Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thoughts on Wednesday's Aggies vs. Lobos game

First off, this is an important game for the Aggie men's basketball team.

The Aggies beat the Lobos at the Pit 62-53 earlier this season to move to 2-0. Days later they came home to blow out UTEP and a season sweep of their rivals seemed possible — at least a 3-1 record looked like a sure bet.

But the Aggies have leveled off since then — they have gone 5-4 over the past month of the season and slipped up in El Paso against UTEP. A loss to the Lobos — which would mark a 2-2 rivalry record — would be considered a letdown.

As for UNM, the team has gone 9-1 since that defeat to NMSU and stands at 10-2 on the year.

Is Wednesday's game for the WAC championship? No. But a win would show Aggie fans their team is still headed forward — the beginning of the year Marvin Menzies was talking about it being a special season and NMSU received a vote in the Top 25.

The Aggies need this one simply from maintaining the excitement and good play they generated at the beginning of the year because it's leveled off to some degree.

• It will be interesting to see how the Lobos gameplan for the Aggies.

The first meeting UNM looked pretty unimpressive — they shot 28 percent for the game and turned to ball over 21 times, a no no when facing an NMSU team that wants to get into the open floor for easy baskets.

We've said it 100 times on this blog: When facing the Aggies, teams have to make rebounding the ball a priority and play patient on offense — ball security, ball reversal, and a good shot should come during the possession.

And we've also said this a ton: If the Aggies stay focused playing defense and in rebounding the basketball, they can beat anyone on their schedule. This Aggie team plays harder than last year, they just don't always execute.

They have size and athleticism, to go with erratic 3-point shooting and ball handling. They can struggle from the free-throw line — Hamidu Rahman goes 1 for 2 every time he steps to the stripe — and need to take care of the ball themselves.

With that being said they are well-rested, relatively healthy and are at home against a good team. This is a chance for people to see where they now stand going into conference.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

Turnovers and free throws. The least and most made will dictate the outcome of the game.

Teddy said...

Rebounding. The KEY stat with this Aggie team

Anonymous said...

The Aggies were shot out of their own gym. They were owned by the Lobos. There's no excuse for open 3's. And when I say open, the Lobos were "Grand Canyon" open.

This egg clearly is on the brainchild who has the job title of coach. With the Lobos red hot from beyond the arc, we clearly weren't defending, and there were NO adjustments made. When the Lobos were grabbing defensive rebounds and throwing them down court for easy dunks, there were no adjustments made.

This loss was by far the most embarrassing loss by the Aggies at home in a long time.

Thanks a lot, coach.

Anonymous said...

Groves has his comments turned off I guess he's embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

Coaching is and was the key! Can you say "outcoached"?

Anonymous said...

You know, you'd think with the way things were going in the first 5 minutes that the coach would have called a time out to get his team's attention.

You'd think the coach would have gotten his team to guard the 3 point line. You'd think he'd point out to the players in crimson that open transition dunks on rebounds by the other teams weren't good things. You'd think the coach would at least get Barri some decent playing time in a blowout loss and not give him a measly minute and a half in the first quarter and in the last minutes of the end of the game for more quality playing experience.

You'd think we, the fans, would lower our expectations of the team and its play over the years that the current coach has been at the helm...

Anonymous said...

Some people are smart enough to recognize Marvin Menzies as a sub-par coach. I don't have to explain if you've been watching the last 5 years. The other problem is that most of these players don't listen to him or respect him. It's obvious sitting courtside near their bench. Yet, he gets a contract extension? Why, because he is a cheap hire? This team looks like no more than a third place team in the WAC. This team will finish around 18-13 this season. If that's acceptable to McKinnley Boston, then what can we do? The bigger question is when does the McKinnley Boston era end?

NaySay Patrick