Sunday, March 11, 2012

This Aggies team built to make noise

I’m going to go as far as to say the Aggies could have gone down the street to the Thomas and Mack Center and given them Mountain West boys a game.
That’s how dominant NMSU was this week.
The Aggies won three games by an average of 17 points per game, and the one game that looked competitive in the final score (Hawaii) was only competitive for about 20 of the possible 40 minutes.
I think it was the result of a focused team all week that jumped on all three opponents and were never truly in danger of losing.

Marvin Menzies said in his postgame comments that players met on their own throughout the week. I asked Wendell McKines if he could share what was said in those meetings. His answer was a simple, “No” but whatever was said was effective.
“We would meet as a team and a staff over scouting reports and then kick us out,” Menzies said. “I don’t know what they were talking about but it must have been efficient and effective because we really jumped on those guys.”
McKines averaged 23 and 10.7 in three games for the Aggies who scored 78 points per game and allowed just 62 points per game on the other end and out rebounded its opponents by 16.7 per game.
“They really defend you,” Louisiana Tech coach Mike White said. “They are so long and athletic. They take it as a challenge to guard you. … They play with a lot of swagger and they have a lot of experience.”
It’s for these reasons — experience and style of play (defense, rebounding) — that I believe the Aggies have a better chance to win a NCAA game than they did in 2010, depending on the match up.
We will see that match up later today.
“Mid Major teams with upperclassmen are dangerous teams in the tournament,” Menzies said. “It’s been proven the past three years. There are teams that have had that recipe. I think we have a recipe. I don’t know if we can experience that much success but it will just depend on who we match up with and how well we play.”

Marvin Menzies
“We relied heavily on our juniors and seniors to carry us to the championship and they did. … I’m still in a surreal place. We have been dreaming about it and thinking about it for so long. … It will probably hit me tomorrow when we are on Selection Sunday.”

On not allowing La. Tech to get back in the game like Hawaii did
“I think we learned our lesson. Throwing the first punch the last couple of games was evident that the guys were really focused. The players came out with a workmanlike mentality. … I feel like the way they handled the lead tonight was much more surgeon like in terms of the execution.”

On the difference between Menzies two tournament teams
“I think we were little bit more guard oriented. We were more capable scorers from the perimeter. We could shoot the ball better and we had a couple more guys who could bounce it. Now what we have is a more balanced attack. We are maybe not shooting it as prolific as that team but we definaely have a stronger interior force. The X factor for us is Bandja, Tyrone, Daniel. We know what we are going to get from our seniors. It’s going to be those other guys who will determine if we will live to play another day.”

On winning his second WAC title in three years
“We had the paradigm set when we took over this job five years ago how we wanted to build it and go the developmental route. Whatever it took so when they leave the institution, they were complete. They good citizens, good academics and stellar basketball careers. I think we have shown that we have done that and this is really the tip of the iceberg of classes to come. This particular class is going to show them what it’s all about. They are going to set the bar and they set it pretty high.”

Wendell McKines
“Just the urgency behind it, not forgetting that it’s basketball. Having fun with it knowing that it’s three games and if we play our game we can play with anybody. Just play with that confidence and look where we are. … In 2010, it was like, ‘Oh my God, we are going to the Tournament.’ Now we know what to expect in the tournament and what to do to win. We know we can play with anybody. We are looking forward to the tournament and making noise.”

Tyrone Watson
“It’s a blessing. For me at least, I was kind of a spectator (in 2010). I was on the bench the first time. I got to play 35 minutes though. It felt good. We worked so hard the whole season for this. We came together as a unit right now at the later portion of the season. It was just us against the world. … I was just prepared this whole tournament. I had a different mentality, a different focus. I knew that I needed to just pick it up scoring wise and defensively. My teammates believed in me.”


Anonymous said...


Where do you see the WAC Tourney held next year and future years? You've covered the tournament both in Vegas and the local sites, what do you think is best? I dont think the WAC has the fan base to pull of a neutral location. Especially since the conference will change so much next year. Fans barely attend home games as it is, I dont think we can expect them to travel to Vegas in good numbers. In campus sites you at least get a couple of games with good attendance and you keep the college atmosphere.


Anonymous said...

LOL Tons of empty seats at the Orleans,no one cares.

Anonymous said...

Highest attendance venues in the WAC, without Nevada? Utah State and NMSU would pack the house and sell tickets. Utah State is tough to get to. Not fair to other teams to require them to go to the Pan Am.

Maybe Phoenix? Maybe Denver. Maybe California, near Disneyland.