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.