Sunday, January 29, 2012
Aggies win ugly, in second place at WAC halfway point
It's going to be tough to pass 7-0 Nevada for first place. Nevada had road wins over NMSU, Utah State and Idaho in the league's first half so they get all those games at home in the second half.
NMSU found a way to get past Fresno State 60-56 on Saturday to enter the second half 5-2 in league play. They have to travel to Nevada, Utah State and Idaho in the second half. Playing these close games is a double edged sword. Winning close games is important this time of year, but letting Fresno State hang around and dictate the pace was confusing. NMSU had 20 offensive rebounds but they also had 17 against Nevada. Doesn't seem like those offensive boards are being converted into points in back to back 60-point games.
Onto the post game comments
Tyrone Watson on his late turnover on an inbounds pass and coming back to convert a one and one to seal the game.
"The turnover was a miscommunication. I knew they were going to deny Hernst. I was trying to get the ball to Wendell but there was too much pressure and I couldn't get the pass off. I ended up inbounding it and they stole it. ... I'm at home so I didn't feel any pressure (on the free throws). I was doing my normal routine."
"We feel good about the position we are in. We are just preparing ourselves to finish strong. It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. We are looking to finish strong and see what happens."
"It's about how we defend. However any team wants to play us. If you want to run up and down, we can do that, if you want to play slow, we can do that as well and just pound it in. We are accustomed to playing ugly games and today was definitely ugly. We just came out with the win. That's what it's all about."
"This is a very good team that we beat tonight regardless of their record. They have been fighting everybody tooth and nail. They were up on Nevada at the half. They are a very good team. I commend my guys for staying together, playing together and executing down the stretch when we really needed to get some stops and some good looks in winning time."
On free throw shooting 7-18 (38.9 percent)
"As long as you make free throws when you really need them, that's a good thing and we have done that for the most part. Tyrone wasn't very good tonight (4-9) but he was good in crunch time. ... They took a lot more than we did."
On if Remi Barry playing 12 minutes was the lineup shakeup he referred to after Thursday's loss to Nevada
"At the end of the game on Thursday, I was frustrated. I still like our substitution pattern when we are playing well. It's just a matter of getting the guys to start with a little more urgency on defense. The zone has been hurting us because we haven't been shooting it well."
Posted by Jason Groves at 4:19 PM
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Rahman doesn't get enough touches close to the hoop.
Menzies calling pointless timeouts. It's not like he's drawing up anything brilliant. Just let them play man. Coaching is not your strength. Particularly over coaching.
Nevada barely beats La Tech???
Let's be clear: I'm not here to disparage the players. I hold a lot of sympathy for them. They've been let down by their coaching staff and athletic department administration.
I write this because it seems to be the elephant the room that no one wishes to acknowledge or address (hence the metaphor). I've watched these teams closely since Menzies was hired over the likes of Larry Shyatt (now at Wyoming with a 17-4 record) and a whole host of other capable coaches.
How is it that a senior who's been with the same coach for all his four years has a free-throw percentage in decline from his freshman year to his senior year? His coaches haven't worked with him.
How is it a veteran team like this year's Aggies can be baffled by a zone defense or a man-to-man? Again, coaching.
I could run through a laundry list of problems, but I'll save those until after the season. Again, I want what's best for the kids and they could very well internalize my disapproval of their coach.
In a word, coaching is "teaching." On a college campus, each and every semester, every member of the teaching faculty is evaluated by both their students (in an anonymous setting) and by their peers. I cannot imagine how the athletic director can look at the whole of Menzies (ahem) tenure here and find it a successful one.
Speaking of Wyoming, doe anyone remember Jaydee Luster who doing well as Wyoming's point guard. He is second the nation with with an assist-turnover ratio of 3.4
I heard that Menzies let him go in order to upgrade at point guard?
I think Rahman gets plenty of touches near the basket, considering the resulting turnovers or missed layups.
I am still not convinced on why Watson is playing so many minutes. I know that he plays decent defense and gets a few boards, but when we have the ball it is like playing 5 against 4. I cannot believe that a college player does not know how to shoot a basketball, its like he is shot putting it to the basket. I was surprised Fresno did not foul him more at the end of the game. If Wendell can work on his shot and greatly improve why cannot Watson. Remember we cannot always be blaming the coaches for not doing certain things the players have to work on their own and have some accountability. I know MM takes Rahman out towards the end of games because of his free throw shooting, he may need to to the same with Watson.
One more thing, I was not too upset on the Nevada game, they are a superior team than us. But if we would have lost to Fresno then I would have very upset, we are a better team than them and should have won by at least 10 points.
AMEN anon 6:37, We NEED a better coach, period!!!
Watson's not the only one who's having problems shooting the basketball. It seems like the entire team has decided to play hot potato and no one is willing to take a shot and risk missing. Maybe Menzies should research film on other teams and have his players execute a play or two. Stomping and posturing on the sidelines during the game is counter productive. Menzies hit it right on the head after the Nevada game when he said the players aren't listening to him.
The fact that we have a college basketball team that is wholly incapable of shooting the basketball outside of 5 feet from the hoop is a glaring problem. You can go to the D3 ranks and find a guy that can throw it in the net from outside.
The reason we will not see this Aggie team in the postseason is because of their inability to shoot the basketball or score consistently in the half court. Throw a zone at them, entice them to shoot from outside (or even mid-range) and this team is toast. Recall that the two Aggie teams that have made it to the postseason the last few years have had a person who could shoot from the outside and keep teams from relying on the zone.
Nice to see Remi getting some minutes. It would be nice to see the coach, on those times when we have a large lead with some minutes left, clear the bench.
On the subject of free throws...if the Aggies are going to rely on getting the ball inside and winning there, then we sure ought to be ready to hit free throws because the team is not good enough to be leaving those points on the floor against the better teams, and not so good teams like Fresno State, in our conference.
I also think the Aggies should not concern themselves with catching Nevada. It's not going to happen. The best hope the Aggies have is getting it together and playing well going into the tournament. Then, maybe, just maybe the Aggies will take of business there and make some noise in the NCAAs.
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