Friday, January 31, 2014

Bakersfield: Three keys unlocked

I think this was the first time this season the Aggies didn't do any of my keys and still won, beating Bakersfield 89-86 on Thursday in a game Bakersfield held a lead in the final minute, had a shot to tie it at the buzzer. In addition to failing in all three categories, the Aggies also gave up 24 points off 14 turnovers, but they still won so what do I know.

I do know that the Aggies had Sim Bhullar for the first time in WAC play and that the Aggies were plus-23 with him on the court Thursday. Bhullar told me that since he couldn't practice during the month he was away, all he could do was shoot free throws. It showed on Thursday. He was 7-8 off the bench, and the ability for the big fella to play 23 minutes the first time out showed he was in better shape than I thought he would be in.

Limit Grayson: Bakersfield point guard Issiah Grayson had 20 points, three assists and three steals. Daniel Mullings did a good job on him in man to man, but when the Aggies played zone, Grayson was good at getting into the paint and dishing off to the big men for a couple dunks. Grayson was 8-12 and was one of the better players I've seen so far in the WAC.

3-point line again: Bakersfield made 6 3s and the Aggies made 5, which is fine. But I think 6 was too many for the Aggies. NMSU played zone to try to find shooters but there were a lot of open looks. Bakersfield also had post players capable of hitting the 14 foot jumper at the foul line against the zone. Perhaps when Bhullar is able to close that distance like he's accustomed to, there won't be so much ground for the NMSU guards to cover.

Rebounding: Bakersfield out rebounded the Aggies 35-34 with 14 offensive rebounds. Between the turnovers and the offensive rebounds, Bakersfield had 18 more field goal attempts than the Aggies.

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