New Mexico State hoops

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tiebreakers

NMSU still controls its own destiny for the No. 2 seed. They NEED the No. 2 seed to have any chance at a WAC title I believe.

If the Aggies were to split the last two games, you will see it's important they somehow find a way to beat Utah State on Wednesday since a key tiebreaker is how you did against teams, starting from the top of the standings and working your way down.

My thanks to Sam Wasson.

2-seed: Aggies win out
2-seed: Aggies defeat USU, lose to Nevada, BSU loses to SJSU, Nevada loses to LA Tech

3-seed: Aggies defeat USU, lose to Nevada, BSU loses to SJSU, Nevada defeats to LA Tech, Idaho loses to Fresno State
3-seed: Aggies defeat USU, lose to Nevada, Nevada defeats LA Tech, Idaho defeats Fresno State, BSU defeats SJSU
3-seed: Aggies lose to USU, defeat Nevada and BSU loses to SJSU (BSU wins tie-breaker due to sweep of Fresno State)
3-seed: Aggies lose to USU, defeat Nevada, BSU defeats SJSU

4-seed: Aggies defeat USU, lose to Nevada, Nevada defeats LA Tech, Idaho defeats Fresno State (Aggies own head-to-head tiebreaker with Idaho)
4-seed: Aggies defeat USU, lose to Nevada, Nevada defeats LA Tech, BSU loses to SJSU, Idaho defeats Fresno State
4-seed: Aggies lose to USU and Nevada, Nevada defeats LA Tech, Idaho loses to Fresno State

5-seed: Aggies lose to USU and Nevada, Nevada defeats LA Tech, Idaho defeats Fresno State

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tie breaks.....will come in useful this week

17. Tie-Breaking Principles
a. General Procedures
The following procedures are to be used to determine seeding for a Conference tournament or to establish the
automatic qualifier to an NCAA Championship subject to any sport regulation tie-breakers.
Regulations
[1] Ties for all places in the standings (between two teams or three or more teams) which can be broken
based upon head-to-head competition are broken before the implementation of further tie-breaking
procedures.

[2]
If more than two teams are tied, the three or more tie-breaking procedures shall be implemented. If
only two teams are tied, the two-team tie-breaking procedures shall be implemented.

[3]
In the case of ties for more than one place, the first tie broken is that of the highest place (i.e., first
place, second place, etc.) and continue downward through the standings.

[4]
If the tie is for first place and cannot be broken by a head-to-head results, compare the tied teams’
winning percentage against the next highest finishing team and continue through the standings. The team
with the best winning percentage against the next highest-finishing team or group of tied teams advances.
If the tie is for any position other than first place, the comparison shall begin at the top of the standings.

[5]
Once a tied team has been placed in a position/seed, that team shall be included in all further comparisons
of other tied teams from the position/seed in which it has been placed.

b. Tie-Breaking Procedures
[1] Two-Way Tie:

[i]
The winner of the head-to-head competition is the higher seed.

[ii]
If the tie is for first place, compare the tied teams’ records against the next highest finishing team
and continue through the standings. The team with the best record/winning percentage against the
next highest finishing team or group of tied teams advances. If the tie is for any position other than
first place, the comparison shall begin at the top of the standings.

[iii]
If a tie still remains, the institution with the highest RPI following
the conclusion of the WAC’s regular season shall receive the higher seed (replaces iii above).
The official NCAA RPI shall be used, if available. If not, CollegeRPI.com shall be used. [5/06]


[2] Three or More-Way Tie.
Once a tie has been reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaker is
implemented.

[i]
Compare the records of the tied teams against each other. The team(s) with the best record(s)
versus the other tied teams receives the higher seed or advances to the next tie-breaker; the team
with the next best record versus the other tied teams receives the next highest seed or advances to
the next tie breaker, etc.

[ii]
If the tie is for first place, compare the tied teams’ records against the next highest finishing team
and continue through the standings. The team with the best record against the next highest-finishing
team or group of tied teams advances. If the tie is for any position other than first place the comparison
shall begin at the top of the standings.

[iii]
If a tie still remains, the Conference office shall conduct a draw. The first team drawn shall receive
the higher seed, the second team drawn shall receive the next highest seed, etc.

[iv] Men and Women’s Basketball Only.
If a tie still remains, the institution with the highest RPI following
the conclusion of the WAC’s regular season shall receive the higher seed (replaces iii above).
The official NCAA RPI shall be used, if available. If not, CollegeRPI.com shall be used. [5/06]

Friday, February 25, 2011

Terrell de Rouen

We talk mostly Aggies men's hoops on here. But if you get a chance in town, check out the District 3-5A boys basketball championship game on Saturday at Oñate at 7 p.m.

I think Oñate senior guard Terrell de Rouen is the only Division I player in the game, but teammate Tim Jacobs, and Cruces High's Trevor Noel (soph) and Mando Marshall (jr) are Division II players right now I would say. Both teams get after it.

I talked to de Rouen the other day.

He said the only Division I offer he has is Georgia State currently. NMSU is interested as a walk-on initially and California-Northridge is interested. He said Oklahoma asked for film last week. de Rouen said he never considered playing at NMSU at home before the Aggies became interested, but he does want to play Division I at some point. He said Midland College has shown interested, and he said he would consider playing at the prep school level.

de Rouen has grown from 5-7 as a sophomore to 6-1 and will be the most explosive player on the court on Saturday. A 6-1 point guard would add even more length to the top of the Aggies' zone. I don't know that de Rouen has any one skill that makes him a must-have player for NMSU. Gordo Castillo could stroke the 3 and still can. Hernst Laroche needs a backup at some point and I see Christian Kabongo as more of a combo-guard type.

At the very least, de Rouen would be a better practice player right now than two of the walk ons the Aggies have with potential to play a few minutes as a freshman even. He's that good of an athlete.

Luck of the Aggies?

Perhaps NMSU's greatest asset this time of year is luck.

I think we would all agree the Aggies have the talent level needed to win the WAC Tournament. Personally I don't expect it, but it wouldn't shock me either, particularly if they get the No. 2 seed.

But lets be honest. The Aggies could easily be in fourth or fifth place. I think the best two teams in the league right now are Utah State and Boise State. Nevada and NMSU are teams that are capable of winning the tournament but they have to play well and the other team has to have an average or below average game.

Lets start with the Fresno State loss on the road on Feb. 3. The Aggies lose to drop to 6-4 but Hawaii knocks off Boise State and San Jose beats Idaho at Idaho that same weekend. Then on Wednesday the Aggies lose at SJSU and the sky is falling because Nevada is home against Idaho right? The Vandals win 67-59.

Needless to say, tonight's Nevada/Boise State game is big. Nevada could sweep the series with the Broncos for the season while the Aggies split with the Broncos. Could be important come WAC tiebreaker time if the Aggies take care of business at home on the last weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

San Jose prediction

Since joining the WAC in 2005, New Mexico State has traveled to San Jose State and Hawaii on the same trip twice — the split both times. Unlike those two years, the Aggies are playing at San Jose first. Gordo Castillo seemed like he prefers this order while Marvin Menzies said the opposite.

“I think that Hawaii trip is tough,” Aggies guard Gordo Castillo said. “You are on a plane for a long time the there is the time difference. I think it will be better to go to San Jose first and then go to Hawaii. But I just know after the first three years, that trip is tough. It’s tough to stay focused out there. We have guys that are mature enough. This is the young guys’ first long trip but I think they are going to be alright.”

My prediction for tonight’s game….San Jose State.

The Spartans may need this game even more than the Aggies, plus they have Adrian Oliver back. NMSU has owned the Spartans, but as I will talk about soon, this NMSU team doesn’t have that same killer instinct it did a year ago. 

So that means I like the Aggies on Saturday at Hawaii. The Aggies match up with the Spartans. They really match up with Hawaii. Hawaii has never been able to handle the Aggies’ pressure.

In the first meeting, point guard Justin Graham had 12 shot attempts and freshman guard Kevin Shamburger had 16 shot attempts for 19 points. With Oliver back, Graham is more of a regular point guard. I think the Aggies’ guards match up well, but they have to defend all night. Don’t see that happening.

The Aggies should have an advantage in the post but I’ve been saying that all year and it still hasn’t happened. It was good that Troy Gillenwater got the game in last week I think, even though I initially thought the Aggies should sit him regardless.

“I think that was good for us (playing against Northern Colorado),” Menzies said. “I think having him, regardless of the result, we had a chance for him to see some things he didn’t do well and get his legs underneath him. He’s not 100 percnet but he’s close. After having a few more days to treat his injury and also get a little more cardio in, I think he will be ready for this trip.”

This NMSU team reminds of the team they had two years ago. The overall talent level isn’t the same, but the inexperience factor is in terms of playing at a certain level over time. That team put it together in the WAC Tournament but fell in the semis. The talent is there to win the tournament again, but they are not a lock I would say to advance, making the No. 2 seed even more important.

2008-09 17-15, 9-7
2010-11 14-13, 8-4

The only difference is most of the key players on that team should have been the key players on this team, so they have been there before, although they had Gibson who was a junior.

“We would be doing good and then have our falls,” Gordo Castillo said when I made the comparison to him the other day. “It’s the time of the year you have to leave it all on the floor. I think that is what clicked last year. There was no other way to get to the NCAA Tournament and that was our goal. We had to go out there and win. Guys were all doing the right things.”

As I said before, this team is capable. They seem to know it, and if they were ever waiting for a switch, they better flip it tonight.

“I think last year’s team, we figured it out earlier,” Castillo said. “When adversity hit, we knew how to get over it. I think we are still trying to figure that out. We have to be there pretty soon with the WAC coming.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I didn't see a conference championship team

I have to confess that I actually went to school at UNC, although they weren't Division I when I was there. Unfortunately for NMSU, they aren't that great of a Division I team now. They have seniors and they can shoot the 3 which can help you win games, but they scored 82 points at the Pan Am against a second place team in a better league.

I think that NMSU is capable of putting together a run in Vegas to win the tournament. But I wouldn't bet on it. I doubted them last year as well, but this team doesn't have the same will that team had. As UNC cooled from 3-point range, missing all 11 attempts, the Aggies should have been able to take advantage but couldn't keep the Bears off the glass. There hasn't been a consistent play at the 5 all year, which is cause for concern down the stretch as well.

Gordo Castillo said the NMSU players were upset after losing at home. I don't know that they looked past UNC. Typically the Aggies have done a good job taking it one game at a time, but it's too late to be learning lessons this time of year. If UNC can make it that easy at the Pan Am, what is Utah State and Nevada going to be like. That's only if the Aggies get to the final weekend in the same situation they are in now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NMSU scheduling

New Mexico State has agreed to play in the Great Alaska Shootout next season as an exempt tournament.

The Aggies will open the tournament against Dartmouth with a possible second round game against Murray State.

USC, San Francisco, Alaska-Anchorage and Southern Miss are other potential teams at the tournament.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gillenwater update

I saw Troy Gillenwater prior to the Aggies' practice on Wednesday after having the last three days off. He said he was going to try to practice on Wednesday and seemed focused on trying to get on the court on Saturday.

Here are some Marvin Menzies comments on the subject.

"He's going to try to go but we will see. This will be the first day trying to run so that will be a challenge.

Anything 80 percent or above I would feel comfortable playing him. Anything below that, the rest will probably serve him better. A lot depends on how he feels. If he is going to play, he will probably start because I would rather have him warm up and get right into rather than have to sit.

"You don't want him to go right back into the fire against San Jose on the road in ESPN2 game if he is healthy to play this weekend. If there are any cobwebs you want to get them out of the way this weekend."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Should Gillenwater sit?

I think I know the answer to this but wanted to see what you were thinking?

Even if Troy Gillenwater is healthy or able to play on Saturday, this game means absolutely nothing. Seems like a good opportunity to let Gillenwater rest or rehab or does whatever it is he does for another four days before the Aggies go on the road to San Jose and Hawaii.

That's never been a fun road trip for NMSU. The Aggies have made the trip twice during their time in the WAC, ending at San Jose State both times, but splitting on the trip both times. NMSU is 1-1 against both teams when traveling to each school on the same trip.

I think NMSU has to go at least 3-1 to get the No. 2 seed. We will see if anything changes after the Wolf Pack's game tonight at Hawaii, but they just needed OT to beat San JOse on the same trip.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Injury report

Marvin Menzies on Troy Gillenwater:
Troy's ankle is still bothering him. We are going day to day just waiting to see Saturday how he feels. He's going to travel. We will probably go all the way up to Saturday to actually know if he's going to play or not. ... No crutches, no cane. No boot. It was a sprain.

If he does not play,
"It just depends who we are playing. You have different guys. We can go to CK and go small and put Tyrone at the four or you can play Renaldo now and keep the guard rotation the same."

My opinion, Kabongo would start with Tyrone at the four and Bandja Sy at the three.

Marvin Menzies on Hamidu Rahman:
He should be good to go. He is going to practice (Thursday).


Gordo Castillo, also fighting  through injury on his left ankle, tweaked an ankle against La. Tech and again in practice but will play.

"Guys have to step up like we had when Troy was out before. We have to be ready to play. La. Tech beat Boise State and Idaho at home and Idaho beat Utah State so they beat some good teams. They are going to be at us too for what we did to them on our home court."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dog days

Ahhh, nothing says college basketball like the La. Tech, La. Tech, Northern Colorado, San Jose, Hawaii stretch.

Don't have much to add to my thoughts regarding La. Tech that wasn't in my story for today's paper, but feel free to chime in here. I'm curious to see if the Aggies can solve their turnover issues and keep Olu Ashaolu off the glass. For the reader who has been asking to see BJ West, tonight you could get your wish depending on if Hamidu Rahman plays or not.