The New Mexico State Aggies are a frustrating basketball team.
At least they were on Sunday in a 73-69 loss at UTEP.
This is a team that has the pieces to be good, but they lack discipline.
Lets go through some examples from Sunday night:
• In falling behind 18-3 and 24-6 to start the game, the Aggies looked unprepared.
Did they underestimate a UTEP team they beat 89-73 at the Pan American Center last month?
“Yeah. I think that's quite possible,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “I know the coaching staff didn't. We knew they'd be an admirable foe once they clicked.”
There really isn't an adequate excuse for how this game began on NMSU's side.
• If there was a Most Frustrating Aggie Award, it would go to guard Christian Kabongo.
Kabongo is a feast or famine player who's unorthodox — he can look great one trip down the court and then make you scratch your head the next.
But this is what it boils down too: he's an immature player and seemingly a tough one to coach.
Kabongo scored nine points on Sunday, and after two second-half 3-point shots he appeared to make an obscene gesture toward the UTEP crowd.
“He grabbed his crotch after he made the first, then the second one he did it again,” said Felipe Truax, who had a front-row seat next to the Aggie bench.
“Yes,” Truax added when asked if it was a distasteful move.
Menzies said he didn't notice the action as it unfolded.
“I'll look at the film and address it if that's the case,” the head coach said.
Kabongo played some point guard for the Aggies in the first half.
This is a puzzling position for a player who has had issues taking care of the basketball.
Perhaps his best position — at least for the time being — would be on the bench.
• Wendell McKines gets his first shot attempt with 12:10 to go in the game?
McKines took seven shots total, which was less than Kabongo (10), Bandja Sy (nine), Tyrone Watson (eight) and the same amount as Hernst Laroche.
Not for nothing, but McKines is the Aggies best player. UTEP denied him the ball, but running some offense in his direction wouldn't hurt — he's not a role player.
“In the first half I was waiting for us to make the proper adjustments. We didn't do that until the second half. I have to sacrifice my scoring for us to compete,” McKines said.
“Just making me a part of the offense a little bit. Stuff like that happens.”
• Both teams shot very poorly from the free-throw line — the Aggies were 17 of 32 from the line (53 percent) while the Miners were 14 of 27 (51 percent).
NMSU entered the contest shooting 67 percent from the foul line.
In truth, the Miners — who really aren't a very good team — helped the Aggies a lot with a long second-half scoring drought, missed free throws and turnovers.
The Aggies had a five point lead with seven minutes remaining but couldn't close the deal.
It was a frustrating game on Sunday night.
Coming from a frustrating Aggie team.