Friday, February 21, 2014

Postseason starts now for Aggies

There is still time.
There is still time for New Mexico State to re-assert its basketball dominance in comparison to the Aggies current Western Athletic Conference competition, as well as Aggies fans and even coaches who expected more.
NMSU head coach Marvin Menzies has been critical in recent weeks of his players effort level, carelessness with the ball and overall play. Normally this time of year, Menzies' teams have been hitting their stride.
We just don't know yet about this year's club.
Maybe the Aggies' 78-61 victory at Texas-Pan American on Thursday provided a glimpse of the Aggies we can expect for their final three games of the season.
The Aggies now have a week off before another road game at first-place Utah Valley next Thursday, which will likely be for the regular season championship - a foregone conclusion entering the season.
A loss at Utah Valley would not be the end of the world. It likely wouldn't affect postseason seeding and the Aggies have certainly proven capable of steam rolling through the WAC Tournament as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. But there wouldn't be the same optimism surrounding the team as earlier in the season.
And this isn't 2009-10 season when the Aggies closed the regular season with road losses at Nevada and Utah State before winning the WAC Tournament the following week.
Utah Valley and Bakersfield are not in the same league as those schools, who have since moved on to a better league.
No, this is the WAC. Where NMSU is the flagship program.
There is still time to prove it.
This isn't a knock on Utah Valley, Bakersfield or Grand Canyon, but two Division I start ups and a recent independent team shouldn't stand in the way of the Aggies gaining momentum for a third straight NCAA Tournament run.
The Aggies have historically played up to the situation and Thursday's game certainly qualifies as a late season game that means something. So did the first meeting between the teams, when NMSU demolished Utah Valley 72-49 at the Pan Am.

The postseason starts now.


Anonymous said...

Jason, great analysis heading into home stretch. Critical critical time, I think we have peaked about two weeks early the last 3 years as well. I think if we work offense inside then out, without settling for 3's to early and adjust to the press early! On defense defend the 3 without giving up offensive rebounds. And finally, Daniel drive to the basket earlier than late in the game, you are the best player in the conference, nobody can stop you, plus you balance out court. Thanks Jason for keeping plugged in AGGIE83

Anonymous said...

Looks like Lunardi has Ags as a 15seed assuming they win the tournament. I feel like they should be a 14 seed if they win out. Interesting matchup with Creighton in San Antonio?

Anonymous said...

Utah Valley lost last night. The planets are lining up AGGS its up to you now

Anonymous said...

I think the Aggies toughest opponent for the rest of the WAC season are the Aggies themselves. They have shown the ability to demolish their WAC opponent and they have taken nights off. If they have their collective heads on straight, they will win the WAC regular and tourney championship. To be honest with you, I'm more worried about the Bakersfield game than the Utah Valley game. Every team in the WAC, other than the Aggies, are carbon copies of each other. They are quick, shoot the 3 well, play a pressing defense and play a zone. That is the kind of team that gives the Aggies trouble. If they aren't careful, they will get ambushed. I hope they don't and I don't think they will. Go Aggies!

Jason Groves said...

A 15 seed sounds about right and Creighton would be an interesting matchup. Personally I think NMSU could climb to a 14 if they win out. ... Anon 1102. Completely agree. I don't know why Bakersfield hasn't been more successful. But it's always been a tough game for NMSU at Bakersfield and this team is perfectly capable of getting up for the Utah Valley game and letting down against Bakersfield