Aggies sign Big power forward

New Mexico State men's basketball head coach Lou Henson announced Wednesday afternoon the signing of Jay McFarland to a national letter of intent to attend NMSU next season.

With the departure of forward Robert Frazier, the New Mexico State basketball team needed an athletic big man.

On Wednesday, the Aggies got their player in 6-foot-7 1/2, 240-pound Jay McFarland out of Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. It was announced on Monday that Frazier had left the NMSU squad.

McFarland is the fifth recruit to receive a scholarship this spring, joining forward Anton Palmer and guards Mike Mitchell, Josh Jenkins and J.R. Reed.

"Jay is an athletic four-man that we needed with the departure of Robert Frazier," Aggies assistant Tony Stubblefield said. "He can score around the basket. Along with Anton Palmer, he'll give us depth inside."

McFarland averaged 12 points and seven points last season for Yavapai, which won conference and regional championships last season. "I feel like I can bring toughness and intensity to the team," McFarland said. "I feel like I made improvement in my two years in junior college.

I learned a lot about the game, but I can improve my mid-range jumper and get quicker. "I just want to go in and help New Mexico State. I felt it was a good fit for me."

McFarland grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., and credits his brother Kevin, who played two years of junior college ball, as his biggest influence in the game. "My brother helped me so much," McFarland said. "He taught me a lot of the skills I have today."

McFarland, who was an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference honorable mention selection, will join his former JC teammate Reed on the Aggies. The team helped lead Yavapai to a 55-14 record over the past two seasons.

"J.R. made some unbelievable shots for us," McFarland said. "He's a tough player. You can't leave him unguarded. He always finds ways to get good looks." Stubblefield said the Aggies are looking to sign one more player, most likely a guard.

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