NM State vs. Idaho Coverage
Television: ROOT Sports
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 (17-8, 6-3 WAC) takes on Seattle U for the second time this season on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. (MT) in Seattle, Wash. The game airs on the radio in Las Cruces on KGRT 104 FM with “Voice of the Aggies,” Jack Nixon be giving a play-by-play. Live stats are available online at www.NMStateSports.com and in-game updates are given during the game on Twitter @NMStateAggies. The game will be televised by ROOT Sports and fans should check with their local satellite or Cable Company for airtimes.
NM State takes on Kansas City, Thursday, Feb. 13 in the Pan American Center. The game is tabbed as the Lou Henson Classic and is set to air on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with AggieVision producing the game for television. TV coverage in Las Cruces will be blacked out but Comcast will carry the game throughout the rest of New Mexico. Please check with your local satellite or cable provider for show times. 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 has had two seven-game winning streaks this season with the first going on November 9 against Tennessee State in Honolulu. The final victory of that streak was against Prairie View A&M as the Aggies won 91-60 in Las Cruces on November 27. The second seven-game winning streak began on December 14 in Des Moines, Iowa when NM State defeated Drake 81-63 in overtime. The final victory of that streak came against Idaho on January 11 when NM State won 78-54 in the Pan American Center. The winning streak was 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 three consecutive home victories, including a dominating 72-49 win over first-place Utah Valley, Saturday, Feb. 1.
The Aggies are now sitting at 6-3 in league play after losing to Idaho on Thursday. NM State is 5-6 when playing on the road and is 1-3 when taking on conference opponents on the road this season.
The Aggies are averaging 77.9 points per game this season and are shooting 48.5 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 36.7 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 36.5 per game to 32.6 per game (+3.8 rebounding margin).
Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 17.3 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 47 steals this season. He also has 76 assists on the offensive end of the court and nine blocks on the defensive side.
Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who returned to the court on Thursday Jan. 30 after missing six straight games due to a foot injury, leads the team with a WAC-best 65 blocks this season. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is now the team-leader in rebounds with 7.6 per game and he has 34 blocks this year, which includes a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11).
Senior guard Kevin Aronis leads the Aggies in 3-point shooting percentage at 42.6 percent and has made the most 3-pointers with 55. Junior guard DK Eldridge is second on the team in 3-point shooting percentage going 38.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc (30-of-78).
Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made nine consecutive starts heading into Saturday’s game against Idaho and is averaging 24.8 minutes per game this season. He is posting 8.2 points per game and is grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game.
Looking Back (game recap vs. Idaho)
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team was outscored by 10 points in the second half and ended up falling 73-67 in Cowan Spectrum, Thursday, Feb. 6. The Aggies are now 17-8 overall and 6-3 in Western Athletic Conference play and Idaho moves to 9-14 on the year and 3-6 in league play.
The Aggies went into the half with a 36-32 lead, which makes it the first time this season that NM State lost a game where they went into the locker room at halftime with the lead. NM State struggled at the free throw line going 6-of-15 from the stripe and was out-rebounded by the Vandals 38-34.
Junior guard Daniel Mullings put in 20 points hitting 9-of-18 shots while going 2-of-4 from the free throw line. This was the eighth time this season that Mullings has scored 20 points in a game and he is now tied for 13th on the all-time scoring list at NM State with Charles Gosa, who scored 1,233 points from 1995-99.
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar saw 26 minutes of action and went 4-of-5 from the field for eight points while grabbing seven board and blocking five shots. Those five blocks gives him 150 on his career and he is only the second Aggie to ever post 150 blocks in an Aggie uniform.
Series history versus Seattle U
This will be the sixth meeting between NM State and Seattle U. The Aggies are 4-1 all-time against Seattle U after defeating the Redhawks 96-87 on Jan. 9, 2014 in the Pan American Center.
Aggies vs. Seattle at home: 3-0
Aggies vs. Seattle on the road: 1-1
Aggies vs. Seattle at neutral site: 0-0
W (91-78) … Home … Dec. 28, 1970
L (77-71) … Road … Feb. 20, 1971
W (83-82) … Road … Jan. 10, 2013
W (60-57) … Home … Feb. 9, 2013
W (96-87) … Home … Jan. 9, 2014
Scouting the Redhawks
Seattle U is coached by Cameron Dollar, who is in his fifth season with the team. The Redhawks have three starters from last year’s team including D’Vonne Pickett Jr., Deshaun Sunderhaus and Clarence Trent. Junior guard Isiah Umipig has made an immediate impact for Seattle U this season after sitting out last season. The transfer from Cal State Fullerton has been named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week twice and is averaging 18.5 points per game. Umipig has made 65 3-pointers this season and has an 80.8 free throw shooting percentage.
Deshaun Sundershuas is second on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per game and is the leading shot-blocker of the team with 24 this season. He is also leading the team in rebounds with 6.2 per game. Jareel Flora has played in all 21 game this season and is averaging 27.3 minutes a game while posting 8.9 points per game.
Last Game Against Seattle U
Starting his second-consecutive game in place of injured center Sim Bhullar, senior forward Renaldo Dixon marked a career-high 18 points to pace the New Mexico State basketball team to a 96-87 victory over Seattle University Thursday, Jan. 11 inside the Pan American Center.
The Aggies improved to 13-5 overall and started Western Athletic Conference play with two-consecutive wins. Seattle fell to 8-7 on the season and 0-2 in the WAC after the loss.
NM State shot over 50 percent (52.9) from the field while holding the Redhawks to 48.4 percent. The Aggies also had a good night from 3-point range, sinking 7-of-17 threes for a 41.2 3-point shooting percentage. Senior guard Kevin Aronis led the 3-point charge by sinking half of his shots from beyond the arc (3-of-6).
Bhullar missed his second-straight game with a foot injury. His absence was felt as NM State was outrebounded 35-33 and outscored in the paint 30-28. The Aggies made up for the paint production, however, by causing 16 Seattle turnovers.
Dixon went 4-of-7 from the field and sank 10-of-12 free throws for his 18 points. Junior guard DK Eldridge joined Dixon with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting to lead NM State. Eldridge also had nine rebounds, falling one rebound short of marking his third-consecutive double-double.
Aronis added another 15 points, 13 of which came in the first half. NM State’s leading scorer, junior guard Daniel Mullings, finished with 13 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Junior guard K.C. Ross-Miller also finished in double figures with 12 points.
Ross-Miller, however, did have his consecutive free throw streak snapped at 33 after missing his first foul shot of the game in the second half. Ross-Miller was three foul shots away from tying the Aggie record for consecutive free throws made.
Aggies on the Road
NM State is 5-6 overall on the road this season while going 1-3 on the road during conference play. The most recent win on the road by the Aggies came against the Grand Canyon ‘Lopes on Jan. 4, 2014.
The Aggies have a +0.3 scoring margin scoring over their opponents on the road and are averaging 74.3 points per game. NM State averages 35.0 rebounds per game on the road with 385 total rebounds on the road this season.
The Aggies have a 45.5 percent field goal percentage hitting going 275-for-604 when playing on an opponent’s floor.
Fellow guards Daniel Mullings and KC Ross-Miller lead the team in total points with 182 (16.5/game) and 120 (10.9/game) total points in away games. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe leads NM State in rebounds averaging 7.6 rebounds per game. Nephawe comes in second for the team in blocks with 15, trailing only Sim Bhullar who has 30 blocks on the road. Bhullar had five blocks against Idaho on Thursday.
Mullings Earns Second Consecutive WAC Player of the Week Award
The Western Athletic Conference office named junior guard Daniel Mullings the WAC men’s basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2. This is his fourth Player of the Week honor of the season and the fourth of his career.
Mullings, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Laurier HS), averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two wins last week to help the Aggies hold on to a tie for second place in the WAC standings. He was also a perfect 20-for-20 from the charity stripe.
In an 89-86 victory over Bakersfield, Mullings led the Aggies with 19 points, including four points in the final two minutes of the game, to go along with six rebounds and two assists. He followed it up with a game-high 21 points while also tying for the New Mexico State lead in rebounds with eight in a blowout win over Utah Valley, which entered the game on an eight-game winning streak and was undefeated in WAC play.
Mullings is averaging 17.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game this season. He is shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 74.1 percent from the free throw line this year.
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 2012-13 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 416 points this season and now has 1,233 points in his career. He is currently averaging 17.3 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list. Mullings currently sits tied at No. 13 on the list after he recently surpassed former Aggie Johnny Roberson (1986-89), who scored 1,223 points during his time with NM State.
He now needs 100 points to tie for the No. 12 spot with former Aggie great Steve Colter (1981-84). Colter put in 1,333 points while he averaged 19.5 points during his senior season (1983-84).
If Mullings maintains this pace, by the end of the regular season he could 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
11. Ernest Patterson (1980-83) – 1,419
12. Steve Colter (1981-84) – 1,333
13. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 1,233
Charles Gosa (1995-99) – 1,233
15. Johnny Roberson (1986-89) – 1,223
16. Hernst Laroche (2008-12) – 1,209
17. Keith Hill (1987-90) – 1,201
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 125 steals and 46 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. NM State is averaging 5.0 steals per game compared to their opponent’s average of 5.4 steals versus the Aggies.
Mullings has 184 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) – 184
4. James Moore (2000-03) – 174
5. Randy Brown (1988-92) – 162
Foreign Players at NM State
Out of 524 NCAA Division I players, the Aggies are recognized for a team that has a large amount of foreign players on the roster. With seven foreigners, NM State is joined by Eastern Washington, Maine and Nicholls St. as having the highest number of foreign players a majority coming from Canada and Australia.
Center Tshilidzi Nephawe, from Johannesburg, South Africa is the team leader with 7.6 rebounds per game and has 190 this season. Sim Bhullar, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the leader in blocked shots by a large margin with 65, compared to the second closest player, Naphawe, with 34. Reynaldo Dixon, a forward from Toronto, Ontario, Canada has 26 blocks and is averaging 8.2 points per game.
Bhullar also marks the highest field goal percentage at 67.3 percent. Froward Remi Barry from Paris, France, is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury against Colorado State earlier this season. Also from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Daniel Mullings leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points per game and 369 total points this year.
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 150 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 one block against South Alabama. Bhullar has tallied at least one block shot in 22 straight games he has played in.
Through 14 games in last season, Bhullar only had 29 blocks, compared to his 53 blocks after 17 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-single 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), 150
3. Hamidu Rahman (2008-12), 137
4. Slab Jones (1976-80), 124
5. Charles Gosa (1995-99), 116
NM State has dunked the ball 90 times compared to its opponents only dunking it on the Aggies 43 times this year. Sim Bhullar leads the way with 29 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.