Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday's game

I think many expected the Aggie vs. Louisiana Tech game on Thursday night to be difficult for NMSU. I don't know how many expected the Aggies to lose, but I didn't take it as a huge surprise.

The Bulldogs are a better team from a season ago and their record is deceiving. They gave the Aggies all NMSU could handle in Las Cruces earlier this year. You knew they would be ready on their home court.

I do think these final two games are big for the Aggies. I think they have to beat Boise State here. They fell short in Boise and the Broncos remain a team that can beat anybody on any given night in the WAC.

As for the Aggies' road contest at Hawaii, I think it's vital as well. What a way to end the regular season — going to Hawaii. It's not the most desirable position. And the Aggies have not been impressive away from home — outside of their win at Reno. They're 3-10 away from Cruces. Being comfortable away from your home court is important. The WAC tourney is in Reno this year. The Aggies will have to win three games at the tournament. A win at Hawaii would at least help confidence-wise going into the competition.

As for Louisiana Tech, I have said that them and Idaho are two teams nobody is going to want to face in the first round of the tournament. They can cause problems and it will not be a cake walk against them as it may have been in years past. They have talent.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Looking back

For starters, it's great to be back posting on the blog and I'm glad to see everyone is happy I returned. Hahaha. That's a joke. I got torched by posters on my last entry.

I was surprised that "Down year in the WAC," got as much attention as it did. I wasn't knocking the Aggies. They have been playing better basketball lately. As they should. They've been beating lesser teams. If they lost at home to Fresno State or Louisiana Tech, people on this blog would be outraged. And we've discussed the win at Reno. That was a great win. Fullerton was good too. Hey, they're playing better. I'm glad to see it. Last year, if I recall, they played strong down the stretch as well. That's a credit to them.

But do people really think the WAC is a strong conference? I mean, lets give a quick rundown of the teams. Nevada: I think there's potential here, but still having a down year in my opinion. Utah State: I like them, but I feel they're a bit overrated. The Aggies: Playing better and have talent. Recent streak good but, for the most part, against teams they should have handled. If it was the other way around, people would be outraged. Boise State: Strange team that I don't think is as good as last year. Fresno State: Up and down team with a bad record. San Jose State: Not good. Hawaii: Very mediocre.

I will give you this, Idaho and Louisiana Tech are much better. The Vandals are an entirely different team from a season ago and Tech is much more competitive. I don't think anyone would want to face either one of them when the WAC Tourney tips off.

The bottom line is that NMSU just has to keep winning. At Louisiana Tech tonight will be a tough game. La. Tech is a tough team to travel to no matter they're record and they are better this year. They will also have their last meeting with the Aggies on their mind which was an absolutely crazy game that could have gone either way.

I still think NMSU wins tonight. They're playing better ball and with confidence.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Down year in the WAC

The WAC is not good at all this year in basketball.

I would like to think the Utah State and Nevada are good teams. The reality, though, is that both have a lot to prove. USU has had a soft schedule and Nevada has thrown up some clunkers this year.

NMSU is unproven and inconsistent as well. Those three teams were strong not too long ago. All three were perennial tournament teams.

The reality is that whoever gets a berth this year from the conference will have to win the league tournament. But this does bode well for NMSU. It is a wide open conference. The Aggies lost twice this year to Utah State and split with Nevada. Realistically, they could have swept the Wolf Pack.

Darkhorse teams include Idaho, Boise and possibly even Louisiana Tech. I have not been impressed by San Jose State or Fresno State.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Important note

I will not be blogging for the next week. I will blog again a week from Tuesday.

Posts will not be put on the board either. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.


Jahmar Young and Big Wen

Jahmar Young and Wendell McKines were at it again on Saturday night.

Jahmar continues to be a deadly scorer and Wendell is a tireless worker. The Aggies came back and beat Fresno State.

NMSU has a streak of winnable games on the schedule leading up to the WAC Tournament. The only thing that doesn't work in their favor are two long road trips - at La. Tech and at Hawaii. But those are still games the Aggies can get.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pan American Center

We are doing a project at the paper on the history of the Pan American Center.

What an incredible basketball venue. The Pan Am has seen mostly solid, to good to great teams play their over the years. Quite amazing.

NMSU has had only two losing seasons on their home floor. Two! That's insane. The building's been open for 40 years!

The program was top notch in the 70s. It went to a Final Four. It was strong. You can see how lifelong Aggie fans would have a high set of standards for their hoops team. How could you not if you have followed the program for their 40-year existence in the Pan Am?

The basketball tradition is strong at NMSU. There is a standard that was set a long time ago. For a mid-major school, I think it's impressive.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Saturday's game

For starters, I would like to apologize that I failed to get anything up following the Nevada game. I was in Memphis this past weekend and didn't get a chance to write. Considering what I said the last time I posted, I really should have gotten something up sooner about the team's win vs. Nevada.

I saw bits and pieces of the Nevada game on TV. It was a gutty game and I give the Aggies credit. Going into it, I did not think they were going to win. I was surprised that they beat the Wolf Pack, especially minus Gillenwater. I'll be the first to say it. I just didn't see it coming.

I stand by everything I wrote on my last blog post. I still think the team has underwhelmed to a large degree. The win over Nevada doesn't change my perception of the Aggies that much. I give them credit, but I still voice similar concerns about the team. One game doesn't turn everything around.

The one thing I have learned about the team is that they continue to play hard for Menzies. I said it following the San Jose State game at home, when they blew a big lead but came back and won. That was a tough spot for them and they managed to get back on the Spartans. They proved it again on Saturday. Other teams would have packed it in on the second game of a tough road trip, minus Gillenwater no less. Being on ESPN may have given them a lift and they didn't fold.

Nevada is down this year. The Wolf Pack have lost at home to Idaho, Louisiana Tech and the Aggies. They also should have lost in Las Cruces. They stole that game late. I actually think Nevada has a good team, but they have lost some head scratchers this season.

Again, I give the Aggies credit for Saturday. It was a good win for them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Where do we begin with the New Mexico State basketball team's road trip?

First off, Terrance Joyner is busted in the El Paso Airport with marijuana. That's a great way to get things started. Your not going on spring break Terrance, this is supposed to be a business trip. At least we would like to think so. He made a mockery out of the system on that one.

As for the game, the Aggies made it competitive to close out the first half. Then, USU came out in the second half and was on fire. NMSU couldn't keep up. I feel like the Aggies are often outscored in the second half. NMSU was thoroughly handled in the final 20 minutes on Thursday night.

At the end of the day, there is no shame in losing to Utah State. But I have seen a program that had a good deal of excitement around it when I first got here two years ago, go flat. This was a good team not too long ago. An NCAA team, a team that looked to be on the cusp of, dare I say it, the Top-25. They're nowhere near it now! Who's to blame? I hate to say it because I think he's a nice guy, but the head coach has to shoulder the load on this one. Marvin Menzies stepped into a very good situation here last year and the program hasn't improved, it has taken steps backward. You might not like to hear it, but look at the facts. They didn't go to the NCAA Tournament last year with a loaded team and they ain't goin this year either.

I hope it improves, I really do. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm way off. Time will be the judge. But, as of now, I am not impressed.

Aggie recruiting class

Are the players that the New Mexico State Aggies signed impact players for the football program? Tough to tell.

One thing that was refreshing on Wednesday though was to hear DeWayne Walker talk about what type of a team he's looking to build. Strong along the lines and lots of talk about the defensive side of the ball.

Now comes the tricky part: Finding out just how skilled these newcomers are and if they can make an impact on the Division-I level. Hal Mumme brought in some talented kids too. Chris Williams, Chase Holbrook and A.J. Harris to name a few. That didn't equal a whole lot of wins.

The team's philosophy will now shift to the defensive side of the ball. I feel a little better about that, but getting real talent is the ultimate key. And it goes deeper than the starters. Building depth is something that has proven to be elusive for the Aggies. Walker has said all the right things so far, however, and I think the team is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, that equals more wins for the program.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hal Mumme

What terrible news that former Aggie football coach Hal Mumme is sick with prostate cancer.

It's incredible about Hal. As a coach, everyone had their opinion about his ability. The reality is that when I heard the news, all the coaching stuff became incredibly unimportant and irrelevant to me.

I wish Hal the best in fighting the battle and coming out on top. I knew him personally and the news caught me off guard. My thoughts and prayers are with him.


As the New Mexico State men's basketball team gets a few days off until this Thursday when they tavel to Utah State, we turn our attention to Jahmar Young.

Young is having a remarkable year scoring the basketball. He dropped 32 versus San Jose State at home and then came back on Saturday with 25 points against Hawaii.

Jahmar leads the WAC with 18.3 points per game and has been solid throughout the year. I can think of only one game where he played really bad and that was hosting Nevada. Other than that, he's been solid, if not spectacular.

I don't know where the team would be without Young. A few more losses seem to be just about right though.