NMSU coach Marvin Menzies said center Chili Nephawe will be ready to go when the Aggies open practice in about a month.
Nephawe sat out last year after nine games with a thumb injury. He underwent another surgery in the offseason, but he was recently cleared.
"Having someone in the program with (Nephawe's) experience is a huge addition," Menzies said. "For the bigs, it creates a lot more competition at the position."
I asked Menzies if Nephawe's return meant that Tanveer Bhullar may redshirt.
"We don't make those decisions on who may or may not redshirt until early November," Menzies said.
Terrel de Rouen also underwent surgery on his foot in the offseason.
"Physically he has a little ways to go right now and wouldn't be able to go full in practice," Menzies said.
Whether or not to redshirt the younger Bhullar is an interesting question. If Nephawe is healthy, the Aggies certainly don't need another center because Renaldo Dixon proved more than capable of playing the position, especially in the WAC.
But adding Tanveer Bhullar to the roster also is very intriguing, especially if Nephawe shows the ability to play the power forward position as well. Menzies has said in the past that he doesn't think Bhullar will be around for four years, but say he picks up near where he left off last year and decides to enter the Draft. At that size, the window for a productive pro career is probably shorter than your average player. I wonder if the possibility of playing with his brother for at least one year factors into the decision to get Tanveer on the court this season?
Do they need the younger Bhullar this year? It would certainly make the Aggies a big draw nationally as the year goes on.