Sunday, November 24, 2013

Three keys unlocked: UTEP

Other than Daniel Mullings, who do you think is the Aggies best player this season?

I would make an argument that KC Ross-Miller and Tshilidzi Nephawe have been NMSU's most important players. Both were effective in the Aggies 77-68 victory at UTEP on Saturday in El Paso. Ross-Miller scored a career high 26 points and tied a career best with 6 assists. With the new rules in play, UTEP didn't have the guards to stay in front of him and he was 11-14 from the foul line. Nephawe had 11 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday as Sim Bhullar got in late foul trouble. Nephawe also knocked down 5-of-9 from the foul line.

Foul Trouble: McKenzie Moore (concussion) didn't play on Saturday and the Miners second best player, Julian Washburn, played just 12 minutes in the first half and 26 minutes in the game due to foul trouble so the Aggies were on the better end. Sim Bhullar got in some late foul trouble and DK Eldridge fouled out, but the players who the Aggies couldn't afford to lose, Mullings (four fouls), Ross-Miller (three fouls) and Nephawe (three fouls) were relatively free of foul trouble.

Rebound again: UTEP kept it close and actually held a lead in the first half, in part due to 22-14 advantage on the boards in the first half with eight offensive rebounds. The Aggies out rebounded UTEP 16-11 in the second half and allowed just three offensive rebounds to make the final rebounding margin 33-30 in favor of UTEP. If NMSU did a better job  of the glass in the first half, I think the game could have been double digits at halftime.

Return to form from 3: NMSU was 1-11 from 3-point range against Northern Colorado, making that game closer than it should have been. I think the Aggies are capable of hitting between four and six 3s per game and I think this team has at least four regulars who can get hot on a given night. It was Ross-Miller with three triples and Aronis with two that helped open things up for the Aggies, who hit 5-8 in the first half and 1-3 in the second half to finish 54.5 percent for the game.


Anonymous said...

The Aggies continue to play good defense and the win last night was a good one on a rival's home court. The Aggies are deeper and more athletic than the Miners. I was not a fan of Ross-Miller last year because he seemed to hold the ball so much but he has improved tremendously this year and deserves a lot of credit for our early season success. The next few weeks will be tough as the Aggies face a tough stretch on the road. On a total separate topic, what did you think about the technical foul called on Dixon for hanging on to the rim? I didn't think it was even close to such a call and can't believe it was made. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Hats off to KCRM by far one of the best on the team. Sim's size was obviously intimidating for Uteps guys often stopping way short of their shooting range one Sim made a swipe. Have to go with KCRM and Sim along with Mullings so far.

Anonymous said...

Too early to tell. Ask again after the away games vs. Zag and the Lobos.

Anonymous said...

Big up's to Menzies and the Aggies for sweeping thw whiner at the Don!!!
Let's take care of UNM on December 5th!!!