Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chicago State: Three keys unlocked

Marvin Menzies won 20 games for the third straight season, beating Chicago State 84-55 on Saturday. The last time a coach won 20-plus games for three straight seasons was Neil McCarthy when the Aggies did it six times from 1989-95.

Attack the interior: During one timeout, KC Ross Miller took a mid range jumper and Chicago State scored in transition, forcing the Aggies to call a timeout. NMSU assistant coach Paul Weir yelled, 'Get it inside.' The Aggies were up 15 at the time. It was apparent the Aggies wanted to get the ball inside. NMSU scored 32 points in the paint, led by Renaldo Dixon's 20 points. Chili Nephawe had eight points and Sim Bhullar had 5 points. NMSU shot 64 percent in the first half and finished shooting 55.8 percent.

Limit turnovers: NMSU didn't do this, but Chicago State was just as careless with the ball. Chicago State scored 15 points off of 14 NMSU turnovers. The Aggies scored 26 points off 15 Chicago State turnovers.

Guard the 3: Once the Aggies jumped on top, I thought Chicago State would look for the 3 more than they did, but Chicago only attempted 11 3s (NMSU shot 20 3s). Chicago State made 8 3s in the first meeting but were only 3-11 on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

News Flash!

MM got his 3rd 20th win season in a row.

In fitting fashion he did it when his Aggies defeated the 2nd string backgammon team from the Fashion Institute of Mongolia.

Jason, say it like it is. Give the whole story. Put the asterisk on the accomplishment. 20 wins against Chicago State and the rest of this poo poo platter of a schedule does not a successful season make!


Jason Groves said...

Alan, if you want to discount the wins, what about the past two years when the WAC was a Top 15 RPI conference, similar to what the Big West was under McCarthy? Also, only 8 of those wins this year are WAC wins, NMSU had two quality wins in its non conference and UTEP's recent play puts the Miners in that conversation as well. Perhaps if the Aggies were below average in the WAC conference, I would be more inclined to agree with you. While they were favored to win in every game, going unbeaten in a conference is extremely difficult regardless of the competition. I had them losing twice in WAC play and they have only lost 3 times. If they falter on this last road trip, you tell me 'i told you so'

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but think the WAC RPI dropped significantly in MM's first year, and he still could not win the WAC despite having the best talent AND home court advantage in the tourney. And I don't think its been close to as competitive as it was in Theus' last season, when NMSU won the WAC (and did not have the best talent). Then the bottom completely fell out of the WAC this year. The WAC is so pathetic Vegas (or at least does not assign point spreads on the games, similar to when teams play D-II and NAIA opponents. So MM's accomplishments have come against weak schedules (although this year's non-conference was much improved).

I tend to agree with Alan; despite the legitimately impressive (and highly unusual) win against UNM this year, I'm not impressed with MM's overall accomplishments as a head coach. There's a reason no other school is interested in MM despite his "impressive" season records. NMSU needs to consistently compete and win a game or two in the NCAA tourney before I change my mind.

I will be attending my first NMSU game in several years Thur night at UT Pan American. Maybe seeing them live will change my mind about MM, but I seriously doubt it. Go Aggies!
-Aggie Glare

Jason Groves said...

Aggie Glare, there is no argument against the current WAC, But the WAC was the No. 12 RPI two years ago, No. 13 last year. This year it's ranked No. 22 all according to

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the response.

How about lets look at post season (the dance) success and at large worthiness of our program and gage success that way. I don't buy into the rpi of the conference the past years. I saw the games and I know better. Honestly, I think it took the nation a few years to get used to how pathetic the league was once Nevada went down then out, followed by all the rest of the serious competitors.

But in general, I am going to stop the 'fire MM' talk and quit trying to get people to judge his accomplishments fairly.

Instead, I think we can all agree that NMSU *NEEDS* to be in a real conference! If Boston can't do it, he has to go....this is critical for the tradition of our team is slowly dieing as we celebrate mediocre accomplishments....

If we were playing Colorado State level talent night after night, there would be no argument about MM's accomplishment. My personal guess is that would be because he would be way shy of a 20 win record.


Anonymous said...

one other thing:

I like MM better than McCarthy. McCarthy was everything that is wrong about college sports and I am glad he was released.

MM has high character teams. Ever since Reggie's players finished up, the teams have been filled with good guys....or so it seems. My only problem is that we don't have a clear way of gaging MM's success and MM coached teams fail the eye test on the court and he personally fails the ear test off the court every time he throws his players under the bus and doesn't take responsibility for the outcomes. This is what leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


Anonymous said...

Jason, why don't you get rid of these guys who are MM haters. If they want to complain about throwing players under the bus, they should have been complaining about Coach Martin and his football team. Coach Menzies has already won 20 and will end up in the mid 20s this year. Plus he graduates his players on time. We are darn lucky to have him and his staff. These posters don't know much, as is indicated by the one who said he has not seen the Aggies play in years. They make me sick. Big Al

Anonymous said...

I agree with Big Al. People complained about Coach Spence--couldn't get the Aggie women to the next level. Now look where they are. UNM fans complained about Rocky Long--could'nt get them to that next level. Now look where they are. Be glad that we have had three 20 win seasons in a row and we graduate players. Also have not had a player hold-up the pizza delivery guy recently. But the haters will keep spewing this crap and always look for the negative in any situation. Now for the football program--I could understand but not the basketball program.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason for keeping it real with the facts. Big Al you are right also with your comments. We all would have liked the WAC to remain in place, but it didn't so we go on with the conference as it is. The former WAC teams are basically the bottom feeders, or the nights off for the Mountain West Conf anyway. A tough non-conference schedule, great players, great recruits. Damn you guys don't know how good we got it. Hopefully the basketball gods shine on us and we get hot, like mid-majors need to do come NCAA time. Go AGGIES, and keep up the great work Coach Menzies. AGGIE 83

Anonymous said...

Big Al and Anonymous people!


Wow, you can't have an opinion and a feeling that is not....ra-ra-ra without making someone 'sick'.

Sorry for you.

As for me, I care about the program. I have watched it slowly deteriorate and it is happening under the guise of a good record.

Say what you will about 20 win seasons.

It just doesn't mean anything to me if the teams we are beating are Chicago State and the like.

Again, not a MM hater. Just don't like watching the team...I think they play disjointed and I really don't like the way MM throws his players under the bus.

I wish there was a good way to evaluate MM in the current situation. Alas, there is not. Not until we get into a conference worthy of us.


Anonymous said...

Alan, As one of the ra-ra-ra people I have to wonder if you are an Aggie or just a whiner who needs a forum to belly ache without knowing what you are talking about. The RPI versus "I saw the games and I know better" the "eye test". The Aggs blow out teams, sweep the Miners and beat the Lobos in the pit and you have the nerve to say we make you sick. Alan the bad taste in your mouth may be from the crap coming out of it

Anonymous said...

Im getting tired of seeing this site turn into a one-sided pro MM campaign.

Jason try looking at both sides and stop standing up for Menzies every time. How about you balance it up like a true journalist. Fact of the matter is the WAC is a mickey mouse conference no matter how you spin it. NMSU will never get beyond avaerage until we start running with the big dogs. Period.

James in Texas

Crazy Canuck said...

Big Al have you been at the same games I've been attending, I fell asleep during the Chicago state game LOL. If the Aggies were in the MWC or CUSA they would have 12 wins at best. All that plastic covering the seats in the Pan Am? Bring Theus back he could fill the seats and his teams played with heart. Leave Martin alone give him 3 recruiting classes before you judge him!!!!!

Go Aggies minus MM. Henson was even shaking his head at the last game?

Anonymous said...

Things are getting a little personal and nasty here.

I posted the following last year. Its sad that I have to repost this, but it seems we have forgotten how to be civil on this blog.

Here are the guidelines from another sports blog I frequent for the Portland Trailblazers:


Use common sense:

Talk about topics and posts, not the people who post.

Don't be unnecessarily inflammatory.

Make your point and let people respond. Don't post the same thing six dozen times or challenge every comment that disagrees with yours.

If you wouldn't say it to someone's face sitting around a table in a crowded, friendly room, don't say it here.

No profanity or d*sguised profanity is allowed at Blazer's edge.

Off-topic conversation is allowed only in occasional and specifically-designated posts. Those posts may ONLY contain off-topic conversation, not a mix of Blazer-related and off-topic material.'

So there it is.

We can disagree, but to claim Jason is not a journalist or I have excrement coming out my mouth is not civilized communication. It has no place here.

It is ok to love and defend MM and also to criticize MM and want him fired, but to attack the person who has a particular opinion is NOT OK in my book.


Anonymous said...

Wow Alan I agree with you wholeheartedly, except I may have underestimated your courage, you would tell McKinnley Boston or Marvin Menzies what you think of them at a table in a crowded room. My guess is you wouldn't, you see, the subjects of your scorn deserve the same consideration as you want given to you. I met Coach Menzies and his family at one of his basketball camps. He was knowledgeable, polite and treated the high school ball players I took to his camp with respect. He talked to them about life and then basketball. Sure as a college coach you open yourself up to scrutiny on a daily basis, understood, but you can't personalize things in the manner you do and expect to be treated any different. I would guess A.D. Boston would probably object to you questioning his professional judgement as well. Yea the Aggs are in a thankless position with the WAC, the impossible job of finding a football conf has been achieved, even with the pounding WE took this year. And by the way, Jason is an excellent reporter, very very objective given his audience and location. You want to see "homers" read the Albuq Journal or watch the sports in Albuq. Thanks again Jason for keeping it real!! Go Aggs

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are at 1:04...(please share your name, if you will)

Actually I did have a conversation with Boston about this very subject. I asked why we are still in the WAC. We sat together at the NCAA tourney last year. His wife is a friend of my family. No worries, it doesn't take that much courage to be candid.

Never met MM. Wouldn't tell him how to coach unless he asked. This forum, as I understand it, is a different story. Here we come to read and talk Aggie basketball. The point I was making is I don't say things to YOU that I wouldn't say to YOU face to face.

If MM came to this forum, I would happily tell him that the team looks disjointed, shoots itself in the foot and that I have never heard him take responsibility for the results his teams generates.

I imagine, that like you say, he is a polite and nice person. One thing I would say to him is, I would laud him for the character of his teams. This has been his biggest success, I should think.

Also, I agree that Jason is doing a good job as a reporter. I do wish this blog was more self-moderated and these messages would just show up instantly after they were entered. They could be taken down after the fact if they didn't meet prescribed guidelines. That way, we could have more fluid conversations and create a better community of fans.

By the way, I am a total homer. Born and raised in LC and care more than I should about the team. Doesn't mean I can't be critical!