NMSU is not a perfect team by any means, but the Aggies are certainly the most athletic and talented team in Alaska this week.
Saturday's 80-72 loss to Southern Miss wasn't a bad loss, but it was a loss that shouldn't have happened.
I'm sure the Aggies aren't looking for excuses. But you have to think that playing five of six games away from home to start the season can take its toll on a team. How else could you explain getting outrebounded 38-26 with 13 offensive rebounds against a smaller team? Last year, you would expect that but it doesn't fit with how this team has been playing. NMSU continued to get to the foul line, but a night after shooting 70 percent from the line, the Aggies were 68 percent from the foul line (30-44) but only 15-26 (57 percent) in the second half.
We knew the Aggies weren't the best shooting team. What's starting to show for me though is not the 3-point miss because the Aggies aren't shooting an unrealistic amount of attempts. But they are missing 10 footers, and what's more, they are good shots, open shots. It could make scoring get more and more difficult as the season goes on if they can't knock down the occasional jumper.
NMSU has some home games coming up after the Alaska trip. Coming back at 5-1 is nothing to be ashamed of considering all but one were played outside of the Pan Am.
I posted some deficiencies whent he season began, and they bit us last night.
1) Bad free throw shooting will kil us. Take out Kabongo's percentage and we stink.
2) Poor shooting overall. Last night was awful to watch. When we fell behind by a few points, I knew we were done. Who is going to hit a shot when we need one?
3) 3 point defense. Why is it that we can't figure out how to guard the 3 point shot. This has been a problem for years.
In all, its a young season, and yes 5 and 1 would be vey respectable to start the year. However, if we want to be an elite team, we better figure out how to shoot the ball. Unfortunately, while defense can be taught and improved throughout the year, shooting probably won't improve.
Was it just me, or was Big Wen pushed around a bit last night?
Couple more thoughts:
Any word on Remi yet? Maybe he can hit a few shots>
I'm upset with the loss last night because we played so poorly, but a win over Arizona on Tuesday will definitely help. I'm making the drive from Albuquerque. I hope Las Cruces comes out and supports this team. I would love to see a larger crowd than UTEP. Remember it "white out" time.
If Az or UTEP or UNM were watching the game, they would have seen the recipe for beating the Aggies; put the team on the line, pack in the zone defense and bomb away from the 3. Play like they did last night and the Aggie are assured of fourth place in the WAC.
BTW, that talk of "Top 25" is AGAIN premature. Beating UNM or UTEP does not make the team worth making a lot of noise over.
You said it best with the lead about Gillenwater hitting J's after rolling out of bed. No one is going to fill Troy's size thirteens when it comes to the ten footers.
Agree with anon 3:25 and would go further to say that the WAC is a 3-pt shooting contest every nite. You hit 'em and you win. Being old school I could do without the 3 pt line and the AL designated hitter rule. UNC Bears beat the Ags with 3's in the second half in the Pan Am game. Glad Marvin does not have to try reining in quick trigger guys like JY and Gibson. Hopefully NMSU will win close WAC games when the legs go and opponent starts missing from outside.
At anon 10:35
FWIW, during the So. Miss game almost every 3 pt shot was contested. So. Miss just made some incredible shots, they were lights out. Second, Wen was being held by his defender the entire second half. It happened 15 ft in front of me and never got called. Definitely had him frustrated and took him out of his game, but he kept his composure and never mouthed off to the refs.
Yes, S. Miss made a bunch of amazing 3pt shots despite very good defense in most cases. They were plain unconscious, and the Aggies shots just would not drop. Aggies had tired legs in the 2nd half, especially Laroche who was hounded all night by S. Miss's quick guards. Keeping Laroche fresher will be big as the year goes on...I think 10 minutes from deRouen will help as will a good substitution pattern with CK and Mullings.
I hope the team gets some much needed rest. They have a huge game tomorrow. Other than any tournament game, this is the biggest game all year. What a great opportunity to make a statement! I hope they don't crumble under the pressure.
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