Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Some have said that if any players would leave the men's team, it would be Troy Gillenwater. I even learned to temper my expectations with this program until the season is underway, but I talked to Troy for a story for later in the week and asked him if he was going anywhere. He said he wasn't and that he was taking a summer session so he was going to be in Las Cruces for the next few months and he talked about how important the next couple months are for the team getting ready for next year. Take it for what it's worth, but I see it as a sign that over the last few weeks of the season, the team's chemistry finally got sorted out and that the key players figure to remain.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The NIT selection is still a couple hours away, but I spoke with McKinley Boston who said the Aggies declined the invitation from the CBI today. The reason is the same as last year, a 60,000 fee to host a game and the fact that Aggies players were gone for a week and a half, that would have been the only way Boston was willing to play in the CBI. He also said he wasn't interested in the new CollegeInsider tournament

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pistol Pete takes himself way too seriously

Mascots get physical at WAC basketball tourney
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The intensity of Utah State's 71-70 win over New Mexico State in the final 3.1 seconds Friday night spilled over to the sidelines where the mascots for the two teams named Aggies got physical with each other down the stretch of a Western Athletic Conference basketball tourney semifinal.
During a time out with 7 seconds left and New Mexico State leading 70-69, Utah State mascot "Big Blue" the bull confronted the New Mexico State's cowboy mascot "Pistol Pete" and ripped off his fake mustache.
The cowboy then chased the bull to half court, jumped on his back and tried unsuccessfully to pull him to the floor. He then started to try to choke his rival before retreating to his end of the court.
Several newspaper photographers covering the game said they heard a man in a Nevada shirt offer the Utah State mascot $100 to go grab the mustache. The man confirmed to The Associated Press that was true and that he paid the mascot the $100, but declined to provide his name. He said he did not expect the NMSU mascot to respond the way he did.
WAC Commissioner Karl Benson was watching the game but said he missed the incident.
After fans for both teams started booing, Utah State's Tai Wesley caught an inbounds pass at the top of the lane and passed to Tyler Newbold on the left wing. His 15-foot shot rolled off the rim, hit the backboard and rolled in with 3.1 seconds on the clock to help Utah State (29-4) overcome a 13-point deficit and set a school record for most wins in a season.
Utah State, the league's regular season champion, now advances to Saturday's WAC final against the winner of Friday night's other semifinal between second-seeded Nevada (20-11) and sixth-seeded Louisiana Tech (15-17).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

boise state keys

Besides transition rebounding and better interior defense, I think Jonathan Gibson should be a key to advancing this week. After a down year, Gibson appears to have pulled out of a slump, shooting 12-20 and 8-13 from downtown the last two games. he was 7 of 10 and 5 of 8 in the last game against boise State. With the resurgence of Gillenwater in the lineup, Young, Gibson and Gillenwater present the best trio in the league if everything is clicking offensively. Boise doesn't have enough athleticisim in the backcourt to defend both guards, especially when Gordo comes in and Gibson plays the point.

i also think the aggies need to do a better job offensively when the Broncos play man defense. They simply aren't good man to man (the aggies arent either) and the Aggies need to score on these possessions, maybe a pick and roll or get the ball inside. I'd like to see the ball go through McKines a little more because he can get to the basket off the dribble whoever guards him, if he gets the ball at the top of the key.

what else do the aggies need to do to advance?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Potential scholarship

I was talking with McKinley Boston and although the APR report isnt made public until next month I believe, Boston said he is "pretty confident" that the Aggies will regain the 12th scholarship for next season. They currently have 11 scholarships this season for a number of 0-for-2s between the Henson and Theus transition

Boston also said the Aggies are in the running for the College Basketball Invitational if things don't work out this week in Reno. Hosting a game probably determine if the Aggies would go ahead and accept an invitation, which they turned down last year.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

JY's in, Joyner's out

The title of this post is probably too harsh. I spoke with Coach Menzies who said Jahmar Young is back in good standing after "serving his penalty" I got the impression that it was up until gametime whether Young would sit for the first half or not which means to me that it was a minor thing. I know the players have to have so much study hall throughout a week, can't be late for team functions etc. Breaking these rules has led to fewer minutes throughout the season and this was another case.

Joyner on the other hand will not be in Reno. He didn't make the trip to Hawaii either. More on that to come later, most likely when the Aggies are done playing for the season.

Men's awards

JY isn't a surprise. I'm surprised no Wendell or Troy or Hernst didnt land on second team all newcomer or anything. Interesting. Here's the WAC's release.

DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball postseason award winners as selected by the league’s nine head coaches were announced today. The first team is led by Utah State senior forward Gary Wilkinson who was also voted the WAC’s Player of the Year. Wilkinson is the second-straight Aggie to earn Player of the Year honors as USU’s Jaycee Carroll earned the award last season. Wilkinson led Utah State in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in WAC play. The senior led USU to its second-straight WAC regular season crown. Nevada’s Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson, Idaho’s Mac Hopson and New Mexico State’s Jahmar Young were also first team selections. Wilkinson was the only repeat all-WAC honoree from last season. Wilkinson earned second team all-WAC honors last year. The all-WAC second-teamers this year were Boise State’s Mark Sanchez, Fresno State’s Sylvester Seay, Hawai‘i’s Roderick Flemings, Louisiana Tech’s Kyle Gibson and Utah State’s Jared Quayle. All five are new to the all-WAC team this season. Nevada forward Luke Babbitt became the second-straight Wolf Pack player to earn the WAC’s Freshman of the Year award. In 16 conference games, Babbitt averaged 17.3 points per contest and 7.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 46.6 percent from the field.
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill earned his first Don Haskins Coach of the Year honor by leading the Aggies to a second-straight regular season WAC title. In his 11th year with Utah State, Morrill led the Aggies to a 14-2 conference record. He also led his Aggies to a second-straight undefeated season at home, where the team holds the nation’s second-best home win streak at 34 games. Those named to the WAC’s all-defensive team were Boise State’s Ike Okoye and Anthony Thomas, Hawai‘i’s Kareem Nitoto, Louisiana Tech’s Magnum Rolle and Nevada’s Lyndale Burleseon. Selected to the WAC’s all-newcomer team were Hawai‘i’s Flemings, Idaho’s Hopson, Louisiana Tech’s Rolle, Nevada’s Babbitt and Utah State’s Quayle. The 2009 WAC Tournament will be held March 10-14, at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev. The men’s teams will compete March 10, 12-14. ESPNU will carry two men’s quarterfinal games, including the noon and 2:30 p.m. PT games on Thursday, March 12. ESPN2 will show the men’s semifinal game on Friday, March 13 at 9:00 p.m. (PT) and the men’s championship game on Saturday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. PT. All of the games not televised by ESPN will be available on

Women receive accolades

Madison Spence was named to the second team all WAC and freshmen Kaitlyn Soto and Tabytha Wampler were named to the all freshman team. Here is the entire team. Idaho's women's turnaround may have been more impressive than the men and their coach was named coach of the Year.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Possible seeds

Other than No. 1 Utah State and No. 9 Fresno State, here is the seed scenarios from the WAC office minus my predictions.

Boise State
2 If Boise State beats Nevada, New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and Fresno State beats Idaho OR
If Boise State beats Nevada, AND Idaho and New Mexico State both win or both lose AND if Boise State has a better
RPI than Nevada on’s ratings following the conclusion of Saturday’s games
3 If Boise State loses to Nevada and Fresno State beats Idaho OR
If Boise State beats Nevada, Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State and Idaho beats Fresno State OR
If Boise State beats Nevada, AND Idaho and New Mexico State both win or both lose AND if Boise State has a worse
RPI than Nevada on’s ratings following the conclusion of Saturday’s games
4 If Boise State loses to Nevada and Idaho beats Fresno State

7 If Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State
8 If Hawai‘i loses to New Mexico State

3 If Idaho beats Fresno State and Nevada beats Boise State
4 If Idaho beats Fresno State and Boise State beats Nevada OR
If Idaho loses to Fresno State and Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State
5 If Idaho loses to Fresno State and New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i
Louisiana Tech
6 If New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and Utah State beats San Jose State
7 If New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and San Jose State beats Utah State
8 If Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State
2 If Nevada beats Boise State OR
If Nevada loses to Boise State, Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State and Idaho beats Fresno State OR
If Nevada loses to Boise State, AND Idaho and New Mexico State both win or both lose AND if Nevada has a better
RPI than Boise State on’s ratings following the conclusion of Saturday’s games
3 If Nevada loses to Boise State, New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and Fresno State beats Idaho OR
If Nevada loses to Boise State, AND Idaho and New Mexico State both win or both lose AND if Nevada has a worse
RPI than Boise State on’s ratings following the conclusion of Saturday’s games
New Mexico State
4 If New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and Fresno State beats Idaho
5 If New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i and Idaho beats Fresno State OR
If New Mexico State loses to Hawai‘i
San Jose State
6 If San Jose State beats Utah State OR
If San Jose State loses to Utah State and Hawai‘i beats New Mexico State
7 If San Jose State loses to Utah State and New Mexico State beats Hawai‘i

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Weekend predictions

So all we know is that Utah State is the No. 1 seed and Fresno State is ninth. Here is a look at what the other teams in the WAC have to close out the season and how I see the games playing out.

Nevada (9-5)
vs San Jose State Thursday; at Boise Saturday. Nevada should win both of these to finish 11-5 and end up No. 2

Boise State (8-6)
vs Fresno Thursday; vs. Nevada Saturday. I think the Broncos split these games, beating Fresno and losing to Nevada to finish 9-7

New Mexico State (8-7)
at Hawaii Saturday. Entering this week, I thought the Aggies would drop this game, but now since they lost on Monday, I think they rebound to win on Saturday to finish 9-7

Idaho (7-7)
vs La Tech Thursday; vs. Fresno Saturday. Thursday's game is pretty interesting and La Tech is playing great right now, but I think Idaho wins on their home floor and finish 9-7 which would give the Vandals the three seed. Boise State would be the four since the Broncos are a combined 2-2 against NMSU and Idaho. Idaho would finish third with a 3-1 mark and NMSU fifth after going 1-3 against Boise and Idaho.

San Jose State (6-8)
at Nevada Thursday; at Utah State Saturday. Tough way to end the regular season, losing twice to finish 6-10

Louisiana Tech (6-9)
at Idaho Thursday. like i said before, the Bulldogs can win this game, but i don't see it to finish 6-10. Louisiana Tech would get the No. 6 seed because they beat Nevada earlier this season. both teams would have been swept by Utah State and Nevada swept San Jose State.

Hawaii (5-10)
They always play the Aggies tough at home, but they lose Saturday to finish 5-11 and in the play in game.

First round matchups
No. 8 Hawaii vs. No. 9 Fresno State winner vs. No. 1 Utah State
No. 2 Nevada vs. No. 7 San Jose State
No. 3 Idaho vs. No. 6 La Tech
No. 4 Boise State vs. No. 5 NMSU

Monday, March 2, 2009

Now what

The Aggies fell tonight in a terrible defensive effort. Postgame I asked Coach menzies what practice was like this week and he said the energy and attitude was good.

I don't know how you play that type of defense in the 15th conference game of the season with something at stake. Now the Aggies could realistically drop to as low as fifth with a first-round game against Idaho on a neutral court? Yikes. I guess to me that's what stood out the most, because lets be honest, the Aggies haven't guarded all year, but they have played hard and found a way to scratch and stay in games, but there was a stretch there when Mark Sanchez and Kurt Cunningham of all people, looked like the twin towers. Talking to the Idaho Statesman reporter, both guard Jamar Greene and Zack Moritz each had career games. Moritz had 12 points in 15 minutes after scoring 1.6 per game in 6 minutes per game. My point is that they laid down when there was something to play for.

I honestly thought they would win this game and lose in Hawaii. I could see that. At any rate, it was an ugly loss at a horrible time.

versus boise state



Weak turnout for a finale, but the students have shown up

NMSU 19, Boise 19 11:23
Booster Kevin McGrath was tossed after the officials outlawed the saying "Dirty Sanchez" from the Aggies student section referring to Boise's big man. On the court, Noonan has been allowed some easy looks which is dangerous, but Jahmar Young continues to play well against the Broncos. He has seven points

NMSU 27, Boise 27 7:53
Back to back 3s from Castillo and Gibson tied the Aggies up

Boise State 45, NMSU 42
Not a lot of defense when these teams hook up as they are on pace for another game in the 80s. The Aggies turned it over on three of their last four possessions in the first half and have seven TOs. Boise has knocked down six triples and are shooting 50 percent while the Aggies are 59.3 percent from the floor

Boise 69, NMSU 61 11;38
No defense, but three turnovers early and a missed young layup have helped the Broncos match their largest lead of the game

boise 104, NMSU 92