I heard from one person on Saturday that as soon as Wendell McKines officially announced his intention to redshirt that Aggies fans had mailed in the season.
I hope that's not the case. Is this team as good as last year's? Probably not. But Saturday's 80-68 win over previously unbeaten Fresno State should show that the Aggies will certainly contend for a league title.
Fresno State was clearly tired in the second half and the Bulldogs played without a player, but the Aggies were simply the more efficient team, understanding the Bulldogs were probably tired and wearing them down.
The Aggies are proving to use the foul line as a weapon in their offense, perhaps replacing the 3-point shot from previous seasons. NMSU was 26-of-37 from the line while Fresno State was 8-of-14. NMSU made 70 percent, which is a good percentage considering their three bigs, Gillenwater (5-of-7 FT) Chili Nephawe (8-of-10) and Hamidu Rahman (5-of-7) accounted for most of the free throw attempts.
If you measure true effort by rebounding, like maybe what Kelley Merker exhibited last year, the Spartans (0-4) game Sat. might be a better gauge of who mailed it in. Spartans are grabbing 39 boards (including 14 offensive) per nite in WAC buta are giving up 42.
Plus nobody should want to miss JGro's #1 WAC player (see Oct. blogs) coming to Pan Am in the person of Adrian Oliver. Agree with you there because he's a legit PAC-10 level talent.
I don't see college kids mailing in a season. That's more of a pro ball phenomenon but what the heck do I know?
I would have liked to have seen the team play this year with seniors Young, Pope, and McKines, along side Gillenwater, Rahman, and Castillo.
Now that would have been a stacked team. Maybe not one long on teamwork, but stacked with raw talent.
Wendell missing is a legit excuse for losing a lot of non-conf games (all of the big ones). Lowering expectations, or mailing it in, if you will, actually relieves the intense pressure and allows the team to play better. So, yeah, mail the season in but with the personnel they have, a senior in Gordao and Gillenwater possibly in his final year, fresh young talent like CK and a great point guard in Hernst, these guys will affect the WAC standings. With bench depth added as a direct result of the injuries there's scenarios where they could outlast other WAC teams in a 3 games in 3 days conf tourney this year. For certain you won't see lowered production out of Gordo and Troy who both have plenty of motivation on the court. Fans will have their answer by the time Boise gets on the bus following the Reno and Logan swing next week.
Definitely can't teach what Herb and Wendell showed at that first Crimson & White scrimmage slam dunk contest where they wore street clothes. Menzies can't bring back Herb or JY but he could bring back a Midnight Madness tipoff that could attract fans at preseason when they're more likely to purchase season tix, now that they're standing until until the first opponent bucket at home games.
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