New Mexico State hoops

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life without McKines

I thought before I wrote about how the Aggies are to move on without Wendell McKines on the court for the near future, I wanted to look back at his career at NMSU. In a way, should we really be surprised? It's horrible to lose McKines because he's such a vital piece to the Aggies, but A.) this team has always had to endure something or other  it seems nothing is easy at NMSU and B.) The past three years of Wendell's career here has has so many twists and turns that this should just be one more to add to his successful career here.


McKines was the first player Marvin Menzies signed, and it was a late addition to the roster. McKines arrived in August of Menzies' first year after he originally committed to San Francisco but was let go due to academics. After one year in Las Cruces, McKines planned to leave NMSU and return to the Bay Area, but ultimately returned to campus and proved to be the best rebounder in the WAC. Everyone knows about last season, where if not for his return, a WAC championship probably wouldn't have happened. There has also been an arrest for not paying fines, calling out NMSU fans for poor attendance, establishing his own fan club at one point in the Pan Am and inspiring T Shirts in his name. The foot injury is merely the latest trial McKines has to undergo but he's come out of everything else on top.

McKines underwent surgery on Wednesday. People have talked about the possibility of a redshirt year. Marvin Menzies said it's a possibility but he wants to wait six or seven weeks to see how the foot is healing and where McKines is in his rehab at that point. If the healing is slower than anticipated, Menzies said he would have those discussions. What it does do is take away the likelihood of a possible redshirt season for freshman Renaldo Dixon because without McKines, the Aggies' depth in the frontcourt takes a hit Dixon can play in the Halloween scrimmage against Texas Tech and the exhibition game, but if he plays against Lafeyette, he wouldn't be able to redshirt either. If McKines doesn't step foot on the court this year, it's an automatic redshirt season. If he is cleared and comes back and then is re-injured, the university could look into a medical redshirt. Menzies also said Remi Barry will not be in the equation this year as he still has work to do academically before he will contribute.

Personally I would like to see Wendell sit out, rehab and come back at full strength next season. McKines talked about trying to develop his perimeter game, talking about the next level. While it may hurt the Aggies for the short term, another year developing would give him that much more time to turn into a player who could make a nice living playing basketball. As far as next year, the Aggies would only lose Gordo Castillo and the young players would have one year of experience under their belt. I also think the Aggies could still win the WAC without him. Let's face it, the league isn't that strong and it turns out Utah State big man Nate Bendall is also fighting a foot injury.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree Jason. Big Wen, Ham, TG, LaRoache, all as seniors would be a top 25 team. No question about it.

I'm glad that Menzies and company can give it several weeks before putting anything in stone.

I also agree that we can win this conference without him. But I don't think we can pick up "wens" against UMASS, USC, Arizona, or the Miners and Lobos at their places without him.

Anonymous said...

One momentus event JG didn't have space to mention ... the crimson and white scrimmage when Big Wen and Herb Pope had just arrived. They participated in Trei Steward's impromtu slam dunk contest wearing street clothes. So 'Reggie's most highly touted recruit vs Marvin's first' you might have beened billed it. Don't believe the Pan Am rims were really ever level the rest of that entire year.

jimmy said...

If he sits out -
JG your sun news article yesterday w/comments from Watson and West shows them to be humble guys that want to contribute in their roles. (1)Yeah, Watson had to take a back seat to JY hogging a rediculous 36 mins/gm last year. Tyrone knows he's a scorer and Jimmy believes he'll own a lot of people in the WAC that try to guard him. (2)Jimmy seconds you on the redshirt year for Wendell. If he has to watch these newer guys progress in the system for a year and sees them having some success in the league, maybe Big Wen will come back knowing he has a central role to play in 2011-12 season but does not have to do it all? Perimeter shot is a good goal but he dominated the boards as a freshman with limited minutes and should play to his obvious strength. NBA? yeah, just stay humble and don't promote yourself like JY and JHawk did. Watson and West are good examples. Thanks for the write-up!

Anonymous said...

I thnk that you are exaggerating when you say "Top 25".

Anonymous said...

If such a team were to lose no more than 4 games by the end of January, it would be top 25

Anonymous said...

Big Wen calls you (JG) out on his twitter. It's pretty funny actually.

Jason Groves said...

I saw that. I hope he's right as much as Aggies fans do.

Anonymous said...

Most people want to see Wen redshirt. The scary part of that possibility is he may have a very difficult time being academically eligible another year.