Friday, April 30, 2010

Mystery player on campus

Andy Saharan is in Las Cruces on an official visit this weekend. All I can find on him is that he's a California player. The above link is all I could find with a google search. Seems like a kid who could be a recruited walk on type like the center from France?

Friday, April 23, 2010

New committs

Paul Weir appears to have brought in another pair of Canadian players in 6-4 Christian Kabongo and 6-9 Renaldo Dixon. Marvin Menzies closed the deal.

Kabongo has been described to me as a Brandon Fields type player with better ball handling skills. Both are athletic shooters who aren’t consistent from long range, but Kabongo is a freshman and Fields was a senior at Nevada last year so a little more consistency from long range and he could develop into a special player here. I believe Kabongo has actually already signed with NMSU and has been cleared since last year.

Dixon said NMSU has been recruiting him for a while, but it sounds like once there was a coaching change at East Carolina, it opened up an opportunity for both players, who are tight, to play together in college.

Both players ended up graduating from Central Commerce Collegiate Institute in Toronto, but I believe both were at God’s Academy in Texas for a limited time but I don’t think they ever played there before moving back to Canada.

Kabongo averaged 38 points per game at Monsignor De Charbonnel High School in Toronto as a sophomore, where he was for three years.

Renaldo Dixon is 6-9 with loads of athleticism but is a raw talent who will likely redshirt this year.

I thought it was interesting that their AAU coach, Ro Russell, was also involved with former Aggie Duane John.

I have also been told that 6-10 center Raphael Giaimo, who played last year at Notre Dame Prep, will also not have a scholarship and will most likely sit out if he ends up on campus. Chris Cantino, a 6-7 forward from Philadelphia, was on campus last weekend for a visit. That’s all I have for now.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A couple names

I've heard about a couple more names as far as potential Aggies. First off, I don't know how much stock you want to want to put into Kofi Mensa, but take that as you will. Here are a couple of potential targets that you may or may not have seen.

Here is another little blurb on Cantino, who is an East coast talent. Simmons is interesting because if he is a potential Aggies recruit, it shows that Marvin Menzies is willing to look to the JC ranks to try to find a stopgap type of player with Jahmar Young's departure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jahmar Young era comes to an end

I haven't spoken with anyone yet regarding Jahmar Young's departure (I'm on vacation through Saturday). It's kind of a shock to me, but in the end, as I said before, it's the right thing for NMSU. I hope it turns out right for JY as well.

Is there a correlation between Jahmar's arrest and the announcement that he is hiring an agent? I think it's fair to assume that, but Marvin Menzies has proven over time that he is willing to bend over backwards to protect his players, even though lets not forget that Young was not his player. Nor was Herb Pope, Tyrone Nelson, etc. I wonder if Reggie Theus is still as highly regarded by the Aggies fanbase? You could argue that perhaps Reggie's personality could have controlled these players, but what you rather have at NMSU because it seems to me at a school like NMSU or other mid majors, you have to take risks in the players you bring in. Either suspect character guys or guys that are risks in the classroom. We've seen both at NMSU, but I do believe Menzies is trying to bring in guys who are good players and good people first.

Now some recruiting news as the signing period opens today (Wednesday). Rivals and other sites have reported the commitments of two players, who I haven't been able to reach as of yet and NMSU seems to be playing it close to the vest this offseason. But I have been able to reach out to a couple of people and maybe cross off a couple names off the list that I have read about and been curious about.

Former NMSU wide receiver Chris Williams said his brother Marcus Williams has not been contacted by NMSU.

I also spoke to the AAU coach of Cal transfer DJ Seeley, who was a top recruit out of high school. His name has been linked to NMSU, but all the coach, Etop Udo-Ema said, was that NMSU assistant coach Paul Weir had made a call inquiring about Seeley. Udo-Ema said he has been heavily involved with Seeley since he decided to leave Cal, speaking with the player every day. Florida and Saint Mary's seemed to be the biggest names after Seeley, with an unofficial scheduled this week at Saint Mary's. WAC schools Hawaii and Boise State are also interested, along with most of the Big West schools.

Regarding this year's class which now has three scholarships with hope for a fourth if the Aggies' APR improves, Menzies said nobody will sign today, but visits will happen the next two weeks as the signing period runs through May 19.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My first reaction to JY arrest

It's been interesting seeing the ups and downs of Jahmar Young's career at NMSU the past three years.

He proved that he could play at a national level against Michigan State, where he also handled himself well in front of national media and the Michigan papers relating to his comments about Spartans guard Kalin Lucas before the tournament, which were blown out of proportion to begin with. But he was his usual self before the game, engaging with reporters etc. After the game, his comments about the officiating aired on ESPN the next day so Young made a name for himself a little bit. Perhaps that led to his decision to enter the NBA Draft as a junior. I'm not sure. Haven't been able to speak with him.

I don't know what will happen regarding Sunday's arrest, but this is Young's second arrest in four years at NMSU. Say what you want about police overreacting, JY being misunderstood. The fact remains that there are two arrests that were both very public for the university in nature.

Earlier in the day, Young and Jacoby Patton were each taking part in Saturday's Walk M.S. 2010 with other Aggies players.

I would like to see NMSU discipline Young in some form or fashion prior to any decision in the courts. I doubt that will happen, but at some point, the university and the men's basketball program has to pick an image and protect it. You can only back your student athletes to a certain point, right? Everyone makes mistakes, but how many mistakes are Aggies fans willing to put up with for the sake of wins?

The most polarizing Aggie?

I'm working on Jahmar Young's latest run-in with the law. Here is what I know so far.

Jahmar was charged with battery of a police officer, a fourth degree felony. There was at least one other person with Young, believed to be redshirt guard Jacoby Patton based on a website that records Dona Ana County jail comings and goings, who was arrested with and charged with an unknown misdemeanor charge.

According to LCPD, Young and another person were acting 'rowdy' and where asked to leave the PicQuick on Don Roser and University. LCPD were called and an altercation ensued.

Calls to Boston and Menzies have yet to be answered but I will update here as soon as I get more comments from them.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Menzies on new hires

I talked to Coach Menzies about the recent hirings that have some effect on the Aggies.

He said he was familiar with Tim Floyd and Gib Arnold, who took over at Hawaii. He didn't know former Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice, who was hired at Boise State.

On Floyd's hire, Menzies said, "He is one of the better coaches in America. I didn't follow it but it seems like he got a raw deal at USC from what I know. I think he will be great for that community for his familiarity with that community."

On Arnold's hire, who interviewed at NMSU to replace Reggie Theus, "He is a journeyman coach who knows the West coast and that's a good dynamic for Hawaii."

Almost half of the WAC coaching staffs have turned over for one reason or another since Menzies was hired three years ago and you would think that Cleveland at Fresno State and Nessman at San Jose State enter next season with something to prove. The WAC has certainly proven to be a weeding out league for coaches. Either you move on like Mark Fox or you disappear like Pheifer at Idaho.

Menzies seems like he could be here for awhile.

"It's a good level for high-major assistants or journeyman coaches. You either want to build something and add tradition or use it as a stepping stone. Some have the intent to move on, but some like me come to build a program."