Upward — 3-point defense —Teams are shooting 34 percent against the Aggies from 3-point range. WAC teams are holding teams to 33.9 percent. I realize that Hawaii's Zane Johnson just went nuts against the Aggies, making seven of Hawaii's nine 3s for a 52 percent night. But that was the highest percentage, by far, since the Lobos shot 50 percent against them. That includes games against good 3 point shooting teams such as La Tech (17 percent) Utah State (18 percent) and Idaho (33 percent)
Hamidu Rahman —Rahman has been good this season after recovering from injury. But he's stepped up in WAC play on the offensive end, increasing from 10 points to 14 ppg. Rahman's 63.4 percent field goal percentage is 19th in the country. The biggest knock on him is his free throw shooting, where he is a 49% shooter. He's improved to 58.3 percent in the WAC.
Hernst Laroche —Laroche needed to be a bigger threat offensively this year and he has been, slightly, increasing from 11.5 to 12.1 ppg this year. In WAC play, he's at 14.4 ppg with nearly three steals per game. Laroche seems to have become more comfortable behind the arc as the season has progressed. He's shooting 43 percent for the season, but is a 50 percent shooter in conference play. Actually wouldn't mind seeing him more aggressive from long range if the game calls for it. Would also like to see more assists from the senior, who sits at 3.5 per game, sixth in the WAC.
— Turnovers — The Aggies only had 12 against Hawaii, but they worst in the league with 14.6 turnovers per game. Part of it is due to the pace the Aggies play I'm sure. They had 18 against Idaho, 20 against La Tech, and 17 against San Jose. So in three of their five WAC games, they have averaged 18.3. I think they will be so much more effective in the 12-15 per game category.
— Rebounders in the WAC — We all know about Wendell McKines, but I think there are more good rebounders in the WAC this year than in recent years. McKines is 16th nationally with 10.5 rebounds per game and he plays for a NMSU team that ranks sixth in the country but he is one of four WAC players in the Top 66. Hawaii Vander Joaquim's 9.7 rpg is 26th, Nevada's Dario Hunt's 8.9 rpg is 45th. San Jose State's Will Carter is 66th with 8.4 rebounds per game and Idaho's Kyle Barone checks in at No. 101.
— Louisiana Tech —La. Tech is a scrappy little team. The Bulldogs picked up their first two WAC teams, both on the road, over the weekend led by WAC pLayer of the week Raheem Appleby's 28, La Tech beat an undermanned Hawaii team and then Appleby scored 19 against San Jose State. All three of the Bulldogs losses (NMSU, USU and Idaho) were by 10 points or less. The Bulldogs have Fresno at home on Thursday with a chance to get to .500, and Nevada on Saturday.
— San Jose State — I don't want to pile on here. I'll just state the obvious that SJSU is the only winless team in the WAC, which is rated the No. 14 RPI in the country. The Spartans rank last in the WAC in scoring defense (73.1), Field goal percentage (38), seventh in field goal defense (44) and rebounding margin
The attendance will continue on a downward trend.
NMSU sure isn't doing much to advertise this game on campus. Maybe a little more of that would help.
Must win if the Aggies want a shot at the regular season crown. With 6 losses, no way the Aggies get into the NCAA tourney unless they win the WAC tourney...if that is the goal, then today's game is not a must win game.
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