Aggies Begin Three-Game Home Stand Thursday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/15/2013

The New Mexico State men's basketball team starts a three-game home stand with Utah State, Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. and San Jose State, Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. The games are AggieVision productions with Jeff Matthews and Glen Cerny. The games can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The games are also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.

Thursday's game is tape delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m., CSN-Houston until 1:30 p.m. and Fox Sports-Arizona until 1 a.m. on Jan. 18. The game is shown live on Comcast across New Mexico, Altitude2 and ESPN3. Saturday's game is shown live in Las Cruces, Comcast across New Mexico, Altitude2, Fox Sports-Arizona, ESPN3 and tape delayed on CSN-Houston until 7 a.m. on Jan. 20.

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies have won four straight games and have a 10-8 overall record and 4-2 WAC record. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.9 points per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson is also in double figures with 10.7 points per contest, while both senior forward Bandja Sy and freshman center Sim Bhullar follow with 9.9 points per game each.

Scouting Utah State

The Navy-clad Aggies are 14-1 overall and 5-0 in the WAC after a 66-60 win over San Jose State, Jan. 11. Junior guard Preston Medlin leads USU with 16.4 points per game. Junior forward/center Jarred Shaw adds 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and senior forward Kyisean Reed supplies 12.5 points per game.

Series Notes

Utah State has a slight edge 35-29 lead in the all-time series despite NM State winning both meetings last season. The Aggies recorded an 80-60 win, Jan. 12, 2012 in Las Cruces and 80-69 win, Feb. 11, 2012 in Logan, Utah.

Previous Game

NM State defeated Utah State, 80-69, in Logan, Utah, Feb. 11, 2012, for the first time since Feb. 11, 2006. The Aggies posted their first sweep of the Navy-clad Aggies since the 2005-06 season. NM State had four players in double-figures with forward Wendell McKines leading the way with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds. Guard Hernst Laroche had 16 points and seven assists. Forward Bandja Sy supplied 13 points, while center Hamidu Rahman had 10.

Scouting San Jose State

The Spartans have a 9-7 overall record and 3-2 league mark following a 66-60 loss at Utah State, Jan. 11. San Jose State plays at Denver, Jan. 17, before traveling to Las Cruces. Senior guard James Kinney has a team-high 20.6 points per game, while junior forward Chris Cunningham provides 11.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest.

Series Notes

The Aggies have a 32-12 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won both games last year, 79-63, Jan. 19, 2012 in San Jose, Calif., and 79-68, Feb. 25, 2012 in Las Cruces.

Previous Game

The Aggies defeated San Jose State, 79-68, in the home finale, Feb. 25, 2012. NM State had four players in double-figures on senior night. Senior center Hamidu Rahman tied a career-high with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the year. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines recorded his 16th double-double of the season and 43rd of his career with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Hernst Laroche added 11 points, while guard Daniel Mullings scored 10 points. NM State finished the 2011-12 home slate with a 14-3 record and 6-1 in WAC play.

Aggies Survive Road Trip and Sweep

NM State escaped Idaho with a 71-70 win, Jan. 12, after sophomore guard Daniel Mullings hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation. With the game tied, 70-70, with 3.5 seconds left, Mullings was fouled while trying to inbound the ball. He sank the second of two free throws to give the Aggies the lead. Mullings was 3-of-4 at the line and ended with night with eight points and three steals. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 16 points, and freshman center Sim Bhullar also had 16 points. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 14 points including a late basket in the final 10 seconds. The Aggies recorded a season-low four turnovers.

Aggies Earn Road Win at Seattle in 2OT

NM State recorded its first WAC road win of the year with an 83-82 victory in double overtime at Seattle, Jan. 10. Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points. This was the first multiple overtime game for the Aggies since the triple overtime thriller against Boise State in the 2008 WAC Championship game. Senior forward Bandja Sy contributed 23 points including a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the first overtime. En route to his career-high performance, Watson scored 14 points in the second half. He added five assists and seven steals, which helped the Aggies to a season-high 15 steals. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings also helped defensively with seven steals along with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Overtime Games

The double overtime game at Seattle, Jan. 10, was NM State's first overtime game of the season. It was also the first multiple overtime game since the 2007-08 season. This was the first multiple overtime win for the Aggies since the 1997-98 season, when NM State defeated Cal State Fullerton, 89-87, Jan. 8, 1998. The Aggies are 4-5 in overtime games under head coach Marvin Menzies.

Ross-Miller Has Career Night at Idaho

Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller helped the Aggies to a sweep on their most recent road trip with a career-high 16 points at Idaho, Jan. 12. He was 5-of-10 from the field, both personal-best marks, and it was his first multiple 3-point game (2-of-5).

Watson Leads Aggies at Seattle

Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points in the 83-82 double overtime win at Seattle, Jan. 10. He scored 14 points in the second half and eight points in the overtime periods, which was half of the Aggies' points. Watson was 10-of-18 from the field, both career-high marks, and 6-7 at the free-throw line. He added a season-high two blocked shots along with a career-best seven steals, which led to a season-high 15 steals for the Aggies, in a career-high 47 minutes of action. In the overtimes, Watson was 3-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line. This was Watson's second 20-point game of his career, and both have occurred this season.

Sy Has the Aggies Streaking

In the Aggies' four-game streak, senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly. He is averaging 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Sy is shooting 56.9 percent from the field (29-of-51) and 40 percent from the 3-point line (4-of-10) in the last four games.

Mullings Lights up Opponents

Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the Aggies in scoring in 2012-13 with 14.9 points per game and 17.5 points per game in WAC games. He had 10 consecutive games in double figures.

Ross-Miller Right on Target

Sophomore point guard K.C. Ross-Miller is learning on the job this season. He ranks second on the team with 51 assists. Ross-Miller has three six-assist games this season. In WAC games, he is averaging 3.0 assists per game.

Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint

Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 13.0 points per game. He has eight double-digit games this season and has two 20-point games. He scored a career-high 25 points against Missouri State, Dec. 22, and 20 versus Texas State, Jan. 5.

National Rankings for the Aggies

The Aggies are currently 38th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.3). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 12 games. The Aggies are 49th in blocked shots per game (4.9). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 45th in steals per game (2.17) and 61st in field goal percentage (53.3) as of Jan. 13.

Against the WAC Competition

Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in blocked shots (4.89 per game) and third in field goal percent defense (40.2), rebounding margin (+6.3) and defensive rebounds (26.22).

Individually, freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in the league in field goal percentage (62.3) and sixth in blocked shots (1.78 per game). Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks third in steals (2.17), fifth in field goal percentage (53.3), seventh in scoring (14.9) and ninth in free-throw percentage (74.1). Senior forward Bandja Sy is seventh in rebounding (6.9).

In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.50). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+3.3) and third in scoring offense (72.2), field goal percentage (47.6) and defensive rebounds (25.83).

Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (3.33), fourth in scoring (17.5) and eighth in field goal percentage (54.2). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is second in field goal percentage (60.8) and blocked shots (2.67). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks fifth in rebounding (7.5), eighth in scoring (14.5) and ninth in blocks (1.17). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is sixth in steals (1.67) and eighth in assists (3.67) and assist to turnover ratio (1.69). Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller is seventh in assist to turnover ratio (1.80), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is seventh in blocked shots (1.33) as of Jan. 12.

Aggies Control the Glass

NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.1 boards per game with a +6.3 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in 12 games.

Aggies Notch Double-Doubles

NM State has recorded five double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with two double-doubles each. Nephawe's first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also had a double-double against Louisiana, Nov. 23, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.  Sophomore guard Daniel Mulling had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at South Alabama, Dec. 4, and 16 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State, Jan. 5.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 45.5 percent. NM State has four players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (62.3), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (53.3), junior forward Renaldo Dixon (51.7) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage than their opponents in 10 games. 

Aggie Aggressiveness Leads to the Line

The Crimson and White are continuing the trend of getting to the free-throw line in 2012-13. In 16 games, the Aggies are averaging 24.5 attempts per game, 6.3 more attempts than their opponents.

Crimson and White Defense is Stifling

The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 64.3 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in seven of the 18 games.

Defense in the Menzies Era

In head coach Marvin Menzies' six seasons, the Aggie defense has continued to improve during his tenure. This year NM State has already held opponents to 60 or fewer points seven times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.

Allowing 60 points or less

2012-13                7 games

2011-12                9 games

2010-11                8 games

2009-10                2 games

2008-09                3 games

2007-08                6 games

Mullings Fuels the Offense

In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 13 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had six 20-point games this season and eight in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in every game but two this season. Mullings is shooting 48.1 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in eight games.

Nephawe Sidelined

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has missed the last seven games with an injury. He had surgery on his right hand, and his return to action is unknown at this time.

Watson's Senior Campaign Going Strong

In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored 24 points in the home opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. He made two 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career against Bucknell and Niagara. Watson has scored in double-figures in eight of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in 12 contests. The senior leads the team in assists with 5446 including three five-assist and one six-assist games.

Sy Shoots and Scores

Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in nine games and in double-figures in rebounding in four games. In the win at South Alabama, Dec. 4, he posted his second career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Sy recorded his third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Texas State, Jan. 5. That performance followed a career-high 25 points against UTSA, Jan. 3.

Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State

Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 112 career wins at NM State. He ranks fifth in school history, and directed the Aggies to their third 20-win season in his tenure in 2011-12.

All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)

Lou Henson-289

Neil McCarthy-229

Jerry Hines-157

Presley Askew-135

Marvin Menzies-112

Looking Ahead

The Aggies conclude the three-game home stand against Denver, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

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