Thursday, December 23, 2010

It was only a matter of time

The Aggies should feel confident entering WAC play, given that you keep trotting out a lineup of what was supposed to be role players this year, and they still beat Pacific (A team that would be a top 4 WAC team this year) and played with a Top 30 team for nearly 30 minutes.

It was bound to catch up with them.

I think once Christian Kabongo develops a jumper (4-of-11) he will be a very nice player and Hernst Laroche proved he could get his shot and into the lane whenever he wanted (6-of-8 shooting) Outside of those two, the Aggies don't have offense right now, especially if Gordo Castillo isn't getting the open looks he's been knocking down the past two weeks.

Marvin Menzies was honest after the game, admitting the Aggies aren't ready to play with team like Saint Mary's right now. Perhaps in March they will be.

Here is a couple paragraphs from my story about what the Aggies need in order to compete at that level.

After two days off for the holiday, Menzies hopes some of the missing pieces start to return to the puzzle for conference play, which begins Dec. 29 at Idaho.
“I’m optimistic that Hamidu, Wendell and possibly Troy will at least be able to get on the floor before we go,” Menzies said. “Who will actually play will be determined as soon as they get 100 percent.”


Anonymous said...

It was nice to see the Aggies hang tough with St. Mary's in the first half. They started off strong holding St. Mary's scoreless for the first several minutes of the game.

St. Mary's was too strong in the second half. They stretched out our defense and put the game out of reach scoring in big chunks.

Aggie defense rant.... It puts a lot of pressure on our offense when we can't get defensive stops and force the other team to make tough shots. Gordo especially....he's a good shooter and when he's making 3's it helps balance things out but he kills us sometimes on defense. St. Mary's had Gordo so stretched out on defense at times tonight I had to put my hands over my face it was so painful to watch. Obviously becomes more of a problem with our team injury situation.

Still a great experience for the players against a good program.

Anonymous said...

Gordo didnt get looks tonight because we didnt play a crappy team Groves come on now.Stop being a homer and giving Gordo credit that he doesnt deserve.

No one should complain about this loss because we lost to them last year with a better team and this year at least they didnt score a hundred on us. We stuck with them for a while but they totally killed us on the paint and we really have no offense. This team is better than just about any team in the WAC so we should be okay in WAC play. Dont think Wen should come back, especially if he wants a career in basketball.

Anonymous said...


You mentioned in a November post that November games maybe dont matter to the Aggies since they didnt win. Looking at the games on which date back to 2003-2004, we havent been able to beat a non conference opponent that stands out since then. Other than the wins against Lobos and Miners, competition against decent teams has left us with plenty of losses. We have also been playing better teams with Menzies at helm but still we cant beat a major team. Menzies said last night that they werent ready to play against a team like St. Mary's. Henson, Theus and now Menzies appear to be stuck in not being able to beat a good non conference opponent. Do you think that playing these teams helps us achieve the goal of reaching the tourney or do they simply expose our weaknesses and force us to scramble to win the WAC championship?

Anonymous said...

From Menzies' standpoint it's a good loss because now you won't have the up-and-coming bench players challenging the leadership of the Big 3 as they come back and grab more minutes. Defensive over-commitment will show up in the film, big time. 3/4-speed dribbling penetration is all it took to get Aggies to leave their space or come off their man to help.

Coach said the players were down at halftime and showed emotional immaturity. Well, yeah; To them there wasn't a player for St. Mary's physically superior (except for Rob Jones who had an off night shooting but made up in assists and blocks). He started versus the Lobos two years ago with USD and really gets after it! But bonehead turnovers get you down anytime and especially those two right before half when you might have been tied or ahead in the locker room instead of down by 9. Menzies is right that 2nd half should have started with haymakers from NMSU.

Give the guy credit but a lot of Young's (cousin to Angus and Malcolm?) pts came uncontested. That's good, too, because on film these guys should be seeing that they're ball chasing and then out of position once a shot goes up. By then it's too late to box out dudes coming to the offensive glass. Box out and cover passing lanes and Aggies could possibly even up the rebounding and play with a team like St. Mary's soon enough? Young put up with some heavy abuse from Chili but he was dishing it out, too.

Kobongo's technical was a subtle elbow to McConnell at the stripe after play was stopped. Chili was involved but it was retaliation. As usual it's the second guy that get's caught and Randy McCall saw the retaliation. Game was already out of hand. I like seeing CK and Chili still competing at that point intead of giving in and quitting. So I might disagree with Coach that his players were emotionally down. Mentally beaten, I'll give him that.

Anonymous said...

The Aggies held their own for most of the game against St. Mary's. I still think McKines needs to come back this year. With McKines, Rahman and Gillenwater back, there should be no excuses and the Aggies should dominate the WAC. The last few games gave the Aggies an opportunity to build a bench and as a fan I expect more out of the bench players now. From this point forward, no excuses.

Anonymous said...

I've given Bandja Sy the benefit of the doubt for a year and a half... but I'm done.

He turns the ball over all of the time...he's got a nice looking shot that he never makes...Doesn't seem to do all that well on defense...

Ya I get that this kid is an unbelievable athlete but he's not a very good basketball player and we really need him to be right now. If we could get 10-14 a game from him, that would do wonders for this undermanned Aggie team.

Maybe when he's a senior.

Jason Groves said...

Perhaps I am a bit of a homer when it comes to Gordo, but I don't think I was being one in this particular post. Gordo has been shooting the ball well, but that's what he is and he's the first to tell you that. To put up 20 against Pacific shows what he's capable of, but it's not something you can depend on night in and night out with the lineup the Aggies are throwing out there right now. That's what I was trying to say.

And I agree with you Anon 3:31. I've been hinting at it since last year. Can we say Sy is a recruiting miss or is it still too early? Good kid, good student. Not a Division I player

Anonymous said...

Groves this 331

It's harder to have patients with players when your losing. But good things tend to happen with good kids so I'm still expecting him to perform at some point. We just need it to be now. I guess it just has taken him longer to learn the game. Chili is learning much quicker.

I'd like to see Menzies put Bandja in the low post from time to time. Get him involved a little more down low and maybe get him to the charity. That could open up his outside game and give him a little confidence. I mean he is 6'8... Maybe 6'9...long arms...athletic

Sy is one of those wild card kids that mid majors like NMSU take chances on. On paper he's a nightmare but due to his lack of knowledge/experience, he struggles at not screwing up. I hope he figures it out.

Those Aussies definitely knew how to play. Maybe Menzies should take his frequent flyers down under.