Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Close game

I have said on this blog that Marvin Menzies did the right thing by sitting Jonathan Gibson at Long Beach State so we won't talk about that loss. He did the right thing by sitting players for the crimson and white butthe Aggies haven't won a close game in the past two years except last year at San Jose State when Gibson hit a shot after the Spartans came back and the WAC semi vs. Nevada comes to mind. This year the Aggies are 0-for 3 (Ok, i included the Long Beach game) in games decided by five or less. Two of those, the Aggies didn't get a shot off on the final possession. To be honest, they only got off one quality look in the last minute on Tuesday and that was from a player who attempted his first field goal of the game with the game in the balance in the last minute (Laroche)

Last year, I remember Justin Hawkins talking about how the Aggies just played ball, and it worked out alright since they had guys like Justin or Passos who they could go to. This year they have talented individual players who can go one-on-one at times but no resemblance of an offense if they aren't getting buckets in transition.

Youth is certainly a factor. One series that stands out to me is when Hernst Laroche found Wendell McKines for a dunk with a beautiful no-look through some traffic from the top of the key for a dunk to put NMSU up 66-63, but UNM got to the foul line again to make it a one-point game. The next time down, Laroche made a great read on an offensive rebound off a Jahmar Young miss, but he dribbled it off his foot with 52.6 left. Alford called a timeout and Faris hit the game winner.

Menzies made a point to talk about the youth of his team in his postgame comments but it doesn't change the fact that San Jose State has seniors in the starting lineup, Fresno State has big-time freshmen and a ASU transfer and the Aggies are 0-6 on the road.

Both hoops coaches at NMSU have talked about all of the non-conference games are just preparation for WAC play. Well now WAC play is here and although its weaker than in the past on both sides, growth is fine but you still have to enter the games with the intent to win and not just gain experience and I think that message should come from the head coach.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

UNM Game

30 minutes before gametime, i was told the paid tickets were at 6,695



UNM 14, NMSU 10 11:36
The Aggies are doing a good job getting inside which is what players and coaches talked about. Thus far, the Aggies are going through McKines, which is a good thing. he kicked it out to Gordo for a 3 and then hit a jumper from the elbow. Gibson is shooting two out of the timeout

NMSU 19-16 7:37
Gibson gave the Aggies their first lead of the game on a transition 3 pointer. The Lobos are 5 of 17

NMSU 25, UNM 24 3:37
The teams are having a hard time keeping each other off the glass but rebounding is dead even 17-17 and 7-7 on the glass. they have changed the lead three times since Gibson gave the Aggies their lead. Lobos have the ball

Interesting substitutions at the end of the first half. Result, the Aggies didnt score after McKines hit a 3 with 3:18 left to give the Aggies their biggest lead of the game at 28-24. At 2 mins, Menzies pulled McKines for Lumpkins along with Gibson, Castillo Rahman and Laroche. The result. a the Lobos scored six points in the last 3 minutes, including a possession where the Lobos had five shots before Farris hit a pair of free throws for the halftime margin. Lobos lead the rebound battle 25-19 at the half

UNM 37, NMSU 34 15:47
Aggies can't rebound and they have no rhythm offensively when they aren't running.

UNM 49, NMSU 41 11:58
It was 3s from UNM that were the difference last tiem. They have hit three straight here early in the second half

UNM 52, NMSU 50 7:36
Jahmar Young picked a good time to get on the board, scoring four straight to close the Aggies to within 2. The 3s didn't knock the Aggies out this time

NMSU 61, UNM 60 3:13
Gilenwater just fouled out. Rahman back in for the stretch

Aggies had ball under basket, couldnt find anything went for Hamidu, missed, wendell follow missed

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lobos game

Some on the previous post were talking about attendance for Tuesday's game. on Monday afternoon, i was told that 8,000 tickets were sold and that the pan am ticket office would open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

At practice, Wendell McKines hesitated a second and then said he was disappointed in Cruces recently, before saying he believes there will be a good turnout on Tuesday. Players play regardless, but that home court certainly hurt the Aggies in Albuquerque because Menzies and players talked about how they couldn't hear down the stretch when the game was lost. even If just 8000 show up on Tuesday, it's enough to make a difference since the UTEP game in El Paso was right around there I would say and although smaller than most Miners crowds, it created a hostile environment.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


NMSU 30, LMU 15 10:52
The Aggies made their first 11 shots. Pretty impressive, considering they weren't all dunks, starting 4 of 4 from 3-point land

NMSU 50, LMU 26
Loyola's bad. They closed to within six, but the Aggies are on a 17-2 run.

Not many people to see this and now I understand why.
The Aggies are playing well though offensively. they are 57.1 percent from the field and have made 9-of-12 from 3-point land

NMSU 90, LMU 48 6:48
NMSU has hit 16 3s,, are shooting 53 percent from the floor etc. etc.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Better luck next time

Pretty solid effort by the Aggies tonight in front of 17,000 people. It showed me that their next game is winnable at home.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head while i wait in the media room to get a beverage, there were three things personally, that I would like to see next week in Las Cruces.

One thing the Aggies have consistently shown this year is that you cannot zone them and everytime the Lobos tried, it didn't take long for the Aggies to shoot them out of it. For the most part, when the Lobos were in man, Roman Martinez was guarding Wendell McKines — while Martinez may have a slight, slight edge on the Lobos offensive end, I would have liked to see them feed Wendell in the post against Martinez. Easy mismatch, and if they double make them pay because Wendell is a pretty solid passer. Troy Gillenwater also needs to be more assertive on the offensive end, which he will.

I have been waiting to see Young blow up and I thought tonight was going to be the night, but he is so unselfish that i think he reels himself in sometimes (he was also in foul trouble) whereas last year all he had to do was score in short bursts. It shows maturity on his part, but on the road I would have liked to see him shoot more than five times in the second half.

I was kind of surprised at the rebounding difference — 41-25 in favor of the Lobos and 14 offensive boards. Rahman is one that should be a better rebounder than he is so hopefully he'll improve in that area as the season goes on


Fred Peete makes an appearance. Former Aggie guard Fred Peete is in attendance tonight. Peete is playing with the Deutsche Bank Skyliners in Germany. I believe the team is off until Jan. 3



UNM 15, NMSU 6 11:54
The Aggies went nearly four minutes without scoring and when Rahman threw down a dunk the Lobos responded with a Martinez jumper and a Danridge reverse off a turnover

UNM 20, NMSU 14 7:32
The Aggies are being deliberate offensively, waiting until about 10 on the shot clock before doing anything. Laroche hit a 3 from the top of the key to make it a five point game. The aggies have one on the shot clock out of media timeout

UNM 25, NMSU 20 3:44
Young has 11 on 4 of 8 shooting, knocking down a pair of 3s against UNM's zone. The Lobos came out of the zone. UNM's Martinez is finding some soft spots in the zone and has 10 points, mostly bunnies and follows.

The Aggies can win this game if they tighten up a little on defense but i think this is the best effort i have sen them play on that end so far.

UNM 43, NMSU 37 14:31
The teams swapped 7-0 runns to open the second half.

UNM 46, NMSU 41 11:59
J.Y. at the line to shoot 3 out of the media. The Lobos are starting to pull away on the glass, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds and outrebounding nmsu 26-15

UNM 58, NMSU 49 7:29
The Aggies are struggling to find the Lobos shooters. The 3 is keeping the Aggies at bay everytime they make a run. UNM has hit 6 3s in the second half


Sunday, December 21, 2008

UTEP final

Here are some postgame quotes from Marvin Menzies, Tony Barbee and Stefon Jackson. Overall I thought this year's series is better for the Aggies than the Miners. Despite not shooting well, the Aggies were in the game until about midway through the second half after beating UTEP handily in Las Cruces with a young team. UTEP meanwhile, couldn't put away a young team until the second half at home and they play in Conference USA while the Aggies will have an opportunity to compete for a conference championship.

Marvin Menzies
“It was one of those games you try to warn your guys on being patient and doing the same things that gave you the ‘W’ the first time around but emotion got the best of them. I don’t think he (UTEP coach Tony Barbee) gave us enough credit last time but that’s my boy. I’m going to give them their credit. I think they played very well and did a great job taking us out of our comfort zone with their pressure.”

“Hamidu only got seven attempts. He had more touches because he was good from the foul line, but still, you have to ride that thing. We started taking quick shots early the possession, no reversal. Just very uncharacteristic of my guys and I have to attribute it to emotion and letting it take the best of them.”

“Five technicals in the game is a lot of technicals. It just goes to show you that the rivalry is real and no matter how calm and no matter how much of a gameplan me and Tony had going into this thing, the kids were going to decide it and I have to do a better job of getting them to understand how they have to be patient. We just couldn’t find any rhythm. With freshmen, you have those woes and we have sophomores who are still learning.”

“Every game behind you is irrelevant. They will talk about it after the season that we split and talk about the rivalry, but when you are in season, you have to embrace the process. Right now the process has us preparing for New Mexico. They will bounce back just like UTEP did against us after the first game.”
“We took bad shots. Our guards took very ill-advised shots and did not play within the system and that attributed to the low shooting percentage that we had.”

“We were trying to get it all back too quick and that was another part of the problem. When you get down and you have young kids, they don’t understand the time management situation but we will get it. I’m not too worried about it.”

“I was following it and one of the refs came over and told me there was a double-technical. I think they were just mouthing off and like I said, the rivalry has a lot of emotion involved in it and they were probably just jawing at each other like kids do and it was one of those things. We got in a slugfest and we lost.”

Tony Barbee
“Randy couldn’t keep his emotions in check. He got the first technical for taunting after the dunk which was warranted. He dunked the ball and he yelled in the guy’s face. The refs wanted to get a handle on the game early because of what happened pre-game, not from my team, but what happened pre-game. In the tunnel, I didn’t exactly see what was happening. They explained it to me that there was some jawing going back and forth between Randy and the other guy (McKines) who they gave the double-technical to. (Culpepper’s) second technical and he was out. Disappointed that that was the decision they made but you have live with it.”

Stefon Jackson
“It was emotion. Two good teams going head to head. As coach said there was a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity and just two good teams getting ready for a big game.”

“It was a big game because it was the next game on our schedule so that had no effect on us coming out and playing the way we did. Up there we didn’t come out with enough intensity. Coach always talks about us making the other team match our intensity and we didn’t do that before. Anytime where you try to match a team’s intensity you are going to go down and that’s what we did up there.”

“NMSU is a great team. Good guard orientated team. I’m going to miss the rivalry games against NMSU. It was a good time in my four years playing against them.”
“We just executed more in the zone this time than last time. Last time, a couple guys didn’t know the offensive plays against the zone and that kind of affected us a little bit but as we have been going through practice, we knew New Mexico State would play us all zone and guys got used to it.”

Saturday, December 20, 2008





UTEP 25, NMSU 18 7:28 left
The Aggies did a good job withstanding the Miners first push, but they went nearly four minutes without scoring before six straight from Gillenwater

UTEP 29, NMSU 28 3:34
After a 4 of 21 start, the Aggies start to heat up. Jahmar Young hit a 3 against the Miners' 3-2 zone and then Laroche found him in transition on the left wing for another 3 to make it 29-28 and force Barbee to call a timeout. Arnett Moultrie is at the foul line out of the media timeout with two shots

UTEP 39, NMSU 33
Very big development in the tunnel as the teams left the court. I'm still trying to sort it out. It appears McKines and Culpepper were jawing as the teams left the court, drawing a double technical. It's huge for the Miners, because Culpepper was ejected with his second technical of the game after drawing one after a monstrous dunk early in the game.

UTEP 61, NMSU 45 11:16
The Aggies couldnt take care of the Culpepper ejection. UTEP opened the half on a 13-4 run. The Aggies are out of sync offensively. They cut it to 54-45 but the Miners have scored the last seven points

UTEP 69, NMSU 49 7:15
It appears the Miners were willing to take their chances with Hamidu Rahman and Troy gillenwater. Those are the only players to score, as the Aggies guards are a non factor. Gibson and Young are a combined 2 of 9

UTEP 84, NMSU 69

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rivalry games

A couple of big games on Saturday.
UTEP's men's team is obviously better when a third player, whoever it is, steps up and takes some pressure off of Jackson and Culpepper. Moultrie seems to be the best candidate but their two centers seem like they are capable of producing, but they might be as weak as the Aggies centers are right now.

The women play host to a very good Lobos game. Hopefully the Aggies have a good crowd because it's the last time they are home until January 16

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Games of note

Here is the wire story for UTEP's win over Texas Tech on Wednesday.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Stefon Jackson and Randy Culpepper could not be stopped as the two guards combined for 45 points in a 96-78 UTEP victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
Jackson scored 28 points on 8-of-16 shooting and Culpepper added 27 on an 8-of-18 night. Starting forward Arnett Moultrie added 15 for UTEP (5-4). Julyan Stone had 11 rebounds for the Miners.
John Roberson led Texas Tech (7-3) with 33 points and nine assists, but he and Damir Suljagic were the only Red Raiders to score in double figures. Suljagic scored 10 points and had eight rebounds.
UTEP led 43-34 at the half. The Miners shot 52 percent from the field to 49 percent for the Red Raiders.

Also, following Saturday's game, here is a story about the Aggies' next opponent, Loyola Marymount, whose coach stepped away.

Terrance Joyner

Terrance Joyner is running through the layup line so he was officially cleared today so we will see how much time he gets but he certainly adds some much needed depth both in practice and at the point guard position.

Also on this blog entry, would you all be interested in halftime updates of all games on the blog? I don't know how much readers would check the blog when you can watch online. Let me know.

Finally, Jahmar Young made his singing debut on the jumbotron, singing christmas carols so keep an eye out for that next time you come to the Pan Am

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


These days it seems like losing a job in the NBA is better than actually winning.
Don't know if you saw this yet. I'm not a huge Parish fan but I think he puts it pretty well here. Former NBA players have turned into great NBA coaches, but it seems that Theus is more suited to college because the younger players want to reach where Theus has been. Who knows how he managed an NBA roster in a NBA city, but in a college town, Theus would be a big fish in a small pond who has a limited amount of proven success at NMSU.

Shot in the arm

Here is a snippet from my advance story on the Prairie View A&M game, but I'm sure this is what everyone wants to know.

After practicing with 11 players thus far, the Aggies hope to gain an influx and the depth that comes with it.
Freshman scholarship point guard Terrance Joyner and freshman guard Makhtar Diop could dress tonight. Diop and Joyner each arrived last spring, but have yet to suit up.
Joyner figures to add some depth at the point guard position, which freshman Hernst Laroche has played, almost exclusively, thus far.
“We have to wait until all of his grades get posted, and once his grades are posted, he will be eligible to play,” Menzies said. “Just because he is eligible to play doesn’t mean he is going to play. He doesn’t know the plays. It’s going to take a little time. People have to be patient and understand that.”
Menzies believes it is likely Joyner, and perhaps even guard Makhtar, could suit up tonight.
“I have a feeling that he will,” Menzies said. “I think the grades have to be in tonight at midnight. Given he has the right grade point average and so forth, he will join us officially. Makhtar is in the same boat.”
Joyner practiced for the first time on Saturday and the Aggies were off on Monday, so Tuesday was his second practice.
“We do need to try to get him minutes and we have to get him practice time and reps,” Menzies said. “He seems to be in shape. He has done a good job taking care of his conditioning so we will see where it goes from there.”

The biggest thing about this to me is not only the depth that it adds, but like coach said, the practice bodies. It's probably hard to do everything you want to do in practice when you only have 11 guys on the court and having Joyner and Laroche go at each other in practice will make both guys better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

UTEP game

First I asked Coach Menzies about Terrance Joyner and Jahmar Young on Saturday. As of Saturday afternoon, Menzies said the Joyner situation was "status quo" meaning he's unlikely to suit up against UTEP unless something happened late in the day. I also asked him about Jahmar Young, and he said Young is fine after suffering a hand injury last week at North Texas.

Moving on to the Miners, I went and watched their game against UNLV. I'm a big NBA fan and watching the MIners reminds me of watching the Cavs sometimes. They try to get a transition bucket and if it's not there, either Stefon Jackson or Randy Culpepper try to create something off the dribble with Culpepper pulling up for a three or Jackson driving.
Culpepper is very athletic and very streaky while Jackson is consistent and more polished. I liked the freshman power forward Moultrie and Claude Britten, who came off the bench at center but i thought he was their best threat in the paint. Kareem Cooper (7-foot) starts with the 6-11 Britten coming off the bench.

Finally I didn't think UTEP did a good job getting back in transition defensively so the Aggies match up well in that aspect in that they are more than capable of getting up and down.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Terrance Joyner

Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said that freshman point guard Terrance Joyner has been cleared to practice on Saturday. I hope to talk with Terrance in the next couple of days. However, practice and playing are two different things. While it is possible he could be eligible to play on Sunday, I think the soonest you could see him in uniform will be next week vs. Prairie View. Grades become official on the 16th I believe, but anything is possible. If he is cleared to play I will let you know.

Also, Menzies said the Aggies are in the planning stages for a road game at UCLA next year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


From reading various things lastnight and today I learned a couple things that were hard to determine listening to the game on the radio.
I think Aldrich being in foul trouble early on contributed to the fact that game didn't turn the way it ended up until the second half. Rebounding continues to be an issue for the Aggies. I think that their forwards are their best rebounders and hopefully one of their centers will assert themselves on the boards as the season goes on.Finally, the Aggies have proven that they can score and that should carry them in the WAC if their rebounding doesn't pick up. The 79 points they scored tied for the fourth most scored at Allen Fieldhouse in Bill Self's six years at KU. Score there and they can score anywhere

Monday, December 1, 2008


This term could mean a lot of things for the men's basketball team this season, both in tough game situations and in the way Coach Menzies is handling his players this season.

First regarding Menzies, I think he did the right thing sitting Gabriel and Gibson for Sunday's game. Both are likely to return to the lineup on Wednesday at Kansas. Did it cost him the game? It's likely the Aggies wouldn't have been in the situation they found themselves in, losing on the road, with Gibson on the floor. But Menzies had already set a precedent earlier this season and to back off that now with a group of young guys could have cost him down the road. It sends a strong message that he is willing to sit a starter for not being where they are supposed to be.

On the court, it was good the Aggies got a close game in. The Aggie women for example, lost a couple close games before they learned how to win one the other night. Maybe against Kansas, but certainly against North Texas on Saturday, the Long Beach game will pay dividends as far as coming out on top in some of these close games.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Road trip

This next week we will learn a lot about the Aggies. Up to this point their schedule has been perfect for their team, playing a couple of teams at home who they were more talented than and blowing them out and a confidence builder at USC. But even though the Kansas game is the marquee game on the schedule, I think the games the Aggies will get the most from are Long Beach and North Texas, both teams that should match up with the Aggies better than Pepperdine or UC Riverside. The North Texas game is what I'm looking forward to. For obvious reasons the Aggies will be fired up for that game but it will also be their third game on the road in six straight days on the road as the team left on Wednesday and will not return to Las Cruces until Sunday so fatigue, maybe mental more than physical could be an issue and North Texas is good. The have some solid big men and are led by their guards which seem to be their most experienced group. If they come home 2-1 on the trip I will be very impressed and if they happen to be 3-0, I will have to re evaluate my preseason expectations for the team early on.

Also, one thing that Coach Menzies talked about was he compared the three games to what they could see in the WAC. Hear me out. He compared going to Kansas like going to Nevada or Utah State, hostile environments with good teams, and the other two as going to middle of the road WAC schools like Boise or Fresno, where the fans show up and make it tough on the visitors. The man is all about getting ready for WAC play.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Aggies players and head coach Marvin Menzies all talked about attendance figures in the first two games of the season. I'm writing a little story on it for Monday's paper, but I wanted to see what the general feeling from you is. Are you disappointed in the attendance? I wouldn't say Menzies or the players are, but they certainly notice when the crowd doesn't show up, more so because of the energy that it gives them than anything else. Even last year, I remember Justin Hawkins making a couple pleas for fans to show up on more of a regular basis. This is only my second year seeing Aggie home games but from my understanding, the atmosphere isn't what it was even prior to the Theus era.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Women's hoops at UTEP

With last season's success came a contract extension for the head coach and higher expectations surrounding the women's team. There is certainly frustration surrounding the team's loss last Sunday but a win at UTEP, even though the Miners are still trying to figure things out, is what the Aggies need. A loss could hurt this group that is still searching for leadership and identity.

Coming into the season, I thought the team's strengths was its guards, and from reading Teddy Feinberg's story today, it sounds like Darin Spence is going to head in that direction. I thought that Fresno State was kind of ahead of the curve last year with their up and down style of play, playing small and creating mismatches and the Aggies were one of the few teams that could adjust to that type of style so we will see how it pans out, but in order to do so, they need to develop a Sherell Neal type of player who rebounds and can defend the post. Freshman Tabytha Wampler could be that person and it would be interesting to see how Erica Sanchez responds.

Both teams are well coached so I'm sure both games will be competitive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Menzies conversation

I listened to the Aggies/USC game on the radio and the same things stood out to me that you probably noticed. I spoke to Coach Menzies after the game about what he thought.

I asked him about the bench, which had a good outing. Robert Lumpkins hit a couple 3s, Wendell McKines had seven boards in limited action due to foul trouble and Gordo Castillo had a couple steals and hit a three.

"Both of those guys (Castillo and Lumpkins) gave us good minutes in that atmosphere. Robert hadn't played any minutes in that kind of intense atmosphere maybe in his life and he responded."

What stood out for Menzies the most it seemed was that his young players played young at critical times. He said his players acted surprised when they were trapped and that they took ill advised shots and went to the wrong spots at ties in the half court. I was looking at the play by play sheet, and there was one stretch where they were down 57-51 with 8:09 left but they didnt score again until the 4:54 mark. They turned it over on their next two possessions, Gibson missed a 3, followed by another turnover and another missed 3 from Young.

"All of our mistakes were tiny mistakes where guys would get caught looking at the ball instead of moving and realizing that the first option is going to be there everytime. It's just a matter of maturing and being more patient."

Menzies also knows his team needs to do a better job rebounding (USC 50-35 on the boards), but said USC was more athletic than they looked on film. He added that he was encouraged that the halftiime deficit was only 10 considering USC was 10 of 16 from the foul line in the first half. USC was 26 of 36 from the line for the game while NMSU had 18 attempts at the foul line.

Team chemistry

Early on, it seems that this team has a better chemistry than last year. That could be because there were so may off the court issues early on and the team never really recovered from it. I think some of it could also be because there was such a maturity gap in last year's team from five seniors to freshmen. There was really nothing in between except Jonathan Gibson, who was a sophomore and Paris Carter, who didn't complete the season on the team.From the moments I've been around this group, they seem pretty loose and they look forward to games like tonight against USC or Kansas.

Anyway, I asked Coach Menzies about it following Saturday's game against Riverside and here is what he said.

"One thing that I was happy about was toward the end of the game when we had a significant lead, and we had guys that were OK not going back in and hungry for more minutes. That wouldn't have happened last year. Guys even mentioned that, 'No we have a big one Tuesday coach, I'm good.' That's a good change of pace so hopefully we will keep that going."

I also asked him about picking up his first win this year in comparison to winning his first last year.

"Last year was a lot more emotional for me just because it was first game, Division I. There was a lot more at stake and when it came down to it, you can never replay your first one. Outside of that, once the ball went up, it was pretty much the same. Leading up to the game was more emotional."

Just a couple interesting quotes that didn't find their way into stories this week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

USC game

Great opening day effort from the Aggies. I hate to look too far ahead given the player movement the last couple of years, but you have to give it to Menzies early bringing in guys like Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines. Hamidu Rahman even looks to be a solid center as he continues to mature.

Here is a link to a column I wrote on the Aggies upcoming season. I don't want to spoil it for you but I don't choose them to go undefeated and to the Final Four, but check it out if you have time.

Also, here is the AP story from USC's game on Saturday.
As you may know, there are some ties to California on the Aggies roster with Gibson and Gillenwater, but I will have something on that in Tuesday's paper.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Taj Gibson scored 17 points, including six straight in a decisive second-half run, and No. 18 Southern California defeated UC Irvine 78-55 Saturday to win its first season opener in four years.
DeMar DeRozan added 14 points in his college debut as the Trojans’ highly touted replacement for top scorer O.J. Mayo, who was a first-round NBA draft pick after one season.
Dwight Lewis had 18 points and Daniel Hackett 10 for USC, which lost openers to Cal State Northridge and South Carolina, both in overtime, and Mercer in coach Tim Floyd’s first three seasons.
Darren Moore scored 16 points for the Anteaters. They kept it close throughout the first half, when they led by two points and shot 41 percent from the floor. Brett Lauer added 12 points and Zac Atkinson 10.
But the Trojans asserted themselves offensively to open the second half, while also stepping up their defense.
Leading by six at halftime, USC opened with a 23-7 run to take a 58-36 lead that was never threatened. Gibson scored eight, including two dunks and a basket off his own rebound, while Lewis had five and DeRozan four.
In the final minutes, freshman Percy Miller, better known as hip-hop star Lil’ Romeo, came off the bench and grabbed one rebound.
Just like Mayo, DeRozan arrives as a newcomer with the ability to immediately make an impact on the program. The McDonald’s All-American forward averaged 29.2 points as a senior at nearby Compton High. He cracked the starting lineup Saturday, going 6-of-11 from the floor, making both his free throws and grabbing three rebounds.
Along with Mayo, the Trojans lost their No. 2 scorer, Davon Jefferson, who wasn’t selected in the NBA draft. The team is coming off a 21-12 season in which it lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Anteaters were 18-16 last season, losing three of their top scorers to graduation. They fell to 1-5 against the Trojans and haven’t beaten a Pac-10 school since 2005.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Terrance Joyner was not granted initial eligibility by the NCAA. The earliest he could conceivably play is Dec. 14 against UTEP, following fall semester finals so the Aggies will be a bit short handed for their first 7 games at the very least.

I got an email from Fred Hawthorne, who coached Jonathan Gibson during the Say No Classic in L.A. over the summer. Apparently Gibson and UC Riverside guard Sean Cunningham were teammates over the summer so that could be interesting to watch on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As you may know, the NMSU men's team doesn't have any scholarships to fill during the signing period that runs from Nov. 12-19. The NMSU women are expected to sign three post players that they have received verbal committments from over the past three months so keep an eye out for that in the SN.

Here is a couple paragraphs from an AP story on Nevada's two signings.

Nevada basketball lands 2 big men recruits
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada coach Mark Fox said Wednesday he has signed two big men as part of the early recruiting period to join the Wolf Pack in 2009-10 and shore up a shortage of front-line players.
Steven Bjornstad, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound center from Vancouver, Wash., and Devonte Elliott, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Paramount, Calif., signed the national letters of intent.
Fox also announced that Mark McLaughlin, a 6-foot-5 guard from Kenmore, Wash., has been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center and next season will honor the letter of intent he signed last November to attend Nevada.
Bjornstad averaged 18.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game last season at Columbia River High School. He also shot 80 percent from the field and helped the Chieftains to a 21-7 overall record and the 3A Greater St. Helens League championship last year.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I don't think it means much because Western is so bad, but here is the story on their exhibition against the Lobos. Some of it sounds familiar don't you think. Alford and Menzies each has their hands full with young teams.

It sounds like from some of the bloggers on the previous post were looking back at the UNM/NMSU rivalry so here is some more fuel to that fire. Don't know much about the Lobos. They had a closed scrimmage with Arizona State and then the Western exhibition. They have some great returners though in Toppert, Roman Martinez (El Paso product) and Danridge back from the injury.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Starters tonight

Just a reminder that Wendell McKines will not play tonight for a "violation of team rules" due to academic responsibilities. It's apparent that Coach Menzies is holding his young team to a high standard of responsibility early on.

Looking ahead, I like Wendell's spark coming off the bench, with Troy Gillenwater starting at the power forward spot. Every team needs a guy to come off the bench with energy and Wendell does all of the little things. I think Gillenwater has the offensive edge over Wendell right now, and that should lead to the starting spot for the redshirt freshman. At any rate, Menzies told me Gillenwater will start tonight, along with Hernst Laroche, Jonathan Gibson, Jahmar Young and Hamidu Rahman.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson showed that they will be as advertised so I'm not going to go too much into their performance. All I will say for those who were not in attendance is if they take better care of the ball on the perimeter early and Gibson logs as many minutes as J.Y. and it would have been a massacre. (By the way, Menzies said Gibson was slated to start, but apparently missed a team obligation earlier in the week so hence the limited playing time)

The two players that impressed me were Troy Gillenwater and Hamidu Rahman. I saw Justin Hawkins play on a couple of occasions as a junior and his entire senior season. Some people on the message board were asking if Gillenwater is better than Pope, but I think Hawkins is a better comparison and wanted to see what you thought. I'm not saying right now, but I wonder if Gillenwater as a freshman is comparable to Hawkins his first year. Both are long and I'm sure four years in the weight room and Troy will get stronger as he gets older. Troy may even be better than Hawk in the post because he seems to have a couple inches on Justin. Both can handle the ball, although Troy needs to improve there and Gillenwater seems to have a midrange jumper and a decent stroke from long range. Even the laid back and calm demeanor is similar. Just a thought, but I'll stop there because Gillenwater has a long way to go to become the player Justin was, but physically I saw a lot of similarities.

Hamidu Rahman may have gotten tired toward the latter stages, but he got up and down very well early, outrunning more athletic posts to the spot in the paint and finishing around the basket. He also seems like a good free throw shooter, as did Chris Gabriel, but the centers impressed me, but they still don't know where to throw the ball if they get doubled in the post, but Menzies said that will be addressed in practice this week.

Other notables, Hernst Laroche showed that he can get to the basket and create, but he was also solid on the defensive end. very quick. Wendell McKines will push for a school rebounding record if he puts up numbers like Friday over the next three years, 14 points, 11 boards. Also had four assists and three blocks and he knocked down a couple of jumpers. It was good to finally see the team in action.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Game 1

It looks like the starting five is
C — Hamidu Rahman
PF —Wendell McKines
SF — Jahmar Young
SG — Gordo Castillo
PG —Hernst Laroche

Don't expect this one to be used much, but good opportunity for Laroche and Castillo to be on center stage and prove themselves.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


First off I want to correct a mistake that I have made a couple times leading up to the season. I refer to Robert Lumpkins as a redshirt freshman. Ya, he's not. He's a sophomore transfer from Kilgore College.
That said, that's about all we know about him entering Friday's exhibition game, but he is intriguing at 6-6. If he can shoot as good or better than Paris Carter in his brief stint last year, he would be pretty productive since I think Lumpkins is more athletic and more versatile off the dribble.
We ended up running a breakdown story of all the positions in Thursday's paper:

But I think the key for this group of guards and something to watch in their exhibition games is how the perimeter players are able to guard the ball. It seems like it takes college players a little longer to catch on defensively so the backcourt players better improve quickly. Menzies and Jahmar Young have each talked about the need to shut down their man either in half court or when they press so its obviously a point of emphasis early on.

I'm also curious to see how Gordo Castillo is used early on. If he knocks down shots, I think he could play a bigger role this season than perhaps people think. I'm glad we will finally have a game to talk about, even if its an exhibition.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I am going to try to break down every position on the Aggies men's team in the next week.
I wrote a story on the center position where I thought I would start.

To me, the two question marks entering the season are at the point guard spot and the center position. But it's the center spot that would concern me the most. The Aggies have a number of guards who can play the point if Terrance Joyner or Hernst Laroche take longer to develop, but Hamidu Rahman and Chris Gabriel are all they have at the 5 spot.

The glaring negative to both players is their inexperience, as Rahman sat out last year and Gabriel was in high school. They will both be thrown into the fire this season. As Menzies said in the story, Rahman's strengths are shot blocking and defense. He is extremely long, but will have to get stronger and play stronger in the post. Gabriel seems like a more complete player and a probable starter to me but that's just based on what he did in high school because I haven't seen either of them in action.

Menzies has also talked about playing the two bigs together in some situations this season as both will learn the power forward spot as well. The Aggies would have a pretty solid 3-5 in that case with Gillenwater playing the small forward at 6-8.

There are some solid post players in the WAC at Utah State and if the Louisiana Tech big men are as advertised, all of whom are more experienced than Rahman and Gabriel. Luckily though, both centers know their roles and wont be forcing shots up. If they rebound and defend the paint, that's all you can really ask for at the point.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Women's schedule

Coach Spence and the NMSU sports information department told me that the Aggies have secured a home and home with Michigan, set to begin at home next year during the Thanksgiving Classic, which means non conference home games next year against UNM, Kansas, UTEP and Michigan. Pretty solid

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Key losses

There have been a couple of key losses in wac basketball in the last few days. First, Boise State senior guard Jessica Thompson will reportedly miss the season because of a knee injury, possibly sitting out this year and redshirting Here is a story about her.

And then I'm sure you know thatthree Nevada players, including Brandon Fields, were suspended by the team late in the week for petty larceny.

Thompson's loss seems like the bigger loss to her team, diluting their backcourt a little bit. I hope that Fields and company are able to come back and was curious what you thought about the situation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What to look for

There are obvious things to look for in Friday's point guard play, center play, wendell mckines.

But I'm also curious to see what Robert Lumpkins is like. I have only seen him shoot around and I know Coach Menzies likes his ability to shoot the ball. His height can help him perhaps play on the wing as well as the shooting guard so there is some versatility there. The bottom line is the team will need another guard who can score I think, even if it's someone coming off the bench, because as much as I like Gordo Castillo, I think his role is to come off the bench for spot minutes strictly as a shooter and Lumpkins seems like more of a complete player.

I'm also curious to see what the game will look like with the new 3-point line. I don't know if a scrimmage will show much, but i'm interested to see if moving it back will open up the paint as much as you hear coaches talk about. There is no doubt the Aggies have shooters who wont be bothered by the further line, it will help separate great shooters from average shooters if anything.

Hamidu Rahman vs. Chris Gabriel. I know i mentioned this at the beginning, but it seems like these two will be battling all season for minutes. It will be interesting to see them if they are matched up against each other.

One thing you won't see for the men's scrimmage is point guard Terrance Joyner. As of Thursday, Joyner was the only player who had yet to be cleared by the NCAA, but I believe the rest of the players will all be on the practice court.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WAC Polls

Here are the official polls
Men's coaches poll
Utah State
New Mexico State
San Jose State
Boise State
Louisiana Tech
Fresno State

First team
Jonathan Gibson, NMSU
Kyle Gibson, Louisiana Tech
Armon Johnson, Nevada
C.J. Webster, San Jose State
Gary Wilkinson, Utah State
Second team
Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Brandon Fields, Nevada
Anthony Thomas, Boise State
Tai Wesley, Utah State
Jahmar Young, NMSU
Player of the Year
Armon JOhnson, Nevada

Utah State
New Mexico State
Louisiana Tech
Boise State
San JOse State
Fresno State

Player of the Year
Gary Wilkinson, Utah State
Newcomer of the Year
Luke Babbitt, Nevada

Boise State
Fresno State
Louisiana Tech
New Mexico State
Utah State
San Jose State

First team
Dellena Criner, Nevada
Shanavia Dowdell, La. Tech
Tasha Harris, Boise State
Hayley Munro, Fresno State
Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State
Second team
Brandi Fitzgerald, Nevada
Danyelle Snelgro, Utah State
Madison Spence, NMSU
Natalie White, SJSU
Tarkeisha Wysinger, La. Tech

Player of the Year
Criner, NEvada

Women's Media
Boise State
Fresno State
La. Tech
Utah State
San Jose State

All league
Criner, Nevada
Dowdell, La. Tech
Harris, Boise State
Ross, Fresno State
Spence, NMSU

Player of the year
Harris, Boise State

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gabriel cleared

Freshman center Chris Gabriel was cleared on Friday. There was some question as to whether he would be, not because of his grades, but because of moving around a bit. That just leaves Terrance Joyner, who Coach Menzies expects to be able to practice and be available before the semester.

I appreciate the comments regarding the poll, but I'm also curious what you think about the all-league team. You get to pick one MVP, four additional players and a newcomer of the year

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Men's poll

Is there usually this much turnover in a league? Just talking scorers, 11 of the top 15 scorers last year were seniors. Only La. Tech guard Kyle Gibson (7th) and Utah State center Gary Wilinson (13th) return this season. Jordan Brooks isn't on Idaho's roster and JaVale McGee is in the NBA. Well here it goes

Nevada, Love their guards, don't know much about their frontcourt guys though
Utah State, Love their frontcourt, don't know much about their guards though. Wilkinson, Tai Wesley and Tyler Newbold. Wesley is althletic for a 4 and Newbold proved to be a solid shooter (52 percent from 3)
San Jose State, This pick probably won't be popular. All five starters return with a little bit of everything to offer. Tim Pierce is an athletic wing who can take over a game, Chris Oakes an dCJ Webster may be undersized but they are both great rebounders and Justin Graham was injured early last season as well as late. They also beat Utah State last year and played everyone pretty tough at times. It seemed like they kind of ran out of gas though.
New Mexico State. I don't know if everything can come together or not. If it does, they can move up to second, or they can finish lower than fourth. Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson have already proven themselves as scorers and I think Troy Gillenwater is the real deal, but we will have to see.
Louisiana Tech. This could be high, but Rupp has put together a formidable front line with some mammoth transfers that will join guard Kyle Gibson. If it pans out, that's a pretty good start.
Boise State Great point guard. Jamar Greene has potential...another Baltimore guy....and Paul Noonan can shoot the ball, but their lineup isn't as impressive as it was last year
Fresno State

Player of the Year Wilkinson. Utah State. Not the most exciting pick, but he could have a field day against some of the interior defenders in the WAC and playing at USU for his second year, I'm assuming he has only gotten better

Newcomer of the Year Luke Babbitt. Nevada. It could also be a La. Tech transfer or even Troy Gillenwater at NMSU, but how many McD's All Americans have come to the league and he has enough talent around him he should be able to be productive.

Brandon Fields, Nevada
Jahmar Young, New Mexico State (Could also be Jonathan Gibson, pick one, I think both will have big years)
Kyle Gibson, La. Tech. pure scorer, fun to watch
C.J. Webster, San Jose State. Good around the basket both offensively and on the boards

Women's poll

I believe the preseason media poll/all-conference teams are going to come out next Tuesday but here is the poll that I sent in.
I think 3-5 could have gone in any order and perhaps Utah State and even San Jose State could jump up in the mix. I'm interested to see what changes you would make

Boise State, I think they might have the two best guards in the conference.
Fresno State, Their best players are young. I don't know if they can shoot the 3 at the same pace as they did last year (262 3s) though
New Mexico State, Talented but young. Tyshae Walton is a key I think. We know what she can do in transition but i think she will need to be able to knock down open shots consistently. Madison Spence should also carry more of the scoring load. Newcomers Tabytha Wampler and Areyal LeDeatte and sophomore Danisha Corbett should contribute.
Louisiana Tech, I remember that Shanavia Dowdell was hard to guard in the WAC Tournament, but now she will be without JoKeirra Sneed in the paint. I remember Tiawana Pringle as being a capable guard.
Nevada. Guard Dellena Criner was second in the league in scoring last year.
Utah State
San Jose State
Idaho. I would have picked Idaho higher, but Katie Madison took her 14 points and seven rebounds elsewhere.

Player of the Year Tasha Harris, Boise State
All WAC team
Dowdell. La Tech
Criner. Nevada
Ross. Fresno State
Madison Spence. New Mexico State

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Final offseason move

Well Mick Durham was made official today (Sunday), wrapping up what was another busy offseason at NMSU. Help me out with this, but Herb Pope, Jaydee Luster, Deangelo williams, chris cole, paris carter, johnnie Higgins and Matt Grady left the program in the offseason and Wendell McKines left but came back.

Anyway, there will be a story in Monday's paper and I hope to speak with Durham in the next day or so.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Women have another recruit on campus

I spoke with Julia Marshall on Saturday, a 5-9 senior shooting guard at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita Kansas. Marshall is making her third official visit, with the other two at WAC rival Boise State and Drake. She said she is also considering a visit to Creighton. I will have a story in Monday's paper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jahmar Young

Thankfully this will all come to an end tomorrow. I've heard nothing but good things about Young this summer so it seems that that he has grown up as a person regardless of what happens in court today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saw this on the wire

Thought you would be interested

Nevada basketball lands 6-foot-10 power forward
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Steven Bjornstad, a 6-foot-10 power forward who averaged 18 points and nearly 11 rebounds a game last season at Columbia River High School in Vancouver, Wash., has verbally committed to play for the Nevada Wolf Pack in 2009.
Bjornstad, who also averaged four blocked shots a game as a junior last season, had scheduled two more official visits to Santa Clara and St. Mary’s the next two weeks but decided on Wednesday to cancel those and become the first recruit to commit to Nevada for 2009-10.
“He felt in his gut and heart that this was the right place for him,” Bjornstad’s coach, David Long, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
“He and his family felt completely comfortable at Nevada,” Long said. “The facilities, the coaches, the players, the total environment was just right for him. They had the whole package.”
Under NCAA rules, Nevada coach Mark Fox cannot comment on a recruitable player. Verbal commitments are not binding, but Bjornstad can sign his letter-of-intent, which is binding, in the early-signing period in mid-November.
Long said Bjornstad would have received offers from Pac-10 schools had he waited until the spring signing period before choosing a school. However, Bjornstad wanted to close his recruiting so he could turn his focus back to the court.
“He’s pleased that everything is going to stop now,” Long said. “The recruiting process is time-consuming. He just wants everything to cease the letters, the calls.”
Long thinks Bjornstad will make immediate impact for the Wolf Pack next season.
“I think he can help as a true freshman,” Long said. “Maybe not as a starter, but I think his shot-blocking and defense will immediately help the team.”
Long said Bjornstad needs to work on his ball handling and passing in addition to adding weight to his 220-pound frame. Despite shooting 80 percent from the field last season, Long said Bjornstad is also working on his shooting stroke.
But the coach is confident that the Wolf Pack got a steal in signing Bjornstad, a basketball late-bloomer who didn’t focus on the game until he was a high school freshman.
“What you see is 2 1/2 years of hard work,” Long said. “What he has accomplished in that time span is tremendous. Once he gets into the system at Nevada, the sky is literally the limit.”

Women land Rosen

I spoke with Berkeley High senior Camila Rosen today. Rosen is a 6-foot guard/forward who had knee surgery this summer after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament on the AAU scene this summer.
Anyway, Rosen said she has committed verbally to NMSU after making an official visit in early September. With Rosen, the Aggies will have two open scholarships for the 2009-10 season. Look for a story in Saturday's paper.

This is interesting

I don't know if this is to promote some interest in the team on campus or perhaps it's a common occurance all over the country, or is evidence that the Johnny Higgins was dismissed rumor to be true. My understanding is that his fate at NMSU is yet to be determined. Stay tuned.

At any rate, for those of you who can hit a jump shot or handle the ball, lace 'em up and head on down to the Pan Am with a shot to win a roster spot alongside the likes of Jonathan Gibson, Jahmar Young, Wendell McKines and company

Friday, September 5, 2008

Upcoming stories

I was able to watch the women's team play some pickup games the other day. Freshman wing Tabytha Wampler looks llike a player who could have a great career. She can handle, run the floor and shoot the ball and could be a potential stopper on defense. Wampler, DAnisha Corbett and Madison Spence could be a pretty nice starting lineup 1-3.

I haven't been able to see the men play at all yet, but I have seen some players on campus. Hamidu Rahman and Jahmar Young each look like they have put on some muscle. I hope to have a story on redshirts Rahman, Troy Gillenwater and Robert Lumpkins sometime next week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pope's words

Just got off the phone with Herb Pope. This link is a basically his words and will appear in Wednesday's paper as well. It was good to finally get Herb's voice on this issue. I was initially under the impression that we were dealing with a selfish basketball player. After talking to him, it's clear his family business is very real from the few details that he gave me. So just when I thought maybe I had him figured out, it's clear that I don't and I doubt anyone other than his family members will really get a true sense of who Herb Pope is.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moving on

Pope is finally gone. It should be interesting to see where he ends up, but I'm sure there are schools lining up at the moment.

back and forth

A day after Aggies fans seemed relieved that Herb Pope was coming back, I like some of you, have heard the opposite. That he has changed his mind again and is leaving. I dont know if I've ever seen such a spectacle and it's all over a player that has only played in a handful of games. My gut feeling is that he won't be back, but that, like this story could change the following day. Keep checking back and I'll put something up as soon as I know something concrete. In the meantime, do Aggies fans want Pope back for what he did on the court last year, or is it just how highly he was recruited and you want that kind of a player in a NMSU uniform?

Friday, August 29, 2008

J.Y. court proceeding

Here's a link to Jose Medina's story on Jahmar Young's court appearance this morning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jahmar Young

Jahmar Young is schedule for an appearance in district court Friday. The docket shows a motion to dismiss slated for 9:30 a.m., but it's unclear which side is to make the motion. Check online tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Here we go again

This topic seems to pop up once or twice a month. I talked to Dr. Boston on Saturday regarding Herb Pope. The fact of the matter, as I understand it is that Pope is enrolled at NMSU and has not been granted a release, as some rumors have suggested. Dr. Boston made a good point saying that at one point, Wendell wasn't on the team and now he's back so roster movement is always possible in all sports. His feeling on Saturday was that Pope will be on the court this season, but the young man is also dealing with personal matters in Pennsylvania.

That's all I know at this point, but I'm sure it will always be a question mark considering he is the highest profile athlete at NMSU and the basketball team will go as far as he takes them, whether he is happy or not.

I also wanted to respond to a couple other questions.....My understanding is that the Menzies has at least three candidates for the strength and conditioning coach opening and that interviews are ongoing. Regarding Clyde VAughn, Menzies was hoping to reorganize his staff while creating a position for Vaughn. As you know, the powers that be shot it down and now Menzies has Matt Grady to replace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Assistant coaching position

Some of the names being tossed about to replace Matt Grady on Marvin Menzies staff include former Duke and Syracuse assistant and Fairfield head coach Tim O'Toole and former Montana State head coach Mick Durham.

After looking him up, O'Toole stepped down at Fairfield in 2006 after eight years.Durham retired from coaching in 2006 after coaching at Montana State for 16 years.

While I think Matt Grady was a hard worker and has a good future ahead of him, I think bringing in a guy with head coaching experience is a good way to go. Menzies has a good mix of up and coming coaches already so adding a veteran guy could be a positive

Wendell McKines

Wendell McKines is back. Apparently he's enrolled and going to classes.
He was one of those young guys that I was looking forward to watching as a sophomore. If he works his way back into Menzies good graces, he will add some much needed depth in the frontcourt, at the very least, a fan favorite is back.

Starting 5

A previous poster wanted to predict the starting five for the basketball team this season.
Assuming the roster holds up eligibility wise and in a perfect world, here's mine:
PG — Jonathan Gibson
SG — Jahmar Young
SF — Herb Pope
PF — Troy Gillenwater
C — Chris Gabriel

Point guard won't be an issue. I think that this lineup is the most talented lineup, but I could see someone like Johnny HIggins starting and bringing either YOung or Gibson off the bench. Center will be a question mark all season, but Gabriel's rebounding prowess could get him on the court a lot.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fresno loses guard

Check out this blog entry at the Fresno Bee.

Prior to the season, I thought Harvey was in the same category as Herb Pope as far as the WAC Newcomer of the Year, but unlike Pope, Harvey didn't get it done in the classroom and didn't even last a whole season.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coaching staff

The rumors that former UConn assistant Clyde Vaughn was to be brought in, while true, didn't come to fruition. Coach Menzies wanted to bring him, but the powers that be apparently decided against it on Thursday. It was going to be part of a shuffling of his staff, but the current coaches weren't going anywhere, although they might have had different roles.

I believe Theus wanted to bring him in as well at one point if I'm not mistaken?

On a personal note, I think this will work out best for NMSU. I'm not to say if a coach deserves a second chance or not, and it would have been a great story for him to get that second chance at NMSU. On the other hand, how much are potential recruits worth when there are already a couple of proven recruiters on staff with Menzies and Pompey? I don't know, especially with an administration that is still trying to find its president and an athletic department that is facing a big year financially, which could have a direct tie in to how well the football team does on the field this year.Maybe another potential PR hit factored into the decision makers choice to not pull the trigger.

Menzies does have one staff opening to fill, that being the strength and conditioning opening.

Former Aggie player Cecilia Russell-Nava will most likely take over on the women's staff for the departed Princess Moore. When it becomes official, I will get that out there.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thoughts on the schedule

After talking with Coach Menzies, I just wanted to point out that the Lou Henson Classic will return next season. Menzies said they will pick one of their home games (It would make sense for maybe Prairie View, Sac. St. or Loyola Marymount) and call that particular game the Lou Henson Classic. It didn't seem like the community really got excited about the tournament last year anyway, other than when Coach Henson sat on the bench during the game. The same effect can be acheived this way I think.

With the road game at Kansas, I think the Aggies have traveled to four of the five most highly regarded venues in the history of college basketball over the past three years (UCLA, Duke, Louisville, Kansas). The only team missing is North Carolina. Maybe next year. What do you think? Am I missing any primetime opponents on that level?

Men's schedule

It looks like the final game turns out to be at the National champions Kansas. Not bad.

Friday Oct. 31 N.M. Highlands (Exh.) LAS CRUCES
Tuesday Nov. 4 Western N.M. (Exh.) LAS CRUCES
Saturday Nov. 15 UC Riverside LAS CRUCES
Tuesday Nov. 18 Southern California Los Angeles, Calif.
Friday Nov. 21 Pepperdine LAS CRUCES
Sunday Nov. 30 Long Beach State Long Beach, Calif.
Wednesday Dec. 3 Kansas Lawrence, Kan.
Saturday Dec. 6 North Texas Denton, Texas
Thursday Dec. 11 Sacramento State LAS CRUCES
Sunday Dec. 14 UTEP LAS CRUCES
Wednesday Dec. 17 Prairie View A&M LAS CRUCES
Saturday Dec. 20 UTEP El Paso, Texas
Tuesday Dec. 23 New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M.
Sunday Dec. 28 Loyola Marymount LAS CRUCES
Tuesday Dec. 30 New Mexico LAS CRUCES

Saturday Jan. 3 Fresno State* Fresno, Calif.
Monday Jan. 5 San Jose State* San Jose, Calif.
Thursday Jan. 8 Nevada* LAS CRUCES
Saturday Jan. 10 Utah State* LAS CRUCES
Thursday Jan. 15 Idaho* LAS CRUCES
Thursday Jan. 22 Boise State* Boise, Idaho
Saturday Jan. 24 Idaho* Moscow, Idaho
Thursday Jan. 29 San Jose State* LAS CRUCES
Saturday Jan. 31 Hawai’i* LAS CRUCES
Thursday Feb. 5 Utah State* Logan, Utah
Saturday Feb. 7 Nevada* Reno, Nev.
Saturday Feb. 14 Fresno State* LAS CRUCES
Monday Feb. 16 Louisiana Tech* LAS CRUCES
Feb. 20/21 ESPNU BracketBuster LAS CRUCES
Thursday Feb. 26 Louisiana Tech* Ruston, La.
Monday March 2 Boise State* LAS CRUCES
Saturday March 7 Hawai’i* Honolulu, Hawai’i
March 10-14 WAC Tournament Reno, Nev.
March 19-22 NCAA First/Second Rounds
March 26-29 NCAA Regionals
April 4-6 NCAA Final Four Detroit, Mich.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A couple items of note

First regarding the men's schedule. A few people have posted another blog entry that has the Aggies in the Preseason NIT. I felt like a slacker that I hadn't mentioned that game, so I called coach Menzies, who said it was news to him so take that as you must. Menzies also said that Stanford is seriously considering pulling out in favor of another game, but that game could still get done. The last few weeks have been interesting, as about a month ago, the Aggies were close to a home and home contract with Nebraska that fell through so I guess you never know until the school releases the schedule.

Here is a story by news reporter Jose Medina on Jahmar Young who opted out of a plea deal in favor of a jury trial in September.

Women's schedule

NMSU released its women's schedule just now. Here it is. Going to Kansas on Jan. 4 will be a good final tuneup for conference play. The way I read it, it looks like they won't get Wake Forest in the San Diego tournament. Look for a story in Tuesday's paper.

Day Date Opponent Location Time (MT)
Sun Nov. 2 Western New Mexico – Exhibition Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Wed Nov. 5 Melbourne Roos (Australia) – Exhibition Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Fri Nov. 14 UC Irvine Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Sun Nov. 16 Cal Poly Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Thur Nov. 20 at UTEP El Paso, Texas TBA
Sun Nov. 23 at Kent State Kent, Ohio TBA
Fri Nov. 28 Loyola-Chicago ! Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Sat Nov. 29 Texas A&M Corpus Christi ! Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
ThurDec. 4 at New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. TBA
Sun Dec. 7 UTEP Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
ThurDec. 16 at Northern Colorado Greeley, Colo. TBA
Sat Dec. 20 New Mexico % Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
MonDec. 22 at Long Beach State Long Beach, Calif. TBA
Sun Dec. 28 Long Island (NY) Univ. San Diego, Calif. TBA
Tue Dec. 30 San Diego/Illinois-Chicago # San Diego, Calif. TBA
Sun Jan. 4 at Kansas Lawrence, Kan. TBA
ThurJan. 8 at Utah State * Logan, Utah TBA
Sat Jan. 10 at Nevada * Reno, Nev. TBA
Fri Jan. 16 San Jose State * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Sun Jan. 18 Fresno State * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Fri Jan. 23 at Boise State * Boise, Idaho TBA
Sun Jan. 25 at Idaho * Moscow, Idaho TBA
Fri. Jan. 30 at Louisiana Tech * Ruston, La. TBA
Fri Feb. 6 Boise State * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Sun Feb. 8 Idaho * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Fri Feb. 13 Nevada * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Sun Feb. 15 Hawai’i * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
Fri Feb. 20 at Hawai’i * Honolulu, Hawai’i TBA
Sun Feb. 22 at San Jose State * San Jose, Calif. TBA
ThurFeb. 26 Utah State * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
ThurMarch 5 at Fresno State * Fresno, Calif. TBA
Sat March 7 Louisiana Tech * Las Cruces, N.M. TBA
March 10-14 2009 WAC Tournament $ Reno, Nev. TBA

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Schedule news

I have seen on a message board talk of a preseason NIT appearance. As I said on a previous response to a blogger, I remember Coach Menzies spoke about the interest in the Aggies for the preseason NIT after a game during the regular season. I haven't heard much talk develop from that, but they are listed on a preseason NIT website. It would be nice for them if it does pan out, but my understanding was that there is a push for home games at NMSU to put people back in the seats.

What I do feel confident about is the USC, Pepperdine, and I have learned of a road game at Stanford, which could have been the reason for the delay, but perhaps its putting the finishing touches on the NIT schedule.

Here is a column I wrote for Sunday's paper about the upcoming basketball season. Bottom line is that I'm also looking forward to the basketball schedule for men and women's hoops to be released.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Former Aggies

After Jaydee Luster landed at Wyoming last week, I started thinking about what will happen with Wendell McKines and DeAngelo JOnes. I put some feelers out and learned that Jones signed with Cochise Junior College.
I talked to the head coach Jerry Carrillo who said DeAngelo signed a JC Letter of Intent there. He said that Jones is eager to be re-recruited to a bigger school and that he will have ample opportunity to do so which is good for him. I know Cochise puts out D I players often so who knows. It seemed like DeAngelo got lost in the shuffle last year. Gordo took advantage of the opportunities that he was given, not to mention he was a local product.

As far as WEndell, I have heard that he has been working out at St. Mary's, but I havent heard if he has signed yet. I was looking forward to seeing Wendell develop here in Cruces, but apparently he is true to his word in that he wants to be closer to family.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Men's schedule talk

The latest I have heard has the schedule being completed in the next week or so.

As I posted in another blog post, rumors have the Aggies traveling to USC and hosting Pepperdine. Another note that I have heard on the USC game is that it will be on a separate trip from the Bracketbuster payback game at Long Beach, so future Cali recruits have two shots to see NMSU in person.

So far this is what I know about the schedule
Loyala Marymount at the PAC — I learned this is a payback from two years ago that was supposed to be played last year, but for didn't occur
At North Texas
At Long Beach
Lou Henson Classic
Home and Home with UNM and UTEP
I presume the Aggies will be on the road for a Bracketbuster game since they have hosted the last two

I think there is still room for a game or two which could be causing the delay. I think it's a good schedule considering how young the Aggies will be. If USC is true, it will give them one high major opponent. The UNM - UTEP stretch could be a killer since both teams seem to have improved greatly.

Women's hoops

As you may know, NMSU guard Hannah Spanich decided to leave the Aggies this week. I wrote a story about it for Wednesday's paper. I think maybe it could hurt the Aggies early in the season as the younger players find their way, but in the end, I think Coach Spence has a lot of confidence in the guards that he brought in and from what I have heard, even freshman forward Tabytha Wampler can do some of the same things from the 3 spot. With a healthy Madison Spence and Tyshae Walton returning, I think the Aggies will be fine, but Spanich was poised to have a pretty big year. Too bad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fred Peete and Justin Hawkins

Justin Hawkins had a workout with the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday. Here is the story.

Like a poster on another blog entry told me, Hawkins was a late invite to the Orlando Pre Draft camp, and he has been busy ever since.Look for a story on Hawkins in Friday's paper.

After talking with Hawkins, he told me that has also worked out with the Kings, Lakers and is scheduled to work out for the Wizards, Bobcats, Raptors and Rockets next week, as well as a potential workout with the Jazz. He said that Reggie Theus was on hand for his workout in Sacramento and that the former NMSU coach showed a lot of interest. The Kings have the 42 and 43 picks.

It's good to see that Hawkins is getting a look. I also talked with Fred Peete, who said that he worked out with the Nets last Thursday and with Orlando on Saturday. Fred said they went through 3 on 3 drills, and shooting drills, but I believe Fred's biggest strengths to be his basketball IQ.

Previous posters have asked about the schedule, which I'm still working on, but here is what we already know

Home and home with UNM and UTEP
At North Texas
At Long Beach State
Two Lou Henson Classic games
A road Bracket buster game

I've heard rumors of a couple of other non-conference opponents but nothing concrete as of yet.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Women's hoops lands transfer

I spoke with former Texas guard Crystal Boyd, who said she is transferring to NMSU. I will have a story for Saturday's paper on Boyd, who was a McDonalds All-American guard out of Little Rock Arkansas. She received a medical redshirt in 06-07 and will have to sit out another year and be on the court as a senior in 09, but she should add even more skill and depth to the Aggies backcourt. Boyd decided to leave in April, saying that she wanted to contribute more to a team.

Anyone know How many McDonalds All Americans have played at NMSU? Elijah Ingram comes to mind, but is that it?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pre draft camp

Here is a list of players from the Orlando Pre-draft camp. You will notice there are no NMSU names, which isn't too surprising, but Justin Hawkins had a chance I thought to be invited after playing pretty well in Portsmouth after the season. I'm watching a game right now with JR Giddens, who the ESPN guys said was having a good camp. Marcelus Kemp is also on the list.

I talked with Fred Peete last week. Fred said he had hired an agent and was planning on attending some camps down the road, hopefully earning a tryout with a team. I'm no NBA scout, but it seemed to me that Hawkins, Peete, for his size and ability to score and defend, and Martin Iti, have the potential to play basketball for a living somewhere. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Women's hoops news

Spoke with Darin Spence for a recruiting roundup story that will be in Thursday's paper. But he did inform me of some interesting schedule changes. It seems as the women's program continues to improve, they are improving their non-conference schedule. In addition to the UNM and UTEP games, the Aggies have a home-and-home set with Kansas, starting with Jan. 4 at Lawrence. The Aggies also have home dates with Cal Poly and UC Irvine. Other road game are at Long Beach, Northern Colorado and they play in a San Diego Tournament where Wake Forest is slated to show up. Thanksgiving Classic opponents are Loyola-Chicago and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

I hope to have some men's schedule info in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two commits

The Aggies received verbal committments from 7-foot-1, 235-pound center Mouhamadou Abdoulaye Ndoye from Senegal and 6-foot-3 point guard Johnny Higgins, who played the last two years at Notre Dame Prep.According to Higgins' father, after Johnny Higgins visited the NMSU campus last weekend, he cut off the rest of his recruiting and will move to Las Cruces for summer school this summer.

Both players will receive scholarships and be on the Aggies roster next season.

Higgins is a player who will come in right away and compete for minutes. He's a prep school player, which means he's already competed at a high level. He originally signed with Duquesne to join a prep school coach, but after committing in early November, he was released from his letter of intent in early April. Ndoye is obviously a project type player that adds size.

With the two additions, the Aggies recruiting class looks like this. Let me know if I miss something

Mouhamadou Abdoulaye Ndoye
Hamidu Rahman
Chris Gabriel

Troy Gillenwater

Terrance Joyner
Johnny Higgins
Faisal Aden
Robert Lumpkins

The regular signing period ends on May 21. Look for more on this story in the Sun News in Saturday's paper

Friday, May 9, 2008

Basketball items

I wish I had some recruiting news, which I know is what everyone wants to talk about, but I had a couple of smaller items.

Jorge Gutierrez ended up signing with Cal. He took a visit the weekend after he was at NMSU and apparently liked what he saw. The Aggies have another guard, Johnny HIggins from Notre Dame Prep on campus this weekend. He played with Michael Beasely two years ago. I hope to have more on his visit next week.

To the coaching front, assistant coaches Matt Grady and John McMullen each received one-year contract renewals since they were hired as one-year coaches. Chris Pompey still has a year on his contract.

Grady's and McMullen's contract is good from May 1 through April 30 of 2009. Also renewed was head women's coach Darin Spence, whose contract is good from May 1 through April 30 of 2011. His two assistants, Joel Washington and Brooke Atkinson, were also renewed for a year.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It happens elsewhere

Don't know if you've seen this story about Indiana Freshman Eli Holman asking out.

A couple of thoughts crossed my mind, first being that players want out across the country for one reason or another. Here is a guy that wants to leave Indiana and an established coach like Tom Crean.

Second, as you may know Holman played with Wendell McKines at Richmond High School in Oakland.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Recruit on campus

Jorge Gutierrez, a 6-foot-3, 200 pound point guard from Chihuahua, Mexico, is on campus this weekend for his first official visit.
I spoke with him briefly. He said he has offers from Cal, UTEP, Utah State and Northern Colorado. Arizona is also in the mix.
From what I have read on him, he is described as a "glue" type of player, who does a lot of things well. He played for Findlay Prep in the Las Vegas area, going 32-1 last year. He averaged 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and 3 assists per game in 29 games. Highs include 27 points and 10 assists last year.
He has only been speaking english for two years.
When asked what he thought of Las Cruces and NMSU, he said, "I think it's a good program and the conference is good."

Here are a couple of excerpts on him
From the Findlay web site:
DraftExpress Review from the National Prep Showcase Rodger Bohn. There was not a player in attendance who was more fun to watch for basketball purists than Jorge Gutierrez, a scrappy combo guard from Mexico. While he did not stand out in any one particular facet of the game, he was able to do a little bit of everything and displayed all of the intangibles that college coaches dream of. Any time that Findlay Prep ran into a jam, he seemed to always find one way or another to pull them out of it, whether it be through drawing an offensive foul, coming up with a steal, or setting up a teammate for an open scoring opportunity. Actually an adequate scorer, Gutierrez showed off a decent first step and the ability to finish at the basket with either hand consistently. Although he did not hit any three pointers this weekend, he did prove that he could hit the 18 foot jumper on a consistent basis. All weekend long, Jorge was placed on the most talented perimeter player that his team was matched against. Boasting excellent lateral quickness, toughness and defensive awareness, he showed his credentials as a lockdown defender. We would love to see how he plays without his Rip Hamilton-style face mask, since you could clearly see that it was bothering him all game long, even if it didn’t stop him from making big plays. With the vast majority of the nation’s top prospects already committed, do not be surprised to see Gutierrez land at a high major program near you. The defensive presence, basketball IQ, and intangibles that he presents make him enviable to virtually any coach looking for a guard to help his team. Presently Texas, New Mexico, UNLV, and Colorado State appear to be in the running for Gutierrez, but expect that to change if he is able to continue his outstanding play the remainder of the season.

February, 2008: Another glue guy, Gutierrez does whatever his team needs for a win. His team does not need any plays runs for him on offense to keep him involved. Gutierrez has a high basketball IQ as well as great basketball instincts. He prefers to involve his teammates over scoring the ball himself, though he indeed has the ability to score. He easily finishes around the rim, using his either hand, though he shoots jumpers as a righty. He rebounds the ball well for a player of his height and seems to make the right plays at the right times. He also plays defense well and typically matches up with the opposing teams best perimeter player. Gutierrez plays with a remarkable amount of poise and maturity beyond his years and does all of the dirty work for his team.

Gutierrez arrived Thursday and will leave on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maybe friday

Even though today is the first day of the regular signing period, expect something hopefully by Friday. I do have one piece of information though. Throughout the signing period, expect the Aggies to sign two and perhaps three new players to the fold. The likelihood of one being the seven footer from holland is unlikely.

As I have stated before and in a recent story for the paper, the big guns for next year's class are already on campus. I think at this point, Menzies is just adding depth and possibly a jc big man

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wendell McKines

As many of you know, Wendell McKines also asked for his release. Coach Menzies said it was tough for Wendell to leave. Apparently McKines asked for his release early in the week after Menzies returned from the Final Four. On the outside looking in like all of us, it's a big loss, but there were apparently some personal family issues that McKines talked about.

He was one of my favorite players on the team and I thought he had a bright future at NMSU, but again, I'm not around the program everyday.

Some have asked about rumors of different recruits, but I have to respect when people tell me things off the record. I will say that the Aggies have recruited worldwide, and there has been talk of a center from Holland, but I honestly don't have a name for that one, which in some ways makes me just as anxious as you are for next Wednesday.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

APR and Deangelo Jones

A couple of stories to come in the next couple of days.
After freshman guard Jaydee luster asked for his release, so did Deangelo JOnes, last week. This also wasn't a surprise since he never really saw any court time and since Gordo Castillo took advantage of the opportunities as they came along. Perhaps Jones could have developed, but he kind of got lost in the shuffle.

I have been informed that the men's basketball team will be minus a scholarship when the APR is released in early May. Look for the story on Saturday. I was told that the Aggies' score would actually result in the loss of two scholarships, but since the Aggies have continued to improve their score and work with the NCAA, the penalty will only be one. It was before my time, but pre-theus, there were some clubs that players didn't stay eligible and/or left the university, handcuffing the Aggies at times during theus time here, and now Marvin Menzies will feel the effect next season.

I also wanted to talk about recruiting. Unfortunatley i can't get into specifics as the regular signing period nears, but I will just say that I believe Aggies fans will have a lot to cheer about in the next couple of weeks as Marvin Menzies recruiting class is revealed. NMSU has seemed to address many of the factors that i have seen discussed. The big guns of the class are already well known and on campus already, but Menzies generally talked about addressing the need for size, as well as exploring possible JC ranks for experienced players.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Justin Hawkins

Here's a link to the Portsmouth Invitational where Justin Hawkins and other invited WAC seniors are playing. There are eight teams that start play today and run through Saturday. Another notable player on Hawkins' team is Kentucky guard Ramel Bradley. Marcelus Kemp and Jaycee Carroll are also playing.

Edgar Garibay

I just talked to Compton HIgh School's Edgar Garibay. At this point, the 6-10, 240-pound forward said he is leaning toward attending prep school next year. Garibay's high school team went 28-6 last year and he will play this summer with his AAU team the L.A. Stars. I asked him if NMSU was still on his radar, and he said yes.

"They didn't fall out of it. I think prep school would be the best option for me so I can develop as a player. All of my academic things are straight."

UNLV is also high on his list.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mark Fox

I'm sure some have already seen this, but for now Fox is still in Nevada.

Report: Cal hires former Stanford coach Montgomery to take over program
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California reportedly has turned to its biggest rival to find its new basketball coach, agreeing in principle Friday with former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery on a contract to replace the fired Ben Braun. was first to report the news, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the negotiations. School spokesman John Sudsbury declined to comment and athletic director Sandy Barbour did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
Montgomery, who spent 18 years with the Cardinal, has been out of coaching since August 2006 when he was let go after two seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. He has announced college games and been an assistant athletic director at Stanford while still collecting money from the final two years of his contract with Golden State.
Braun was fired last week after 12 seasons as coach when the Bears missed the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years.

I think Fox has a good thing going at Nevada and looking ahead, I believe Nevada will be the team to beat in the WAC next year with a loaded backcourt even with Mcgee leaving.There are no doubt college jobs that will continue to pursue Fox. I haven't seen anything linking Fox to the Okla. State job, but who knows, Reggie didn't leave until the summer.

I can't fault Mcgee leaving if he's projected in the first or second round, but could you imagine how much better he would be from his sophomore to junior season. While he certainly has the size there were aspects to his game that could be polished during his junior season, while helping his team get back to the NCAA's and perhaps advancing. He also needs to get stronger, which he would either in the NBA or in college, but he could so while playing in college rather than on a NBA bench.

I apologize for the lull on the blog, but I had to take a leave of abscence following the season. Coach Menzies is in San Antonio through the Final Four, so look for a couple of recruiting stories next week as the regular signing period begins on April 16.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nevada takes a hit

Things wil get better for Aggies fans if Nevada sophomore center JaVale Mcgee gets drafted this summer. The seven footer, who led the WAC in blocked shots, has reportedly hired an agent with intentions of entering the draft. An official release will come Monday. I'm not certain, but I don't think Marcelus Kemp hired an agent last summer while he tested the interest of the league. If Mcgee is gone, I'm sure the Wolf Pack will find other weapons, but they had a big time nucleus coming back next year in the backcourt, espeically with the addition of a mcdonalds all american small forward Luke babbitt from Reno set to join next year.

Herb Pope and Coach Spence

Just a couple of news items looking forward this summer. According to Herb Pope's attorney, Pope will enter a program for first time offenders that will eventually erase the DUI from his criminal record. Personally I believe Pope will remain out of trouble, regardless of if if remains in Las Cruces still remains to be seen, but to be honest, he didn't light the WAC on fire in his short time on the court, so that could end up helping Menzies and the Aggies keeping him around, even if other schools are interested.
Darin Spence will get a new deal, most likely after the NMSU Board of Regents meet again April 9, approving McKinley Boston's recomendation. Well deserved after the year he had, and despite a couple of key losses, the women's team could be more athletic and better in the backcourt next year.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reggie Larry

Personally, I thought Reggie Larry was the WAC's MVP this year, but check this out.

Larry was named to the First-Team High-Major All-American. team. Here are all of the teams. A few names of note were Jaycee Carroll to the second team, UNM's J.R. Giddens on the third team, UTEP's Stefon Jackson on the fourth team and Justin Hawkins and Marcelus Kemp among the honorable mention. First Team High-Major All-American
G: Drew Lavender (Xavier)
G: Robert Vaden (UAB)
F: Gary Forbes (UMass)
F: Reggie Larry (Boise State)
F: Trent Plaisted (BYU) Second Team High-Major All-American
G: Eric Maynor (VCU)
G: Adam Emmenecker (Drake)
G: Jaycee Carroll (Utah State)
F: Will Thomas (George Mason )
F: Will Daniels (Rhode Island) Third Team High-Major All-American
G: Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga)
G: Rob McKiver (Houston)
G: Dionte Christmas (Temple)
F: J.R. Giddens (New Mexico)
F: Pat Calathes (St. Joseph's) Fourth Team High-Major All-American
G: Brian Robers (Dayton)
G: Josh Young (Drake)
G: Stefon Jackson (UTEP)
G: Lee Cummard (BYU)
F: Josh Duncan (Xavier) High-Major Honorable Mention:
Wink Adams (UNLV), Antoine Agudio (Hofstra), Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), Bryant Dunston (Fordham), Osiris Eldridge (Illinois State), Randal Falker (Southern Illinois), Leemire Goldwire (Charlotte), Justin Hawkins (New Mexico State), Marcelus Kemp (Nevada) Jermaine Taylor (Central Florida), Jeremy Wise (Southern Miss)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Better luck next year

The Boise State women's basketball team lost its second round game of the Women's NIT on Sunday to mercifully end the basketball season for the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC's postseason record finished at 1-6 between the men's and women postseason tournaments, 0-3 on the men's side and 1-3 in women's hoops. Next year should be better in both men's and women's leagues.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Luster leaving

Confirmed today (Saturday), JayDee Luster asked for his release on Tuesday and was granted it. didn't come as a surprise to the coaches or administration, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to readers. Personally I never saw what people liked so much about him on the court. I could be proven very wrong, but I think Terrence Joyner will be a better player at the point guard slot and I think that Luster was never going to be more than a role player or a back up point guard anyways.

The move shows some selfishness also, as he probably didn't get the minutes he thought was entitled to. He did pass Chris Cole on the depth chart as the season went on and would have continued to have an opportunity to compete for minutes, but after being told you are a star your whole life, it must be hard to play a supportive role.

I'm not going to bash the kid, and honestly I only talked to JayDee on a few occassions throughout the year, but I thought he was a good kid and hopefully he will land on his feet somewhere, but as for a Division I point guard, I never saw it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Idaho Coach

Idaho has announced the hiring of Utah State assistant Don Verlin. Verlin has spent 16 years with Stew Morrill at Colorado State and Utah State for 10. Don't know much other than that, but I think George Pfeifer did a solid job late in the season with Idaho. I know the program had a lot of player turnover from Pfeifer's first to second year there, but it seems the Vandals were on the right track. Now another coaching change.

I've seen people who called for Menzies firing at times this season. How long do you give him, considering this season. If he doesn't win next year, do you as fans think they should continue a coaching carousel or does Menzies have a few years to build?

Recruiting dates

April 16-May 21 Regular signing period. My understanding is the Aggies are still determining which players can afford to pay their own way versus taking up a scholarship. Chris Gabriel signed early, but even he could pay his own way or get some academic help since he is a solid student. Plus Menzies has Terrence Joyner, Faisal Aden, Troy Gillenwater, Robert Lumpkins and Hamidu Rahman to try and get going for next season. I'm going to try to clear those things up in the coming weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I've seen a lot of people 'grading' Menzies this year. I think there is a lot to being a college basketball coach so there is not one true grade. I would break his performance into three categories and go from there.

Recruiting: B+
He brought in Wendell McKines to play this year and McKines continued to improve throughout the season, really peaking last week during the tournament. But he is just part of what Menzies has already done. He has also added Troy Gillenwater and point guard Terrance Joyner, who originally signed with Arkansas. I think those two highlight a class that will add nicely to next year's team. And Menzies went about it the right way, bringing some players in who might have struggled their first year academically. This way, they can get their grades right and still work out and be around the team.

Game management: C
I think Menzies improved in this area as the season went along. At the beginning of the year, he would let his team play through it if the other team went on a run, but late in the season, he used a timeout here or there to stop the bleeding. I don't think he was outcoached in the championship game, the Aggies just couldn't knock down shots against the zone. As he got used to the personnel that he had, I think the substitution pattern he had was pretty solid. He had a pretty good feel for which one between Jonathan Gibson and Jahmar Young had the hot hand and I thought he used Iti pretty well, letting Passos carry the load. His assistants are also new so I think they will also improve with scouting and developing a gameplan.

Team managment: A-
Menzies got thrown into the fire and I think responded very well. I don't know how a season could have more bumps than this year did, and to get the team to the conference final says a lot. He is a player's coach and I think once he has all of his own players, the off the court problems will decrease. Practice was closed but on the few occasions I was able to watch practice, Menzies runs a pretty tight practice. He also had to deal with a lot of dominating personalities in that lockerroom. The grade would have been an A or A +, but there were some silly things that happened during the course of the season that every program has to deal with.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I'm really looking forward to tonight's game between NMSU and Nevada.
I don't expect Nevada's guards to have back to back off nights, which I feel makes Hatila Passos more important tonight. Even though he is a senior, Nevada's sophomore JaVale McGee has gotten the best of him this season. McGee is a great shot blocker, but Passos will need to play stronger tonight and hopefully the NMSU guards can match Nevada's perimeter players. If I had to pick a winner at this point, I would go with Nevada, but perhaps the Aggies will feed off the energy of their students.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Women's semifinal matchups

Halfway through Wednesday's women's games and the first semifinal on Friday between No. 1 Fresno and No. 5 La. Tech promises to be a good one. Fresno won both regular season games handily but the tournament setting is a different story. The Bulldogs will need to somehow find a way to slow the game with the up and down Bulldogs so their posts can go to work, but that's easier said than done since Fresno makes you play their style.

All Conference

I hate to start the blog on a negative note, but I had a couple thoughts on the All-Conference team. I don't think I have played favorites all season long, but where was Hatila Passos?

Here is a little scenerio. One player averages 13 points per game. The other is seventh in the WAC in rebounding and first in field goal percentage and second in offensive rebounds. The first player is Utah State's Gary Wilkinson and the second is Passos. Wilkinson was on the second team, as was Idaho's Jordan Brooks, which was a head scratcher I thought. Perhaps they look at scoring more,which would punish Passos since he plays on a deeper team.

The other omission was Jahmar Young on the new comer team. Sure, Pope was highly regarded, but he didn't play half of the season, not to mention Young dropped a 33 point game, which at the time was the highest point total of any player in the WAC.