Sunday, March 16, 2008

Over/under update

Over/under update.
By Lucas Peerman
Production Editor
What a game! I'm sure a lot of you saw the Aggies lose a triple-overtime thriller to Boise State in Saturday's WAC Championship. Despite the disappointing result, it was a well-played college basketball game and one I
will remember for a long time.

I'd like to offer an update on my over/under numbers from yesterday, when I stated the Aggies were a much better team with Hatila Passos than with Martin Iti. Statistically, that was certainly the case on Friday against Nevada. Not so much against Boise State.

Both Passos and Iti played well and were a big part of the reason the Aggies went to triple OT with the Broncos. According to the over/under numbers, however, NMSU was -12 with Passos in the game and +7 with Iti in the lineup. The biggest reason for the Passos' negative number was a couple of big runs Boise State put together to begin the first and second halves.

Here's the over/under numbers for New Mexico State in last night's game with the first half, second half, (and end of game) listed:
Jonathan Gibson, -1, +1 (0)
Fred Peete, -12, +1 (-11)
Justin Hawkins, -9, +2 (-7)
Herb Pope, -14, 0 (-14)
Hatila Passos, -6, -6 (-12)
Jahmar Young, +1, +2 (+3)
Wendell McKines, +7, +1 (+8)
Martin Iti, -1, +8 (+7)

This is my first time keeping track of over/under numbers during a basketball game and if I've learned one thing, it's that these numbers in the context of a single game can be very misleading. There's just way too many other factors that affect a player's number.

That being said, I do believe that if these numbers were tracked over the entire year, statistical trends would emerge that show just how valuable certain players are to the team. If the Aggies host an NIT game (unlikely they'll even get it, as I explain below), I'll try to cover it and record the over/under stats for that game.
• • •
1. I thought Boise State was the more aggressive team in the third overtime period. They took the ball to the whole. NMSU settled for the outside shot. That was the difference

2. As much as I hate to admit it, Reggie Larry outplayed Justin Hawkins. There were a few NBA scouts there at the championship game and I'm sure they would agree. Although he has his moments, I'm afraid Hawkins isn't an NBA-level talent. And I really hate to say that because I've seen him transform into a leader this year.

3. Could the Aggies miss out on an NIT bid? When reporter Jason Groves brought up that possibility to me last night, I thought he had totally lost it. But the more I research, the more I agree the Aggies probably won't get an NIT bid. Only the top 96 teams play after their conference tournaments end and the Aggies have an RPI of 124. Let's look at it another way: Each of the six power conferences get three teams (some will get four, some two, but it will average three teams). That's 18 of the 32 NIT teams, leaving 14 spots. Conference USA, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley and Mountain West will get two teams in the NIT, which leaves six remaining spots. Any team that won its conference's regular season gets an automatic bid to the NIT if it fails to get an NCAA bid. Utah State is in this situation, and I'm guessing about four other teams will get a bid this way as well.

That leaves one open spot.Nevada (2-1 edge over NMSU, plus a 75 RPI) gets a bid before the Aggies. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I think you just saw the Aggies play their last game of the season.

Teddy just asked me what grade I would give NMSU coach Marvin Menzies on the year. I'd give him a C+. What do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

Are you only looking at the record?? Remember Menzies KEPT all of our recruits here!!! Lets give the aggies some support!!! We beat nevada when it mattered most!! Maybe the Las Cruces News should get some reporters who actually support AGGIE ATHLETICS!!! It seems like you guys just jump on the ESPN bandwagon!!! Get some real reporters who actually attend or keep track of every game if they want to criticize the aggies!!!! GO AGGIES!!!! Tough schedule and short roster most of the season doesnt mean the aggies are not good@!!!!

The Buss said...

Last night was kind of a microcosm of the entire season. They got down big early, had to fight their way back in to it, and then, by having an inability to react to Boise's 2-3 zone defense and their combination of the big man and the 3-ball shooter, just couldn't put them away.

The Aggies were a team that played right to the level of talent they were playing against. Yeah, they were more talented than Boise, but they knew how to hit NMSU where it hurt, inside.

It was a heck of a game, that's for sure. It's a bad way to lose, but you've got to hand it to BSU, they wanted it more in the long run, and Reggie Larry basically owned the Aggies, he's a star. Let's see how our young stars pick up the pieces next year, and, more importantly, how Menzies begins to build his team, and not ride on Reggie's coat tails.

Anonymous said...

Still hurting from last night. Heck, it feels like one of my loved ones just died.

I wish we wouldn't have given that 16 point lead and trailing in the game. It just gave the ponies confidence.

However, I'm very proud of the team and there effort. They could have easily folded but, showed a lot of heart and gave everyone there moneys worth!

I hope there is an NIT bid for us. Go Aggies!

Anonymous said...

I still like your aver/under stuff, but you forgot to factor in the new third post season tournament, the College Basketball Invitational. It adds smething like 16 teams and apparently they can compete with the NIT for the same teams. It is not automatic that a team goes to the NIT or nothing. Aggies still have a chance either way.

Anonymous said...

I finally found a computer to blog that is nowhere near my Arizona comrades-because what I want to say is-these are times that I really,REALLY despise 1)the NCAA Selection committe,and 2)teams like the UofA-NMSU clearly outplayed Arizona in post season play,and look who STILL will get a bid.IMHO,BOTH teams(NMSU,Boise) should be in-not some seventh place team that only beat the last place team in their league twice and thinks that they deserve to go.Unfortunatley,Arizona is what I call an entitlement school-they act as it's their RIGHT to be in the tourney every year.It should be the Aggies and Boise getting to the NCAA's and Arizona in the Not Invited Tourney.Also,I wanted to ask-what more can you tell us about this new 16 team playoff that starts this year;and,what are the women's chances for post season play- Az Aggie

Anonymous said...

C+? Are you retarded? The man deserves an A, and nothing less. A guy who actually follows the mid-majors closer than any writer out there named Coach Menzies Coach of the Year on his site. Kyle Whelliston knows his stuff. You, sir, are a hack.

Anonymous said...

Interesting question regarding Menzies. There were obsacles (JY and Pope ineligible first part of season, Passos academic problems), so you must give him some credit. But I still say he had the best talent, hands down, in the WAC. And he did not deliver. I'd give him a "C".

As for last night, poor transition defense and poor shooting doomed us. And I was very disappointed in our bigs on defense. One thing for sure, there was no improvement in their (Passos and Iti) play from what I saw last year; in fact, they may have got worse. Blame poor coaching, or the style of play, or the players. I'm not blaming the players. BSU had a good game plan, and Ags had no answer, especially without a consistent outside threat.

And I agree - no NIT bid for NMSU this year. They underachieved and don't deserve one. Well, I'll rephrase - our coaches let the players and fans down. As for the future - Menzies was hired because of his strong recruiting. So he must recruit BETTER than Theus to get us a WAC championship, because he failed with Theus' recruits. That's not a good thought - better class than Hawkins, Peete, and Iti? Then add Gibson and Passos, followed by Pope and JY? I don't like the sound of this.
-Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...

I dont believe that this season was a failure or we had a bad season because we failed to reach the tourney. Considering all of the obstacles that the team had to face with suspensions, Pope and JY out for most of the season and grade issues which had Passos and ultimately Carter out for the season, they had a heck of a fight. We may have had the most talented roster in the WAC but talent is not everything as it was proved last night. And that is why a tournament is so great because anybody can beat anybody. We got a piece of the regular season and beat out a Nevada team that had our number through the last seasons including this one. Championships are won by those who want it more and last night that was the case. I dont blame our coaching staff as some of you do or our players for not playing to the level that they should have. Anything can happen in a championship and eveything that could happen did. It was a great game and although I wish we had come out on top it didnt go our way. As for coach, I think he deserves better grades than that. He did have a gem inherited, but that gem had plenty of flaws and he did the best that he could I think. Next year should be interesting with the 3 RS coming in and the new recruits as well. It will also be interesting to see who leaves since we all remember Luster saying he was leaving last summer and stayed but had very limited playing time this season. We will have no senior leadership next year so we have to wait and see how they respond to that as well.


Anonymous said...

Do you even know anything about sports?

Iti out defended last night when Passos wasn't able to keep up with the more agile Nelson.

Take your numbers and grades and move out of town.

Anonymous said...

Menzies get's a D in my book.

Yes, he kept Reggie's recruits and yes there were the clearing house and off court issues but, i'm only talking on court stuff.

He had the best team in the WAC and we are hoping the NIT comes calling!

The problem w/ Menzies is that he still acts like an Asst. Coach instead of a head coach.
He needs to be tough on the kids and let the assistants play "Mr. Nice guy".

I'm still not sure about his X's and O's ability but, I hate the fact that he always compliments opposing coaches after we get beat!!

I know this is first season and he gets a "pass" but, I'm wondering what changes he will make to his coaching style?

The team? I thought they played like warriors and came up just short. Thank you senior!

LC Crowe said...

We all know that they underacheived in the tournament. They should have won. It was set up for them. The refs could have been way worse. There were coaching errors for sure and the players could not make their shots from the outside. I could go on... It was still incredible how they came back and almost stole the game back from BSU. We should be proud of what they did. It made me sick that all those people streamed out in the 3rd OT when we knew it was over. The Program and especially the Seniors deserved support after they had to shake the hands of BSU. Shame on those who left to beat the traffic. Basketball is actually a sport in which NMSU can be competitive-unlike football. I am disappointed that they lost but they did pretty much play like they did throughout the season-inconsistent. They improved during the season to get as good as they did but I think the combination of a new coach with Reggie's players and the eligibility issues for JY and Pope (so they could gel with the existing players) were too difficult to overcome. I still had a great time watching them all season.

I am disappointed with the blogger's point about Hawkins and the NBA. You must be really tough and smart to make that prediction hours after the guy plays his last college game. What's next for you-pushing the wheelchair dude at the Village Inn on El Paseo into traffic? Have some respect for a player who left his soul out there on the court for all of us to enjoy the past two seasons. You may or may not be right in your assessment, but the timing is pitiful. The same could be said about rating Coach Menzies right now. I would love to post my opinion about his season and this game in a few days out of respect to all those people involved that worked so hard for NMSU and the fans. I know that by holding back a couple of days, the journalistic buzz might be gone from the story. However, most of us (including me) have not ever played any sport at a high level and I think it is too easy to rant a rave and demand perfection.

Infamous Chuck said...

CBI is organized by the Gazelle Group, same people who invited State to the Legends Classic. So it might be a good that there is a tie to the program and organizing committee. The bad thing is we lost those games. That said the other three teams are all in the dance. We will find out tonight if we get the nod from them.

Infamous Chuck said...

The unique thing about CBI, the "championship game," is actually a best of three series. With no neutral site games at all. Higher seed gets home court and in the tourney, and the championship series home court advantage if a third game is necessary.

Anonymous said...

What a great few days in Las Cruces at the WAC tournament. Just got back to Phoenix a couple of hours ago. Got real windy on Friday but the weather was warm. Hats off to Las Cruces. The hospitality was great. Great food, great people. We attended all the games except for the play in games on Tuesday. The Nevada game on Friday night before had to be the best game they played from start to end. Yes the men's team lost to Boise State. Great game but the Aggies came out on the short end. What can I say about Boise State. They were on a roll. They drilled Utah State the night before. I believe the Nevada game was emotionally draining the night before because we had not beaten Nevada this year. Hard to beat a team 3 times in basketball during the season. We beat Nevada and Boise State beat us and Utah State after loosing twice this year. The cliche they wanted it more than us is far from the truth. Coming back from after being down by 16 late in 2nd half is not checking it in. I have been to enough Phoenix Suns games to know when guys have quit playing or the other team wants it more. The plain fact is Boise State hit the big shots when they had to. A couple of 3's that were made was when the shot clock ran out. Oh about Menzies coaching skills a C and not knowing his X's and O's. What do you guys know about X's and O's? The law of averages caught up with us and Boise State played a little better than us last night plain and simple.
On the women's end loosing Madison Spence to injury was a big blow. Madison Spence is a superstar in the making. I can't predict if we would have beaten Fresno State but the game would have been closer and who knows anything can happen. Both Aggie men's and women's basketball program are on the right track. We are getting talented players and things will only get better. Oh Kudos to the fans who attended the games. The comment of fans leaving before the game ended as insulting??? I stayed until the clock wound down and then I left. Why do I want to watch Boise State celbrate on our home court. If people would have stayed, they would only Boo and probably yell obscenities and then Aggie fans would have been accused of being poor sports. Be cool Aggie bloggers. Don't always agree with your posts but respect your freedom of speech.