In his post game interview with Jack Nixon, NMSU coach Marvin Menzies said he wasn't sure the Aggies could have won their 74-69 victory over Idaho without Troy Gillenwater or Hamidu Rahman.
They couldn't have. They wouldn't have.
Both Rahman and Gillenwater acknowledged the good job done by role players like Chili Nephawe, Bandja Sy and Renaldo Dixon, but the Aggies will travel as far as Gillenwater's foot and Rahman's calf will take them now that we are in WAC play.
Gillenwater scored 22 points on his 22nd birthday to give the Aggies their fourth straight WAC opener win under Menzies and the school's sixth straight.
"The plan was to play and just to see how it felt and it felt good so coach rolled with me," Gillenwater said. "I really want to thank (trainer) Dom. He really got me back healthy."
Gillenwater said the injury wasn't an ankle at all, as I was originally told. It was a bone bruise on the same foot that he had a hairline fracture this summer, which prevented him from playing in Canada.
Both players were limited in practice. Rahman went for the first time on Sunday and Gillenwater had a full practice on Monday.
Gillenwater might have a jump on Rahman from a conditioning standpoint as the big fella was limited to 16 minutes, but he said he felt better in the second half.
"The first two minutes I was in, I was kind of winded the first five trips up and down, but in the second half, I started getting more into it and got my wind," Rahman said.
Wendell McKines is on the trip, although I doubt he will play on Friday. I can't help but think that Wendell traveling and getting on the floor in a limited capacity points to a likely return at some point this season.
Sounded like all Bandja Sy needed was to get panned by all the critics in Groves' blog! His is a case of having so many tools he's trying too hard. When Coach had him slow down and just take what the defense gave him he tipped the scales in that game. Not saying Troy isn't a man among boys! Hard to imagine that guy was just 21 years old until last nite. Let's see if he really as a birth certificate from Hawaii!
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