Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Denver: Three keys and a prediction

Patience defensively: I'm no basketball coach but from my understanding, when you are playing against the Princeton offense, some of the key actions you have to defend against are the back door cut and weak side screens. Terrel de Rouen said this week that the Aggies will play more straight up with the players on the wing because they are going to look to make that backdoor cut. Another idea is that the Aggies are probably one of few teams that have the length and speed to almost dare the Pioneers to make the cut because Mullings and Sy and Watson can recover and Bhullar or Dixon should be somewhere near the basket for help. On the ball, the Aggies shouldn't switch, at least when the center's man is making the screen. When the ball is on one side of the court, NMSU has to be aware on the weakside for back screens and skip passes that set up open 3s and Denver shoots a lot of them.

Get off to a fast start: Fast is a relative term. Denver naturally slows the pace of the game down, but if the Aggies can force some turnovers, use their considerable size advantage on the boards on both ends, NMSU could get an early lead and make it uncomfortable for Denver, putting more pressure on them to score every time down.

Terrel de Rouen: I've said since early in the season that I believe NMSU's best lineup was Bhullar, Watson, Sy, Mullings and de Rouen at the point guard. Due to injury to KC Ross Miller, that will be the likely starting lineup. de Rouen has good energy coming off the bench and Mullings hopes that the Aggies can use that energy to start the game off. He just needs to limit the bad decisions and turnovers.

The way things have played out, NMSU has probably beaten the teams they were supposed to during their six game win streak, although the fashion in which they beat Utah State kind of stood out to me. A win tonight and I would say the Aggies probably the team to beat at the halfway point.

I have NMSU winning 62-59

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