Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bracketbuster teams

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson said last week that the ESPNU Bracketbuster games will be announced following this weekend's games. Since NMSU is hosting, here is a list of the non-wac visiting teams. Conference RPI is first, followed by the team's RPI and strength of schedule. Info is from the pomeroy ratings.

The WAC's RPI is 17. NMSU is at 140. Benson said he hopes for television games from Nevada, Utah State and Boise State.

Albany America East RPI 27 team 214 SOS 266
Binghamton America East RPI 27 team 225 SOS 306
Boston University America East RPI 27 team 296 SOS 244
Vermont America East RPI 27 team 197 SOS 297
Portland State Big Sky Conf. RPI 24 team 158 SOS 205
High Point Big South Conf. RPI 26 team 246 SOS 311
Cal Poly Big West Conf. RPI 19 team 199 SOS 146
Long Beach State Big West Conf RPI 19 team 320 SOS 250
UC Davis Big West Conf. RPI 19 team 271 SOS 245
UC Santa Barbara Big West Conf. RPI 19 team 97 SOS 222
Deleware Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 148 SOS 154
George Mason Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 59 SOS 117
Georgia State Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 292 SOS 231
Hofstra Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 232 SOS 145
Northeastern Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 203 SOS 184
Virginia Commonwealth Colonial Conf. RPI 14 team 58 SOS 174
Illinois-Chicago Horizon League Conf. RPI 10 team 162 SOS 114
Loyola Horizon League Conf. RPI 10 team 238 SOS 140
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Horizon League Conf. RPI 10 team 102 SOS 93
Wright State, Horizon League Conf. RPI 10 team 82 SOS 118
Youngstown State Horizon League Conf. RPI 10 team 187 SOS 47
Fairfield, Metro Atlantic Conf. RPI 18 team 221 SOS 172
Marist, Metro Atlantic Conf. RPI 18, team 86 SOS 155
Niagara, Metro Atlantic Conf. RPI 18, team 98 SOS 230
Rider, Metro Atlantic Conf. RPI 18, team 132 SOS 285
Siena, Metro Atlantic Conf. RPI 18, team 111 SOS 189
Ball State Mid American Conf. RPI 13 team 286 SOS 99
Bowling Green Mid American Conf. RPI 13 team 195 SOS 200
Central Mich. Mid American Conf RPI 13 team 176 SOS 187
Kent State Mid American Conf. RPI 13 team 36 SOS 121
Miami (Ohio) Mid American Conf. RPI 13 team 73 SOS 3
Western Michigan Mid American Conf. RPI 13 team 185 SOS 260
Morehead State Ohio Valley Conf. RPI 30 team 224 SOS 301
Samford Ohio Valley Conf. RPI 30 team 293 SOS 322
Southeast Missouri State Ohio Valley Conf. RPI 30 team 264 SOS 332
Tennessee Martin Ohio Valley Conf. RPI 30 team 227 SOS 274
Tennesee State Ohio Valley Conf. RPI 30 team 253 SOS 289
Tennessee Tech Ohio Valley Conf. RPI team 306 SOS 333
Bucknell Patriot League RPI 20 team 186 SOS 162
Davidson Southern Conf. RPI 16 team 79 SOS 164
Georgia Southern Southern Conf. RPI 16 team 104 SOS 182


Monday, January 28, 2008

J.Y. suspended

On Monday, New Mexico State University men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies announced that freshman guard Jahmar Young was suspended for a violation of team rules. Young will not play on Thursday at Hawaii, but will rejoin the team on Saturday at San Jose State.
Young left the arena late in the second half of the Aggies 100-70 victory against Utah State at the Pan American Center.
Young played 17 minutes on Saturday. He has appeared in nine games this year and started five, averaging 11.2 points per game.

I think coach Menzies had to do something, even though he said there were some personal reasons involved in Young's behavior. Say what you want about the coaching staff, but they have stood behind Young through all of his off the court struggles. Even if the young man is going through personal troubles, I think the punishment could have been more.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Utah State

Lets hear some more predition/analysis of today's game. I think Jonathan Gibson is due for a solid outing if he has a chance to hit a couple shots early. He played with a lot of confidence and focus in Logan and was also dialed in defensively on Carroll, which I think helped him on the offensive end. The Aggies also got a lot of easy baskets in that game, which they will certainly need today. If Gibson isn't hitting, J.Y. could see more minutes, or perhaps even get the start for Gibson. I have learned that other than Hawkins and Peete, there is not a single guy you can pencil into the starting lineup this season.

Look for a few less minutes from Pope as he tries to get back into shape, he was clearly winded and out of position a few times early against Nevada during that big run in the first half.


Rivalry week

Recent talk has been that NMSU and UNM could play their football games on rivalry week in late November. Traditionally, both schools play their games early in the season when everything is fresh.

It's hard to say what the right call is here. Playing on rivalry week would generate a certain amount of excitement for the programs and be something, for some, to look forward to. But ultimately, I don't think the Aggies should be worried about that right now.

McKinley Boston said that he was concerned about the lack of Aggie fan support when a game is played over a holiday weekend. Why wouldn't he be? Last year, when school was in session and the Aggies were out of contention, NMSU would barely be able to scrap together 4,000 in the house. What would happen with school out of session and the Aggies out of contention? You do the math.

Also, I think it would be beneficial, for at least now, for NMSU to play its big rivals early on. Some would laugh, but the Aggies can easily beat the Lobos in Las Cruces this year. They really could, and some would say, should have won in Albuquerque last season. The game was like many other NMSU games last season - the Aggies held the ball for a long time and outgained the opponent. Chase Holbrook was good and Chris Williams was great. The defense was not good. And there was a lot of pressure on the offense to constantly move the ball. It came crashing down. But it was a great game until about the 3:30 mark of the fourth quarter.

Early on, the Aggies can get a win under their belt. That could prove to be big because the schedule will be harder - much harder - this year. Keep it clean, have the Lobos come here early and NMSU can steal one. Better to be optimistic early. Who knows where the two teams will be in November.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hoops notes

I was just reading through the Nevada notes and a stat jumped off the page at me. The Wolf Pack has gotten just two points from their bench players the last two games.

That could be inexperience or other factors, but the Aggies appear to have a huge advantage depth wise.

Also, NMSU sent out a release of student athletes. Aggies senior center Trei Steward had a 4.0 GPA for the fall. Jonathan Gibson, Gordo Castillo and Jalen Dominguez (walk on) had at least a 3.0 for the fall semester.


Local QB recruit

Hatch Valley senior quarterback Alex Carson will meet with the NMSU coaching staff in early February. He visited Western New Mexico last weekend and Eastern New Mexico this weekend.
The Aggies are obviously set at the quarterback position with Chase Holbrook and JJ McDermott, but at Hatch Valley, the Bears threw the ball a great deal, so Carson’s ability to pick up on spread offenses at the next level should be just fine. Carson is 6-2 and has a good arm, but he is probably better suited for the Division II level, but he could potentially develop if given the opportunity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How much should Pope play?

At this point in the season, what do you think Pope's role should be? It's obvious from playing 23 minutes in his first game on Saturday that he will be a key player for the Aggies down the stretch.

Here are a couple of comments from Coach Menzies from Tuesday's press conference regarding Pope.

"I think he is a tough matchup and I do see his minutes going in a positive direction. Every game is going to be coached with a little bit of feel, but we will have a style of play where we can go a little deeper into the bench. I don't know but I could see how Herb's minutes could go up and I could see how Hawk or Fred or anyone of those guys who are playing 30-plus minutes could drop a few minutes and be a little more efficient. In a perfect world, that is what I hope for."

It looks like Wendell McKines could sacrifice some minutes, which I think is a good role for him right now as he works on the rest of his game.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

La. Tech player dismissed

Don't know if you saw this. Or if you care.

RUSTON -- Louisiana Tech head coach Kerry Rupp announced Wednesday that
senior Keith Smith has been dismissed from the team due to a violation of
team rules. Rupp added that Smith will remain on scholarship as he is on track to
graduate in May. Smith, a senior from Oklahoma City, is third on the team in scoring at 8.1
points per game and averages 4.7 rebounds.

This, and Bryan Harvey's eligibility at Fresno shows that NMSU isn't the only school with off the court and classroom issues.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Paris Carter

It's not official yet, but the return of Paris Carter is bleak. I was told that the university declared Carter ineligible on Tuesday, but by NCAA rules he has until Saturday to rectify his situation. If not, he is ineligible for the Spring semester. Students have to meet their credit hours requirements by the first day of class (Wednesday) and their GPA requirements by the first contest of the semester (Saturday's game vs. Louisiana Tech.) It could still work itself out, but it seems like it would take a lot.

No other basketball players are facing eligibility issues for the upcoming semester.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Favorite lineup?

So now that the Aggies have their best players eligible, I think the possibilities are endless when it comes to potential lineups Menzies could put on the floor.

I think for the most part the Aggies have played their best ball when going small. Having said that, I hope to see Herb, Hawkins McKines, Peete and Gibson on the floor at some point.

Any thoughts?


Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend games

It's difficult for me to accurately comment on how the team is playing for one simple reason: I don't go to many of their games. I have been to two of them - Texas and West Virginia. Other than that, Groves covers them and Felix goes occasionally. I listen to them on the office radio more than anything.

A few things though regarding the weekend. Great win at Boise. Do they win if Jahmar doesn't go off for 33? Probably not, but a win is a win. And that was a big one.

Utah State, I thought the team played well too. The UtAgs seem like a good team once again. Pretty balanced. They got an off night from Carroll and still won. NMSU didn't fold on a handful of occasions when it seemed like they easily could have. The Aggies shot too many 3's - 30 in total. They only shot 35 percent from the field, just point at the 3-pointers as evidence to the poor shooting night.

Still, a split was solid I thought. Boise looks pretty decent and the rematch with both of these teams in LC should be good. The team also played well with an unproductive Justin Hawkins in the lineup. He shot 6-of-30 during both games. They need Justin to be consistent and playing at a high level.

Also, I heard Passos is coming back. Every day is different but that's the word on the street. Could be in the lineup come Saturday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Big deal

Pope is eligible although he won't play at Utah St.

Passos isn't going to be in Utah. I saw him at the Cibola, Mayfield game Friday night....

Just a few things

What a win for the Aggies last night. Jahmar Young scores 33? Are you kidding? That young man has been in his fair share of controversy lately, and he just goes out and scores 33? Say what you want, but that's pretty incredible. I wouldn't even be able to hit the rim if I were him right now and he's draining 3's from the parking lot. They're 3-0 in the WAC and Saturday's Utah State game is going to be wild....

As for the recent issues surrounding Young and Chris Cole....Look, I reported what happened out of official documents. Nothing more, nothing less. I didn't make anything up. I felt poorly when I saw Menzies' press conference. But I have to report things when they come my way. I reported it at 12:30 midnight. This is Las Cruces, not Los Angeles? It's D-1 bball. Keep it in line....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Aggie hoops

Lots to be said about the recent legal problems for some Aggie basketball players.

Some don't think that the incidents involving Chris Cole and Jahmar Young are very big deals. Bench warrants. Whatever.

Truthfully, if these were isolated incidents, then fine. But the team has had some problems with off-court issues this year. If these things were taken care of, then they aren't big deals. But when it gets out, it needs to be reported.

Things like this happen at programs throughout the country. But a tighly ran program irons these things out and they don't become public knowledge. They nip it in the bud and bury it quickly. Obvioously it's the student's responsibility to take care of these things. But coaches are more than just basketball men. They are guiders as well and must help the troubled on their roster. You can't hold their hand. But you have to be aware of what these kids are doing. If not, things like this happen.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fresno State

Half an hour before the game. Jahmar Young is in uniform, but isnt in the layup line with the Aggies. JayDee Luster is in also on the sidelines. Luster has been battlng back spasms so apparently he couldn't go tonight. More on that after the game.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Pope update

Sorry for the delay recently. I was sick and have been traveling.

I alluded to it in Saturday's Fresno State preview, but it is apparently school policy to suspend Pope following his arrest. There is a social misconduct committee that has yet to meet on the issue. The commitee normally meets within 72 hours of any legal infraction involving a student athlete but since Pope has two pending court dates (Jan 8 in Penn. for the DUI and Jan. 14 in Las Cruces for the court injunction) the committee has yet to meet.

Dr. Boston said the NCAA has yet to respond regarding potential penalties should Pope play, but now that seems to be irrelevant since Pope could possibly be suspended for his situation in Penn. Boston said Here is a quote from Boston "A lot of things are at play that could impact his situation so I don't see a lot happening until after the 14th. Even if we allowed him to play, there could be a suspension with his other scenerio."

I asked Dr. Boston is Pope was enrolled for the Spring semester and he said he didn't know that as of Friday.