Sunday, March 25, 2012

Going into offseason, some keys for the Aggies

I received some questions on my most recent Aggie basketball blog post concerning next year's team — starting lineup, needs, etc.

Here are some immediate keys that come to mind following this season and going into next season:

Replacing the departed: It's not easy replacing 20 points and 10 rebounds per game — along with the sheer motivational force and leadership — that the Aggies will need to fill with the departure of senior forward Wendell McKines. Nor will it be easy to replace the steadiness, and 10 to 15 points per game, provided by point guard Hernst Laroche. That, and they were the team's most consistent outside shooters. Every night, fans and followers of the program knew what they were getting from these two seniors. Replacing such production will not be an easy task, and might have to come collectively as opposed to one or two players filling the void.

Bandja Sy: From a pure skill and physical standpoint, Sy (pictured above) could very well be the top Aggie. For me, it's a mental game for the soon-to-be senior — competitiveness and consistency. Sy will never be a McKines in terms of mentality when he takes the court. But if he can develop a chip on his shoulder and put firm goals in front of him, Sy could be “the guy” on the Aggies next year. Yes, he has the physical tools to do so. The question is, will he realize those tools?

Tyrone Watson: For once lets accurately break down what Watson is on the basketball floor. A smart and unique player, Watson impacts the game in ways that don't necessarily show up in the box score — a player who can penetrate a zone defense, and an underrated passer from the small forward position. He brings his lunch pale every night, and was a good defender last year for the Aggies. No, he did not play well in the team's NCAA Tournament loss — seven turnovers against Indiana tell the story. And, yes, something has to give on his jump shot. When opponents are sagging off him eight to 10 feet on the perimeter, that tells part of the story on how they view Watson as a player. As a senior — like Sy — Watson has to pick his game up going into next year. And it starts by developing confidence and consistency on his jump shot.

Tshilidzi Nephawe: This 6-foot-10 center has the potential to be the Aggies surprise player next year. He played his best this season in the Aggies final three games of the year and his skills are apparent — a physical specimen with nice hands and a soft touch, Nephawe shot 74 percent from the free-throw line last season. He can also step out and hit the occasional jump shot. One key? Staying out of foul trouble and staying on the court. If Nephawe can do that, a world of potential awaits for a player that I anticipate should be the team's starting center in 2012-13.

K.C. Ross-Miller: The Aggies haven't had to worry about the point guard position the past handful of years because of Laroche's presence. Ross-Miller is one recruit we've heard a lot about. He'll have big shoes to fill at a critical spot.

Some footnotes: Can 7-foot-5 Sim Bhullar play?….What will Renaldo Dixon's role be?….Will the Aggies have more consistent outside shooting?….Will Eric Weary emerge as a shooter?….Will Remi Barry realize his potential?….Will Daniel Mullings develop a jump shot? Oh, just please say yes….


Anonymous said...

marvin menzie made 500,000 dollars this year and only makes the first round. That is not acceptable he gets that with all his bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01 that is a ridiculous post. What do you have to say to Coach K (Duke) that makes over 4 Mil a year and loses in the first round to a 15 seed? Yes Duke may have a more consistent program, but it goes to show that anyone can lose in the first round. Obviously you must have been one of the MANY empty seats in the Pan Am this year. The Aggies were 26-10 this year and we barely had 2,500 people at the games. As a season ticket holder for the past 7 years I find this pathetic. It was also upsetting that we couldn't fill up the Pan Am for the UTEP, AZ and UNM games. The Aggies had a good year and yes there were a few games in there they should've won, but show your support Aggie fans. We are a Mid-Major school in a conference that is being depleted. Yes football is the driving force behind all the conference moves, but if Aggie fans won't support our winning program (basketball) how can we expect to go to a better conference?? Stop your complaining and show your support in the stands no matter the record!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Teddy you brought up some good points. Regarding your "footnotes" section I'm a bit apprehensive on several of those players. I remember hearing all the hype about Remi Barry last summer and I didn't see all that much from him since he rarely played. Were there issues between he and the coaches? Is he not developing like he was supposed to? I'll admit that I'm worried about next year. Our bench is not going to have any experience. Which means the starters are going to be playing a lot of minutes and the will only wear them out by the end of the season. Barry is the only one that has any playing experience which wasn't very much at all. If we don't beat our rivals (UNM/UTEP) the fans will not show up.....again!!!!!!


Anonymous said...


Remi didnt play because he was was a freshman on a team that was pretty set in his position. That and the fact that when he did get some minutes he didnt show much prevented him from playing.

As far as the bench is concerned, I guess you missed this season because we really had no bench and the starters did play a lot of minutes. Like you pointed out, aside from Chili and Sy, there were very few players that got any game time. But, I think that plays well for the Aggies next season because with a roster that is filled with inexperience Menzies will be forced to look at his bench more. There should be good competition between players to earn minutes and in a totally different WAC the Aggies should be good enough to be in the running along with Utah St.


Anonymous said...


What about BJ West? I thought that he showed a lot of promise and played real well the few brief moments he got to play the year before last.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01,

I don't think he made near the $500k you are talking about. Can you give a source for that figure? Probably not.

This is probably more like it:

Alford pulled in about a million this year and got his team to the second round, but tied I believe for the MWC regular season title. The UTEP coach, who is paid about what Menzies is paid, had a team that had a losing record.

I think we are doing pretty well with Mr. Menzies.

Anonymous said...

public record at nmsu look it up go to hotseat and you can see walkers contract as well as most coaches. way overpaid for what he has done.

joe said...

do any of you remember when the pan am was packed and now they cant even get 6000 at a game. but keep paying your coaches 300,000 plus 1000 a month for a house and give them cars and country club memberships and bonus good job boston.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:42,

What are you making the comparison to? What standard?