Friday, January 6, 2012
La Tech quotes
Wendell McKines on the Aggies' success on the road this year and what it means to being successful in WAC play. Of course, the Aggies open WAC play on the road on Saturday against La. Tech, a team that is unbeaten at home, as was Cal-St. Bakersfield.
"It's a good sign because that was an undefeated team at home. When you play on the road, you aren't necessarily playing talent for talent or size for size. You are playing how their chemistry and their environment how they play. It was their first home loss. That's a testament to where we are heading. It's a momentum boost for us and a positive note going into the WAC."
One last note regarding McKines, I asked him about the turnover and resulting foul that put Bakersfield on the line with a chance to hand the Aggies the loss since there wasn't video available. He said he turned the ball over as he attempted to go around the back to get past the guard just over mid court. Since it was a smaller player, McKines said he should have just ran past him rather than crossing him over.
Daniel Mullings on what he's capable of moving forward after a 21-point game at Bakersfield
"I knew coming in that I would have to step it up. Hernst and Wen were a little slow getting into the game so I had to pick it up. ... It starts with offensive rebounding, giving ourselves more chances to score and moving the ball and playing more inside out because we have advantages with our bigs."
On WAC outlook. There have been more marquee wins it seems this year, but there could have been more.
"We had a couple marquee games that I wish the conference would have done a little better job. Close game against Mississippi State (Utah State) or our game vs. Arizona. Those really help the conference overall. When you get close but you don't win them, it's frustrating. ... In relation to the past, yeah, but we were right there on a few others that could have set us up a few notches in relation to the national conference standings. We got a few, but now it's time to see who is the best of the best."
La Tech is a guard oriented team that can shoot if they get hot. Bakersfield was similar, providing tough matchups for the NMSU big guys. The Aggies went to a zone and rode it out. They could do the same thing against La. Tech for spells at least
Since the backcourt is diminished from a numbers standpoint after Kabongo left, point guard Hernst Laroche needs a backup, and he also has to be careful not to get into foul trouble. Freshman walk on DJ Lewis did a good job last week, but counting on him in the second half in a league game probably isn't ideal.
"We are going to roll with what we have. We just have manage the game a little differently. ... (Laroche) just has to play smart. You can't play on your heels and play passive because you anticipate playing the whole game. You have to be aggressive but you just have to be smart and can't gamble where maybe before he had a little luxury to shoot the gap and go for a few more steals."