Saturday, December 29, 2012

Texas Arlington - Three keys and a prediction

The Aggies open WAC play tonight against Texas Arlington. Hard for me to get a handle on the new WAC teams. Arlington's three losses were to Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State but they did beat North Texas. Could the Aggies beat North Texas? I'm not sure. It should be close.

Keep feeding Sim: I picked Bhullar as the WAC Newcomer of the Year for the preseason, and before Chili Nephawe was injured, I didn't think the pick was looking good. Now that Nephawe is out, I think we have seen who the better player is. Nephawe's career high is 15 points. Bhullar has already had games of 12, 13, 17 and 25 in less than half a season. And against smaller teams, WAC teams, Bhullar has been dominant, shooting 63.5 percent from the field. Arlington's biggest player is Jordan Reeves at 6-10. Reeves averages a double double, but NMSU should have another good size advantage.

Win the ball control game: The Aggies have to take care of the ball on this first road trip as both teams seem to create turnovers. Unlike Louisiana Tech though, Arlington doesn't shoot the 3 very well at 36 percent but UTA does force 17 turnovers per game. NMSU needs to continue taking care of the ball, cutting back on their 16 turnovers per game. Arlington on the other hand, turns the ball over 20 times per game. NMSU could use those turnovers to get some easy baskets.

Get off to a fast start: I want to see NMSU get off to a good start tonight. The Aggies have been solid on the road against good teams. Now they play a team they are better than on the road. The Aggies have to start showing they have improved.

I'm going with the Aggies, 71-64. I think the Aggies have found some  offensive balance with Aronis and Buovac and Sim Bhullar inside.

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