It's New Mexico State On Saturday Night

It's difficult to do a New Mexico State preview because one never knows which Aggies are going to be eligible and/or bailed out (hey, we couldn't resist) when they face the San Jose State Spartans on Saturday night at the SJSU Events Center

Because of:

- Wendell McKines being academically ineligible for the fall semester, then declared ineligible for the spring semester but subsequently winning an appeal of his eligibility.

- Troy Gillenwater being acadmeically ineligible for the fall semester, then declared ineligible for the spring semester and currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

- McKines being briefly jailed last week for delinquent payment of fines imposed for a March 2009 charge of criminal property damage.

Okay, we've had our fun. But if you wish more and a serious take, go here:

http://blogs.sltrib.com/usu/index.php?p=9594&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

and

http://www.deseretnews.com/blog/25/10008043/USU-Aggies-blog-NMSU-does-it-again.htm

On the court (as opposed to in court), New Mexico State features Jonathan Gibson and Jahmar Young as the major shooters/points producers, Wendell McKines cleaning up on the boards, with putbacks plus a dunk or two, Hamidu Rahman scoring in the paint and Hernst Laroche possessing a remarkable assist-to-turnover ratio.

The bench is iffy, sometimes productive, sometimes not and the playing time of the starters averages ranges from 30 minutes to 36 minutes a game. This is similar to Louisiana Tech.

The NMSU WAC Schedule to date

Jan 02 Utah State 55 - 52 (W)

Jan 04 Nevada 67 - 77 (L)

Jan 09 @ Boise State 88 - 85 (W)

Jan 11 @ Idaho 75 - 72 (W)

Jan 16 Fresno State 86 - 77 (W)

Jan 21 @ Hawaii 71-69 (W)

The Aggie Starting Quintet

6-foot-11 Hamidu Rahman - he is blossoming, at 9.2 ppg., 8.4 rpg plus nine blocks in five league contests -- his bulk may prove a more formidable obstacle than Magnum Rolle's athletic prowess.

6-foot-6 Wendell McKines - he is capable of a double-double every game and is averaging 11.0 ppg. along with 9.4 rpg., is shooting 52% from the floor but can also hit from outside as his 5-12 WAC numbers indicate -- look for a highlight or two dunk from him.

6-foot-5 Jahmar Young - tall and quick, he is averaging 20 ppg., shooting 46% overall and 30% on his treys, can be turnover prone.

6-foot-1 Jonathan Gibson - very quick, averaging 20 ppg., 44% overall shooting, 40% from long range, he has been a player who will shoot you into or out of games but has been tempering the latter of late by offering greater consistency.

6-foot-1 Hernst LaRoche - he's not shooting all that well but has compiled a superb 24-assist-to-eight-turnover ratio as well as 3.6 rpg., while leading the team in steals.

The Cavalry.

6-foot-5 Gordo Castillo - he is a three-point marksman, period -- best in the role of catch-and-shoot.

6-foot-5 Tyrone Watson - he brings energy and hustle to the floor.

6-foot-5Kelly Merker - a walk-on whose role is to work hard and commit zero mistakes while giving one of the starters a breather.

7-foot-0 Abdoulaye N'doye - he has produced some decent numbers in the recent game versus Fresno State but was it an anomaly or an indication of progress?

The Aggie roster, by position

Tray Britt G 6-3 195 Sr.
Gordo Castillo G 6-5 197 Jr.
Makhtar Diop G 6-6 183 So. (Senegal)
Jonathan Gibson G 6-1 171 Sr.
Hernst Laroche G 6-1 170 So. (Canada)
Jahmar Young G 6-5 180 Jr.
Troy Gillenwater 6-8 234 So.
Robert Lumpkins F 6-7 191 Jr.
Wendell McKines F 6-6 224 Jr.
Kelly Merker F 6-4 190 Sr.
Bandja Sy F 6-8 210 Fr. (France)
Tyrone Watson F 6-5 225 Fr. (Canada)
B.J. West F 6-11 220 Fr.

Abdoulaye N'doye C 7-0 215 Fr. (Senegal)
Hamidu Rahman C 6-11 245 So.

What To Expect

- With tongue firmly in cheek, the San Jose State coaching staff could ask to have an outstanding warrant check run on the entire Aggie roster just prior to tipoff.

- At times, it's been less-than-effective boardplay, at other times a laxity on defense that has done in New mexico State. But, of late, mostly all is clicking for the Aggies.

- New Mexico State has started slow the last couple of games -- is this a trend or an anomaly?

- NMSU shot 38% overall and 3-20 from three-point range versus Hawaii on Thursday night -- UH also out-boarded the Aggies 45-37.

- Before that at home versus Fresno State, the Aggies were down by nine points at the half before outscoring the Bulldogs 52-34 in the second 20 minutes.

- Either Gibson or Young will take the most shots (generally approaching 20), usually followed by McKines and then Rahman but Coach Marvin Menzies may opt to focus on getting the ball in the paint to the 245 pound plus Rahman in order to try and get Chris Oakes into foul trouble.

- Which Aggie guards Adrian Oliver? It would seemingly be Jahmar Young so that will be a fascinating offensive/defensive matchup.


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Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at kevin@insidesparta.com

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