Aggies Picked to Finish Second in WAC Coaches Poll
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  10/18/2011

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Oct. 18)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team was voted to finish second in the WAC Preseason Coaches Poll. In the media poll, the Aggies were picked third.

Senior forward Wendell McKines was voted to the Preseason All-WAC Coaches and Media teams, while senior guard Hernst Laroche earned a second team nod on the Preseason All-WAC Coaches team.

"I like the fact that we have something to shoot for with having teams ranked above us in both polls," head coach Marvin Menzies said. "I think that can be used for motivation. We have some really good teams that are on the borderline that can make noise at the very top of the poll like Hawai'i and Idaho. It's going to be another balanced, competitive season in the WAC, so I'm looking forward to it."

McKines returns for his fifth season after missing the 2010-11 campaign due to injury. As a junior, McKines started in 23 games for the Aggies. He averaged 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game en route to helping the Aggies to a WAC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance. McKines ranks No.6 on the all-time rebounding list at NM State with 761 boards. He also posted nine double-doubles in 2009-10 and has 27 in his career. He was an honorable mention 2009-10 All-WAC selection.

Laroche has a streak of 99 consecutive games started as an Aggie after he started in all 33 games as a junior. He ranks No. 6 on NM State's all-time list for minutes played with 3,209. Laroche ranks second on the school's all-time career assists list with 416 assists. In 2010-11, he dished 152 assists, a mark that ranks No. 6 on the single-season list, and swiped 62 steals, which ranks tied for No. 5 on the single-season list. Laroche also contributed to the offense with 11.5 points per game, which was second best on the team.

"Obviously, anytime you receive individual accolades because of a team's success and prior success, I think that's a good thing," Menzies said. "I think it's nice to be recognized, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the results that come in when the season is over."

In its six years in the WAC, NM State has a regular season title (2007-08), two second-place finishes, two third-place showings and a fourth-place finish along with two tournament championships (2007 and 2010).

The Aggies open the 2011-12 season on the road at Northern Colorado, Nov. 12 in Greeley, Colo., with a veteran squad of nine returning players. 

Coaches Preseason Results

1-Nevada (5)            46

2-New Mexico State      41

3-Utah State (3)        38

4-Hawaii                32

5-Idaho                 24

6-Fresno State          18

7-San Jose State        14

8-Louisiana Tech        11

Preseason All-WAC Coaches Teams

First Team

Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Vander Joaquim, Jr., C, Hawaii

Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawaii

Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State

Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Second Team

Kyle Barone, Jr., C, Idaho

Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada

Hernst Laroche, Sr., G, New Mexico State

Brady Jardine, Sr., F, Utah State

Malik Story, Jr., G, Nevada

Coaches Preseason Player of the Year: Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Media Preseason Poll Results

1-Utah State (13)       174

2-Nevada (5)            162

3-New Mexico State (3)  150

4-Hawaii (3)            126

5-Idaho                 89

6-San Jose State        66

7-Fresno State          59

8-Louisiana Tech        38

Media Preseason All-WAC Team

Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada

Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada

Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawaii

Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State

Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Player of the Year: Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Shaquille Stokes, Fr., G, Hawaii

‹ New Mexico State Men's Basketball

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