Friday, October 18, 2013

Five things I'm interested in for Saturday's Crimson/White scrimmage (and other things)

Injured Aggies
Four NMSU players have had some form of surgery since the Aggies lost to St. Louis in the NCAA Tournament last year. Two of those players (for various reasons) won't appear when the Aggies scrimmage on Saturday at the Pan American Center at 1 p.m. Terrel de Rouen has offseason foot surgery, but we know de Rouen is suspended with an uncertain future at NMSU anyway. I did not know until practice began that Renaldo Dixon underwent hip surgery and has been limited in practice. Dixon will play this year, but I'm uncertain of when right now. Daniel Mullings was also banged up over his summer action for Team Canada, undergoing minor knee surgery, but as far as I know Mullings has looked good in practice, as well as Chili Nephawe, who I'm looking forward to seeing Saturday. Nephawe told me that he actually broke his other thumb playing pick up ball over the summer, but both hands are 100 percent and he's been working at the four in tandem with Sim Bhullar while Dixon has been out.

Big lineups
Much has been made of how big NMSU's roster is, but how many big guys can play at the same time? Marvin Menzies, Sim Bhullar and Nephawe have all talked about playing Bhullar and Nephawe at the same time and it sounds like it's been going well. We will get a chance to see on Saturday hopefully. In addition to his presence blocking shots and around the rim on defense, Bhullar is  a great passer. He's been working at the high post. He has great vision, and at 7-5 can look over the defense to dump it down to Nephawe or hit a cutting wing.

Point guard play
At least until Ian Baker is eligible later this season, KC Ross-Miller and freshman Travon Landry should split time here with Mullings as the third option. Ross-Miller looked overwhelmed at times here last year, but lets see if he's shown any improvement. Landry is a stronger athlete at the position, but people have described his defensive instincts as his strength. The Aggies just need to be solid here.

New players
I'm excited about DK Eldridge and Landry, both described as very athletic players at their position. Eldridge doesn't have the length that Bandja Sy has but he's a quality replacement in that regard. Perhaps he can add something more consistent on the offensive end as well. I've spoken about Landry a little bit but without having played a college game yet, I'm looking forward to seeing him on the defensive end and how he runs the team, is he strong with the ball, does he make solid decisions once he gets to the paint, things I think the Aggie point guard has to do well. Of course I'm not forgetting Tanveer Bhullar. As with his big brother last year, lets see his fitness level and if he is further along offensively than Sim was at this stage his first year.

I don't think there is a position battle here. At 6-7 Buovac figures to be able to play multiple positions while Aronis has proven to be a game changer shooting the ball. Buovac looks like he brings more to the table because of his size where Aronis is deadly if he has time to get that shot off. Looking forward seeing these two shoot the ball.

Other notes.
NMSU will host Tulsa Nov. 3 in the super duper secret scrimmage. Here is Tulsa's roster. Here is an interesting link that Sam Wasson found regarding these scrimmages, essentially stating that if a team plans to redshirt a player, that player probably won't play in these scrimmages. How do they find that out if these are closed?

There is a possibility that Aggies fans could see redshirts such as Matt Taylor, Jaylyn Pennie and Johnathon Wilkins during a dunk contest prior to Saturday's scrimmage. Could be fun in addition to whatever Daniel Mullings and DK Eldridge could come up with.

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