Monday, November 28, 2011

NMSU vs. Arizona

First I wanted to address what everyone seems to be talking about. NMSU freshman Remi Barry will be available from here on out for the Aggies. I know that most people think he's the next big thing. Maybe he is, but it won't show this year. He finds himself in a good situation with the somewhat surprising play of Bandja Sy and the steady play of Tyrone Watson. He would have to be pretty special to steal minutes from those two guys right off the bat. But it's good that he can work his way into the lineup and by conference time, perhaps he will provide yet another weapon off the bench.

"I'm happy for him that he has put all of that behind him," Marvin Menzies said. "It's a great opportunity for him, whether or not he plays (Tuesday) or not. Having experienced guys in front of him who are playing well is good for him."

Some interesting Sean Miller comments follow, but first Miller said that we won't see freshman center Sidiki Johnson, who is now focused on academics after returning from suspension.

Miller said that junior wing Kevin Parrom is currently a shade of his former self after coming back from injury. Miller said the Wildcats haven't had consistent play from the center position, which should sound familiar for Aggies fans. Miller wants to play 9 or 10 players, so confidence level of bench players is something to keep an eye on, especially since it seems like freshman guard Josiah Turner is starting to work himself back into good graces. I think that guard play is interesting to watch on Tuesday and is probably Arizona's strength. Kyle Fogg is a a big (6-3) senior guard and Nick Johnson has averaged 10 per game and shoots 43 percent from 3 as a freshman and Jordan Mays has started five of the six games and senior Brendon Lavender is the team's best shooter but has only played 8  minutes per game so far.

One thing is for certain. Miller will not start the same lineup as he did in a 61-57 home loss to San Diego State last week. Miller said that the combination of Jesse Perry, Solomon Hill, Kyryl Natyazko, Mayes and Fogg will start against at Arizona.

Miller on the Aggies
"I think they are a terrific offensive rebounding team and the best offensive rebounding team we have faced so far. They play with tremendous depth and energy defensively. Energy and taking care of the ball is important. I think it's going to be a great challenge and I think they are a team that will be in the postseason."

I think the Wildcats will be fine. But they have players who are trying to figure out roles early on.
"Derrick Williams plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves now. Tuesday is going to be a really hard game for us."

I asked Miller, whose teams have been known for playing man to man, how he approaches playing teams like the Aggies, who aren't a great shooting team.
"Everybody thinks that playing zone solves the problem against a team that doesn't shoot well. One thing the zone exposes is second shots. It backfires if you are giving up high quality second shots."

Miller said his team isn't on par with his past teams defensively at this point.
"We have always gotten better year by year on the defensive end. We're not very good in any of those areas right now."

Here are two additional things that I'm watching on Tuesday.

Key matchup
Wendell McKines vs. Solomon Hill
Arizona coach Sean Miller believes Aggies power forward Wendell McKines could start for a Pac-12 team, including his own.
But McKines is an Aggie and his numbers reflect the 6-foot-6 Hill.
Hill leads the Wildcats with 12 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. McKines leads the Aggies with 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Both players are capable of hitting the perimeter shot but don’t rely on it as McKines is shooting 37 percent from 3-point range and Hill is a 25 percent shooter.

Key to watch
NMSU is outrebounding its opposition by 8.3 boards per game. The Aggies are tied for 14th nationally with 16 offensive rebounds per game. McKines is pulling down 3.5 offensive rebounds per game.
“I think they are a terrific offensive rebounding team,” Miller said. “They are the best that we have faced yet.” 


Anonymous said...

Contenders or pretenders?

This game is huge! I hope everybody gets out to support the Aggie white out!

Go Aggies!

Anonymous said...

Aggies should win this game, but then again they are Aggies, and the same Aggies who should have won last week's tourney.

Anonymous said...

The fans know that we don't have a legit shooting threat, and that it's one of the weaknesses of the team that other teams can exploit by packing in the zone.

Anonymous said...

Took this from the scout board:

Jason you should write an Editorial on how whiney some of our fan base can be:

Sometimes I love our fanbase, other times I hate it.

Let's stop being whiney old curmudgeons who yell at the Administration every time they take a step in a forward direction.

Black Jerseys? The players love them, the fans love them, they bring in revenue, they help recruit.

Whiney Old Curmudgeon: Goooooo but they're not CRIMSON gooooooooo. I AM RAGE

Beer at Events: Students love it, makes money.




I DONT WANT TO BE AROUND DRUNK STUDENTS GOOOOOOOOO - Guess what, you already are. They just drank in the parking lot or from a flask.

Get with the times, or the University will get left behind. -

A frustrated Alum.

Anonymous said...

Pack in a zone at your peril against a team of rebounders like this. We're going to miss the shots anyway. If you don't already have a solid boxout, then you're begging Ham and Wen to grab the second chance points

Anonymous said...

I cant agree more with anon 11:22!!! A lot of fans in Las Cruces always seem to complain about something!! I never thought I would hear someone complain about beating UTEP but sure enough, I heard someone say "they should have kept it closer, it wasnt very exciting to watch"..... What are the players supposed to do in a lose lose situation with fans... They will stop coming to play here!!! Be true fans and support the the players and coaches whether they win or lose!! Even if the coach ends the game calling a bad timeout or not calling one at all, just go out and SUPPORT OUR HOMETOWN TEAM!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Pack in a zone at your peril against a team of rebounders like this. We're going to miss the shots anyway. If you don't already have a solid boxout, then you're begging Ham and Wen to grab the second chance points
November 29, 2011 1:56 PM


Az was packed in tight and won. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

We had 21 second chance points. And that was still a man D. Az won because of their ball movement on offense.

Anonymous said...

How many times did Arizona dunk on the Aggies? A dozen? How many open shots did the 'Cats knock down? Way too many to take this NMSU team as a serious contender.

The Aggies have some great raw talent, but a coaching staff that has done very little to develop that talent. Shooting the basketball is a teachable skill. No one has actively, or smartly, taught this team how to shoot the ball.

They ought to study McCarthy's teams. They also couldn't shoot the ball, but they averaged the following: they forced 20 turnovers per game, 20 offensive rebounds per game, and 10 steals per game.

This team defends well and has good size. They need to learn to work better with what they have. There's an air of uncertainty that swirls around this team. They need to develop an air of superiority and they'll win. It might be ugly, but they'll win.

Anonymous said...

We had more second chance shots than AZ because they made their shots and didn't need as many second chances. Aggies needs a starting center that is willing to jump to rebound and able to catch the ball. A little hustle would help also. Put BJ in coach!!!