I have read and heard a lot about Canadian wing Jaylyn Pennie the past year but never got the impression that the 6-7 Pennie would actually make it to campus. Pennie could fill the athletic void left by Bandja Sy at one point at NMSU, a long athletic player on the wing.
And then I spoke with him. Pennie said he will be on campus on Aug. 20 for the upcoming year but redshirt the 2013-14 season.
"I have been talking to NMSU for probably the last year and committed to them at the end of my last high school season," Pennie said.
Pennie had several schools interested in him, such as Marshall, Miami, George Washington and Iowa. But after graduating from Christian Faith Center Academy in 2012, Pennie said he had to re-take the ACT again to qualify. Pennie is looking forward to sitting out this season, he said.
"I think it's good so I can get used to the college atmosphere, get stronger and work on the things I need to," he said. "I'm pretty good at attacking the basket and I'm athletic. I need to clean up my handle and get to where I am making the jump shot more consistently."
Pennie, 20, played two years at Christian Faith and was in Ajax, Ontario before that. Pennie played with Kaza Keane and MiKyle McIntosh from Illinois State.
Pennie said he is familiar with current Canadian Aggies Daniel Mullings and Sim Bhullar and like other Canadians, Pennie moved to the US to increase the level of competition he went up against.
The number of players who were or are sitting out was starting to pile up. At one point it looked like 6-7 power forward from Texas Kyle Wilson will not be coming to NMSU afterall. He told me instead he will play at Blinn Junior College this year in Texas.
Jim Coleman will likely attend and also sit out and Matt Taylor will redshirt. As far as the point guard position, the Aggies are hoping Ian Baker will be ready to go and cleared at some point but likely won't be able to practice with the team until he is, probably by the second semester.
In the meantime, it should be KC Ross Miller and freshman Travon Landry at the point guard position.
Point guard Terrel de Rouen (foot), Daniel Mullings (knee) and Chili Nephawe (wrist) all underwent surgery in the offseason. Mullings and Nephawe should be ready for practice in September but it's unclear that de Rouen could miss more time and possibly sit out another year due to injury.