Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Aggie baseball in WAC finale

The Aggie baseball team is taking the field for their season series finale this weekend against Hawaii.

The team has to split a four-game home series against the Warriors in order to qualify for the WAC Tournament in Mesa, Ariz., May 26-29.

How did it get to this point for the Aggies?

Well, the team doesn’t play a particularly tough preseason schedule and doesn’t have a reputation of being a great road team. The Aggies started the season 9-0 and are now 32-20, but just 7-13 in the WAC and in eighth place in the nine-team league. NMSU is 2-14 in its past 16 games.

Hawaii on the other hand is 30-21 overall but 15-5 in the WAC, good enough for first place.

The series starts with a Thursday doubleheader at 3 p.m. at Presley Askew Field.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Aggie softball, WAC champs

The New Mexico State Aggie softball team should be proud of their accomplishment as WAC champion.

They are now bound for an NCAA Regional and are playing with a ton of confidence.

This is a club that hasn't hit a bad patch of ball all year — 43 wins in 58 games attest to that.

They have strong leadership with their seven seniors and head coach Kathy Rodolph has done an outstanding job building the program in her eight years at the school.

Successful teams at the NCAA Tournament have at least one exceptional pitcher and the Aggies are a team that's built more around their offense — although Alex Newman threw a masterful game in the WAC finale and freshman Celisha Walker has the tools to be outstanding.

But the No. 1 thing the Aggies have going for them right now is that they're playing with a certain belief and confidence. We'll see how it plays out next weekend at Regionals.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tim Jacobs to UTEP

Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I have a feeling that Tim Jacobs will be a contributor for the UTEP Miners.

This year? That could be a stretch.

But I believe that Tim has the necessary basketball IQ to be a good Division I point guard.

He understands where all 10 players are on the basketball court and is the ultimate decision maker. He makes his teammates better from the most important position on the floor. He’s a mature player.

Yes, he doesn’t have the top-end athleticism that coaches get enamored with. So what? Can the kid play, or not? That’s what I care about. Tim can play and I think he’ll surprise.

Recruiting isn’t an exact science. Just because a kid doesn’t have any scholarship offers coming out of high school doesn’t mean he can’t play the game at a high level. Just ask former Aggie football cornerback Davon House. How did that work out for him?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gillenwater leaves, but Aggies will be OK

As I stated in my previous post, I think the Aggies will be OK without Troy Gillenwater.

Gillenwater will officially not return to NMSU for his senior season.

Of course Troy is a talented scorer on a team that will need offensive firepower next season. With the addition of Wendell McKines — who was hurt last year — and a fully capable Gillenwater, the Aggies had the potential to go to another level in 2011.

But I also think the team will be fine without him in the fold.

Troy fell short of being a leader last year when the Aggies needed one.

Scoring aside, he fell short in other key statistical categories. He had 16 assists in 27 games last season while being double-teamed throughout. That's not enough for a team's marquee player.

And I thought he could have averaged more than his 6.3 rebounds per game.

I'm not denying his ability to put the ball in the hole.

But the Aggies will be all right without him.

Friday, May 6, 2011

With or without Gillenwater?

Will Troy Gillenwater be back next season for the New Mexico State Aggie men’s basketball team?

I have a hard time seeing him coming back after declaring for the NBA Draft last month.

Do the Aggies need Gillenwater?

Certainly I think it would be nice if Troy was back in the fold. He’s a talented scorer on a team that lacked some firepower a season ago. The truth is that a fully-committed Gillenwater could take a good Aggie team on paper and take it to another level.

I think Troy would be better with Wendell McKines on the court — opposing teams are going to have to account for Wendell and pay attention to him. It will take the spotlight off Troy and he doesn’t have to be the club’s marquee player, which could suit him.

I also think for the sake of on-court chemistry it would be good if NMSU kept its core together for more than one season. There always seems to be a moving part.

But there could be some silver linings if Gillenwater departs as well. It would free up minutes for B.J. West and Renaldo Dixon, two players who flashed skill last year. And some recruits are coming down the pike who could help.

Troy was also a mercurial player who frustrated fans with his on-court demeanor last year.

If he leaves, it will create a void on a team that needs a go-to scorer. But it could have some subtle benefits as well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Aggie men's golf team

This program has been one of NMSU’s most successful in recent memory.

Five WAC titles in six years and four straight league crowns. And it comes as no surprise.

First off, Scott Lieberwirth has done a fine job with the team.

And you can recruit golfers to NMSU.

Good weather allows players to take the course year-round; the school has its own on-campus course; and New Mexico State offers a Professional Golf Management Program, one of the few schools to do so.

Tim Madigan leads the pack but this is a deep team.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

16 WAC players drafted

Sixteen players were selected in last weekend’s NFL Draft.

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first WAC player drafted, taken by San Francisco in the second round — the 36th player overall to come off the board.

Boise State wide receiver Titus Young was also a second-round pick, going to Detroit with the 44th overall pick.

Of course, New Mexico State’s Davon House was picked in the fourth round, No. 131 overall.

Here’s a complete list of WAC players selected....

Round-Overall, Name, Pos., School-NFL Team
2-36, Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada-San Francisco
2-44, Titus Young, WR, Boise State-Detroit
3-66, Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada-Cincinnati
3-78, Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State-St. Louis
3-90, Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State-Philadelphia
3-96, Alexander Green, RB, Hawaii-Green Bay
4-112, Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii-St. Louis
4-131, Davon House, CB, New Mexico State-Green Bay
5-132, Kealoha Pilares, WR, Hawaii-Carolina
5-144, Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho-Houston
5-160, Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho-Chicago
5-162, Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State-Pittsburgh
7-204, Virgil Green, TE, Nevada-Denver
7-210, Andrew Jackson, OG, Fresno State-Atlanta
7-213, Brandyn Thompson, CB, Boise State-Washington
7-238, Daniel Hardy, TE, Idaho-Tampa Bay

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Manley the starter following spring practices

Following spring practice New Mexico State Aggie head football coach DeWayne Walker said the starting quarterback job would be Andrew Manley’s to lose going into fall camp.

It was widely considered that it was Manley’s job to lose anyway. He will now get the chance to be the clear-cut No. 1 guy and see if he can run with it.