New Mexico State hoops


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Menzies contract

I'm sure the Menzies haters are fired up about my story regarding McKinley Boston's intention to extend Menzies contract, which is up following next season.

I can understand, although I'm not  surprised by the reasoning behind it. A coach going into the final year of his contract anywhere opens the door for competitors using that against NMSU on the recruiting trail, and it shows the administration doesn't have any confidence in his ability to run the program.

I will say that I was somewhat surprised when I asked Boston if it would a one-year extension or multiple year and he said multiple years, meaning to me somewhere between two three, just a guess.

I think Menzies has done some good things in his four seasons in Las Cruces. My question is just a lack of consistency across the board. The reason for his record against the Miners and Lobos being so bad stems from the fact that he has NEVER had his full team for those games due to eligibility, grades or injuries respectively. That ultimately reflects on the head coach though, and those losses are the ones that people remember.

I don't know if that is what bothers fans or bad losses and one losing season. I can certainly understand the in-game coaching frustrations that fans have voiced here and elsewhere.

Menzies has brought decent players into a difficult place to recruit to. Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines are All Conference caliber players. (This part of the blog entry is a response to a voice mail stating that Menzies didn't win the WAC with his own players. Take Gillenwater off the bench and McKines off the team, and Young and Gibson don't get the Aggies to the tournament. Of all the players on the roster prior to the tournament, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo singled out Gillenwater)

There are a couple question marks and we will see if the kids they have sitting out will be as good as advertised. I think if Remi Barry is legit and Chili Nephawe continues to improve, he would be the third top player Menzies has brought in, along with Laroche and Rahman, who was solid. So the recruiting angle to me, has been a strength of Menzies, even with misses in Sy and N'Doye after their first two years at NMSU.


Anonymous said...

I think there is a feeling that, even with injuries, there were two or three losses in conference play that just shouldn't have been. Those losses cost the Aggies second place in the WAC tourney and any realistic chance of making it into the finals.

I'm excited about next year's team. Getting Wendell back will be great. Troy too. Remi supposed to be a good player. Chili could be the best center in the conference in the next two years if he continues to improve around the basket, especially going after rebounds. Kabongo is just too wild and can't shoot a lick at this time. Improvement from outside might make him a force to be reckoned with. Sy is the same; not a consistent shooter.

If Troy comes back and we have McKines, we should be a decent team on paper. How the team actually plays down the stretch, well we'll see. A big step forward would be to play competitively against our rivals.

I think Menzies is a good guy. I like the fact that he's bringing in student athletes and seems to be a good recruiter. What I don't know is whether or not he's a good coach. Watching the game against Boise, where Gillenwater was getting triple teamed and the Aggies weren't doing anything to counteract it leaves me wondering. Even more is the team's lackluster defense that was a big disappointment.

I'll continue to go to the games, win or lose. It's just a lot more fun when it's a win.


Anonymous said...

I'm am thorougly disgusted. Being that I grew up in Las Cruces, I'll probably still check up on the Aggies. However, I will not be spending money to travel to Las Cruces to attend Aggie games anymore. I think Menzies is the worst coach NM State has had in a few decades and Boston is making a huge, huge mistake by exending his contract. This is just absolutely ridiculous and it just tells me that NM State doesn't know what the hell they are doing.

I'll be honest, I graduated from UTSA and live in San Antonio. I have always supported NM State over UTSA because it's my hometown school, but at this juncture I might just start spending my money on my real alma mater. UTSA seems to have a more promising future right now. Brooks Thompson is a way better coach than Menzies and UTSA is serious about improving their program. NM State is a mess with no direction.


Anonymous said...

No one has questioned Menzies' recruiting capabilities Jason. The issue is that Menzies has not done well developing the talent he brings in. Gillenwater was already a developed/skilled player when he got to NM State, so I don't really count him.


Anonymous said...

I am disappointed to hear of a contract extension, muchless multi year, JG your blogs and articles are always good reading thanks. If you take Young and Gibson out of last years team you also do not have a team that gets out of the WAC, and so goes the debate. But we do know that this years team fell flat in the end with the players MM had and by the end of a 30 game season do you really have inexperienced freshmen and sophs playing or young men that haven't been coached will enough to develop or can't develop. Well here's to next year under MM and the years after that.

Anonymous said...

Jason, afraid you won't get the access in the locker room? Your article is a pathetic attempt at pandering to the NMSU Athletic department. Do some real reporting and find out what the fans really think. I would guess half the fans do not support Menzies and that is reflected in attendance. It takes more than being a good recruiter to be considered a good coach. Instead of being NMSU's parrot go out and dig up some facts so you can report on how the community feels as opposed to your own self-interested reporting.

Keith said...

We all know that Coach Menzies can bring in the players. TG, Hernst, Ham, Big Wen, Chili, CK, and don't forget about Barry, Mullings, and Singleton. Coach has the skills on the road recruiting, now he needs to work on the X's and O's during the game. I think that is where people are so critical of him. I think he will make up a good game plan that plays to the strengths of the players. This past year we got sucked into a black hole. The 2011-2012 year will be an entirely different team. We will have more depth with the solid recruits that are coming in and the obvious (100% TG, Ham, and Big Wen).

Jason Groves said...

Anon 1228, If i depended on fans to do my job, i would write nothing but negative commentary on Menzies. How is reporting fact that nmsu is going to extend Menzies' contract pandering? I listen to fans who either go to games or pay attention throughout the course of the season rather than reading the message board and piling on. Come up with something original and get back to me.

Anonymous said...


Once again I must disagree with you on the issue of developing players. Lets see, Gordo, Wen, Gillenwater, LaRoche, and Hamidu are players that have spent their entire college careers under Menzies. Unlessthe last four leave before the season starts thats all five for four years. You cant say that he has not developed them because they are clearly better than they were in HS. Its called development over time. Especially Hernst and Hamidu, you cant argue how much they have improved since they got here. You may say that Troy was already developed or skilled but that does not mean that he cannot develop or become more skilled over time. Sure there have been some players that have stalled but that happens a lot. We cant say that they would have been better under another coach because there is no comparison. And, so far no JUCO players so we cant compare how Menzies developed them.

That aside, I dont think that it was a smart move by Boston simply because the future is too uncertain right now. IF things play out this season then I do believe that the Aggies will be back in the tourney. But like I have said before, I think the hole that the 4 main guys will leave is too big for the remaining players to fill. Menzies has shown that he can handle the team when he has everyone available(last season) but has not been able to find success with a young, inexperienced and injured team. Thats what worries me about this extension.

Anonymous said...

Jason, in response to your message its not the fact that your reporting on the extension that is troubling but painting an overly optimistic picture of Menzies is my concern. y Balanced reporting would relate the the other side of the story which would be a much more negative picture. How the fans feels are facts too.

Jason Groves said...

I think if you read the entire post, you would realize it wasn't an overly optimistic view. I said I understand the reasoning behind the extension but never agreed with it. I'm surprised if it is an extension longer than one year because of a lot of the concerns that fans raise.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wishes the Mens BB would have done better this past season. I attended about half the games as I live in Arizona. I have a pretty good pulse on our fan base as who goes to games, who does not go, why they don't go as I still have many friends in Las Cruces. I agree that MM is a good recruiter and sometimes you have to (hate to use the term)think outside the box. Players are not clamoring to come to Las Cruces and play. I was at the WAC tournament in Vegas. A pevious post mentioned why no adjustment with Troy getting triple teamed. Fact is most of the players were standing around and nobody wanted the ball. Nobody cutting to the basket or moving. Troy was very frustrated. When he was open no pass to him, when triple teamed, very little help. Boise State knew we had no shooters so they did the smart thing and pretty much shut down Troy. Believe me Menzies was shouting instructions and trying to get movement but it was pointless. I have to agree of the new recruits who arrived this year, only Chili and Kabanga showed potential. Inspite of the frustration with this team, I am happy our players are not on some police blog report and that we have players making progress to graduate. We have a core base of 5,000-6,000 who will attend the games. Winning will solve bringing in more students and a couple thousand more people. Lets face it Cruces is a fair weather town and most only like to follow when the team is doing great or when you have a celebrity coach like Theus. I believe coach MM is setup to have a good team next year and I do support a contract extension. I will not fault anybody who wants to jump off the MM bandwagon but please wait and see what develops next year. If everybody returns and is healthy, we are looking at having a great year.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is what I came up with after pretending to be Boston for 10 minutes:

1. He has to be optimistic about next season. We have a good team coming back and I really dont think he looks at it and says, oh bloody hell another losing season. With that in mind,he has to be thinking NCAA Tourney. Now when the Aggies make the tourney, you cant say well thanks Marv see you later bud. And you cant leave to chance him getting hired somewhere else (although that chance might be a little low imo). So he has to give him an extension now.

2. Because he is giving him an extension with the mindset that the Aggies will make the post season and Menzies will not be lured away, it cant be a one year deal. Its not like some other school will come in and say we will hire you for ONE season. They will offer multiple years and hence why we offer multiple years.

3. Continuation. While attendance has been down the past few years, its not like we cant get money elsewhere. Or transfer millions of dollars to cover our losses(again). We cant start and stop, and heck for the first year in a while NO ONE got suspended or kicked off the team. If discipline is there then the wins will come.

4. Rivals. No matter what no one says, losing to UTEP and UNM is but a trend that will eventually pass. Yes it stinks losing to them and we hate those bastards with a passion. However, are they really that much better than us? None of us made the tourney this year, and they knocked each other out in the NIT.(So for those of you who say beating our Rivals means something to the selection gang, please put your hand down) Its not like they have made deep runs compared to us, we are all second round exits unless we pull of an upset.

5. The WAC stinks and will stink for a good three years. We can take advantage of that and buiild on the two semifinal, two championship game appereances. Do we really need a good coach if Marv can keep us in the top three? No.

So thats what I came up with. Some of the reasons why I believe this extension makes sense to Boston.


Anonymous said...

If Menzies is given an extension, I will not be renewing my season tickets or donating any more money to the AAF!
I'm sure many more peole will follow suit.

We have not seen quality coaching or quality basketball since MM came to town.

Nice knowing ya NMSU. My money will go to better things with brighter futures.

Anonymous said...

Beyond disgusting.

Let me just start with Menzies will not be lured away. There are too many up and coming rising stars (like we once thought mm was under pitino) to have a sorry ass 500 coach get the job.

Jason the whole state of aggie athletics is a joke. I somewhat have to agree with some of the other posts in that your lack of critical analysis is concerning. Why did you not press Boston on what it was exactly he LIKES so much that Menzies has done? What does Boston think of Menzies decimating attendance at the Pan Am? Does he like that? What are his plans to change that? Is that the coach's job? Why would he reward the worst season in memory with a contract extension? Wouldn't the prudent thing to do wait and see if this is a pattern?

You and fineberg should have an open letter calling for the resignation of Boston. Or at VERY least demonstrate we cannot settle for mediocrity across multiple seasons. Our football program is maybe the worst in all of D1. Further that with our basketball program that is average in one of the weakest conferences in the NCAA. Our coaches make too much money and there are too many people clamoring for a chance at these jobs. It takes time to build a program and if we were showing progress then understood. Lets stick with it. But to go backwards.... come on. What would a Brad Stevens do with Mckines and Gillenwater....? my guess is not have a losing record.

We're a joke and Boston should be ashamed.

JD said...

I only read the last few comments, but I think my main issue with Menzies and his team is a lack of effort and intensity. I know that if it is not in then you certainly can't fake it, but I don't see alot of intensity from Menzies.

The community and crowd will not get behind a team that does not put out an intense effort every game. I know there are attendance issues and the glory days are in the past but Boston has to ask himself what has worked in the past.

McCarthy and his teams played an aggressive defense and it seemed that he had no trouble stepping on anyones toes to win.

Henson fairly well on the second time through. I don't know if the talent was better (or if we made the tourney???)

Theus was a rock star and had people in the seats. Good recruits and scorers. Theus seems a little more intense. Even though they both come from the Louisville (Pitino) program I just don't seemt the intensity from Menzies.........The fruit does not fall too far from the tree

Anonymous said...

To all you Menzies "haters"-I'm disgusted with the state of Aggie basketball too-this AD can only fire one head coach at a time,thanks to the money that was shelled out to Neil McCarthy and Reggie Theus in contract settlements.Let's hope that the firing of Coach spence serves as a warning shot/wakeup call to this pyrric-style Menzies style of coaching-Az Aggie

Anonymous said...

I felt an overwhelming sense of defeat when I read the Sun News article saying that Boston would be extending Menzies' contract for multiple years. Our family buys 5 season tickets every year and we attend every game in spite of Marvin Menzies. Our young players may have progressed this year, but the team as a whole has regressed. We are no longer the energetic team that hustles down the court. Our conditioning level is way down. There is dissension amongst the players and, if body language is any indication, amongst the coaches, too. We have a hothead (Kabongo) who needs to be reined in. And we have a coach who is touted as a great recruiter, but who doesn't have a clue as to how to coach a game. So, rather than extending Menzies' contract for a year, we're putting all our faith in him??? The fear of someone grabbing Menzies ran the decision to extend him. If Boston loves Menzies' recruiting so much, maybe he should take notes and try to recruit a better coach.

Anonymous said...

You think the Pan Am is empty...wait till you give him the extension.

If Boston is so smart.
Please explain how can he pay the bills if no one is buying tickets?
You can't buy a $2 burrito with only $1, right?

The answer is vey simple.
If he gives him an extension don't buy any tickets and stop donating money all together to the university!

If you want to see the Aggies play, just buy the ESPN TV packages and and keep Menzies from getting your hard earned Dollars!!

Let's see who wins in the long run. The fans or the stupid coach & AD.

Ganja Boy

Anonymous said...

I read all these posts about MM being a good recruiter, but I don't get it. TG and WM are excellent players, but I'm not impressed with anyone else MM has brought in. I firmly believe the overall talent of the TEAM is significantly worse than it was when MM arrived. MM does NOT win the WAC last year without Theus recruits JG and JY. Sad thing is the WAC is so weak, it does not take much, and yet he did not even come close to the WAC final on a neutral court. I will give him credit for character guys, but there are many mid-majors doing substantially better with good-character players. So I hope all you people that say MM is a good recruiter are correct, and I hope I'm wrong. I miss being excited about NMSU hoops during bball season.
-Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...

Hal Mumme alienated the fans and we gave him the boot.

Marvin Menzo and his style have also alienated the fans. He needs to go after his contract expires.

If you give him an extension your next on the chopping block!
MM is not worth sticking out your neck for!

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the Aggies put all the local HS's on their schedule, that might bring up the winning percentage!

Anonymous said...

At least the Steve Lavin hype has died down with First Round loss to Zags. How'd Stew do versus K-State? Oh, right, UTags over-rated.

NMSU professors avg = $67,658
UNM professors avg = $79,134

Call your legislator if you want to pay to see a better AD and coach. Boston and Menzies are a great value! Maybe Barbara Coture can talk to Susana Martinez about the disparity between NM school funds?????

Anonymous said...

Jason, normally I have no issues with you but I find it highly in appropriate and unfair to call people "Menzies haters" just because "most" of us on here do not believe he's doing a good job, which there is plenty of proof to show. You yourself go back and forth on what type of job he's least people like me are consistent in what we say. Do I detect a bit of journalistic bi-polarism? You seem a little moody in your writing lately.


Jason Groves said...

RT, haha at journalistic bi-polarism. That made me laugh. And you're right about me going back and forth. The Boise State loss really bothered me. Boise knew what NMSU was going to do and there didn't ever seem to be any adjustment for making them pay for doubling or triple teaming Gillenwater. But I'm not one to say, fire him everytime I have my doubts. And I believe next season is an important year for him. Like some have written, if they get back to the tournament next year and beat UNM and/or UTEP, I'm sure the perception will change and I will also stop being bi polar.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point Jason but I was one of the few that doubted Menzies from the very beginning and it's not a game by game thing for me. I personally do not think he was the best choice when he got hired and I have voiced that from the get go.


Jason Groves said...

RT. Point taken.

Anonymous said...


Who would you have rather had as coach when Menzies was hired?


Anonymous said...

hey groves....why don't you ask the sorry ad why its ok for him and his coaches; menzies and walker to always go to the injury card and use it big time all the time and even he talks about it. but, the coaches he didn't hire can't ever use it. i remember poor rocky ward had all his top pitchers go out a couple years ago and boston actually said in an article that injuries are no excuse. he is so stupid. ask him that, why don't you. women's hoops, volleyball, softball cant ever use that excuse but he sure uses it for the others.

Anonymous said...

hey groves. you know how big mouth want be so called boosters around her talk. well, one of them has conned maria roth to let him on the search group to hire a new women's hoops coach. my wife and i have been to every women's game for the past ten years and i can tell you i still feel sick to my stomach about boston and how he treated coach spence. anyway, this guy is now running his mouth, because he always likes to be in the picture and feel important in the world of athletics. you know the type, a real jock sniffer who never played. ok, so he is now runnning his mouth about who they will interview for the new women's coach. can you please ask boston and or maria roth, who herself has zero clue, whey in heck are they going to interview tom lewis for the job? he is the director of ops guy on our men's staff. he hasn't held a position for longer than a year anywhere and because he has a few years on the women's side he is qualified to lead this program? really? something around there stinks to high heaven about this deal. so, tell me boston and menzies didn't team up on this to rail road coach spence by bringing in lewis for a year and then sliding him over there. i know they can save money on this deal but come on now. this is a freaking joke!
a guy who gave his heart and soul for that program got hosed and now they joke continues.
check that out please.