Monday, August 30, 2010


I've seen some confusion over scholarship players for the Aggies. Here are the current 12 scholarship Aggies as of right now. If Remi Barry is cleared, he could receive the 13th or perhaps it would remain open for the year.

Gordo Castillo SR
Wendell McKines SR
Troy Gillenwater R-JR
Hamidu Rahman R-JR
Hernst Laroche JR
Abdoulaye N'doye (Soph, but really a JR eligibility wise)
Bandja Sy (Soph)
Tyrone Watson (Soph)
BJ West (Soph)
Christian Kabongo (Fr.)
Tshilidzi Nephawe (Fr.)
Renaldo Dixon (R-FR)

Will not practice with team but will be on campus and set to join team in 2011
Remi Barry
Daniel Mullings

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aggies notes

6-8 Wing Remi Barry is enrolled at NMSU and taking classes, as you probably know. Since Robert Lumpkins left the program, the Aggies have a scholarship open, which would likely go to Barry if he is cleared in the upcoming weeks. If not, he would essentially redshirt this season and wouldn't be able to practice, similar to Lumpkins, Hamidu Rahman and Troy Gillenwater when they arrived in Las Cruces. If cleared either this year or next, Barry will immediately help the Aggies from everything I've read. He had some big names after him that seemed to be scared away by academics. ... A couple of scheduling notes. Two NMSU ESPNU/ESPN2 WAC games are Feb. 23 at San Jose State and March 2 at home against Utah State at 9 p.m. ... Former NMSU player Sam Lacey, as well as recent NBA players Damon Stoudamire and Bryon Russell will be in attendance for Marvin Menzies' Open Golf Tournament on Thursday at Picacho Hills. Contact Jack Hokkanen at (575) 541-4274 by Saturday at 5 p.m. if you are interested in registering.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

UNM dates

NMSU's schedule isn't out yet, but the University of New Mexico released its schedule. The Aggies play host to the Lobos on Dec. 4 and travel to The Pit on Dec. 11 for a 7 p.m. game

Friday, August 13, 2010

Final game

Aggies Win Final Game of Foreign Tour
OTTAWA, Ontario (Aug. 13)-The New Mexico State mens basketball team concluded its preseason foreign tour in Canada with a 65-53 win over Carleton University in an exhibition game. The Aggies finished the tour 5-1. 
 Today’s scheduled game was cancelled.
Senior guard Gordo Castillo scored a team-high 16 points while junior guard Hernst Laroche had 13. Junior center Hamidu Rahman recorded 12 points, all in the second half, and freshman guard Christian Kabongo finished with 11. 

The Aggies posted a 37-25 advantage at halftime. Kabongo led all scorers with 11 points and both Laroche and Castillo added nine in the first 20 minutes of action. NM State finished its trip against a Ravens program that has won six of the last eight national championships. 
 NMSU finished the tour 5-1.

New Mexico State       1          2          Total Points
Christian Kabongo*      11        0          11
Hernst Laroche*        9          4          13
Hamidu Rahman*       0          12        12
Gordo Castillo  *       9          7          16
Tyrone Watson*       4          3          7
Drew Herig           0          0          0
Bandja Sy            0          0          0
B.J. West            4          2          6
Abdoulaye Ndoye       0          0          0
Totals               37        28        65

Carlton                1          2          Total Points
Michael Kenny*           0          3          3
Elliot Thompson*          2          3          5
Cole Hobin*             2          8          10
Aaron Chapman*         0          0          0
Thomas Scrubb*          2          0          2
Willy Manigat          7         6          13
Kyle Smendziuk          0          8          8
Kevin Churchill         2          0          2
Tyson Hinz              3          0          3
Philip Scrubb    3       0          3
Dan Penner               4          0          4
Totals                  25        28        53

Game 5

According to Menzies Twitter post, the last game on Saturday was cancelled and they close the Tour Friday.

Aggies Rebound with 102-74 win

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec (Aug. 12)-The New Mexico State men’s basketball team returned to the court and surpassed the century mark with a 102-74 win over the Kia All-Stars in Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers) during its foreign preseason tour in Canada.

The Aggie offense was potent in the first half with a 54-37 advantage behind 13 points from junior center Hamidu Rahman. Junior forward Tyrone Watson was also in double-digits with 11 points while both junior guard Hernst Laroche and sophomore guard Bandja Sy scored eight each.

“We had a favorable outcome,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “It was one of those types of games where I didn’t really know how we were going to perform based on the fatigue factor that we experienced last night.

“I was hopeful that only playing one game with a few extra hours of rest and with a little more time for recovery, that it would make a difference. And it did. At about 10 minutes into the game, we hit a stride and were a little sharper and that was due to not hitting the fatigue wall.”

Rahman and Watson finished with game highs of 21 points while senior guard Gordo Castillo had 14 including four 3-pointers in the second half. Sy added 13 while Laroche supplied 12.

Sy returned to the lineup after missing both games on Wednesday but freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe was sidelined with an injury.

The Aggies continue exhibition play in Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, Aug. 13 against Carleton University at 5 p.m.

New Mexico State      1          2          Total Points
Bandja Sy*                 8          5          13
Hernst Laroche*          8          4          12
Hamidu Rahman*         13       8          21
Gordo Castillo *          2          12       14
Tyrone Watson*          11        10        21
Christian Kabongo        2         3          5
Drew Herig                 0          0          0
Makhtar Diop               0         2          2
B.J. West                    6          2          8
Abdoulaye N’doye       4         2          6
Totals                          54        48        102

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Games 3 and 4

Aggies Defeat McGill Alums on Foreign Tour

SAINT LAMBERT, Quebec (Aug. 11) – The New Mexico State men’s basketball team beat an alumni team from McGill University, 98-93, in overtime in an exhibition scrimmage on the Champlain College campus in Saint Lambert, Quebec.

In overtime, the Aggies scored the first seven points to help secure the win. NM State had five players in double-figures with freshman guard Christian Kabongo posting a team-high 19 points. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson had 18 while junior center Hamidu Rahman scored 17. Junior guard Hernst Laroche finished with 15 points, including two free throws at the end of regulation to force the extra time, as senior guard Gordo Castillo tallied 14.

“This was a tough one,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “You could see the fatigue in the guys, and it was evident in their play because they couldn’t go long stretches like they did yesterday. We settled into a nice groove at the end of the game, and this team (McGill) had a couple more additional players that play overseas and they were very tough.

“With an overtime game, I think that’s great experience for us, and to be able to pull out a win this early in the year is very valuable.”

After the first 20 minutes of play, Kabongo led the Aggies with 11 points. He had a quick start and scored the first six Aggie points. Castillo added nine points, which included three 3-pointers, while Watson contributed eight but the Aggies were down six, 46-40, at the break.

In addition, freshman guard Drew Herig scored his first basket in an Aggie uniform today, which just happens to be his birthday. Also, sophomore guard Bandja Sy did not play after suffering a fall in last night’s contest against Vanier.

The Aggies continue exhibition play tonight at 6 p.m. against Dawson College.

New Mexico State      1          2          OT      Total Points
Christian Kabongo*      11       3          5          19
Hernst Laroche*          0          14        1         15
Tshilidzi Nephawe*      1         2          0          3
Gordo Castillo*           9          0          5         14
B.J. West*                  1          5          0         6
Drew Herig                 2          0          0         2
Hamidu Rahman           6         9          2          17
Tyrone Watson             8          6          4         18
Abdoulaye N’doye       2         2          0          4
Totals                          40        41        17       98

Foul Trouble Hampers Aggies in Game Four

MONTREAL, Quebec (Aug. 11)-The New Mexico State men’s basketball team was edged, 74-68, by Dawson College in its fourth exhibition game of the preseason foreign tour in Montreal, Quebec.

Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson led the Aggies in scoring with 15 points while freshman guard Christian Kabongo supplied 14. Senior guard Gordo Castillo and junior guard Hernst Laroche were both in double-figures with 13 and 12, respectively.

“I didn’t like the outcome but it was a real valuable lesson,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “We had opportunities to win the game, but the kids have to learn to play with a lead and take care of the ball. We’re a little depleted with Chili (Nephawe) and Bandja (Sy) out, but it’s good for the other guys to get some more minutes.”

Foul trouble hurt the Aggies in the second half with Laroche, Watson and junior center Hamidu Rahman fouling out. NM State had posted a 42-30 halftime lead behind 28 points from the Canadians with Laroche and Watson scoring 10 each, and Kabongo adding eight points but the Aggies just couldn’t hang on for the win.

“Unfortunately, I think they hit the wall down the stretch and that hurt us,” Menzies said. “That team (Dawson) was the most athletic team, and they were by far the best talent that we’ve played at this point. That gave us a different look and that was good. We’ve got to get them some rest, and then we play a late game tomorrow, and the guys have to fight through it (fatigue). This is what it’s all about, that’s why we came here to get some lessons in, and we got a good one tonight.”

Additionally, Laroche, a Montreal, Quebec native, was playing against his older brother, Evans, a forward for DC that scored 10 points.

The Aggies continue exhibition play Thursday, Aug. 12, against the Kia All-Stars in Trois-Rivieres at 6 p.m.

New Mexico State      1          2          Total Points
Christian Kabongo*      8         6          14
Hernst Laroche*          10        2          12
Hamidu Rahman*         4         0          4
Gordo Castillo*           7          6          13
B.J. West*                  0          7          7
Tyrone Watson10        5          15
Drew Herig                 3          0          3         
Tshilidzi Nephawe        0         0          0
Makhtar Diop               0         0          0
Abdoulaye N’doye       0         0          0
Totals                          42        26        68

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Game 2

Aggies Coast to 88-57 Win over Vanier

MONTREAL, Quebec (Aug. 10)-The New Mexico State mens basketball team concluded the first day of action on its preseason tour in Canada with an 88-57 victory over Vanier College at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec. 

Sophomore guard Bandja Sy scored a game-high 21 points for the Aggies. Sophomore forward/center B.J. West contributed 16 while senior guard Gordo Castillo had 15 points. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson and junior center Hamidu Rahman were both in double-digits with 13 and 10, respectively. Playing in his hometown for the first time in an Aggie uniform, junior guard Hernst Laroche scored eight points against his former team. Guard Damon Buckley led Vanier with 13 points while forward Kazadi Gauthier scored 11. 

Game two was a very up and down game, head coach Marvin Menzies said. We got a chance to see some pressing that we didnt expect to see, and that was good for us because we had to think on our feet a little bit. 

Between that and the defense pressure that we put on, I think we made a step in the right direction with the defensive emphasis. We got a lot of deflections and we had a couple of guys put in some extra baskets that didnt play as well this morning. It was a good team effort in the sense that we had some guys contribute a little higher in the first game and some different guys contribute tonight. So that was good to see.

In the first half, the Aggies raced to an 18-5 lead in the first seven minutes of action. Sy and Watson combined for the first 16 points. Both the Aggie zone and man-to-man defenses were effective for a 50-25 halftime advantage. At the break, Sy led all scorers with 17 points including three 3-pointers while Watson added nine. Offensively, the Aggies controlled the paint with Rahman and West both providing eight points. 

The Aggies have two games, Wednesday, Aug. 11, a rematch with McGill at 11 a.m. and Dawson College at 6 p.m.

New Mexico State       1          2          Total Points
Bandja Sy*                  17        4          21
Hernst Laroche*           2          6          8
Gordo Castillo*            3          12        15
Tyrone Watson*           9          4          13
Abdoulaye Ndoye*       0          2          2
Christian Kabongo        2          0          2
Drew Herig                  0          0          0
Tshilidzi Nephawe        1          0          1
Makhtar Diop               0          0          0
Hamidu Rahman           8          2          10
B.J. West                     8          8          16
Totals                           50        38        88

Vanier College              1          2          Total Points
Damon Buckley*          3          10        13
Dewayne Buckley*       4          1          5
Oliver Dupiton*            0          1          1
Lenny Austin*              0          2          2
Kazadi Gauthier*          7          4          11
Quaid George               1          0          1
Danny Charlery             7          2          9
Jerry Saidybah              3          5          8
Michael Fosu                0          3          3
Nathan Grant                0          4          4
Totals                           25        32        57

Game 1

Aggies Win Preseason Tour Opener

SAINT LAMBERT, Quebec (Aug. 10) — The New Mexico State mens basketball team opened its preseason foreign tour in Canada with a 80-76 win over McGill University on the Champlain campus in Saint Lambert, Quebec. Senior guard Gordo Castillo paced the Aggies with a team-high 21 points. 

Las Cruces, N.M., native scored 16 second-half points to power a solid second half effort for the Aggies. NM State had four other players in double-figures with junior center Hamidu Rahman and sophomore forward Tyrone Watson contributing 12 points each. Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe added 11 while junior guard Hernst Laroche scored 10 in his homecoming. 

I thought it was a good effort by McGill, head coach Marvin Menzies said. They (McGill) had a couple of older professional players, and they really challenged our guys and did a great job of hitting open shots and handling the pressure at times. It was good experience for us to get out and see what our guys are going to be made of. 

Its always good to have a close game with a lot of lessons and get the W. They (the Aggies) are feeling good right now, and they know they beat a pretty good team so Im optimistic that this evening we can get another one.

At halftime, the Aggies trailed, 39-37, behind seven points from Laroche. NM States offense was balanced with 10 players seeing the court in the first half. Rahman scored six points while Watson, Nephawe and Castillo, who hit the first 3-pointer of the game, had five points each. 

For McGill, guard Dominico Mercario scored a game-high 24 points. Forward Will Archambault supplied 14 and center Max Boudreau added 12 points for the Redmen. 

The Aggies continue their preseason trip with a match-up against Vanier, Laroches former school, later tonight at 6 p.m. 

New Mexico State       1          2          Total Points
Christian Kabongo*      3          0          3
Hernst Laroche*           7          3          10
Hamidu Rahman*         6          6          12
Gordo Castillo*            5          16        21
Tyrone Watson*           5          7          12
Drew Herig                  0          0          0
Bandja Sy                    4          5          9
Tshilidzi Nephawe        5          6          11
B.J. West                     2          0          2
Abdoulaye N’doye           0          0          0
Totals                           37        43        80

McGill University          1          2          Total Points
Max Boudreau *             2          10        12
Dominico Mercario*       11        13        24
Tristan R-Tremblay*       2          0          2
Sebastian Gatti*             3          0          3
Will Archambault*        10        4          14
Oliver Bouchard            6          0          6
Simon Bibeau                2          8          10
Charles LaCroix            3          0          3
Totals                           39        37        76  

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Personnel for Canada

From the NMSU Athletics Dept. as of Saturday afternoon with the team scheduled to leave Sunday.

Currently, the travel status for walk-on point guard Drew Herig and senior forward Wendell McKines is unknown due to passport issues. This concern doesnt affect regular season eligibility. Also due to an injury, junior forward Troy Gillenwater is not expected to play in Canada but is traveling with the team.

Herig's passport arrived on Saturday and the Aggies hope McKines will join them in Canada at some point during the week.

Gillenwater is out 4 weeks with started as a bruise that turned into a hairline fracture in his ankle. He won't need surgery, but I think it's smart to hold him out of games if he's not 100 percent at this stage, although it would likely frustrate coaches that they won't have a full compliment to tinker with lineups in Canada. I guess it's a good thing for younger players to be able to get more experience.

Here is the schedule so far.

Tuesday Aug. 10

11 a.m.-Aggies vs. McGill
6 p.m.-Aggies vs. Vanier 

Wednesday, Aug. 11
11 a.m.-Aggies vs. McGill
6 p.m.-Aggies vs. Dawson 

Thursday, Aug. 12
6 p.m.-Aggies vs. Kia All-Stars

Friday, Aug. 13
5 p.m.-Aggies vs. Carleton

Saturday, Aug. 14
10 a.m.-Aggies vs. Carleton

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ags still looking for a guard?

I found out who the mystery guard that I couldn't identify on Monday. He was Sandia grad Drew Herig, who will be a walk-on point guard but will not make the Canada trip.

Former UConn guard Jamaal Trice was on the NMSU campus recently. Trice didn't get a lot of time at UConn, but he's from L.A., which could explain his relationship with Menzies.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aggie practice

I spoke with seniors Gordo Castillo and Wendell McKines before the Aggies practiced on Monday evening. It's hard to believe they are both seniors. McKines is the first player Menzies signed and he has had an interesting career so far in Las Cruces and I started working at the Sun News for Castillo's senior season at Las Cruces High.

I asked McKines if it's any different getting ready to practice in August rather than October. He did say for the returning players, they are treating the trip like it's March in order to show younger players how to get ready.

"I've heard of other schools  going to other countries during the summer but it's the first time we get to do it. I'm just ready to go. I've been ready to go after Michigan State. Just throw me in the jungle with the wolves. We are ready to go."

McKines on what he's heard about Canada from his Canadian teammates.

"They always brag about Canada. It's going to be good to see how their lives were before Cruces. It will be good for them too because they never get to play at home so I'm excited for them."

It looked like everyone was present on Monday. I didn't see Robert Lumpkins and there were a couple of players who I have yet to meet but I'll work on that. It's August. Troy Gillenwater didn't practice but was working out in the training room after he injured an ankle on Sunday.

If you read my story in today's paper, apparently I said Renaldo Dixon had "issues" regarding the NCAA. Dixon has been cleared and could play this season but cannot play in Canada and isn't even on campus yet. Menzies said he hasn't decided who to redshirt yet for next season.

Another quick note. Jack Nixon will not be making the trip to Canada, but I will post stats on here when I get them and they will be on as well.