Friday, January 21, 2011


Troy Gillenwater prides himself on his versatility.
While there is no doubting his versatility on the offensive end, take a look at the following stats and consider which WAC power forward you want.

Player A:  18.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 45 percent FG, 35 percent 3-point, 5 assists
Player B:  14.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 62 percent FG, 2-3 3-pt FG, 48 assists
Player C:   14.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 58 percent FG, 42 percent 3-pointers, 15 assists

Any thoughts?
Player A is Gillenwater, B is Wesley and C is Czyz from Nevada.

I asked Marvin Menzies his thoughts on why Gillenwater has five assists on the season.
“It’s a combination of Troy being offensive minded, which is one of his roles. You would think he would have more. He is drawing a lot of fouls so whenever he draws a foul, it’s taking away from a potential assist. He is making a lot of shots and he’s taking a lot of shots. I think that as the season goes on, it will pick up because teams are adjusting now and saying whenever he catches it, he’s not passing it. You may think that, but he may be the guy that makes the assists that makes the assist because a lot of times it will go inside out.”

Here are a couple stats that would scare me if I were an Aggies fan.

Utah State is ninth nationally in scoring defense, giving up 58.2 points per game.
NMSU has been able to score against some good defenses, hopefully they forget the second half against Nevada.
“It was one of those nights where you run into a deadly combination of the home team playing really well and the road team struggling. We ended up shooting good in the first half, but we didn’t defend really well. The second half, we couldn’t get any offensive rhythm going.”

Nevada point guard Deonte Burton had no trouble creating offense off the dribble. It seems like Utah State’s Brockeith Pane is the same type of player.
“We didn’t defend the dribble and our defensive transition was bad. It was very much a shared loss like our 14 turnovers. Defensively, we played hard, but we didn’t play very smart at times.”

Anyone who reads here regularly knows the Aggies have been struggling on the glass. Utah State is seventh in the country, outrebounding opponents by 9.4 per game. Not a good recipe for the Aggies on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

Dang Jason, what a turn around from what you wrote a few posts ago when you gave NMSU the advantage on every position except center. Now you're giving them the game tomorrow while practically saying that Wesley is bettern than Gillenwater. Nothing wrong if you changed your mind, I just find it a pattern with your writing. You wrote here that you were seriously doubting the ability of Bandja to be a D1 player and then wrote an article praising him. Same for the Aggie defense, wrote an article about how they are a defensive team only to write here that they severely lack defense.

I said months ago that the problem with the Aggies is that they rely on Troy as the person to run the offense through. I said it then and I will say it again, he is not the player to take the team on his shoulders because he plays better with other talents around him. Because he does not have great players around him I dont expect him to have many assists. He is our go to man this year, not the one who passes the ball to others. Troy is not a defensive player and that is not helped by the poor defensive play of the team.

Anonymous said...

Not having McKines on the floor hurts a lot.

I don't know if any of the other Aggies has any idea about crashing the boards with a vengeance.

Might be a long, cold night in Logan on Saturday.

Jason Groves said...

Anon, I'm not changing my mind. In my preseason column, I had the Aggies splitting with Utah State and I still think that's possible for the same reasons I wrote about on this blog. Regarding Sy, the way he was shooting the ball warranted mention and a story so I wrote one. It's called objectivity. There is a big difference between what I write on the blog, where I have more freedom to interject with my opinion, and the newspaper, where you can't ignore the fact that Bandja was shooting the ball well.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is entitled to give their opinions on here but the only paid professional is Jason. Just because some of you write endless analytical opinions...most of which are way off....that does not mean you're equal to, or more knowledgable than Jason.

When I was in high school and college I was actually told by teachers and professors that I had the writing skills to be a professional journalist and I was even accused of plagiarism a few times (yes my writing at one time was that good). However, I didn't pursue that and I'm not a professional journalist. In addition, I don't come on here with the intention of trying to show up Jason. This is a blog to give opinions and that's it.

I understand that some of you are young college kids that have a strong interest in sports and possibly journalism. I think it's great young people are still interested in writing, but don't come on here with this attitude like you are the expert...because really you aren't. You haven't earned that right. Jason has paid his dues and deserves respect.

I know my entry is a little bit contradictory because it is a long and somewhat "analytical" entry...but I feel the point needed to be made.

And to make it clear, I am not using my best writing skills at this time because it's just a blog and I'm trying to quickly express my "opinion" (learn the definition of this word young know-it-alls).

So in closing, I appreciate everyone's opinion(s) but keep your analytical crap to yourself and stop giving Jason a hard time. I don't need you to look up stats for me that anyone can do on the internet...Jason knows what he's doing and he does a good job of presenting a balance of stats, analysis and editorial comment.

Anonymous said...

Versatility means that you do more than just shoot. Troy plays no defense what so ever and to have only 5 assist when you have the ball in your hands maybe the most besides Hernst is a problem. I would not call that versatile. Troy is 100 times more talented than Tai Wesely but Coach Morrill has a great system and he puts his players in a position to do what they do best. His teams always are in the tops in the nation in shooting %. The only thing Wesely does better than Troy is play harder. He has half the ability and puts up the same numbers. There is no way in my opinion that we should even be comparing the two players, but that is Troy's fault for not playing harder and some what of MM fault for allowing him to do it.

And i wish people would stop saying that MM develops players. He has not developed one player since he has been here. His players just get older and do things better because of experience. People need to learn the difference.

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt that TG is a great player. Unstoppable sometimes really. He's going to get his points and rebounds.

I'm not really concerned about his lack of assists. What I'm concerned with is his ability to close a game out. Havent really seen that from him yet.

In the second half against Reno, we had a little run going and cut it to 7. We got a turnover and Hernst found Troy on the wing for an open 3 which he missed. That would have cut the UNR lead to four and would have seriously shifted the "uncle mo".

Those are the types of shots I want to see him knock down. I want to see TG score ten in the last 5 minutes. Thats a leader and a game changer.

Jason Groves said...

I wouldn't even say five assists is a completely negative thing. It's an interesting statistic, which is why I wanted to put it out there. 20 games, 5 assists when the ball essentially goes through him? Gillenwater is obviously an offensive-minded player, but I've always thought that great players are the ones that make those around him better. NMSU has its struggles in the halfcourt at times, perhaps because teams know that if Gillenwater or Rahman get the ball, it's going up.

Anonymous said...

I think we are reading to much into the Troy versus others comparison. Troy is unquestionably more talented than any other forward in the league. By far. Jason does raise an interesting statistic. Its troubling. Yes Troy is our go to guy but 5 assists in one year? That is utterly ridiculous. I think it reflects more poorly on MM than Troy frankly. Given the other clowns on the team, Troy is the one I want with the ball. Yet, MM should figure out ways for Troy to find the open man for a three which is what Stew does for Utah State. Keep up good work Jason. There are people in this town that cannot stand anyone saying anything negative about the team. The chips need to fall where they may regardless of whether its positive or negative. I too thought Sy had not business being anywhere a basketball court. His performance merited that conclusion. He improved his play. When facts change opinions have a right to change as well. Its not being wishy washy its simply reporting the changes that have occurred. It was not until recently that Sy showed anything that would lead one to conclude that he deserved to be in an aggie uniform.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, Anon 6:03, what exactly the comments section on this blog is for then?

Is it not to generate discussion, regardless of your level of agreement or disagreement with Groves? Is it not ok if those comments are an interpretation of some statistic the writer finds interesting?

If he didn't want comments, he could easily disable them. If you don't want to read them then don't scroll past the break.

Anonymous said...

It's for opinions and only that...none of us are experts on here and I get tired of some people coming on here with smart *ss remarks and stating everything like they are the only ones that know about sports. Anyone can look up stats online, it's not a real skill. Is that a good enough answer Anon 11:33? I stated exactly what you asked in my first entry. Might I suggest a reading comprehension class?

Anonymous said...

Why dont you all starting putting something so we all now who we are talking to or who said what? I came up with GS because I worked at the Pan Am for four years, hence guest services. Its annoying that the same old clown comes here bashing the team, with the same rant on Menzies yet doesnt man up and put his name on his post. As for Anon 2:44, looking up stats may not be a skill but neither is living in the 1990's still. Get over it, the team won back then but they also cheated their way through. As for your continued remarks on "college kids", this team is a COLLEGE team. If you don't like college kids coming here and writing what they think about the team that they pay for then I suggest you move on to a professional sports blog.

I think that the assist stat is worthless. Last year JY had 107, Gibson had 95, Wen 74 and Hernst had 125. If we look at those names the first three were offensive weapons and had two other offensive weapons to pass the ball to most of the time. This was not a team where it was just JY and everyone else. Because of that they were able to have more assists, not hog the ball as much (although Gibson still tried that from time to time). If I am Gillenwater and have the ball in my hands, who am I going to pass it to? Gibson, JY, and Wen are not on the court. We've all seen how the Aggies struggle on offense and that through most of the season our bench has gathered plenty of minutes. I dont blame Gillenwater for saying screw you guys and taking the ball in himself. He has few other players around him that can make plays when given the ball. Great players are supposed to make other players better but at the same time we cant expect Gillenwater to drag everyone on his back while they take steps back. Everyone on this team is inconsistent so why would Gillenwater pass any of them the ball instead of just taking it in? Stew has a great system in place and there is nothing wrong with saying that he is a better coach than Menzies. He was a better coach than Reggie too. Wesley is a product of the system that Stew has into place, much like Holbrook was a product of the system that Hal had here. I dont believe that if Wesley was here instead of Gillewater we would have a better team or the others would be made better by him. I think Utah St would be in the Top 25 right now if they had Troy however.


Jason Groves said...

GS, a couple things regarding your post. I wish that people would sign in their name of some sort when they make a post. However, I would rather have people post on here and some may not be comfortable for whatever reason.

I'm glad you mentioned Wendell. He made a clear effort his junior season to distribute the ball. My issue with Gillenwater's assist number is simply that moving the ball is never a bad thing, even if it doesn't lead directly to a bucket. It's also just a surprising number for a guy as talented as Gillenwater, who is playing the bulk of minutes he does and has the ball in his hands so often.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to raise some points yesterday prior to the game but it didnt happen. I still believe that Gillenwater having 7 assists on the year is a moot point because he has no one to pass the ball to and make a shot. I'd prefer for him to take the ball and make it than have ball movement that might not lead us to a basket. However, I wanted to ask, where is Gillenwater in the ball movement? Does he have so little assists because he is the final man who gets the ball in a designed set? When he does pass the ball around, where does the ball end up? Does the player who receives the ball go for the shot and miss or does he pass it someone else and keep the play going? I dont think that this team has good ball movement at all and they lack the talent to make their own shots. I think scoring a season low last night is proof that Gillenwater has little to no help around him and I still believe that he is better off taking the ball himself than passing it to one our inexperienced players.


Jason Groves said...

GS, After the weekend, you very well could be right. And I think we would agree that the word "set" in the NMSU offensive could be used lightly, since it normally involves either a weave at the top of the key or a ball screen for Laroche at the top of the key by either or both posts.