Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Aggies hoops work-in-progress: its halfcourt offense

The Achilles heel for the Aggie men’s basketball team to this point of the 2012 season? Thus far, it’s been its halfcourt offense.

There are couple reasons for such struggles: For one, the team’s point-guard position remains a work-in-progress. KC Ross-Miller right now is their best option at that spot, and the Aggies will likely remain committed to him and hope he comes around by conference play. At the moment, NMSU’s 17-turnovers-per game rank third-worst in the WAC (UT-Arlington sits at 19.3 and Seattle 22).

Another issue is the Aggies don’t necessarily have a go-to player in their halfcourt offense. The last handful of years, point guard Hernst Laroche was a steady, consistent hand and power forward Wendell McKines could impose his will on the game. Would the Aggies have lost a 22-point lead against Niagara with Laroche and McKines on the floor? A pure hypothetical, obviously, but one where the answer seemingly comes back as no.

Not that the Aggies don’t have players to potentially fill this void. Tyrone Watson can make a play with the ball in his hands, yet is versatile, not a one-trick scorer. Daniel Mullings is athletically gifted, but still at his best in the open floor. Centers Sim Bhullar and Tshilidzi Nephawe are big, strong and imposing, yet are still developing moves in the low post.

The Aggies remain a team at its best on the break — last year they needed their defense to create their offense, pushing transitional opportunities that way — yet can stall in the halfcourt. With that, the season’s still very much in front of them.

While the pre-conference season appears to be rough, Marvin Menzies’ teams, for the most part, have gotten better as the season progresses. The WAC does not appear particularly strong, meaning the Aggies should be right there in the standings.

Wednesday night’s game at UTEP? It’s a winnable one. With that, pre-conference games such as Southern Miss, UNM, South Alabama and Missouri State don’t figure to be easy, simply because the Aggies are still very much finding themselves.

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Anonymous said...

I think the problem exists within five feet of the basket. We have trouble getting the ball there because our centers don't know how to get open for the pass and then make the easy, point blank shot.

We should be killing our opponents inside and so far have not.

Anonymous said...


Obviously we've all seen the same issues. I can't agree more. The question is...has the coaching staff??? I agree the lack of the "go to" guy is a serious issue. It's not like we have a bunch of freshmen playing. We have several seniors and Menzies has talked about having individual meetings with the guys. He needs to lean on several players and tell them that they need to take charge and LEAD. If not, bench them and find someone who will. Maybe a bench player will step up. Nothing like putting pressure on a starter.
Also, Chili and Sim are huge. I'll give Sim benefit of the doubt (freshman), but this isn't Chili's first rodeo. The coaches need to get him to be more of an imposing force in the paint. He still looks like he's lost on the court at times or just going through the motions. He needs to be more aggressive and shoot the ball too.
Let's just hope the FT% increases. I'm sure that game in EP is going to be ugly with the team that wins at the line winning the game.

Anonymous said...

We have been spoiled by a long line of good point guards.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the past there isn't enough thuggery on this team.

Remember when an Aggie basketball game looked more like a rugby match?

These guys play like girls.