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."


Aggie007 said...

Finding the right coach is about fit. Which coach fits best in each program.
All WAC teams have been dealing with it this season (except Ut. St. because obviously Morrill is a great fit for them)
About Marvin Menzies-
I've been non-approving of Menzies for quite some time now. I've said that he was a gentleman, respectful person and a good citizen who nobody worried about turning up on the front page for a DUI or sexual harassment or anything like that. However on the flip side, he isn't a hard a$$ and is basically a softy and his student-athletes don't seem to respect him. Also, I said he was severely out-coached by the likes of Stew Morrill and other WAC coaches. He lacks big-game decision-making (save for the Mich. St. game). It seemed our team played its best basketball only when he was ejected from the game and his assistant took over (see; win over UTEP). His success during the second half of this past season is inexplainable. And from the looks of the teams' future, it seems we are in for a tough road when you look at who are seniors (JY, Wendell McKines, Gordo Castillo), and juniors (Gillenwater, Rahman and Laroche). Who will be recruited to replace them? Seems like most of the recruits we've been bringing in wash out by the end of their 1st year (Higgins, Gomez, guy who got caught at the airport with marijuana). Who is next besides the guys from Stoneridge Prep who have 4 years of combined team basketball experience?
Those are just some of the complaints I have.

HOWEVER: After all of that, Menzies may just be THE guy for NMSU, listed by my reasons below.
1 - He is not attractive to other schools because of mainly what is written above. So we don't have to worry about him leaving like we did with Theus and UTEP with Barbee.
2 - He inexplicably pulls wins out of his arse after being out-coached throughout most of the games.
3 - He is not going to demand pay raises every 6 months, ala Theus, because no other school would be offering him more than his $320K a year salary, so his leverage is weak.
4 - He is a gentleman, respectful and an overall good person; which is the kind of person that fits well into the Las Cruces community, ala Lou Henson.
5 - He doesn't cause any problems in the NMSU Athletic department by pulling any prima-dona BS. He works hard just like the other coaches.
6 - He doesn't seem like the type of coach to break NCAA rules and get NMSU in hot water.

In conclusion, if we can stand an unexciting brand of basketball and getting our butts whooped during the Fall and sweat out tough close wins during the Spring, I think Menzies may be a great fit.

Anonymous said...

LOL Faulty analysis at best 007. He's a great recruiter and his in-game coaching is getting better and better. We won 22 games this year and only 1 game was he in the lock room before the game was over. It's not inexplicable. It's because he's getting the guys to buy into him and his program. Bandja Sy, BJ West, and the African contingent are going to be good. N'Doye has shown flashes of being a dominant defender. And as we know, defense wins games in March.

jb said...

You can't find a way to explain why Menzies won with his full team? How 'bout because he's a pretty decent coach? I find it unbelievable that some fans can find a way to blame Marvin for everything wrong with NMSU basketball, but can't find a way to give him credit for a remarkable season.

He's a poor recruiter? This may be the most talented team we've put on the floor since the McCarthy days. The basketball is unexciting? We score 80 points a game He lacks big game decision making? How did we win the WAC tournament? Are we already judging the freshmen recruits based on the 100 or so minutes they got in the preconference? It seems his first group of recruits (Wendell, The Gillenwater, Laroche, Hamidu) clearly belong on a WAC floor. How 'bout using that as the expectation going forward for recruiting.

I thought I'd seen impossible standards before, but wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

Stew Morril has 20 years head coaching experience and has a fan base that shows up no matter who they are playing. Yes, NMSU had more talent than Utah St., but at the end of the day NMSU beat the Utags 2 out of 3 times this season. Nevada and BYU were 0-3 against Utah St this season with Utah St. having less talent than those two teams. Marvin Menzies is closing the gap on Stew Morrils coaching experience and it is just a matter of time before Marvin is offered a better job with a better fan base than he has now.

Aggie007 said...

You can disagree with me all you want. But, can you tell me other schools are going to be interested in hiring Menzies away? Is he even getting a sniff of interest? Isn't that the test of how well a coach is doing? If he is doing so great as you say, we would at least hear rumblings of another school interested. That is why I said at the end of my opinion that he is a great fit for NMSU.
And we do play a boring brand of basketball. That's been the consensus about his style of play from many many Aggie fans, even on this blog.
And no way, no way is this the most talented team we've put on the floor. The 06/07 team was higher up there than this year's team.

Anonymous said...

007, are you even an aggie fan. NMSU highest RPI ever was this years team. Menzies is a good coach and we are loaded with talent. We are going to be a very good basketball team for a long time.

Anonymous said...

consensus? There is no consensus on this blog. About the only thing that is close is the slow down offense we play when we have a big lead.

Anonymous said...

Someone saying JY hired an agent. Do you know if this is true?

jb said...


You may use "interest from other schools" as a test of Menzies success. I'll go ahead and use wins, WAC titles, and NCAA appearances.

I'm curious as to what you find to be "exciting basketball". Is it close games? The Aggies played 13 games within 2 possessions this year, and won 12 of them. Is it high scoring? Only 22 teams out of 347 scored more per game. Is it a fast pace? Only 33 teams played faster. I would agree that the 09-10 Aggies had many flaws, but I would never argue that being boring was one of them.

The 06-07 team was a very talented team indeed, but in a different way. They didn't have the lights out perimeter scoring of this team, but the 09-10 team didn't have the inside bulk. That could be a wash, depending on the continued development of Troy and Hamidu.

Of course you are allowed to have your opinion, 007. No one has to like Marvin. I'm just curious why you can't apply the same criteria you use to criticize MM to give him some props as well. It would give your opinion more credence if it appeared to be carefully weighed and considered, rather than you just tossing out all evidence that contradicted your original thesis.

Anonymous said...

007 it's hard calling what you say logic. No that is not the test of a coach doing well. There are more coaches than there are coaching vacancies . So not everyone's name is going to be popping up.

Jason Groves said...

Anon 11:17
Text message exchange between myself and Marvin Menzies

Jason Groves: JY didn't hire an agent did he?
Marvin Menzies: No

I think we have to give JY a little credit with this whole thing. Say what you want about his personality, I don't see why so many people hate on him for seeing where he stands with NBA people. If anything, NMSU fans should be glad he's doing what he is doing so he can apply it to his offseason training, which his history shows that he works hard every offseason.

Anonymous said...

Jason, I love that he's testing the waters for that very reason. But I just hope that it doesn't conflict with his school work.