New Mexico State hoops

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reggie Theus back in the WAC?

I've heard from two people that there is a connection between the open Fresno State job and former NMSU coach Reggie Theus. One saying that one side is interested and the other saying Reggie is interested.

I actually got ahold of Theus, but he declined comment until the end of the NBA season, which is a couple of weeks away for the Timberwolves.

My question for him and for whomever reads this blog is should Reggie come back and commit to being a college coach? I think so. While the money is more significant at the NBA level, it's a player's league. College hoops is all about the coach.

Reggie has that personality that can turn a market like Fresno or Las Cruces, New Mexico into a destination for top players. Don't know that he is the greatest x's and o's type of coach, but I think if you can recruit players that won't get your program into trouble, talent can make up for other shortcomings as a coach. Players want to play for coaches who played in the NBA, so that gives a guy like Theus an advantage over a lot of guys, certainly in the WAC and soon to be Mountain West.

Fresno's departure to the Mountain West following next season is another reason the Fresno State job would be a good fit for Reggie Theus coming back to the college game. Bigger league and more prestige could make for a nice resume builder for whatever comes next. But that's the question. Is he committed to being a college coach or is it just the next thing until another NBA head job opens up? I think if he does have interest in the Fresno job, it shows that perhaps he considers himself a college coach. Why would he leave a NBA staff if he didn't? College and the NBA are two different worlds so if he wants to be a NBA coach, staying on a NBA staff and paying your dues that way would be a quicker avenue than taking a job at a place like Fresno.

It certainly is an interesting storyline to see how the Fresno State job plays out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aggies get verbal from Oñate's DeRouen

NMSU received a verbal commit from Oñate senior Terrel DeRouen.

DeRouen told me during the season that he wanted to play Division I at some point and was willing to play at a lower level league or go the JC route. DeRouen could have a scholarship his first year, if not, he will be a scholarship player in Year 2.

DeRouen needs to work on his strength and jump shot, but is athletic enough at 6-1 to challenge Daniel Mullings and Renaldo Walters for backup minutes next year behind Hernst Laroche.

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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Postseason

I asked McKinley Boston if NMSU had been approached about playing in one of the fringe tournaments. He said yes, but the Aggies would not participate due to uncertainty regarding potential home attendance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thats it

The book on NMSU next year, should Troy Gillenwater return.....Take him out of the game offensively and he will not be a factor. Gillenwater played good defense on Thursday, but he and the Aggies weren't interested in defense against what was a hungrier Boise State team I thought.

I asked Boise State point guard LaShard Anderson if he felt like the Aggies quit and he said,

“Before the (second) half started, we felt like they were going to come out hard so we just wanted to keep up the energy level and continue to play hard,” Anderson said. “At a point, I felt like they kind of got frustrated with each other. They are a good team and they come back from games a lot so we did our best to stop that from happening.”

There you have it.....from the opponent's mouth.

I'll have more later today.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Utah State home games

It's no surprise Utah State travels well. Didn't realize it until just now when I came back down to the Orleans Arena and it's half of what it was during Utah State's 58-54 WAC Tournament semifinal win over San Jose State on Friday.

Regardless of who wins tonight's second semifinal, it will like playing a road game in Logan on Saturday night.


Utah State tried to make it sound like they were shaking off rust, shooting 37 percent from the field but San Jose State outrebounded them and Adrian Oliver's game-winning attempt from the top of the key with eight seconds left was halfway down. That's how close Utah State came to losing.





Adrian Oliver was held to eight points in the first half, but Keith Shamburger  also has eight and Will Carter is making Tai Wesley play defense with San Jose State within four at the half to top-seeded Utah State.

Wesley and Nate Bendall each have two fouls in the first half but so does Shamburger.

Darin Spence

The New Mexico State women's basketball team lost on Wednesday to end the careers of seniors Madison Spence, Danisha Corbett and Jasmine Lowe.

The question now is who will coach the team next year.

Darin Spence's contract expires after this season after signing a contract extension following NMSU's 25-9 year two years ago after the Aggies reached the WAC Tournament championship for the third straight year. Things haven't gone well since then.

McKinley Boston said he planned to meet with Spence either today or tomorrow. Boston would not say either way if he would consider another extension at this point.

"I have no idea," Spence said following the Aggies' quarterfinal loss on Thursday. "This is my last year and I've heard nothing since last summer. We were below .500, but we have been competitive all year. We have been banged up. I count probably five games that I wish we could have back. We played a tough tough schedule."

Spence said NMSU administration did not set a number of wins or a WAC Tournament title prior to the season. But he said he has not sat down with Boston or NMSU officials since June.

Highlights since extending his deal include wins over Michigan, ranked Kansas and a berth in the WNIT last year.

"I have just been told to be competitive," he said. "I took over a dismal, forgotten, neglected program and went to three WAC championship games and beat nationally ranked teams.

"We have to turn over every rock we can find in recruiting. We have good kids. I would be the first one to say that I wish we could win more games. But are we getting killed? Are we getting drilled? Are we embarassing? I guess that's not for me to decide. I've spent eight years and just poured my soul and guts and everything and my family into this program. Do I want to be here? Ya."

WAC semis ... will the Aggies wear down?

Boise State will be a handful for the Aggies in tonight's WAC semifinal at 10 on ESPN2.

"They are a challenge," Aggies head coach Marvin Menzies said. "Right now when you are in the semifinals of the conference tournament, you are not going to have any surprises. We have seen them a bunch. They have seen us a bunch. You have to have the will to win and have to do the right things down the stretch. You are going to have turnovers. We are hopeful and optimistic that we can be in that position tomorrow."

If you read this blog or saw me on AggieVision lastnight, you know I think La'Shard Anderson is not only the best point guard in the WAC, but the best player in the league.

And the Broncos are now playing through Anderson more than ever — which presents somewhat of a difference from the first two meetings.The Broncos have won six stratight games entering tonight's contest with Anderson leading them with 15 points 4.5 assists, shooting 43 percent and 32 percent from long range.

"Transition is probably the No. 1 key with them," NMSU forward Troy Gillenwater said. "They are a running team. La'Shard Anderson is a really good point guard. He likes to push it and Daequon Montreal is a pretty good power forward."


Hernst Laroche did a great job on Deonte Burton  in Wednesday's 66-60 win over Nevada. He can certainly do it again, but he will need some help from Christian Kabongo, who has also played well as of late and has size to match Anderson.

At this point, I would rank Laroche behind Anderson and Burton as the top two point guards in the WAC with Laroche behind them and Utah State's Brockeith Pane fourth. To win the WAC, Laroche will have to go up against all of them.

"I think the greatest challenge might be to sustain the mental focus and not do what Nevada did, which was wear down," Menzies said. "I think  you are going to see two teams that like to run and like to score. It should be a fun game to watch."

The Broncos have gone to a different lineup with walk on freshman guard Jeff Elorriaga starting and Paul Noonan coming off the bench. Noonan is still second on the team in scoring. Elorriago plays just 15.2 poins per game and doesn't seem to be a great shooter.

When Noonan is in, he has been playing the four, so the Aggies should try to get the ball into Gillenwater in the paint if they have that matchup and the Aggies can't forget about Arnold, who is second on the team in scoring and not the offensive threat he has been in the past, but he's had huge games against the Aggies in the past.




Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can the Aggies flip the switch?

I haven't seen NMSU play a game and close a game like they did in a 66-60 win over Nevada to return to the WAC semis for the sixth straight year.

NMSU was more physical than Nevada, outrebounding the Wolf Pack in the second half with 8 offensive rebounds and 28 points in the paint. those are all stats that show me that this team wants to advance when that has been a question mark all year surrounding this team.

Tyrone Watson played 24 minutes despite flu symptons and Gordo Castillo drove to the basket for a critical And-1 late in the game. Nevada had a poor shooting night, but a lot of that was due to the job Hernst Laroche and Christian Kabongo did on Deonte Burton and Gillenwater helping on Olek Czyz.

One concern I had and I don't know if any of you may have noticed this, but there was a play with Kabongo late in the game where he almost lost his head it looked like. Nevada fouled him with 36.3 seconds left to send him to the line with the Aggies up three. It looked like Gillenwater told him he was open for a lay up, but kabongo was fouled first or didn't see him. The two went back and forth and Laroche had to step in and calm Kabongo down. Kabongo went on to miss both free throws, but Watson punched it back for the Aggies to run more clock. It was a small detail. Don't know how much it means. I think CK will be good, but I wish he would just play.

NMSU women

The NMSU women tip off in about an hour against Utah State in the quarters. The Aggies haven't been to the conference semis since 2008.

Madison Spence will break the school record tonight with her 121st career start, breaking Andrea Kabwasa's record set from 1988-1992.

More importantly, an Aggies win tonight would be a WAC Tournament record sixth win over a higher seeded team. The Aggies are currently tied with UNM and Rice.

Something to watch for vs. Nevada

Tyrone Watson has been ill and may be limited today against Nevada. Watson practiced but it would be a difficult loss for the Aggies. Watson defended Czyz last week in Las Cruces.

Cinderella Spartans

San Jose State has emerged as the Cinderella of the tournament.
The Spartans received 28 points each from their guard tandem of senior Adrian Oliver and freshman Keith Shamburger to beat No. 4 Idaho 74-68. It's San Jose State's first ever semifinal appearance.
The Spartans advanced to take on top-seeded Utah State at 7 p.m., on Friday.
San Jose State led by nine with 9:26 to play.
Idaho came back to tie the game at 68-68 with 3:01 to play but faltered down the stretch.
Shamburger was 9-for-14 from the field and 6-for-9 from 3-point range, but he scored a lay up and hit a pair of free throws off Idaho turnovers under two minutes to play to put SJSU up four with 31.3 seconds left.
Oliver's effort made him the career leader in points at the school.







San Jose State is working on another upset bid. The Spartans lead 61-55 with 7:56 left. San Jose freshman Keith Shamburger has 21 points to help Adrian Oliver today, who has 24. SJSU is 12 for 20 from 3-point range.


Idaho leads San Jose State 36-34 at the half of the early quarterfinal.

I think the Vandals might be my favorite team in the WAC right now. You think of the Vandals as a boring slow paced team but they can play multiple styles. San Jose wants to get up and down and let their guards let 3s fly (SJSU is 8-14 from 3-point range in the first half), but idaho has the pieces to keep up with Luiz Toledo, Ledbetter, Deremy Geiger and Landon Tatum. And Kyle Barone is a nice piece — a skilled big man who can put it on the floor and get to the rim. Adrian Oliver started to put on a show before he picked up his third foul. He was limited to 16 minutes, but he started to feel it. He has 14 at the half.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nevada vs. NMSU

How much does tournament history mean when neither New Mexico State nor Nevada have many returners from a year ago.

Dario Hunt is the only Nevada contributor from last year's Nevada team, which lost to NMSU on its home court on a Jahmar Young jumper with five seconds left. The Aggies certainly have more players on this team that contributed last year, but the key players this year were role players last year.

NMSU is 2-1 in the WAC Tournament against Nevada in of the better rivalries in the league. The teams have each won two titles since 2004.







Regarding Thursday's game, I think Nevada point guard  Deonte Burton is the top freshman in the league and the second best behind La'Shard Anderson. But the key to the Wolf Pack is sophomore Indiana transfer Malik Story. Story scored 14 of his career-high 34 points in the first half, helping the Wolf Pack go up 11 at the break. Story finished 11-for-14 from the field and 6-for-6 from 3-point range in Wednesday's 77-68 win over Fresno State. Yet Story entered Wednesday 8-for-39 from the field in Nevada's previous three games. In two games against NMSU this year, Story is a combined 6-for-26 from the floor.

Jack Nixon commentary

Nevada/Fresno State

Malik Story is second on Nevada's roster with 13.7 points per game this season. He already has 14, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range to put Nevada up 26-11 with 10:54 left in the first half.

Nevada has made 7-for-9 from 3-point range with Story knocking down another triple to put Nevada up 43-25 with 3:26 left in the first half. Fresno State closed to within 10 after Nevada led by as many as 18 with 10 minutes left in the half.

Looks like I'm well on my way to an 0-2 start in the WAc. Nevada is on fire from the field, shooting 57.1 percent at the half for 45-26 lead.

Malik Story has hit all 4 of his 3s for 19 points and Nevada has made 7-of-12 from long range.

Fresno's Greg Smith has just five field goal attempts for two points with eight rebounds.

Hawaii/San Jose State






Sitting here watching Hawaii/San Jose.

Hawaii just took a 23-22 lead with a Zane Johnson triple. Unlike the Aggies when they played SJSU, Hawaii is taking advantage of its size advantage over the Spartans zone.

Hawaii is shooting 17-of-28  and scored 22 points in the paint for a 42-37 halftime lead over San Jose State. There have been 26 fouls called so far. Johnson has three, as does Hawaii guard Trevor Wiseman. Hawaii big man Matt Ballard and backup Joe Henson each have three for the Spartans, who are 36.7 percent from the foul line. Hawaii could have a larger advantage if not for a 6 of 14 effort at the foul line.


Hawaii up one with under seven minutes left. San Jose is dangerous if they stick around with Adrian Oliver on the floor. That proved to be the case, as Oliver hit a jumper from the top of the key with four seconds late. Hawaii thought they had a tip in at the horn, but it was no good and San Jose won its first WAC Tournament win since beating Louisiana Tech in the play-in game in 2008

San Jose moves on to play No. 4 Idaho tomorrow at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.

Fresno State or Nevada?

This may sound hard to believe, but I would think Aggies fans want Nevada to win today's game between Fresno State and Nevada at 3:30. I'll be there so check out twitter.com/CrucesSunNews#WAC

I think Fresno State wins.
I wasn't that impressed with Nevada in person, and I think New Mexico State matches up better with Nevada than Fresno State. Nevada has three very good players and Malik Story can hurt you if he's knocking down 3s. Fresno State has a big man in Greg Smith who was taken out of the game in Las cruces due to foul trouble. He had 17 and 7 in Fresno's 88-83 in Fresno. Smith scares me. Nevada's interior doesn't and their role players are not ready to play at this level, both physically and skill wise. And Nedeljko Golubovic has size and knows how to play. He's also a tough matchup for Chili or Rahman.

But Fresno State freshman guard Kevin Olekaibe has killed the Aggies for 23 and 24 points. I think he is the second best freshman in the league behind Deonte Burton so that matchup will be fun to watch if they check each other. Guard Tim Steed didn't play in Las Cruces and I believe he's missed some time lately due to suspension. With point guard Steven Shepp, the Bulldogs have a much more talented lineup right now than the Wolf Pack.

Who do the Aggies need to play on Thursday in order to advance?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Have you seen this?

Great read on conference tournaments in Vegas

All WAC official (terrible)

First Team
La’Shard Anderson, Boise State, G, 6-1, 170, Sr., San Diego, Calif. (Irvine Valley CC)
Troy Gillenwater, New Mexico State, F, 6-8, 238, Jr., Boston, Mass. (Stoneridge Prep)
Adrian Oliver, San Jose State, G, 6-4, 210, Sr., Modesto, Calif. (Washington)
Brockeith Pane, Utah State, G, 6-1, 195, Jr., Dallas, Texas (Midland JC)
Tai Wesley, Utah State, F, 6-7, 240, Sr., Provo, Utah (Provo HS)

Second Team
Bill Amis, Hawai‘i, F, 6-9, 235, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla. (Pratt CC)
Brian Green, Utah State, G, 6-1, 200, Sr., Kaysville, Utah (Salt Lake CC)
Dario Hunt, Nevada, F, 6-8, 230, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Charis Prep School)
Jeff Ledbetter, Idaho, G, 6-3, 195, Sr., Brea, Calif. (Irvine Valley CC)
Greg Smith, Fresno State, C, 6-10, 250, So., Fresno, Calif. (Westwind Academy)

Honorable Mention
Olu Ashaolu, Louisiana Tech, F, 6-7, 220, Jr., Toronto, Canada (Humble Christian)
Kyle Barone, Idaho, C, 6-10, 220, So., Garden Grove, Calif. (Pacifica HS)
Deonte Burton, Nevada, G, 6-1, 185, Fr., Los Angeles, Calif. (Compton Centenial HS)
Justin Graham, San Jose State, G, 6-4, 195, Sr., Ripon, Calif. (Ripon HS)
Zane Johnson, Hawai‘i, G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona)

Player of the Year: Tai Wesley, Utah State
Freshman of the Year: Deonte Burton, Nevada
Don Haskins Coach of the Year: Stew Morrill, Utah State

All-Defensive Team
La’Shard Anderson, Boise State, G, 6-1, 170, Sr., San Diego, Calif. (Irvine Valley CC)
Olu Ashaolu, Louisiana Tech, F, 6-7, 220, Jr., Toronto, Canada (Humble Christian)
Justin Graham, San Jose State, G, 6-4, 195, Sr., Ripon, Calif. (Ripon HS)
Dario Hunt, Nevada, F, 6-8, 230, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Charis Prep School)
Tyler Newbold, Utah State, G, 6-5, 210, Sr., Payson, Utah (Payson HS)

All-Newcomer Team
Deonte Burton, Nevada, G, 6-1, 185, Fr., Los Angeles, Calif. (Compton Centenial HS)
Olek Czyz, Nevada, 6-7, 240, Jr., Gdynia, Poland (Duke)
Zane Johnson, Hawai‘i, G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona)
Brockeith Pane, Utah State, G, 6-1, 195, Jr., Dallas, Texas (Midland JC)
Tim Steed, Fresno State, G, 6-4, 215, Jr., Philadelphia, Penn. (Highland CC)

All Conference

The league is supposed to release it's all conference sometime Sunday. I wanted to see everyone in person once before I posted my thoughts.

First Team
Dario Hunt, Nevada
Troy Gillenwater, NMSU
Tai Wesley, Utah State
Adrian Oliver, San Jose State
La'Shard Anderson, Boise State

Second team
Deonte Burton, Nevada
Zane Johnson, Hawaii
Jeff Ledbetter, Idaho
Olu Ashaolu, La. Tech
Greg Smith, Fresno State

Honorable Mention
Hernst Laroche, NMSU
Brockeith Pane, Utah State
DeAndre Brown, La. Tech
Kyle Barone, Idaho
Justin Graham, San Jose State

All Defensive team
Dario Hunt, Nevada
La'Shard Anderson, Boise State
Justin Graham, San Jose State
Vander Joaquim, Hawaii
Greg Smith, Fresno State

All Newcomer team
Deonte Burton, Nevada
Brockeith Pane, Utah State
Kevin Olekaibe, Fresno State
Olek Czyz, Nevada
Zane Johnson, Hawaii

Some of these players are on here because of stats, some because they impressed me in person and have been productive for their teams. Having said that, La''Shard Anderson from Boise State is the best player I've seen all year. He does everything  for the Broncos, makes big shots, he's extremely quick wsith the ball and he runs his team.


Coach of the year also goes to Boise State's Leon Rice, who has helped the Broncos become one of four teams i think with a chance to win the WAC Tourney.

Freshman of the year goes to Deonte Burton, who I think will be a better player than Armon Johnson before he leaves...but maybe not as good a NBA prospect.

Official all WAC comes out later today

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gordo post

first I have a question or request. If any of you know anyone going to Vegas, email me at jgroves@lcsun-news.com.

Castillo picked Senior night to have his first double-double with a career high 10 rebounds. His previous best was seven against UTEP this season.

But he came to NMSU as a shooter and he shot the lights out the past two games at the Pan Am. We will see if he carries it over to a neutral court. Castillo was 7-for-13 (54percent) this weekend from long range. I've been thinking of player to compare him to and came up with two and wanted to see what you thought.

Gordo Castillo (entering Saturday) — 113 games — 1970 minutes — 209-472 44.3 FG — 156-385 40.5 3-pt FG — 51-60 85 FT — 625 points

Ted Knauber (2005-07) — 61 games — 1309 minutes — 127-313 40.6 FG — 82-219 38.4 3-pt FG — 31-42 73.8 FT — 369 points


Kelsey Crooks (1999-04) — 111 games — 1944 minutes — 219-516 42.4 FG — 75-183 41 3-pt FG — 93-140 66.4 FT —  606 points

Hamidu not dressed

Didn't see Hamidu Rahman for pre game. Troy Gillenwater was out there though with the right thumb taped.

Must win vs. Nevada

While the Aggies need tonight's game vs. Nevada to avoid losing five straight to enter the postseason, a win tonight helps NMSU avoid playing four games in four days. NMSU would receive a first round bye with a win, while also making certain to avoid Utah State until a potential finals matchup.

I think tonight's matchup is also interesting in terms of David Carter vs. Marvin Menzies.

Carter's team this year is similar in makeup I think to Menzies' in his second year. Carter took over at Nevada with veteran standouts in Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson and reached the tournament semis. Menzies also came to NMSU with a veteran team, reaching the tournament final his first season.

The Aggies took a step back Menzies' second year as the Aggies had a core group of freshmen Hernst Laroche and Troy Gillenwater, junior Jonathan Gibson and sophomores Wendell McKines, Jahmar Young. The Aggies were all over the place in terms of consistency but the talent was there and they nearly upset Utah State in the semis. Nevada's team in Carter's second year has been the same. The Wolf Pack have four potential All conference players in Deonte Burton, Olek Czyz, Dario Hunt and Malik Story.

"When you have one of the youngest teams in the country, you have to talent and we have talent there," Carter said. "There is a lack of experience. When (NMSU) matured and understood how to win and mature they were able to get to the tournament. You have to learn how to compete at a high level every night."

Both teams are young again this season, contributing to the fact that each team needs a win tonight to get a first-round bye.

"If he goes to the tournament next year, I see a similarity," Menzies said. "He did make the decision to go  young and that's a common ground. When there is a program with history, you can do that. I like our young kids and think they will develop and be pretty good players."

Friday, March 4, 2011

seeding

Boise State

2    Locked in

Fresno State

7    If Fresno State beats Hawai‘i and Boise State beats San Jose State

8    If Fresno State loses OR
      If Fresno State beats Hawai‘i and San Jose State beats Boise State

Hawai‘i

5    If Hawai‘i beats Fresno State OR
      If Hawai‘i loses to Fresno State and New Mexico State beats Nevada

6    If Hawai‘i loses to Fresno State and Nevada beats New Mexico State

 

Idaho

3    If Nevada beats New Mexico State

4    If New Mexico State beats Nevada

Louisiana Tech

Eliminated

 

Nevada

4    If Nevada beats New Mexico State

6    If Nevada loses to New Mexico State

New Mexico State

3    If New Mexico State beats Nevada

5    If New Mexico State loses to Nevada and Fresno State beats Hawaii

6    If New Mexico State loses to Nevada and Hawai‘i beats Fresno State

San Jose State

7    If San Jose State beats Boise State OR
      If San Jose State loses to Boise State and Hawai‘i beats Fresno State

8    If San Jose State loses to Boise State and Fresno State beats Hawai‘i

Utah State

1    Locked in

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sun-News on Twitter

I will be on Twitter from last night's game against Utah State through the WAC Tournament. Follow the Sun-News at:

twitter.com/CrucesSunNews

Thanks to Sam Wasson....again

Here is Sam's second version of the tie breaking scenarios entering Thursday's WAC games.....Could clear up even more tonight.


No. 3 - NMSU defeats Nevada and finishes 9-7

No. 4 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8,  Idaho loses to Fresno State and finishes 8-8, Nevada defeats LA Tech and finishes 9-7, Hawai'i finishes 7-9

No. 5 - NMSU loses to Nevada, Idaho and Nevada both finish 8-8, Hawai'i finishes 7-9. Idaho earns 3 seed via win over USU, Nevada owns head-to-head tiebreaker over NMSU

No. 5 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Idaho, Hawai'i and Nevada also finish 8-8

No. 6 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Idaho defeats Fresno State and finishes 9-7, Hawai'i splits final two games and finishes 8-8, Nevada defeats LA Tech and finishes 8-8

No. 6 - NMSU, Idaho and Nevada each finish 8-8, Hawai'i finishes 9-7.

No. 6. - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Nevada, Idaho and Hawai'i each finish 9-7 

Gillenwater......Aggies down the stretch

I wrote before the Aggies' 58-54 loss to Utah State on Wednesday that Troy Gillenwater would have to become more inside-out down the stretch.

As it turns out, a broken thumb on his shooting hand forced him to be just that on Wednesday for 17 points. It was probably a painful 17 points, but it set the tone for the Aggies with his aggressive play. Freshman Tshilidzi Nephawe had his first career double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Hamidu Rahman was limited to 10 minutes as he is still nursing the calf injury. Perhaps it was the injury or a matchup against Tai Wesley, but Gillenwater probably played one of his best defensive games that I have seen anyway. Wesley made some big buckets, but nothing was easy for him on Wednesday.

Gillenwater has the ball in  his hands a lot, so perhaps the mistakes are magnified, but he admitted the turnover down four was big although it didn't turn into UtAg points.

There was also another sequence where the Aggies lost valuable seconds because they couldn't secure a rebound at a critical time. NMSU outrebounded USU 31-27 and the UtAgs only had five offensive rebounds, but two of them came in the last 1:14.
Down 56-52 with 1:14 to play on a Gillenwater three point play, the Aggies forced Brian Green into a tough runner in the lane. Morgan Grim, who played six minutes....grabbed the rebound and extended the possession. Brockeith Pane pulled up for a jumper on the wing with 51 seconds left, but Wesley grabbed the board and the Aggies were forced to foul.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Students

NMSU's students showed up. Nobody else did.

Gordo starting tonight vs. Utah State. Gillenwater in starting lineup. Heard before the game the thumb was broken.

Aggies need to accept what they are...

This is going to sound like the dumbest and most obvious blog posting ever.

But in order to beat Utah State and anyone for that matter, the Aggies are going to have to score.

They aren't a defensive team. Never have been, never will be.

They aren't a tough team this year. Their best players are finesse players who care more about scoring than defending. The Aggies  have to embrace this and be aggressive on the offensive end. The first game against Utah State, Marvin Menzies said the Aggies did a good job defensively, holding Utah State to 59 points. Well, NMSU only scored 49. Utah State is much more comfortable playing those games. The Aggies can't win unless they are in the 70 point arena.

NMSU somehow leads the league in scoring in conference play with 73 points per game (USU is first in defense, allowing 60 points per game) but the Aggies always have a stretch, sometimes long, multiple stretches...where they can't score.

The solution?

At least my solution would be, get Troy Gillenwater in the paint.

The Aggies' centers have not been effective. I understand that Troy Gillenwater is a good shooter and would prefer facing up, but the Aggies won't win with him out there. The fact is that Gillenwater is the best offensive post player in the WAC, but he has settled for jump shots for much of this season. It would be more difficult physically on Gillenwater to play that way, especially injured, but to me getting his complete offensive game going is the only way the Aggies advance next week.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wendell McKines speaks

Wendell McKines has made a mark for himself with the social networking. As a result of reaching 200 likes on his Facebook page, McKines will participate in a NMSU promotion. (I refuse to type the name of it on my blog. Really NMSU? National TV?)



PanAmmunition.....Too long in the making, but a great idea for NMSU hoops moving forward

Following is a Q&A with an anon contributor to The PanAmmunition, NMSU's student formed content regarding the Aggies men's basketball team. 




JG: Like I said before, I think it’s a good idea to get the students more involved in home games. I guess my first question is how did your group form and why? Was there a group of students who were disappointed with the participation in home games?


We started after a tough loss on the road. We were watching the game on TV and the loss just hit us hard. We sat there soaking it all in and just started brainstorming how we could improve things for when this team played us at home. Writing ideas on a napkin slowly evolved into writing ideas down on how to improve home games in general. We committed and we went for it. One of the biggest motivators was our desire to bring back the traditions pride of our already historic program. We want to start some traditions of our own but our real goal is to bring the fanbase back to where it was in the early ‘90’s with the true “Panamaniacs.” Other schools don’t have a history as rich as ours and that’s why it was so easy to get rolling. The alumni and students were just waiting for some one to step up.

JG:What was the first game? I believe it was Idaho but I could be mistaken.


The first game was Boise State. Since then we’ve had four.

JG: How many students are involved?


There are two main writers but we have an individual helping with design and also two “guest” writers who give us contributions at times. We’ve come to form a really great team. What’s really neat is that we’re not all even in the same city and some of us have yet to meet in-person.

JG:Would you say there was a lack of student interest in games?


Absolutely. I would say the problem is mostly due to ignorance. We have such a talented team, one of the best we have had in years and a huge majority of the student body just has no clue. We owe it to the hard work of the players to get the word out and get the attendance up again. To bring these students our, we’re really trying to improve the whole game experience and show them how fun cheering on your team can be. The team has done their part and excelled on the court despite the low attendance, we really want to see how far things could go for the Aggies if they had their entire student body behind them.

JG: How do you go about gathering the information on opposing teams and players? How involved is it?


We don’t want to give away our tactics but it’s very involved. We’ve established a system that we have to start a few weeks in advance. We really take pride in this part of our issues though. We figure that if we can find something that gets under an opponent's skin and get them flustered emotionally, then we can really affect the game.

JG:Utah State and other schools have had similar publications....do you model yours off of any particular schools?


Our first issue was modeled after Utah State’s “The Refraction.” Since then we like to think that we’ve come a long way both in appearance and content. We’ve become something more than just a publication as well. We’ve formed a club of sorts comprised of our fans. We’ve really utilized our resources well in order to make it easier on us and also to get the community involved so that they really feel like their part of our publication.

JG:What has been the reaction from the university if at all?


We’re still getting the word out, but the university as a whole has been very receptive and supportive. Within 48 hours of making our Facebook page, the University’s marketing team had reached out to us and has been very helpful. We’ve formed a great relationship with the athletic department all the way up to Dr. Boston. The students really enjoy reading us and a number of alumni have contributed monetarily. We recently set up a paypal account to help funding, not only the publication, but marketing and other materials we need for game days, and the response from that has been outstanding. The community has been so generous and the support has been so helpful. We love to know that people have our back and we love how excited people are to see changes at the Pan Am.

JG: Is there something special in store for the last home stand of the season?


Yes. Look for old traditions being brought back to life these last two games. The common fan doesn’t realize how heated these two rivalries are (especially the Utah State one). We’ve had these two circled on the calendar since our first issue. Everyone’s just going to have to head out to the Pan American Center to see what we have in store!

JG:Anything else we should know??

We’re accepting donations to help with our cause and you can find a fundraising letter on our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-PanAmmunition/189238921094403?sk=app_4949752878

You can also follow us on Twitter here: 
http://twitter.com/#!/PanAmmunition


Las Cruces, you don't know what you're missing!