Guard the paint: Joey Shaw had 18 and 9 on Thursday against Denver. Spencer Butterfield had 16 points and made the only 3 of the game for Utah State at home. NMSU leads the WAC in 2 point field goal percentage. Utah State is a good 3-point shooting team at 38 percent but if the Aggies take care of the paint I think they should be fine. Part of that is due to Renaldo Dixon and Sim Bhullar, who have led the Aggies to 141 blocked shots this season. One more blocked shot is a school record and Bhullar is just four blocks shy of setting a new mark for most blocked shots in a season. Bhullar had five blocks against Utah State in the first meeting
Go inside: NMSU shot 58 percent against Utah State in the first meeting with four players in double figures. Bhullar is too much for UTah State I believe. Shaw is the one big that is intriguing but after that, Utah State's front court isn't scary. Getting the UtAgs in foul trouble is also possible since Morrill said the team plays just eight.
Mullings vs. Butterfield: Daniel Mullings is accustomed to running through screens to shut a guy down. The only one that has had any success that I've seen is Idaho's Connor Hill. I don't even think Butterfield is as good as Hill. If Mullings make it difficult for Butterfield and nobody else gets off, NMSU should get out with a victory.
I thought NMSU matched up well with Utah State before Preston Medlin went down. Wasn't impressed with Butterfield, Jean or Roland but those are the guys the Aggies have to focus on now. Playing Denver close at home doesn't matter much to me because NMSU has proven to be a matchup nightmare for teams that play deliberate offensively. But it is in Logan and it's still a rivalry game.
NMSU wins 65-61