New Mexico State hoops

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

UNM thoughts and postgame comments

It seems like I've seen this over and over the past four plus years. The Aggies have a big game at home. A game that seems like they can win, and they blow it. It's not even always the Lobos. The fact is that with a shortened WAC schedule, NMSU can't afford to not show up on a night and explain it away by saying that more important things are ahead. One bad loss in conference play and the top seed is gone. Drop two games to teams they should probably beat and they could easily be looking at a No. 4 seed.

UNM could have won by 40. And they are right, conference play matters most. But NMSU fans will not be happy after Wednesday's result and I think they have more right than ever. They actually showed up, filled the Pan Am to near its current capacity and had nothing to cheer for for most of the game as UNM took the lead for good less than eight minutes in.

NMSU fell to 2-2 against rivals on the season. Normally a respectable result. But after the way they lost on Wednesday, 89-67, it's hard to take anything positive from this game. The last two games where the Aggies played a decent team, they were taken out of the game immediately. On Wednesday, we saw what happens if NMSU can't battle back or play the in-your-face defense they did early on. Against UTEP, I thought it was the players. NMSU's lack of improvement from the first game vs. the Lobos until now was evident on Wednesday and that has to be on the head coach. You have to figure UNM would shoot the ball better and I figured they would make some shots, but 12 3s was remarkable.

3-point makes were probably the difference and Wendell McKines and Hamidu Rahman were very good. UNM's guards outscored NMSU guards 53-20. ... UNM had 19 assists on 30 makes, NMSU had 8 assists on 22 makes. ... Everything else was even, except the 3s. The game proved that NMSU, although they have been good in the second half, is not a good come from behind team. They just aren't built that way this year. 1-14 from 3s and 8-31 from the field in the first half are difficult for this group to recover from. It can get bad in a hurry and it got away from them on Wednesday.

Steve Alford
"This was a barometer game for us. I'm really proud of my team. We have gone 6-1 away from home. You do that in non conference and you have done good things. Our team has gotten better. It's something we are proud of. ... Our ceiling has been big because we had not shot it particularly well. Offensively we are just now starting to get into rhythm. We had 19 assists on 30 goals so we are sharing the ball. We are competing hard but now we are starting to make some 3-point shots. ... We have really guarded, and I think that was the thing tonight."

On ball screens (I've written here that the NMSU centers don't do a good job against ball screens and the Lobos went at them a lot. It put pressure on the rest of the defense.  It led to wide open shots, which the Lobos knocked down.)
"That's always been a big part of what we do. Sometimes we have been big-big. Now we are more of a pick and roll team and the guys have gotten more familiar with that and that part of our offense has really improved since the first time we played."

On the Aggies
"This is a very good team and they aren't going to lose a lot of games at home. I think Arizona was the only other team to beat them in here. For us to lead almost start to finish says a lot about where our team has come from."

Going inside
"In the first game, we didn't finish anything inside. In this game, we really finished well. When Drew plays the way he did tonight, we are a much better basketball team. The other guys fed off that."

Shooting
"From the first time we played, our drive and kick game has got better. I didn't like our spacing in the first game. the guys have really worked hard at finding daylight. That's easier for the guy that is driving to see. I think that part of our offense has really gotten better and now we are taking open 3s instead of tough 3s. Now we are getting really good looks."

Wendell McKines
On the Lobos
"They attacked us. They had much more energy than last time and a lot more urgency and they shot the ball. Wow. That's the best 3-point shooting I've seen in the Pan Am since I've been here."

State of the Aggies after loss
"At the end of the day, this is what we do. We are not going to lose our confidence. If we lose our confidence, we may as well not suit up. Every season is a journey. We are just in a little bump in the road right now. We are looking forward to playing our best basketball in March and we still have a ways to go. We will be fine."

On the Lobos shooting
"Just have to think about the next play. You can't let it get you down. If that's in your head, them making three points is not only three points, but it's your points the next play down. You have to keep playing. You just have to give them credit for making their shots and try to defend the 3-pointer better."

On the Lobos and Aggies since the first meeting
"They seemed a lot more crisp. They seemed like they are playing more within themselves. It seemed like everybody knows their roles on the team. They looked like what they were predicted to be at the top of the Mountain West. You have to give them all the credit. ... They shot the 3-point ball very well in the first half and it dug us in a hole that was very tough to get out of. Hats off to New Mexico. As far as us, we have to go back to the drawing board and get back to what we do. We can't let this get us down. On to the next one. This is a long season. We can't let one loss dictate the rest of the season."

Marvin Menzies
"I'm glad the rivalry games are over. That's for sure. The Lobos shot the lights out tonight. It was one of those things where we had no answer for the 3 ball. We go 1 for 14, they go 12 for 24 and thats pretty much the story of the game. There are things that we did well and things they did well but at the end of the day, that was the point differential that was the story of the game. 21 points is far too much to climb when you have that type of a team."

"At the end of the day, we beat them there, they clobbered us here. It's frustrating to have such a good crowd and not being able to perform better is what is probably the most frustrating thing. I don't think we will shoot that bad again from the 3 point line but it came at a very inopportune time."

"If you can shoot the 3 ball, then coming back is always a possibility. When we shoot it like we did tonight, it's not a possibility. We had guys air balling 3s tonight.  That's just a matter of getting in the gym, getting more reps. Having a higher level of concentration. Not being frustrated when things don't go our way."

On defending ball screens
"The defense of the ball screen wasn't bad, it was the rotations off the ball, which we went over, and over, and over. Yet we still did not execute it very well. That one was baffling. I have to look at the film on that."

"Players have to play. I feel like we knew who we were facing. They have improved and we haven't improved as much as they have. They shot the ball much better than we did.
we didn't play very well offensively down there but I thought we took them out of some things and I thought we did some things well defensively to help us get over the top but unfortunatly, we didn't do either tonight. We were bad on both sides of the ball and when you play like that against a good team, you don't have a chance. ... Against a very good team, you have to bring your A game and we brought our C game."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

2-2 against our rivals in a year that we should've swept and 0-4 in most years that we should be even. That is our fate under MM. Get used to it as Boston thinks MM's the best we can do.

And the worst part? Menzies comments after the game. Same BS about "conference games, blah, blah, blah..." as if were a Big East team and making the NCAA is a given. And the kicker: "I'm glad the rivalry games are over. That's for sure."

Generally coaches are competitors. They WANT to play against tough teams. But not this guy. He wants no part of Alford or Floyd. That's for sure.

We deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic, just pathetic. I'm 40 years old and I have been a lifelong NM State fan. However, I don't live in Las Cruces anymore and I got my degree at another school in another state. With this being said, I have no real pull to do anything about this joke of a coach Menzies. Those of you that live in Las Cruces and that are also NMSU alumni have more influence than you think. If people started making enough noise and constantly wrote the admin at NMSU, and if concerned alumni started doing the same thing....change is possible. It's no secret that attendance has dropped sharply since Menzies has been at NM State...yet the population of Las Cruces has grown and the university has experienced growth as well (other than their recent drop in enrollment).

The drop in attendance makes no sense. Shrinking the capacity of the Pan Am makes no sense either. Even in this difficult economy, prices at NM State are fairly low compared to other schools. Students can go to games for free and for special games they still get reduced prices. The only real reason all of this is happening is because Menzies is a HORRIBLE coach.

Last night the Aggies got the crowd they were begging for and NM State did not deliver. It's not acceptable and it is a big deal...but people in Las Cruces and NMSU alumni don't seem to take it seriously.

I had a trip planned to Las Cruces to see the Aggies play later this season but I have canceled that trip. I live out of state and it costs me big money every time I go to Las Cruces to attend Aggie games. I'm not going to waste my money or time to support a team, school and community that has no self-respect or pride.

I am one of the few people that spoke up on this blog from the very beginning and tried to tell everyone that Menzies was a bad hire and most on here attacked me and called me an "idiot." Yeah, I'm a an idiot. I hate to tell you "I told you so"....but I told you so.

Anonymous said...

WEAK! This team is a middle of the road mid-major at best! Out played, out coached, out classed!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Lobos. Nice looking team, with team players and a good coach.

Congrats to the Aggies. You did exactly what I was afraid you were going to do against the Lobos...not show up.

Congrats to coach Menzies. You are consistent.

Anonymous said...

3 things

1.The Remi debate has been put to rest I think. He hasnt done much in the time we have seen him and despite all the hoopla he is still just a freshman tryin to fit in

2. Deep and athletic, those words can be thrown out. We have no spark off the bench and we certainly cant keep up on defense. The problem was not UNM shooting well it was how far away an Aggie player was when the shots were taken

3. Next years team.....ouch

Jesus

Anonymous said...

It sure makes jump shot easier when there is NO ONE guarding you.

The Aggies sure made the Lobos look good last night.

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of the season, most everyone agreed that this Aggie team had more talent and potential than any others under Menzies' tenure. Once again, "Coach" Menzies has drained all the enthusiasm from the team and the fans. I'll continue to support this team, but do a slow burn watching our "deer caught in the headlights" coach. These players deserve more than a coach who's willing to settle for mediocrity during the season, in hopes of pulling off a WAC tourney win. If you listened to the post-game call in show with Jack Nixon, you heard Adolph hit it right on the head. Menzies might be a great recruiter, but doesn't have a clue what to do with good players once he has them. What a waste.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Aggies did the best that they could considering that they're poorly coached and have no real talent.

Anonymous said...

How can you dismiss Remi at this point in time? Our coach, in his infinite wisdom, put him in twice in the first half - the first time for 10 seconds, the second for 18. He didn't even touch the ball. The second half he was in for a bit over 4 minutes and didn't look any worse than most of the other Aggies on the court. How can this coach expect anyone to get into a rhythm, when he doesn't allow them time on the court or when he pulls players as soon as they get hot? Menzies should try something new and pull Kabongo out every time he gallops down the court and takes a shot. The only time he passes off is when he can't take a shot himself. In middle school, you learn not to be a ball hog, or you can expect the coach to pull you out. Time for Menzies to get some backbone and coach with a little tough love. He might get more respect from his team and Aggie fans.

Anonymous said...

Why not give Remi some solid minutes since it seems, with few exceptions, that the other players aren't playing well enough to deserve a spot on the floor?

Remi had so little playing time last night, that he couldn't have gotten to the flow of the game. When the other team is ahead by 27 points with five minutes left, why wasn't he put on the floor and given the green light? Why not play all the players? Get the starters out and let the bench guys get their minutes?

Coach Menzies, are you getting this?

I've had season tickets for more than 20 years. I may not be much longer.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of listening to Menzies' post-game interviews, after a loss, where he spouts the same sound bytes. If I had a dollar for every "We'll have to take a look at the tape" I'd have enough to start a fund to find a replacement for Menzies...someone who can actually watch a game and make adjustments in real time. If we'd actually learn something from the tapes, that would be one thing, but it appears that instead of adjusting, we're reinforcing the same mistakes over and over and regressing, rather than improving. Something is VERY wrong in Aggieland. And it all starts with our clueless coach and our stubborn Athletic Director. Powerless Aggie fans either stay away, or show up and leave angry and frustrated. With Menzies at the helm, season ticket holders will drop even farther. Maybe one of these days the powers that be will look at the bottom line and realize that Menzies has cost us much more than $$$-he's also taken away our high expectations and hopes.

Anonymous said...

I am happy with the basketball team because:
1.Because we are heading into conference play at 8-5(likely to be 10-5)
2.It seems that we have some very competent young players
3.The academics of these players has increased significantly
4.Most players seem to not get into serious trouble like in past years.
5. The coaches are working hard to improve the team
6. a near capacity crowd showed up during holiday break
Lets go play in the WAC and see what transpires
Big Al

Anonymous said...

Marvin Menzo, aka, the Village Idiot strikes again!!

The fans show up and his team is unprepared.
I've had enough of his lack of coahing skills. I will be donating my season tickets at work to anyone that wants them.

Problem is that I may have to pay people to take these tickets.

former ticket holder

Anonymous said...

Im not dismissing Remi, Im dismissing the argument that people were making after the Arizona game when they were all clamoring that he would have been a big difference in that loss.

This is one of the things in which I believe that Menzies is doing the right thing. As much as you all want to see more of Remi, he himself has to earn minutes on the rotation. If he is not beating those who are ahead of him in the rotation during practices then no need to be calling out for him.

At this point, unless some drastic changes occur I dont see the Aggies winning the WAC tourney. I cant imaging how on Earth they can put together 3 complete games in 3 days. The Aggies have too many ups and downs to be the consistent team that can go dancing.

Jesus

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard much discussion about the potential of replacing Terrel DeRouen by possibly burning Eric Weary's redshirt. We're going to have a tough time with teams that play a three guard lineup with Watson as the starting third "guard." He hustles well, but just doesn't seem to be that skilled. Sy plays pretty good defense in spurts, but seems reluctant to try to score. Athletic, but not really a guard. Without DeRouen, D.J. Lewis is the only remaining true guard on the (non-redshirt) roster.
To this point he seems to be a late game blowout sub.

Anonymous said...

MM does cry about tough games he has to play, like the rival games this year were all that tough. right. he sounds like the new women's head coach that fool Boston brought in, as he continues to cry about having too tough of a schedule. MM and this goof trak are the same guy, even the same size, coming from so called name schools with big egos who both think they are better than everyone else here in LC. well, its all because Boston, the lead idiot b rought them both in here. have fun aggie fans, as you continue to ride down the Boston train right off the edge.

Anonymous said...

Jesus,

Who knows if Remi would have made one bit of difference in the game against the Lobos. Most likely, not. No one is saying that at all.

What they are saying is that he should be on the court with the Lobos ahead by more than 25 points with six minutes left. Why not put the kid in and give him some solid game minutes. Playing him a minute here or a minute there for a TOTAL of two minutes in a game does nothing to make him better.

By not playing him against decent competition, you are not helping him get better. You are sitting him at a time when the game is out of reach when he could get valuable experience.

Remi, and any other bench sitter out there, should have gotten their hands on the ball at the end in that blowout embarrassment so at least something good would have come out of the game. Instead, our brain dead zombie of a coach had our starters in late. Duh.

If you can't tell, I'm completely and thoroughly disgusted with the performance against the Lobos.

Anonymous said...

"I'm glad the rivalry games are over.."
That comment says it all.
MM is not a competitor...he's a COWARD and his 5-15 rivalry record is the icing on the cake!!

MM get's punked by Floyd and Alford and has no business being a D1 coach!