Offensively, NMSU was out of sync, partly due to the point guard position. KC Ross-Miller looked like he hasn't played basketball in two years. Terrel de Rouen looked a bit sharper and was more effective on defense, at least slowing down Starks, who had 19 of his 33 points in the first half.
Daniel Mullings doesn't look ready to get a lot of time at point guard and I'm not sure from the sound of it that de Rouen will start, but he certainly should get more time earlier in the rotation. Mullings had four turnovers and didn't look like he ever got into the flow of the game in the second half, going scoreless.
The more I think about de Rouen's 3 coming out of a timeout, the less it bothered me. If he would have made it, he's a hero. He had the confidence to make it, but I'm not sure that's the best part of his game.
"KC struggled a little bit but I have a lot of confidence in him and he's been very good in practice. He sat out last year and half a year before that. Terrel gave a great spark off the bench, but I wish he shot it a little better. It's part of the shot selection we have."
The lack of someone to run the offense had an impact on NMSU centers Chili Nephawe and Sim Bhullar combining for six field goal attempts...six. Oregon State fronted the post and the ball either didn't move or the centers weren't aggressive enough to fight for position to get the ball.
Following is what ran in the Sun News.
Two high-powered offenses sputtered through an early season basketball game on Sunday.
New Mexico State trailed at Oregon State by 11 at halftime and by as many as 14 in the second half. The Aggies jumped to life in the final 2:10, pulling within six before losing their season opener 71-62.
NMSU senior Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies with 14 points each and Bandja Sy added 12 for the Aggies, who shot 36 percent from the floor.
Sy hit 1-of-2 free throws to pull the Aggies to within 68-62 with 54 seconds to play as NMSU was 10-for-21 at the foul line in the second half.
Marvin Menzies called a timeout with 37 seconds to play and Aggies sophomore point guard Terrel de Rouen pulled up for a 3-pointer in transition that didn’t fall with 32 seconds left to play coming out of a NMSU timeout.
NMSU earned the penalty with 12:29 to play but the Aggies couldn’t take advantage of the free throw line. The Aggies were 19-for-32 (59.4 percent) from the foul line for the game.
The Aggies had their way early on.
NMSU outrebounded Oregon State 21-13 in the first half and 46-33 for the game with 17 offensive rebounds. Mullings followed his own miss to put the Aggies up 13-7 with just over 12 minutes left in the half.
Mullings scored all 14 of his points in the first half, but Oregon State junior guard Ahmad Starks led the Beavers to a 41-30 halftime lead with 19 first-half points on the way to a career-high 33 points.
Starks and the Beavers outscored NMSU 15-5 for a 27-22 lead with 5:41 left as the Aggies went nearly three minutes without scoring and more than six minutes without a field goal. Yet Mullings kept the Aggies close, turning a steal into a dunk to pull the Aggies to 34-26, but Mullings gave the ball right back as the Beavers scored 11 points off seven NMSU turnovers. The Aggies couldn’t get into their offense as the half wore on, shooting 35 percent while Oregon State was 55 percent in the first half.
The Aggies will be fine. We have a lot of returning players but they all have new roles this year. We must continue to attack the rim and get to the line which has been a staple of the aggie teams for a few years now. Also we much continue to hit the glass hard. We will not be a three point shooting team thats not who we are but we have guys that can make enough shots to keep the other team honest. We have size and are athletic so we really don't need to shoot that many threes anyway. KC looked a little nervous but we have to remember this is his first game in a long time with him sitting out cause he transferred and his knee injury but trust me he will b fine. TDR looked good. Needs to slow down some but he can be good. Daniel played hard as usual. Tyrone was solid as usual. Big guys need to post harder and demand the ball inside and get easy buckets, but they have to make their free throws when they get fouled. Banja played ok in my opinion. I like to see him be aggressive and take the ball to the basketball. He is one of the most athletic players in the nation. He just needs to come to a two foot jump stop and jump over evrybody and finish when he gets in the lane.
Overall we played ok but we will get better as season goes on and guys settle into their roles. Coach's teams normally get better as the season goes on anyway.
While there were struggles on the offensive end --- missed free throws/terrible 3-point shooting/turnovers --- there were problems on the defensive end where the OSU players were getting easy access to the Aggie basket. You're gonna' lose a lot of games letting folks get to the basket to squeeze off easy layups.
You get a few more stops here and there and the game is going to be a lot closer at the end.
Bhullar taking minutes from others right now is a mistake. Mullings missed too many easy layups, he is the key to success this year, he has to score consistently, he should not play point period. KC looks akward running an offense.
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