Thursday, February 20, 2014

UTPA: Three keys and a prediction

New Mexico State basketball coach Marvin Menzies still isn't satisfied with the way the Aggies are playing. Normally, this is about the time the Aggies start peaking and roll through the conference tournament. UTPA is scrappy, but I think the Aggies win 82-73

Attack the interior: UTPA has no interior game to speak of. That doesn't mean they have bad players because Shaquille Hines is a good player, but UTPA is guard heavy. If the Aggies can attack the paint early like they have been in recent games, I think they could get a good margin. The Aggies scored 38 points in the paint in a 90-78 victory the first time around and that was without Sim Bhullar available.

Rebound: UTPA is a jump shooting team. They shot 46 percent against the Aggies in the first game and I don't remember them missing many mid range shots from all five positions. NMSU did out rebound UTPA 36-25 with 10 offensive rebounds. Aggies need to limit them to one shot again.

Three point line: UTPA will either pack in man to man or play zone. Kevin Aronis, DK Eldridge need to continue to knock down the open 3, but the Aggies can't take bad 3s. On the other end, UTPA made 8 3s against the Aggies in the first game. Thats from a team that is shooting 29 percent from 3-point range in WAC play, but guards Shaquille Boga and Javorn Farrell can get hot. NMSU can't let another 8 3s go down.

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