The frontcourt should be an area of strength, and depth for the Aggies this year.
Tyrone Watson, Chili Nephawe, Sim Bhullar. But two players who have waited their turn could also be productive.
Renaldo Dixon has been lost the past two years behind players such as Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines. Remi Barry hadn't played basketball competitively for two years prior to limited appearances last year. Now it's Dixon's turn and Barry needs to show some improvement as well, moving to the No. 4 spot.
I will have a story on them on Monday, but here are some noteworthy comments.
Remi Barry played some high school in Florida, went back to France, came to California, but wasn't allowed to play. He's been in Las Cruces for three years now, nearly as long as the young man has been anywhere the past six years.
"From California to here is a big difference. Las Cruces is a little town. It took me a minute to get used to it. But now I am used to it. I feel like everybody is used to me on the team. ... It probably would have been better in my high school years to stay in one school and not switch around. But I had to do what I had to do."
On moving to PF
"It's new but I used to be a four in high school. Now I have to remember what I did in high school. I'm 232. I might look light. It's not about how big you are. It's about how hard you play. The four is more like a big wing we say. You are at the top of the key, you shoot some 3s. You get rebounds. The five is more posting up."
On time away from the court
"The speed of the game is very different. From High school to college. Coming out my senior year in high school I couldn't play, then I came here and couldn't play. It put me behind a little bit but I will come back up sooner or later."
On the depth at the position
"I just have to be patient and keep working hard. ... I think the bench could be deep this year. Everybody on the bench can play. The chemistry this year is really good."
Renaldo Dixon was suspended last year for a period of time, but has worked his way back into the good graces of Marvin Menzies.
"I think we have one the deepest frontcourt we have had since I've been here. We go at it every day in practice and just hope to be successful. ... I got to learn a lot from those guys. At times they were both the leading scorer on the team. Last year was a learning experience. Got to learn more about the four position."
On Renaldo Dixon
"I thought Renaldo in particular was very aggressive about his offseason development. His focus and attention to detail on and off the court is starting to show in practice. ... I always talk about, you have to have your classes balanced. That was his stage of his freshman and sophomore year. He was behind guys who were more experienced and more equipped to play right away. Now it's his time as a junior and hopefully more as a senior where people will know what to expect and anticipate his production."
On Remi Barry
"It's time to step up. There is no doubt. All of the hype out of high school is just that. You haven't done anything until you have done it. ... Now it's time for him to be a good decision maker daily and propel himself to living up to the potenial he has. I feel like he's better defensively at that position. I think he struggles a little with smaller quicker guys on him on the offensive end. Defensively, he has a lot of strength and he has some size. He has a better opportunity to help us defending someone of like physical characteristics rather than a smaller, quicker guard."
Excited to get this season underway. Everyone knows NMSU's crown jewel is basketball. I expect the players to stay OUT of legal issues and other petty disturbances. That will be the true sign of the seriousness and mentality of this years team. Its not about handling the failures. Its HOW you handle success that is going to make the mark of champions.
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