I am picking Nevada first and NMSU second. Nevada has four of the best 10 players in the WAC but they aren't nearly as deep as the Aggies. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
The Aggies' depth resides in their front court. NMSU has potential to drive teams crazy with length in their zone and full court trap, which could provide a lot of easy baskets. The backcourt isn't as deep as replacing Gordo Castillo could prove difficult.
Rotation guys to start season
Guards: Freshmen Terrel de Rouen and Daniel Mullings — At the time I'm writing this, KC Ross-Miller and Sim Bhullar haven't been cleared. Marvin Menzies was in Europe last week recruiting so I haven't had a chance to ask about Bhullar seeing the court this year if he was cleared. Of all the players on the roster, Bhullar is the one most likely to play in the NBA or at least get drafted. He won't be here for four years. His sister originally said he would pay his own way this year and redshirt for next year, which seems like the best plan since the Aggies do have depth in the frontcourt. Ross-Miller could likely get on the court in a back up role as well whenever he's cleared, but Terrel de Rouen could be a local player who plays a role. I don't know how much high school basketball you've watched, but I would say de Rouen was more athletic than any guard on last year's team except maybe CK. Daniel Mullings could be further ahead than Eric Weary at this point, although Weary is more of a shooter, which is a glaring weakness as the season begins.
Wings: Freshman Remi Barry and junior Bandja Sy — Menzies can ride whichever French player has the hot hand. At least early on, that’s how I see this position playing out. Sy is a bench player who the Aggies needed in the starting lineup after Wendell McKines got hurt. He started 20 games last year, averaging 17 minutes per game. The minutes dried up as the season went on but he did show amazing improvement from year 1 to year 2. It seemed like he got lost a lot defensively. I think one way he can find the court consistently is if he improves on last year's 19-of-70 (27 percent) shooting from long range. Perhaps a year under his belt will help his confidence.
I’m just as intrigued as Aggies fans are about Remi Barry. Afterall, a player who was apparently considering St. Johns, Arizona State and UCLA must be worth the wait right? He hasn’t played competitive basketball, at least by my estimation, since his junior year in high school at American Heritage in Florida. He transferred to a high school in California but couldn’t play his senior year and he sat out at NMSU last year. I think the jury is still out on him but at 6-7, I’m sure he has the physical tools to contribute at some point. But I don’t think coaches consider him a savior or are putting additional pressure on him.
Frontcourt: Sophomore Tshilidzi Nephawe, Sophomore Renaldo Dixon and junior BJ West — The Aggies are loaded in the frontcourt. Along with Christian Kabongo, Renaldo Dixon and BJ West are the two other players I’m looking forward to seeing. I think Dixon may be a starter as a junior and West is a great energy player coming off the bench. West only averaged 9 minutes per game last year but he had 22 blocks (third on the team) and pulled down 3.3 rebounds per game. I think Dixon may be the better offensive threat, which could give him an edge at the outset, but both can play multiple positions and back up Rahman, Nephawe and McKines with confidence.