sweep at home would be huge, but even a 3-1 start to the season and the Aggies would be in great shape.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Crucial stretch of games

Say what you will about the beginning of the season, but a split on the road this weekend at Fresno and San Jose and I wouldn't be as concerned as some posters seem to be. A sweep would be huge for this team with Utah State and Nevada coming to town next week.

The Aggies can't start 0-2 in league play in my opinion because like in an individual game, this team is better playing with the lead than catch up. All four of their first games are winnable, and I see them splitting the first four, beating Fresno and Utah State with a possible win at San Jose State. How do you think they will do in their first four games and what do you need to see in order to feel good about the rest of the season?