Sunday, March 4, 2012

Breaking down NMSU's win over Fresno State

New Mexico State's 83-78 men's basketball win over Fresno State was a microcosm of the Aggies season.

In short, when the Aggies can hit their 3-point shots, they become a very tough team to beat.

In the first half on Saturday night, the Aggies shot 0 of 5 from 3-point territory, hit 4 of 9 in the second half, and then drained 3 of 4 to close out the game in overtime.

They were down 19 points in the second half, yet came back and won.

And Bandja Sy remains an X-factor for this team.

Sy is a good defensive player because he's long and plays hard.

Offensively, however, he's not always the aggressor.

He scored 22 points against Fresno State — a breakout performance, but one that could also be the norm.

Take a look at Sy's teammate Wendell McKines, who takes the court looking to prove a point. If Sy adopted a similar attitude, he could be the guy next year as a senior on the Aggies.

Speaking of McKines, I don't think the Aggies win this game last year, and his presence and leadership seem to be big reasons they won in 2012.

He carried them in overtime on Saturday, hitting three 3-pointers.

For the second game this year, Fresno State took the court with a good gameplan against the Aggies.

They packed the paint on defense and forced NMSU to hit the 3-ball — and for a while it worked.

The Bulldogs are a well-coached and disciplined team offensively as well.

They took a 41-25 lead at halftime and had the Aggies right where they wanted them — until the Aggies came back and hit them even harder.

With that being said, I like NMSU in a WAC Tournament rematch.

For that reason, and I think the quick turnaround works for the Aggies against a Fresno State team that wasn't an easy out on its home floor this year, posting a 3-4 home record during conference while playing teams tough.

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Anonymous said...

It was a good game plan AND it was the obvious game plan. The line on the Aggies is that they are not good shooters but strong on the inside. Opposing teams, by necessity, will pack the paint to limit Aggie rebounds and make the Aggies prove they can make those outside shots. The problem for the Aggies with Thursday's game and Saturday's game somewhat, was they were missing everything in the first half. Three's weren't falling, intermediate jumpers weren't falling, and pointblank dinks weren't falling.

If the Aggies would play with the same intensity in the first half of games as they did in the last 10 minutes of Thursday night's and Saturday night's game, they would have lost maybe 3 games all season.

As far as the WAC tournament, I would give the Aggies the edge if they show up with rebounding, strong D and determination for more than the last five minutes of each game. If not, Nevada and Idaho are going to be battling it out in the finals.

BTW. The small lineup was terrific. We should have been seeing that earlier in the year. Might have made a difference in a few games.

Anonymous said...

The advantage/necessity of the small line-up was clear throughout the season---only one person couldn't see it.

Anonymous said...

NMSU cant go with the small line up for large portions of the game. You would have only Chile and Rahman as experienced bench players. When LaRoche or Mullings need a rest or get in foul trouble then you only have two bigs on the bench to bring in. NMSU has to get a combined 35 minutes from Chili and Rahman if for nothing else give the starters sometime off the court.

Anonymous said...

I guess it depends on what large portions of the game means. How about most of one half, which is what the Aggies did against Fresno in the second half of Thursday's game.

The three guard and two forward line up could be used to get the bigs off the floor if foul trouble was an issue. It could be used just to throw a team like Nevada off their game.

It should be used when the Aggies play in the tourney because the bigs are going to wear down faster than the smaller players.

So, yes, that line up needs to get time on the floor.

Anonymous said...

Vs Fresno, NMSU only played 3 minutes without Chili or Rahamn. Rahman and Chili played 42 of a possible 45 minutes combined. NMSU used their "small" line up for 3 minutes of a 45 minute game.

The game at Hawaii when the Aggies used the small lineup they played 6 minutes without one of their big centers.