On Tuesday, Marvin Menzies said redshirt sophomore center Hamidu Rahman was going to practice and that trainers have said he will be fine after suffering leg cramps on Saturday against Utah State.
Menzies said that Michigan State plays like Utah State from what he has seen on film.
I spoke with Lansing State Journal reporter Joe Rexrode, who among other things, said that assuming the Spartans want to play slow is a mistake.
The Spartans are ranked No. 2 in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by nine boards per game. He said that Big Ten teams race back to stop the Spartans from running, but once in tournament play, they are capable of putting up points. Their bread and butter has long been offensive rebounding or rebounding and trying to fastbreak.
Kalin Lucas has been struggling offensively this year, but Rexrode said forward Raymar Morgan is playing the best ball on the team right now over the past six games, averaging 11.5 points and 6.2 rebounds and shooting 54 percent for the season.
The Spartans play exclusively man-to-man, which is packed in. They don't pressure the ball but they want to contest shots and rebound.
Offensively, Rexrode said the Spartans run good stuff against the zone but playing against a zone comes down to making shots for any team. Guard Durrell Summers was a 50 percent shooter as a freshman but has cooled to 43 percent and 30 percent from beyond the arc as a junior.
Depth shouldn't be an issue for the Aggies. The Spartans go seven deep as well. But against a true center like Rahman, freshmen centers Garrick Sherman (6-10) and Derrick Nix (6-8) have been getting minutes. Their best forwards seem like Morgan and Delvon Roe with Draymond Green coming off the bench. Sparty is deep on the perimeter, with Korie Lucious comes off the bench.
It could be a fun game to watch and Rexrode said an upset is possible if the Aggies can find any way to get some stops, something they've done in key situations, but not on a consistent basis throughout a game.
check this out...
This guy has the Aggies in the sweet 16!
Nice footnote to your career, Herb Pope. Guess the NCAA selection committee is vindicated for letting Big East's Seton Hall slide off the bubble. Ouch!
Menzies is getting smarter by the minute. Seton Hall coach was fired today for among other things, bringing in an out of control player like Herb Pope to his program (who punched a Texas Tech player in the private parts yesterday in an NITanon game).
Heres some more from ESPN...
17. Since the field expanded in 1985, 12-seeds have advances to the Sweet 16 a total of 17 times. However, those 12-seeds are just 1-16 in the regional semifinals, with the lone win belonging to Missouri in 2002. Last year, Arizona was the lone 12-seed to make the Sweet 16 but fell to top-seeded Louisville. This year, New Mexico State looks to become the first school to make the Sweet 16 twice as a 12-seed. In 1992, the Aggies beat DePaul and Louisiana-Lafayette before losing to UCLA.
Heres another link....
MSU basketball: Spartans feel Aggies may be a handful
I, for one, am glad Herbie Poope isn't at NMSU.
He had, and has, trouble written all over him. Am surprised he made it the entire season without screwing up.
This is interesting...
Best and worse case from ESPN:
New Mexico State (12)
Best Case: NCAA tourney rookie head coach Marvin Menzies taps into his Rick Pitino bloodlines and becomes a great March coach. Menzies gets his up-tempo team playing even faster and looser, and the Aggies continue their WAC tournament roll to shock Michigan State in the first round. Then, after Houston does the same to Maryland, NMSU wins a bracket-collapse game in Round 2 to reach its first Sweet 16 since 1992*. (*Since vacated.) And the Aggies didn't need Herb Pope to do it. Meanwhile, New Mexico is upset in the first round.
Worst Case: Aggies sure wish they had Pope while being walloped on the glass by Michigan State in the first round. Menzies coaches against Izzo about as effectively as mentor Pitino did in last year's tournament. Aggies are sent home to watch New Mexico charge to the Final Four.
The "msu-red-cedar...lookalike" site is an embarassment to MSU and Alumni. Fourth or fifth graders would probably find that stuff funny, but as an MSU Alum I would expect better from pseudo-adults. Don't bother to call anymore for scholarship donations---my donations will be going to NMSU ASA.
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