Sam Crawford, the diminutive point guard for NMSO who willed the Aggies to the Sweet 16
In 1991 Sam Crawford joined the team that included William Benjamin, Chris Hickman, Ron Coleman, Cliff Reed, Eric Traylor, Ron Putzi and Malcom Leak.
After a slow start NMSU went into the Big West Tournament in Long Beach, CA and in the first game found themselves on the ropes against Gary Colson's Fresno State squad. But Sam Crawford hit some huuuuggge 3 pointers to get the game into overtime and again, after falling behind in OT, willed the team to a win over the Bulldogs. Aggies beat Long Beach in game two and won the tournament/NCAA automatic bid with a close win over Pacific.
Aggies were the #12 seed and faced #5 DePaul in Tempe (same arena Aggies are ASU tonight, 12/17). Aggies upset the Blue Demons and then handled SW Louisiana to get to the Sweet 16 played in ABQ where UCLA ended the Aggie's season. Crawford's big time shooting and amazing passing were keys to the NCAA run. He and Cliff Reed (he of the slam dunk) made a great duo. Chris Hickman, who was not a starter, played a very important role in the tournament games as did Benj.
Crawford led the team with a 12.8 scoring clip (four other players in double figures) and in steals with 59 (Benj had 58). For the season Crawford was 80 of 147 from beyond the arc (.408) and led the nation averaging 8.6 assists per game.
Crawford was the best all-around point guard in Aggie history, in my opinion. Too bad he burned so many bridges in Las Cruces.