Sunday, December 11, 2011

Best way to describe Aggie basketball team? Frustrating

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.


Anonymous said...

Very frustrating. They need better guard play. That is the one major deficiency I've noticed since Young and Gibson left. They do not have quick slashing guards that can also light it up from outside. Young and Gibson could take the game over at times. This team does not have those types of players. In my opinion, Kabongo is more of a small shooting foward.

Shooting is the other big problem. I think Menzies needs to bring in a couple of pure shooters or players that can create their own shots. I don't see anyone who can consistently knock down 18-21 foot jumpers or break down a defender of the dribble.

I've been to many games over the last few years and still can't tell if the Aggies actually have a half court offense. It looks very generic to me and they struggle way too much to get open shots. More often than not they end up forcing a shot towards the end of the shot clock.

I think we are looking at a 16 or 17 win team and third place in the WAC.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the game but, had a feeling all week long that this was going to happen.

How do you explain a taller, more talented, more experienced team losing to a bunch a freshmen?

Easily. Tim Floyd is a good coach and were coached by a moron! aka, Marvin Menzo!

The only constant about Marvin's team are how un-prepared they are and how they flirt with .500% the entire season.
At least we get WNMU to help pad that W-L record, right?

How's that 5-14 rivalry record taste right now Marvin?

Anonymous said... it football season yet?

The Football team may not have the talent, size, or depth like the BB team.
However, we know the FB team will play hard, will be well coached to try and pull off a win.

Man, am I glad I didn't renew my BB season tickets again!
I saved myself $$ & don't waste 3 hours of life that I will never get back!

Hey Boston,
You kicking yourself for giving MM that undeserved contract extension, yet?


Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. Kabongo belongs on the bench, not only because of his lack of class on the court with his vulgarity, but because he's a ball hog who has sporadic control of his body. During the small windows when he's on, he's dynamic, but the team can't count on him to be consistent. Meanwhile, Menzies continues to put all his confidence in him and we all saw on Sunday how well that worked out.

Anonymous said...

Utep starts w/ a box & 1 and Marvin Menzo waits till halftime to make the adjustments??!!!!

What kind of genius coaching is that? Marvin is an embarasment to the Pitino coaching tree!

Fire MM now and promote Tony Delk!!!

Anonymous said...

Better come to the Western NM game---it may be your last chance to see a win (if we can even win that one).

Anonymous said...

The real Aggie team is now showing up, as well as the real Aggie coach. I will admit I thought it would be different after a good start, and a relatively good showing against UNM and Arizona.

Now that I think about it further, it was foolish for us as Aggie fans to think that we would be much different than the .500 season that we endured last year. Other than Big Wen, our personnel is essentially the same since Menzies isn't really using his bench. One guy can't make that big of a difference. Wen can't help us improve our shooting. Wen can't keep Kabongo from turning the ball over. Wen can definitely not improve our coaching.

I don't understand why Menzies has shortened the bench so much. I don't mind playing 8 players, but not with the type of defense he wants to play. Our guys are getting tired. He can extend the bench 2 more players to keep everybody fresh. He may say that they're not ready, but it's not like we have a disciplined team anyway. He has both Barry and Weary on the bench. Both have length that could help his style of play. Heck, one could argue that they may even be able to knowck down a shot or two. We are playing the same hectic, disorganized basketball that we played with JY and Gibson. The big difference is that those teams had some shooters, if you throw Gordo into the mix. This team does not have that.

I'm just frustrated like everybody else, and some things simply don't make sense. Now, having vented, I still think that this can be a good season, but not the great season that we all thought. The UNM game is now crucial, and a must win. The players need it to get some confidence, and the team needs it so that they can energize the fan base again. The momentum that was picked up in the community will certainly die out after this loss!

And please, I do not want to hear anybody mention an at large invite to the dance the rest of the year. This team will not get one. Once again, we'll have to win the WAC tournament. Even that is not a given anymore. Lack of discipline and coaching has a way to bite you in the butt at the most costly of times (WAC tournament).

Anonymous said...

Why is Menzies keepign soem players on the bench that may be able to help now?????

This team with Ham, Wen, and Laroche is the best shot we have to win. If not, just because of their experience. Go for it now!!

Does anybody including Menzies think that we can be better next year with a starting line up of:

Chili (No offense and fouls out)
Barry (unproven)
Kabongo (turnover MAchine)
Watson (knuckle ball)
KC Ros-Miller (small, unproven)

Anonymous said...

You know, maybe it's the basketball team that needs to drop down into a lower division and not the football team as has been suggested previously.

The football team shows up to play. The basketball team, on the other hand, is so hit and miss that clearly there's something amiss in that organization.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Two days ago you said that they could beat anyone on the schedule.

Anonymous said...

BJ West should not be redshirting! He should be playing instead of Ham. BJ's feet don't get stuck to the floor, he can catch the ball and score, he can rebound, and he can block shots. He is big, fast and athletic. Aggie offense is oriented on getting the ball to the big guy under the basket who is most likely to turn the ball over and is out rebounded by the little guys.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 10:56

Talent wise, NMSU can beat anyone on the schedule.

But you have to remember about the idiot coaching the team.

You can have all the talent in the world but, if you can't coach, you ain't gonna win.

Anonymous said...

I normally attend both UTEP/NMSU games as the drive is easy from Las Cruces. After watching the games against Southern Miss and Arizona, I am so glad I followed my gut instinct and watched the gamecast on the web.