Here is a box score and game report from Arizona's win over Idaho State. Notice the 22 assists on 31 made field goals.
The Aggies have gained attention from Arizona coach Sean Miller. I talked with Miller on Tuesday and he said they have a great deal of respect for the Aggies size and talent, particularily Troy Gillenwater. Here is another Daily Star entry on Aggies coach Marvin Menzies.
The Wildcats return nearly everyone from a year ago minus Nick Wise.
Arizona sophomore Derrick Williams could be the best post player the Aggies play against all season. The Pac 10 freshman of the year was described to me as a Wendell McKines player in terms of energy and passion, but three inches taller than McKines.
Williams plays the five and the four. 6-7 senior Jamelle Horne plays the 4 and 6-6 sophomore Solomon Hill plays the 3. 6-6 sophomore Kevin Parrom shares time with Horne at the 3, similar to a Tyrone Watson and Bandja Sy situation at NMSU, maybe depending on the hot hand on a given night. Horne and Gillenwater could be a good matchup to watch if both teams play man-to-man. Horne was second in the Pac 10 in 3-point shooting last year. Miller's team's strength is in its half court man to man defense. It should be an up-tempo game because both teams are athletic and like to get out and run, but the Aggies are likely to face pressure in the half court if the game slows down.
Kyle Fogg and Lamont Jones start in the backcourt and Brenden Lavender is a shooter off the bench.
It will be interesting to see how NMSU decides to guard Arizona. They match up with the Wildcats athletically to guard them man to man but Arizona doesn't seem like they have the shooters they've had in the past.
With McKines in the lineup, I think the Aggies have a chance to steal this one. I think it will be a competitive game that the Aggies lose. But like a post on a previous blog entry said, I'm curious to see what lineup the Aggies have late in a close game. That's kind of what I'm looking for on Thursday. NMSU won't get rattled in a close game, but there will be players on the court who aren't used to those situations.