Saturday, December 3, 2011

Southern Miss a quality win?

Based on the remaining schedule it would be.

A New Mexico State win on Sunday is necessary because, except for a potential BracketBuster game against a mystery opponent, there aren't that many opportunities for quality RPI wins from here on out. Although it's still very early to consider RPI rankings Southern Miss is ranked No. 17. As it stands right now, again, very early, Only California Bakersfield is an upcoming opponent ranked in the Top 100 at No. 52. New Mexico should move up throughout the season from its current rank of 168 and potentially Nevada could increase from 162, but the WAC will likely drag both NMSU and Nevada down later in the season with Utah State, Idaho, San Jose and Hawaii all ranked 189 or higher.

But I expect the Aggies to take care of business. Southern Miss may have had some time off since the Great Alaska Shootout, but I doubt it helped their players grow. Southern Miss was the only team to outrebound NMSU thus far and although they play hard, I don't think the Aggies will let that happen again against a team that is undersized compared to NMSU.  Southern Miss also isn't known for shooting the 3. One player, Page, has taken 49 attempts and the second most attempts on the team is 18. Those two things (outrebounding NMSU and shooting 7-14 from 3-pt range) will be hard for Southern Miss to replicate I think.

Not to mention the fact that Southern Miss simply beat NMSU. Watching that game, I got the sense that NMSU felt like they could turn it on down the stretch but Southern Miss was able to hold them off with some big offensive rebounds. I think NMSU will start much better on Sunday and come back for a well deserved week off before going to UTEP.

Noteworthy, Wendell McKines is two points shy of becoming the 28th player at NMSU to reach 1000 points. He's also fourth on the rebounding list at 828 as he attempts to become just the second player at the school to score 1000 points and collect 1000 rebounds. After his 28 point performance against Arizona, I also expect McKines to win his second WAC Player of the Week nod but perhaps Deonte Burton's latest outburst will spoil that. We shall see.


Anonymous said...

Seeing as how the WAC will be a one bid team once again the only quality wins that matter from here on out are the 3 that they have to get in Las Vegas. We are not a Top 25 team and we wont have a body of work to get us an at large bid.

Anonymous said...

No excuses for Sunday's game. If a rested Aggie squad can't beat Southern Miss, then we'll know the talk about Top 25/best in the WAC/sweep our two rivals is just delusional fans dreaming nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Well, we didn't beat S Miss, but @Anon 12:16: I agree, and did before this game that the Top 25 talk was premature, but we don't need to be top 25 to sweep our rivals or be the best in the WAC. UNM is rounding into some decent form and is our toughest game remaining. As things stand right now, I would be shocked if NMSU lost more than 2 games in conference. Not because they are so amazing, but because the rest of the WAC is so bad.