Saturday, February 27, 2010

A win is a win?

I'll give Coach Menzies the first word here.

"That is the best 3-11 team in the United States, trust me."

Fortunately for Menzies, his team is just as capable of shooting the 3 as any team they have faced or will face the remainder of the season. Both teams were 41 percent from long range.

I asked Menzies about the slow down game, and he was right that they were scoring or getting good looks even after waiting until the shot clock wound down. My only gripe is that the Aggies aren't a defensive team and taking the air out of the ball doesn't do any good when you give up a wide open 3 at the other end does it? That's how Boise stuck around.

I hope tonight's game puts an end to any remaining Troy Gillenwater should start arguments. Troy is great coming off the bench giving Rahman rest and he will certainly be in the game when it matters most late in games, but Wendell nearly equaled Troy's rebounding total (5) in eight fewer minutes and Rahman was the only Aggie with a double-double. Troy is a good shot blocker, but I would rather have rebounding. You give a team that many follow shots and it gets them going early I think.

The Aggies did a good job beating the last two WAC teams handily so I guess three straight blowouts was too much to ask for, but are you concerned at all heading back on the road this week?

Vs. Boise State

Gillenwater for McKines in the starting lineup

20-16 NMS 10:29
Watson and Merker have each checked in rather than McKines so I would guess it's disciplinary or injury related at this point. I'll check in postgame. The Aggies can't keep Boise off the glass. 11 of Boise's 15 boards are on the offensive glass

36-34 2:43 Boise State is staying in the game the only way they can, by hitting 3s. The Broncos have made four of them in the last three minutes, knotting the game at 34-34

43-38 HALF The Aggies need Wendell McKines back in the lineup in a hurry. They are getting outworked on the boards, Boise State made six 3s in the first half and are outrebounding NMSU by 10 at halftime.

56-45 NMS 15:59 Aggies on a 12-3 run here with triples from Young and Gibson. McKines started the second half

68-51 NMS 11:49 Aggies follow with a 12-0 run

71-63 NMS 7:59 The Broncos got to within 11 with just over 10 minutes left to play. Looks liek the Aggies are going to slow the pace again. Boise doesn't defend at all. If the Aggies could get some defensive stops and defensive rebounds, they could pull away in the last 8 minutes

Jonathan Gibson

Gibson was my favorite player his sophomore season. It's been interesting covering the team and seeing him go through the peaks and valleys that any player goes through over an extended period of time.

His sophomore year was interesting because it didn't seem like he didn't have that much pressure on him and he had marquee players at the time around him in Justin Hawkins and Hatila Passos. As a result, his field goal percentage 45.4 was the highest of his career.

He hit big shots throughout that season as well, hitting the game winner against San Jose State and he nailed a big three against Boise State in the tournament championship that I thought won the game, but Boise State came back. The game that stands out to me the most though this year was at Louisville. The Aggies were actually in the game late, and when the shot clock wound down or when the Aggies needed someone to create something, Gibson was the only Aggie that was capable of doing that. Against that particular Louisville team, it was pretty impressive to watch.

His junior year was a bit of a slump. Hist 3-point percentage dropped to 39 percent, but he picked it up in the conference tournament.

This year, he has shown that there isn't a back court player in the conference that can stay in front of him. Why Utah State's Jared Quayle is considered a better player is still beyond me. Watch them head to head next week and get back to me.

Gibson has been fun to watch the last three years. Hopefully he will get an opportunity to make a living playing basketball somewhere.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some standout numbers from the Idaho game

5,834 The announced attendance

Props to the student section, which was acknowledge by Marvin Menzies after the game, addressing the fans and encouraging them to show up on Saturday against Boise State. The listed attendance was 5,834, but the student section was full on both sides.

"We had a great crowd" Menzies said. "I wanted to mention that. The students were there in full force. I’m so proud of all the Greeks on campus and the non-Greeks that show up at a late game on a Wednesday. It just shows you that the spirit is alive and well and there is a lot of pride in being an Aggie. Hopefully we can give them a great performance on Saturday."

30.9 — Idaho's field goal percentage, which was a season low for an Aggies opponent this season
24 — The combined field goal percentage of Idaho guards Mac Hopson, Steffan Johnson and Kashif Watson. Hopson was 4 of 14 to finish with 9 points. Watson was 4 of 15 and only scored four points in the second half. Johnson was 0 of 4, all from downtown.

"It was just being there on the catch," Jahmar Young said. "Coach was in our ear and didn't shut up the whole night, just making sure we were where we needed to be and that’s what we needed."

7 — The number of blocked shots from Hamidu Rahman, who also had eight points and 11 rebounds. The blocked shots were a career high for Rahman, who found yet another way to contribute.

"One of the technical aspects of being a good shot blocker is staying down and trying to block the shot after it’s been released," Menzies said. "He’s gotten a lot of fouls this year going for pump fakes. He only had eight points but he still shot 50 percent so we will take it."

16 — The glaring negative stat of the night for the Aggies. They had nine in the first half and seven in the second half.

"We didn't do a great job taking care of the ball," Menzies said. "I don’t mind the missed shots because we were being aggressive but it would have been nice to have done a better job taking care of the ball. 16 turnovers is a lot."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Versus Idaho

8-6 NMS 1437 The student section has a lot of energy on Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. Another lackluster display by the rest of the city. Hamidu has a couple of blocks as the Vandals are attacking the basket. the Aggies have yet to play zone so we'll see if that continues. Both teams start 3 of 10 from the field

12-11 NMS 11:47 Well I found out why NMSU started in man. Coming out of the timeout, Hopson hit a 3 and then found Watson in transition for a three point lead, but a Gillenwater follow and Gibson jumper put the Aggies back up by 1. Neither team has found the range yet though..most scoring has come in transition.

23-19 NMS 7:24 The good news is that the Aggies have hit three 3s after starting 0 for 4. Idaho hit has hit two though to keep it close

32-21 NMS 3:07 Another 3 from Gordo, one from Gibson and one from Young put the Aggies up by their biggest margin, currently on a 14-5 run over the last 4 minutes

41-23 NMS Halftime The Aggies finish the first half shooting 7 of 14 from long range. They made all seven triples in the final 11:29 of the half, capped on a McKines 3 as time expired.

57-36 NMS 14:00 The Aggies picked up where they left off, shooting 5 of 7 from the field and 4 of 5 from long range. The most made 3s this season were 14 against San Jose State

70-50 NMS 3;31 It's good to see the Aggies beating up on the lower teams in the WAC, making no doubt they are better than Hawaii and Idaho. I expect the same against Boise State

Postseason possibilities

Sorry for the lack of postings early this week. Contrary to another poster, I have been busy. The prep teams are in their postseason and for some reason that I don't understand, college baseball and softball teams are playing games in February. But I know it's an important time of year so I apologize.

first here is today's RPI ranking entering tonight's game against Idaho. Have the Aggies ever been ranked this high (68) in anyone's recollection? The WAC is also having a solid year, which is at least higher than the past two years that I know of.

I'm working on a story for the weekend on what this all means. The strength of schedule is certainly more important I would think and I don't know how much better than the 89 will get but two wins over top 53 teams would be considered you would think.

Here are a couple of other computer rankings, this on the WAC and this one on individual teams .

Either way, unlike the last two years when the Aggies turned down invites to the CBI, the Aggies are a lock to the Postseason NIT.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aggies win at Pacific

I really don't have much to say.

If I had one gripe, if the Aggies guard Young at all, NMSU wins by 20. That leads me to my second point. The better team won tonight. My opinion is if the Aggies are a tournament team or a WAC champion team, they take care of these next two games against Idaho and Boise State no problem, which would make the last weekend pretty interesting.

900 with Nixon

Tonight's game will be Jack Nixon's 900th radio broadcast as the voice of the Aggies.
Nixon said he had aspirations of working for a college, a MLB franchise, a NBA franchise and an NFL team. Instead, he settled in Las Cruces, starting his career in November of 1976, and except for a four-year period between 1982-86, has been a fixture.

"I didn't envision being somewhere, or at a college job for so long but it's been nice," Nixon said.

It seems like at some towns, the college is known by its announcer and vice versa.

"Guys hang onto jobs for a long time. It's rare for someone to leave a position and come back to it. I think it's kind of a community thing and there is more of a connection," Nixon said.

I asked Nixon to remember the eight previous games where he topped 100, 200 and so forth and here is what he came up with.

Game 100 Dec. 29, 1980
The Aggies blew out Texas 77-61 at the Pan Am, where Nixon said Longhorns coach Abe Lemons was a tough postgame interview to put it nicely

Game 200 Jan. 24, 1987
An 85-58 loss at UNLV. "The Aggies lost but it was my first trip to Vegas as a play-by-play guy so that was exciting."

Game 300 Feb. 29, 1990
A win against San Jose State, but it came during Neil McCarthy's first NCAA tournament year

Game 400 March 19, 1993
Nixon remembers the Aggies kicking around Nebraska 93-79 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They lost to Cincy in the second round

Game 500 Dec. 27, 1996
The Aggies beat Texas Tech 122-105 in overtime during the Wyoming shootout, won by the Aggies after they beat S. Illinois the next day. "The game was exciting but the wind never stopped blowing but the people in Casper made it sound like it was never cold there."

Game 600 Jan. 6 2000
A 74-73 win at UTEP sealed when Mikko Noopila makes a pair of free throws with three seconds left after not having made a free throw all season.

Game 700 Feb. 22, 2003
A win at Arkansas State, where the most interesting play by play happened behind the scenes. The NMSU women were hosting Arkansas State on the same day, so the men's staff was listening to the broadcast, where the Arkansas State broadcaster was mispronouncing Mari Sanchez's name. Current NMSU SID Tyler Dunkel made some calls and the problem was fixed, but not before the broadcaster made some jokes about SIDs on the air.

Game 800 Dec. 2, 2006
Aggies beat San Francisco 89-78

The Aggies are 8-1 if you lost track.

"Hopefully that winning tradition continues tonight," Nixon said.


Talking with Pacific coach Bob Thomason Friday, he said his team is 3-3 in close games. NMSU is 5-0. There are a lot of similar stats in this match and/or contrasting stat, but maybe that could be the most important one.

I think it's important the Aggies come out and establish their pace early, similar to the Fullerton game. Hopefully Pacific will miss some shots on the outside, where they are streaky, and the Aggies can use their size to get rebounds and get the fastbreak rolling. I don't see this team giving away another big lead like they did to start the season. But the Tigers will run.

"People underestimate our running ability. If they want to go, we want to go but the question is do we want to go on their terms. When people pressure you, they entice you to do things you don't want to do," Thomason said. "The way they shoot the ball from the perimeter, it's hard to match up with."

Thomason said his team hasn't been as good as he would have liked in close games. They turned the ball over twice at Santa Barbara and San Jose State hit an awkward shot and a lay up to beat them.

I asked both coaches if today's opponent reminded them of anyone they have played.

Menzies compared Pacific to Utah State in terms of their discipline and to San Jose State in terms of depth and the athleticism they bring to the table.

Thomason said the Aggies reminded him of San Diego State.
'They are long and athletic. We played really well against them and were fortunate to beat them early. Marvin is a good guy and I'm happy for his success but I hope he has one bad game."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Utah State

If Utah State wins tonight against La. Tech, I'll submit and say that they will probably win the WAC.

Do I think they will win? Yes. They have the best home court in the league. I'm not going to say that they are the better team going in though. There are two teams that expose Utah State's lack of athleticism. La. Tech and NMSU. Fortunately, Utah State swept Nevada and have those two teams in Logan.

I know that basketball is more than athletes, but past Utah State teams have had that one go-to guy in Wilkinson and Carroll who could score at will pretty much. They don't have that this year. Wesley is a nice player but he's not a go-to guy. Eventually they will be exposed. It's already happened twice and the UtAgs have both those teams on their remaining schedule starting with tonight.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Aggies vs. Hawaii

Perhaps taking one "bad" loss at Fresno last week hurt tonight's crowd? It's not looking good eight minutes before tipoff

10-7 NMS 14:51 Aggies hit three of four to open the game up 8-0. Hawaii is playing zone so we will see how long that lasts. JY and Gibson have already knocked down triples. Defensively, the Aggies' zone has really given up just one open 3 so far.

19-11 NMS 11:37 Hawaii closed to within one but three misses and a turnover have helped NMSU surge ahead. The Aggies are on a 10-2 run here. What stands out to me is the passing during this run. JY has passed up two open shots for assists to Wendell on a lob in transition and Gillenwater for a transition 3. Wendell just found Gillenwater on a high-low pass

25-13 NMS 7:59 The Aggies run is now 16-4 over the last 5:10. They are doling it by sharing the ball. NMSU has 8 assists and JY has four of them

28-21 NMS 3:54 The Aggies have cooled off while Roderick Flemings has started to assert himself. Flemings has scored his team's last eight points to get Hawaii within seven but Hernst Laroche just hit a 3

42-27 NMS at half. The Aggies hit 3 triples in the last five minutes outscoring Hawaii 17-6 during that stretch

51-29 NMS The Aggies opened the second half on a 9-0 run to lead by as many as 24

76-51 NMS 6:00
This is what the Aggies needed to do. Crush a lesser opponent on their home court

Tonight against Hawaii

After speaking with Star-Bulletin reporter Brian Mcinnis, it sounds like the morale on the team is pretty low, basically resigning themselves to their March 4 game against Boise State to try to make the WAC tourney. He also said they have played hard, which is evident by a low scoring loss to La. Tech the other night (66-60)

The bottom line is the Aggies shoud come out with a relatively easy win, perhaps not a blowout since Roderick Flemings is a tough matchup for the Aggies. Hawaii, downtrodden and depleted, also turned the ball over 17 times against the Aggies' press.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Concerned about the Fresno loss?

I wouldn't be.
The Aggies were due for a game like this don't you think?
Two things stood out to me other than their 9 of 26 free throw performance. (The Aggies shoot 71 percent from the line for the season)

The Aggies have turned the ball over 12 and 18 times the last two games. It's kind of strange since the Aggies have done a good job cutting down on turnovers during their recent hot streak, averaging 13.6 per game after their 18 at Fresno.

The Aggies have to improve on their interior defense in my opinion. I watched the game on television and I couldn't believe how good the Aggies made Greg Smith look. Smith was 7 of 9 and the Aggies couldn't stop him on the block or the offensive boards before he got hurt.

Maybe a third thing. Paul George might be better than I thought. All he did was shoot open 3s, but those are the kind of nights he should have in a league like the WAC if he's really a NBA guy.

I'm surprised the Aggies lost at Fresno. But I wouldn't panic just yet with the number of WAC home games they have left and their sweep of La. Tech. They are still in good shape and I don't think there is a game left on their schedule they can't...or shouldn't win.

Verlin fights back

DENVER - Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson announced today that University of Idaho men's basketball coach Don Verlin has been reprimanded for violating the WAC's sportsmanship code.

The violation occurred when Verlin publicly criticized the game officials during his postgame press conference following the game against Nevada on February 10.

Said Benson, "Coach Verlin's comments criticizing the officials clearly violated the WAC sportsmanship code and will not be tolerated. Any further violations of the code will result in a minimum one game suspension."

Verlin apologized for his comments, "I recognize the inappropriateness of my comments and apologize to the WAC, University of Idaho and to the officiating crew for my remarks after the Nevada game."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another close win

I don't know how many more of these Marvin Menzies can take.
Seriously though, Menzies didn't act like a guy whose team had just finished off a sweep of one of the better teams in the conference. But I like that. He is starting to not just be satisfied with a win, but he wants to win the right way. Every team needs luck here and there and his players probably have the ability to free lance a little, but Menzies was upset that the Aggies didn't start their final play on time according to his instructions out of the timeout. Perhaps Laroche was just in a hurry to get it to JY and let him do his thing.

Either way, the Aggies haven't lost a close WAC game yet and I would say the Nevada game was the only time they were outplayed was against Nevada.

Still though, they turned it over 16 timesand 5 of those by my count were in the last 10 minutes. But tonight was the most turnovers since they had 17 at Boise State so it's not a trend but rather something to consider.

This just in, Laroche's bucket made Sportscenter.

vs. La Tech

I'm worried about the attendance. I thought it would be more after a win on Saturday and playing one of the best teams in the WAC. But the attendance looks significantly smaller.

11-8 La. Tech 1520 The Aggies have turned the ball over three times already and La. Tech has beaten the Aggies back in transition early

26-13 La. Tech 7:51 McKines just broke a scoring draught that lasted over six minutes during a 22-5 run where La. Tech scored 14 straight

31-24 La. Tech 3:22 The Aggies are clawing back into it going to the big fella. Rahman with back to back buckets and Young scored off the Aggies press

33-33 Half
NMSU close the half on an 18-5 run to tie the game

40-39 NMS 15:31 The Aggies just ended their 16-0 run as the Bulldogs have outscored the Aggies 6-0 here.

60-51 NMS 7:30 The Bulldogs started 3 of 14 from the foul line. Gibson just made a pair to pull La. Tech within eight

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Last time vs. the Spartans

Consider this.

In San Jose, the Spartans shot 69.2 percent from the field and 8 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half to erase a 9-point deficit and win 93-84.

On Saturday, the Spartans were 40 percent in the second half and 50 percent from long range in the second 20 minutes as the Aggies were able to hold them at bay.

But the Aggies might want to avoid Robert Owens if at all possible in the WAC tournament. Owens was 12 of 20 from long range in the two games and averaged 22 per game against the Aggies. Not bad, but not as good as JY vs. the Spartans. The Aggies were more aware of Mac Peterson tonight though. Peterson only attempted six shots — all 3s. and He only made two after connecting on 6 of 8 last time.

After a career high 34 at San Jose, Young was 8 of 13 from the field, 4 of 6 from 3-point land, 5 of 5 from the line for 25 on Saturday to run his average to 24.5 per game against the Spartans.

Aggies keep pace

Talk about balance.
Five NMSU players scored in double figures in a 94-82 win over San Jose State tonight.
What I like is that it didn't seem like any were out of the flow of what the Aggies were doing, which is a great sign with 20 assists and 12 turnovers. Three players had five assists with Wendell McKines, Jahmar Young in Jonathan Gibson.

Tonight was a preview of things to come I think. San Jose State had to hit seven 3-pointers and attempt 14 to hang with the Aggies, who attempted just nine 3s in the second half, opting to give touches inside. Frontcourt players Hamidu Rahman (11 points, 13 rebounds), Troy Gillenwater (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Wendell McKines (10 points, eight rebounds) wore down the Spartans inside — fouling out Chris Oakes with 1:54 to play.

That kind of depth up front is scary. I kind of underplayed JY's 25 points tonight and that just shows how balanced this team has become with the addition of Troy Gillenwater.

Vs. San Jose State

12-10 NM 15:05 Aggies had good energy to open the game. Whoever plays a little defense could win this game. Just a little

23-14 NMS 11:49 NMSU on a 15-4 run. Gillenwater checked in with 13:20 left for Rahman and had a three-point play and a board so far. He's playing alongside Rahman now.

34-24 NMS 7:15 I think Oliver is going to have to have a huge night to keep SJSU in this game. The Aggies are heating up on the perimeter with 4 3s already and haven't really looked into the paint yet. Oliver is guarding Wendell in man to man. I would like to see the Aggies look at that. Wendell wanted the ball in the post but was whistled for an offensive foul

39-34 NMS 2:35 San Jose closed to within two as NMSU went scoreless for four minutes. They took some quick shots during that span including one sequence where two Spartans were on the floor, and JY took a shot with the Aggies were playing 5 on 3. robert Owens grabbed the long rebound and dunked it home to make it 34-32 with 4:13 left.

49-42 NMS Half
Gillenwater has 11 points and eight rebounds in 12 minutes. An assist to Hamidu Rahman at the end of the half capped a stretch where NMSU scored on its last seven trips down the court

56-46 NMS 15:55 If it wasn't for Chris Oakes on the offensive boards, the Aggies would probably still be on the run they started the first half on, a 5-0 advantage that put the back up by 12

69-62 NMS 11:31 Robert Owens has four 3s in the second half. finally the Aggies are going inside more here after Owens showed the Spartans arent going to go away. Rahman, McKines and Gillenwater have accounted for 13 straight points, and i'm including a Gibson 3 set up on a McKines kick

Second half

Starting with tonight's game against San Jose State, here are some things that caught my attention from the first round of games, either from watching in person, listening to Jack Nixon on radio or looking at box scores.

Tonight vs. San Jose State (SJSU won first meeting 93-84 at San Jose on 1-23)
What sticks out to me most about this game was that Marvin Menzies said he had identified Robert Owens and Mac Peterson as shooters in the scouting report but for whatever reason (perhaps legs after returning from Hawaii or too much attention on Adrian Oliver) the Spartans got loose in the second half and shot 8 of 10 from 3-point range and 56.4 percent for the game. Hamidu Rahman also had one of his toughest nights and Wendell McKines was in foul trouble. I think the Ags should could out on top tonight since the Spartans are coming back from a game two days ago and with the added depth in the front court with Troy Gillenwater.

Feb. 8 vs. Louisiana Tech (NMSU won first game 91-77 at La. Tech on Jan. 30)
I was trying to figure out how the Aggies built a 19-point lead on the road against what is one of the most talented teams in the WAC in a place the Bulldogs hadn't lost in 12 games. NMSU had 20 assists with Hernst Laroche dishing out nine and Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson with five each. The Aggies had just eight turnovers. Louisiana Tech's Kyle Gibson was 3 of 12 from long range and the Bulldogs were 18 percent from long range in the game giving NMSU no reason to come out of the zone all night. I've seen Jamel Guyton hit shots but perhaps the Bulldogs struggled against the Aggies zone and rebounds were even, negating Magnum Rolle's 27 point, 15 rebound effort.

Feb. 11 at Fresno State (NMSU won the first game 86-67 at home on Jan. 16)
I have to think that Sylvester Seay and Paul George are better than what they showed. But I also feel like this may have been the most overhyped team in the league. I spoke with one scout who was on hand that said that the biggest mistake underclassmen make is paying attention to the Draft projections during the season. If George, who was a supposed lottery pick, and Seay were really NBA guys, the Bulldogs should be better than 4-5 in a conference like the WAC. Now that I've got that out of the way, the Aggies outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-36 and I would hope that margin would improve with Gillenwater. The 26 from Young and 25 from Gibson didn't hurt either. The Aggies were down nine at halftime and outscored Fresno 52-34 in the second half. I don't think the Aggies can count on that kind of dominance in the second half on the road, but I think they are clearly the better team.

Feb. 15 vs. Hawaii (NMSU won the first game 71-69 at Hawaii on Jan. 21)
Another game where the Aggies trailed at halftime. This time by 12 at the break. One of the games where the Aggies' press has really been a key factor. Hawaii turned the ball over 17 times and Jahmar Young had 26 points including the game winner.
For the rematch, the Aggies should come out on top, but I think in order to do so more comfortably, they need to tweak their zone a bit to account for Roderick Flemings, who had 23 points and kept Hawaii in the game. With the suspension of Dwain Williams, the Warriors would return to the Pan Am with the same ball handlers who struggled against the press the first time. Just in case you wondering (you probably aren't) the Aggies are 3-1 in the WAC when leading at halftime and 3-1 when trailing at halftime.

Feb. 24 vs. Idaho (NMSU won first game 75-72 at Idaho on Jan. 11)
Idaho's guard Mac Hopson was held to 17 points and that included a harmless late three as the game was decided. The press seemed to fluster the Vandals as well, turning it over 16 times and Jahmar Young scored 32, including 21 of the Aggies' final 23 points. I didn't see the game, but I'm fairly confident the Vandals don't have the backcourt defenders to match up with Gibson and Young. Idaho is struggling and is probably my most disappointing team in the WAC so far.

Feb. 27 vs. Boise State (NMSU won the first game 88-85 at Boise on Jan. 9)
Another Game the Aggies trailed at the half, but no lead was safe. Gibson finally put the Aggies up for good with a 3 off an inbounds play to win another shootout between these teams. Boise's Robert Arnold had a good game with 26 points. After talking to Jonathan Gibson after this game, I remember him saying that the Broncos don't seem to have a go-to player. Anthony Thomas showed the ability to hit big shots in a game against Idaho and La'Shard Anderson is probably the only one athletic enough on the perimeter to get his own shot, but he was 5 for 12.

March 4 at Nevada (Nevada won the first game 77-67 at NMSU on Jan. 4)
The first of what should be a huge road trip. As strong as he is, Wendell McKines had a tough time stopping Luke Babbitt. If Gillenwater has improved defensively at all, we will see it in this game because Wendell just isn't tall enough and Babbitt has pretty good post moves. The starters on both sides are pretty even. The Aggies have to either find Nevada sharp shooter Ray Kraemer (3 of 4 3s off the bench) or negate his effectiveness with their own bench since the bench was scoreless. That shouldn't be a problem as it seems Gordo Castillo's stroke is starting to come around and Gillenwater creates scoring chances off the bench

March 6 at Utah State (NMSU won first game Jan. 2 55-52 at NMSU)
Utah State has taken advantage of its recent home swing and survived five straight on the road to open the schedule. Is Logan the toughest place to play? Certainly. But if the Aggies were to split the last road trip of the year, I think they beat Utah State on the road. Utah State simply does not match up with NMSU. Anywhere. Gibson could get to the basket whenever he wanted to while Utah State's Jared Quayle was a no no show with 4 points. Pooh Williams kept the UtAgs close with a late 3 but he's not a shooter and Nate Bendall is solid but he's no Gary Wilkinson. I think keep throwing bodies at Wesley and NMSU has a good shot at sweeping the UtAgs

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


LAS CRUCES — After missing the first 21 games of the basketball season, New Mexico State redshirt sophomore forward Troy Gillenwater was cleared by the NCAA late Tuesday afternoon.
NMSU Athletics Director McKinley Boston said the decision was effective immediately.
On Jan. 5, the university filed a progress-toward-degree waiver with the NCAA after Gillenwater had missed the first semester due to poor grades.
NMSU is 13-8 and 6-2 in the Western Athletic Conference this season without Gillenwater, who averaged 12 points and five rebounds last season.
The Aggies have nine remaining regular season games before the WAC tournament in Reno March 10-13.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Pacific....again

I'm sure it will be a good game, but it was announced that the Aggies will play at Pacific on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

La. Tech travels to Northeastern on the 20th on ESPN2

Nevada travels to Missouri State.

Wichita State travels to Utah State for a late game on the 20th on ESPN2

Thanks to Sam Wasson

Sam did my work for me checking out league websites to see which teams got TV BracketBuster games. Check this out

(Teams they can't or probably won't play in parenthesis)

Missouri State (Wichita State)
Northern Iowa (Wichita State)
Utah State (NMSU, Nevada, La. Tech)
Butler likely vs. Siena
Kent State (Akron)
Pacific (probably won't play Nevada because the two faced each other already this season)
George Mason (ODU, William and Mary)
Northeastern (ODU, William and Mary)
VCU (ODU, William and Mary)
Murray State (probably won't play La. Tech because the two faced each other this season and were Bracketbuster opponents last year)

NMSU (Utah State)
Western Carolina (17-5, 7-3)
Wichita State (Missouri State, Northern Iowa)
Nevada (Utah State)
La. Tech (Utah State)
Siena likely vs. Butler
Akron (Kent State)
Old Dominion (George Mason, Northeastern, VCU)
William and Mary (George Mason, Northeastern, VCU)