NM State vs. Utah Valley Coverage
Television: AggieVision – Comcast – Altitude 2 - ESPN3.com - ESPN Full Court
Radio: KGRT 103.9 FM (play-by-play: ‘Voice of the Aggies’ - Jack Nixon)
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on live events link)
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team (15-7, 4-2 WAC) takes on first place Utah Valley, Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. AggieVision is producing the game for TV and fans should check local listings for airtimes in your area. Saturday’s game will also air over the radio waves on the Aggie Sports Network with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play.
NM State takes on Idaho, who is currently 2-5 in conference play, Thursday, Feb. 6 in Moscow, Idaho. The game will air on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces. The Aggies then make their way to Seattle, Wash. to face the Seattle U Redhawks who have a 1-5 conference record. The game will be broadcasted on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM and is also scheduled to be on TV with AggieVision producing them. Please check with your local satellite or cable provider for show times or check online at www.AggieVision.tv. Radio coverage for both games on the Aggie Sports Network includes coverage in Alamogordo (107.1 FM), Albuquerque (101.7 FM), Artesia (990 AM) and Carlsbad (1240 AM).
Fans and media can access post-game video interviews with head coach Marvin Menzies and selected players after each game on-line at www.NMStateSports.com by clicking on the game recap.
About the Aggies
NM State had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Chicago State on Jan. 16, when they fell 86-81 on the road. The Aggies then lost their second straight Western Athletic Conference game of the year to Kansas City 68-66 on the road as well. However, the Aggies have managed to recover with two back-to-back home victories over Texas-Pan American 90-78 on Jan. 25, and Bakersfield 89-86 on Jan. 30 at the Pan American Center.
The Aggies are now sitting at 5-2 in league play and they have one remaining home game in the Pan American Center this week, where they are 10-1 on the year.
The Aggies are averaging 78.7 points per game this season and are shooting 48.2 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 37.6 percent of their 3-point attempts. The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 41.4 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 36.8 per game to 33.0 per game (+3.9 rebounding margin).
Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 17.0 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 46 steals this season. He also has 71 assists on the offensive end of the court and nine blocks on the defensive side.
Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who returned on Thursday Jan. 30, against Bakersfield after sitting out the previous six games due to a foot injury, leads the team with a WAC-best 59 blocks this season. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is now the team-leader in rebounds with 7.8 per game and he has 31 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State.
Senior guard Kevin Aronis leads the Aggies in 3-point shooting percentage at 43.2 percent and has made the most 3-pointers with 51. Junior guard KC Ross-Miller is second on the team with a 3-point shooting percentage of 42.0 (21-of-50) and junior DK Eldridge is shooting 39.7 percent from behind the 3-point arc (29-of-73).
Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made seven consecutive starts heading into Saturday’s game against Utah Valley and is averaging 24.7 minutes per game this season. He is posting 8.4 points per game and is grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game.
Looking back (game recap vs. Bakersfield)
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team escaped an upset bid by last place Bakersfield, 89-86, on Thursday night inside the Pan American Center. The Aggies improve to 16-7 overall and 5-2 in Western Athletic Conference play while the Roadrunners fall to 8-13 overall and 1-6 in the WAC.
The Aggies seemed to have the game under control, leading by double digits or close to it for most of the game. But a 13-0 Bakersfield run in the latter portion of the game gave the Roadrunners their biggest lead of the matchup, 80-74, with five minutes remaining in the contest. NM State allowed 50 second-half points to Bakersfield.
NM State also shot 53.1 percent from the field (26-of-49) and 38.5 from 3-point range (5-of-13), but 14 Aggie turnovers almost cost them the game as Bakersfield converted those 14 turnovers into 24 points.
Junior guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies with 19 points, including four points in the final two minutes. Center Tshilidzi Nephawe added 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds, missing his seventh double-double of the season by one rebound.
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar made his first appearance in WAC play after missing six games with a foot injury and his presence was important. He finished with 13 points and six blocks on the night, as the Roadrunners noticed his attendance in the paint.
Junior guard DK Eldridge also finished with 13 points while senior forward Renaldo Dixon added another 12 points.
Series History versus Utah Valley
This will be the first meeting between NM State and the Wolverines.
Scouting the Wolverines
Head coach Dick Hunsaker who is in his 12th season leads the Wolverines and is assisted by Curtis Condie, Terry Parker and Chris Sparks all in their first season with Utah Valley.
Utah Valley has an overall record of 13-7 with a 4-6 record on the road. The Wolverines are led by senior guard, Holton Hunsaker in scoring and assists averaging 12.3 points per game with 83 assists for the season. Just trailing Hunsaker in scoring is senior center Ben Aird with 11.5 points per game. Aird is also the top rebounder for Utah Valley averaging 8.0 per game.
As a team, the Wolverines have a +4.2 scoring margin and allow an average of 63.9 points per game. Throughout the season they have tallied 701 rebounds, 289 assists and average a 43.4 field goal percentage. The Wolverines are currently enjoying an eight game win streak heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Aggies.
Aggies on the Boards
The Aggies are averaging 36.8 rebounds a game this season compared to opponents average of 33.0 rebounds a game versus the Aggies. The Aggies are ranked 18th nationally, led by Tshilidzi Nephawe with a totals of 179 rebounds on the season, averaging 7.8 boards a game.
At home the Aggies are even more of a presence on the glass with Nephawe still leading the way but getting major contributions from Sim Bhullar as well averaging just under seven (6.9) rebounds a game at home. Daniel Mullings, Reynaldo Dixon and DK Eldridge also show promise on the boards at home, averaging 5.5, 5.9 and 4.8 rebounds a game during home stretches.
Nephawe’s 179 rebounds on the season place him 50th overall nationally, while the Aggies as a whole are ranked 77th in rebound margin, out-rebounding opponents by an average of 3.9 rebounds a game.
Bhullar with another Block
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar broke the school record for blocks in a single game when he tallied 10 blocked shots in a 91-60 win over Prairie View A&M, Nov. 27 in the Pan American Center. That day the Aggies tallied 14 blocks as a team, which is also a new school record at NM State. Former Aggie All-American James Moore is the former record holder for blocks in a game as he tallied eight blocks against North Texas on Feb 7, 2004. The previous school record for blocked shots by an Aggie team was 12. NM State marked 12 blocks against Creighton, Jan. 12, 1978, and against UTSA, Feb. 2, 2013.
Bhullar currently has 144 blocks on his career and has surpassed former Aggie center Hamidu Rahman, who played for the Aggies from 2008-12, on the all-time blocked shot list at NM State after making on block against South Alabama. Bhullar has now tallied at least one block shot in 21 straight games he has played in.
Through 18 games in last season, Bhullar only had 32 blocks, compared to his 59 blocks after 18 games this season. At his current pace of 3.5 blocks per game, Bhullar is on track to block 108 shots this season, smashing the current-singe season blocks record at NM State, which he currently holds (85).
Blocked Shots (career)
1. James Moore (2000-03), 200
2. Sim Bhullar (2012-Present), 144
3. Hamidu Rahman (2008-12), 137
4. Slab Jones (1976-80), 124
5. Charles Gosa (1995-99), 116
Daniel Mullings on the NM State All-Time Scoring List
Moving up the all-time scoring list junior guard and Canadian native, Daniel Mullings led the NM State men’s basketball team with 483 pints during the 2012-2013 season. During the 2011-2012 season he tallied a total of 334 points. Prior to the start of this season Mullings needed 183 points to reach 1,000 points for NM State.
Mullings’ 1,000-career point game came at the 17:32 mark in the second half of the Gonzaga game when he made two free throws. He finished the evening going 5-of-14 from the field while also making 6-of-9 free throws to finish with 17 points.
Mullings has scored 375 points this season and now has 1,192 points in his career. He is currently averaging 17.0 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list. Mullings currently sits at No. 17 on the list after he recently surpassed “Super” John Williamson (1972-73) who completed his career with 1,168 points.
He now needs 19 points to become No. 16 on the all-time scoring list. Keith Hill (1987-90) currently occupies the No. 16 spot on the all-time scoring list with 1,201 points. If Mullings maintains this pace, by the end of the regular season he will be 12th on the all-time scoring list behind Ernest Patterson (1980-83) who finished his career with 1,419 points.
Eric Channing is NM State’s all-time scoring leader with 1,862 points. Channing played for the Aggies from 1998-02. Former Aggie guard Hernst Laroche is No. 15 on the list of all-time points scored. He played under coach Menzies from 2008-12 and scored a total of 400 points in his first two years at NM State. George Knighton was the first Aggie to ever reach 1,000 points. He played for NM State from 1960-1962 and scored over 1,000 points in his first two years. The most recent Aggies to enter the 1,000 Point Club were Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche, and Hamidu Rahmad in 2012. Former Aggie Billy Keys rounds out the 1,000 Point Club at No. 31 with 1,004 points in 65 games played (two seasons; 1999-00).
All-time scoring list
12. Steve Colter (1981-84) – 1,333
13. Charles Gosa (1995-99) – 1,233
14. Johnny Roberson (1986-89) – 1,223
15. Hernst Laroche (2008-12) – 1,209
16. Keith Hill (1987-90) – 1,201
17. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 1,173
18. “Super” John Williamson (1972-73) – 1, 168
Mullings with another Steal
Guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 46 this season. Mullings has 19 steals in conference games. The Aggies have a total of 121 steals and 42 in conference games.
Mullings tied a career-high seven steals against Seattle University on January 9. Mullings had a total of five steals on Jan. 16 against Chicago State. With a total of 121 steals NM State is averaging 5.3 steals per game compared to their opponents that are averaging 5.7.
Mullings has 183 steals on his career and is No. 3 on the all-time steals list at NM State behind former Aggie guard and current Las Cruces High School head coach William Benjamin, who posted 209 steals from 1988-92.
Career Steals at NM State
1. Hearnst Leroche (2008-12) – 216
2. William Benjamin (1988-92) – 209
3. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 183
4. James Moore (2000-03) – 174
5. Randy Brown (1988-92) – 162
NM State has dunked the ball 87 times compared to its opponents only dunking it on the Aggies 42 times this year. Sim Bhullar leads the way with 27 dunks after slamming it down on Hawai’i six times. Dixon is catching up to Bhullar with 23 dunks this year.
Daniel Mullings has had some of the most entertaining dunks, with one put-back dunk against Northern Colorado making ESPN Sportscenter’s Top 1- Plays, at No. 6, on Nov. 21.
Aggies at Home
NM State is 10-1 at home this season with many players recording season-highs and breaking school records in the Pan American Center.
The highest scoring game this season came against Northern New Mexico (97-47). That was also the largest margin of victory the Aggies had, beating the opponent by a staggering 50 points.
Individually, sophomore Sim Bhullar broke NM State’s record for blocked shots after he recorded 10 in one game against Prairie View on Nov. 27, 2013. Bhullar also has the highest field goal percentage (.700) just above guard Ian Baker (.625).
Junior guard, Daniel Mullings leads the team in total points (190), field goals made (65) and steals (21). Fellow guard K.C. Ross-Miller (.460) and Baker (.625) in the 3-point field goal percentage.
The Aggies have a +16.2 scoring margin and 52.3 field goal percentage at home. NM State scores an average of 84.1 points per game at home and is outscoring their opponents by an average of around 15 points per game.
Aggies in the WAC
NM State has the best overall record among WAC schools at 16-7. The Aggies, however, are sitting in a tie for second with Grand Canyon at 5-2 in league play.
Heading into this week against Utah Valley, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense (78.7/game), field goal percentage (.482) and scoring margin (+8.5) in the WAC.
NM State came back to being placed in the fourth seat after dropping last week to the seventh, in WAC in scoring defense, allowing 70.1 points per game.
The Aggies entered the week leading in blocked shots for all games with 140 on the season and blocked shots per game (6.09). NM State has almost more than double blocked shots as second-place Bakersfield (79).
The Aggies are also second in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.376), second in rebounding for all games (36.8 rebounds/game) and are ranked second with their rebound margin (+3.9) in the WAC. NM State moved up from seventh place to fourth for its free throw percentage (.693) in all games, kept their third place rank in assists per game (13.00), defensive rebounds per game ranking fourth (24.91) and second in offensive rebounds per game (11.91).
Individually, the Aggies have lit up the leader board ranking having at least one player in the top-10 in all categories.
3. Mullings, Daniel 17.0
Field Goal Pct.
2.Dixon, Reynaldo .563
4. Nephawe Tshilidzi .531
14. Mullings, Daniel .460
Free Throw Pct.
4. Roos-Miller, K.C. .824
5. Dixon, Reynaldo .810
3-point Field Goal Pct.
3. Aronis,Kevin .432
5. Eldrige, DK .397
4. Nephawe, Tshilidzi 7.8
12. Dixon, Reynaldo 5.4
4. Ross-Miller, K.C. 3.83
6. Mullings, Daniel 3.23
1. Mullings, Daniel 2.09
3-Point Field Goal Made
6. Aronis,Kevin 2.22
3. Nephawe, Tshilidzi 1.35
6. Dixon, Reynaldo 1.13
4.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 2.48
9.Dixon, Reynaldo 2.13
14. Eldridge, DK 1.78
4.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 5.30
3.Mullings, Daniel 32.95
2.Ross-Miller, K.C. 1.96
15. Dixon, Reynaldo 1.13
WAC GAMES ONLY
7. Mullings, Daniel 17.7
15.Dixon, Reynaldo 14.2
Field Goal Pct.
2.Dixon, Reynaldo .649
8.Nephawe, Tshilidzi .521
Free Throw Pct.
9.Dixon, Reynaldo .786
3-Point Field Goal Pct.
T8.Mullings, Daniel .438
Ross-Miller, K.C. .438
2.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 9.9
9.Mullings, Daniel 7.1
14.Dixon, Reynaldo 6.3
T6.Ross-Miller, K.C. 3.71
11.Mullings, Daniel 2.57
1.Mullings, Daniel 2.71
3-Point Field Goal Made
1.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 2.71
T5.Dixon, Reynaldo 1.71
12.Mullings, Daniel 0.71
T3.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 2.86
T3.Dixon, Reynaldo 2.86
T7.Mullings, Daniel 2.43
T10.Elbridge, DK 2.29
2.Nephawe, Tshilidzi 7.00
T10.Mullings, Daniel 4.71
3.Ross-Miller, K.C. 2.00
Aggies in the Nation
NM State dropped to second in the nation in free throws made (486) and also second in the nation in free throw attempts (701) after their precious first place ranking in both categories. The Aggies third place for total blocks coming up to fourth with 140 on the season. For total rebounds, NM State dropped to 18th (847), moved to 20th in block shots per game(6.1) and fell to 73th in total assists (299). NM State’s scoring offense (78.7 points/game) is ranked 35th in the nation up 19 spots from its previous rank, while its field goal percentage(48.2) is 24th best in the country.
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar is 17th in the nation in blocked shots with 59 on the season and junior guard Daniel Mullings is 22nd in the country with 46 total steals this season. Senior guard Kevin Aronis also makes an impact for the Aggies with his 75th place rank for 3-point field goals made.