The New Mexico State men's basketball team is taking a break from WAC play to host CSU Bakersfield, Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The Aggies return to conference play when they host Louisiana Tech, Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center. The Bakersfield game is available on AggieVision, Comcast, Fox Sports-Arizona, KVIA 24/7 (Channel 7.3) and ESPN Full Court. The Louisiana Tech game is broadcast on AggieVision, Comcast and CW (7.2). The games are available on KGRT 104 FM with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The contests are also available in Spanish on Vista 98 FM with Martin Cortez.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 15-7 this season and 5-2 in the WAC following a 60-56 win over Fresno State, Jan. 28. NM State has three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 12.2 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.0 points per game.
Scouting CSU Bakersfield
The Roadrunners have an 11-11 overall record. CSU Bakersfield had its four-game win streak snapped at San Jose State, 78-70, Jan. 23, and against Cal State Northridge, 76-68, Jan. 28. The Roadrunners have a pair of double-digit scorers with 11.5 points per game from junior guard Issiah Grayson and 11.3 points per game from junior guard Stephon Carter.
The Aggies improved their all-time advantage to 2-0 after winning the first meeting of the season, 73-72, in Bakersfield, Calif., Jan. 2. NM State handed the Roadrunners their first home loss of the season. The Aggies won the first-ever meeting 88-64, Dec. 7, 1985 in Las Cruces.
Junior forward Tyrone Watson hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation to give NM State a 73-72 win at Bakersfield, Jan. 2. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings had a career-high 21 points for the Aggies. Watson ended the night with nine points going 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was the only other Aggie in double digits with 12 points.
Scouting Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs are 11-11 and 3-4 in the WAC following a two-point loss to Nevada, 65-63, Jan. 28 in Ruston. Louisiana Tech has three players in double figures with freshman guard Raheem Appleby posting a team-high 13.5 points per game. Senior guard Trevor Gaskins and sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson add 10.5 and 10.0 points per contest, respectively.
The Aggies have a 13-3 all-time series lead over the Bulldogs. NM State has won the last five games in the series after winning the first meeting of the season, 83-73, Jan. 7 in Ruston, La.
The Aggies opened the 2011-12 WAC season with an 83-73 win at Louisiana Tech in the conference opener for both teams, Jan. 7, in Ruston, La. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines recorded his ninth double-double of the year and 36th of his career with a game-high 25 points and 14 rebounds. NM State had four players in double-figures with 14 points from senior guard Hernst Laroche and junior forward Tyrone Watson, which was a season-high mark. Senior center Hamidu Rahman also supplied 11 points.
Aggies Escape Fresno State
Junior forward Tyrone Watson sank two free throws with 14 seconds remaining in regulation to seal a four-point win, 60-56, for the Aggies over Fresno State in the annual Lou Henson Classic, Jan. 28. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines scored a game-high 20 points along with 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the year for the Aggies. Watson, senior center Hamidu Rahman and sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe supplied eight points each.
Laroche Nets Season-High 21, Aggies Fall to Nevada
Despite a season-high 21 points from senior guard Hernst Laroche, NM State's late comeback against Nevada fell short, 68-60, Jan. 26. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ended the game with 15 points and eight rebounds.
NM State-Nevada Notes
In a battle for first place in the WAC standings, the Aggies suffered their first loss of the season when they hold a team to 70 points or fewer against Nevada, Jan. 26. NM State also had a season-high 22 3-point field goal attempts versus the Wolf Pack.
Across the Country
The Aggies rank No. 8 in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+8.0) and No. 28 in scoring offense (77.2). Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is 10th in double-doubles (12), No. 16 in rebounding (10.3) and No. 32 in points per game (18.3) as of Jan. 29.
Laroche is an Aggie Iron Man
With his 118th consecutive game started at San Jose State, Jan. 19, senior guard Hernst Laroche became the 29th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State with his second field goal of the game. He also became the all-time school record for career minutes played in the game. Laroche now has 3,922 career minutes, and he broke the record Eric Channing previously held (3,783). He has 1,049 career points, which ranks No. 24 on the Aggies all-time scoring list.
NM State has tallied 14 double-doubles this season. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines has 39 career double-doubles and 12 this season. Senior center Hamidu Rahman also has a double-double this year. Junior forward Bandja Sy posted his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Hawai'i, as of Jan. 22.
Against the WAC
As a team, the Aggies are leading the WAC in scoring offense (77.2 points per game), scoring margin (+7.7), rebounding margin (+8.0), rebounding offense (40.4 per game) and offensive rebounds (14.82 per game). NM State also ranks second in rebounding defense (32.4), defensive rebounds (25.55) and third in steals (144).
Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (10.3) and scoring (18.3 points per game). Senior guard Hernst Laroche is first in steals (37), third in 3-point field goal percentage (44.1) sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67) and seventh in assists (77). Senior center Hamidu Rahman is second in the league in field goal percentage (62.3) and tied for sixth in rebounds (6.4). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings is tied for sixth in steals (27), while junior forward Tyrone Watson is tied for 10th in assists (58). Junior forward Bandja Sy and sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe are tied for ninth in blocked shots (16) as of Jan. 28.
In conference games only, the Aggies rank first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.8), rebounding margin (+9.7), rebounding offense (41.1), offensive rebounds (15.14) and defensive rebounds (26.00). NM State is second in scoring offense (75.6), scoring margin (+7.1) and rebounding defense (31.4). The team ranks third in field goal percentage defense (42.1), assists (92) and steals (40).
Individually, McKines ranks third in rebounding (10.0), second in scoring (19.1) and eighth in free throw percentage (76.6). Laroche is first in steals (15), second in 3-point field goal percentage (50.0), ninth in assists (23), assists/turnover ratio (1.28) and 3-poitners made (14). Rahman ranks fifth in field goal percentage (61.1). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is seventh in assists (27) and assists/turnover ratio (1.42) and ninth in field goal percentage (52.5). Mullings is 10th in rebounding (5.7) and steals (7), and sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks ninth in blocked shots (7) as of Jan. 28.
Late Rally Falls Short at Hawai'i
Despite a late second-half rally, NM State fell at Hawai'i, 91-87, Jan. 21, which snapped a six-game win streak. The Aggies suffered their first loss in WAC play with five players in double-figures. Junior forward Bandja Sy collected his first-career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, both career-high marks. Senior center Hamidu Rahman had 16 points, while redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines contributed 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 13 points, and freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 12.
NM State-Hawai'i Notes
At Hawai'i, the Aggies set season-high marks in four categories including field goals made (33), field goal attempts (81), assists (18) and steals (16). NM State also suffered its first loss of the season when it scores 80 points for more. The Aggies are 10-1 when scoring 80 points or more.
Aggies Cruise at San Jose State
NM State coasted to a 79-63 win at San Jose State, Jan. 19. The Aggies earned their second WAC road win of the year for their sixth straight victory. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines scored a game-high 24 points, while senior center Hamidu Rahman had a season-high 20 points. Senior guard Hernst Laroche added 15 points. With his second field goal of the game, Laroche became the 29th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State. He is the second player to join the elite club this season. Laroche also broke the school record for career minutes played (3,811) that Eric Channing previously held (3,783).
NM State-San Jose State Notes
The Aggies earned their first 4-0 start to WAC play since 2006-07 with the win. The Crimson and White also had a six-game win streak was the first since 2006-07.
Strong Second-Half Showings
The Aggies have had strong second-half performances this season. NM State has surged in the second half and outscored opponents by 141 points, 899-758, as of Jan. 28.
Driving to the Basket
The Aggies haven't been afraid to drive to the basket this season. NM State has taken 719 free throw attempts in 22 games and has 280 more attempts than its opponents. The Aggies have made more free throws (478) then the opponents have attempted (439). As a team, NM State is shooting 66.5 percent from the line, as of Jan. 28.
Aggies Own the Glass
NM State has a renewed focus on rebounding this season with a very experience front court. The Aggies have a +8.0 rebounding margin, which ranks No. 8 in the country, and 888-713 advantage on the boards. On the offensive glass, the Aggies have 89 more rebounds than their opponents (325-236). Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is averaging 10.3 rebounds, and senior center Hamidu Rahman is adding 6.4 boards per game, as of Jan. 28.
Menzies Is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies recorded his 80th victory at NM State in 2011-12. Following the 91-66 win over Southern, Dec. 19, he moved into fifth on the all-time winningest coaches list in program history.
All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)
1. Lou Henson-289
2. Neil McCarthy-229
3. Jerry Hines-157
4. Presley Askew-135
5. Marvin Menzies-91
6. Weldon Drew-82
McKines Leading the Way in His Final Season
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines looks to leave a lasting legacy in his fifth season in Las Cruces. McKines has 12 double-doubles this season. He has scored in double figures in 21 games and grabbed double-digit rebounds in 13 games. He became the 28th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State with his first field goal at Southern Miss, Dec. 4.
Laroche is a Dual Threat
Senior point guard Hernst Laroche has been a model of consistency in his Aggie career. This season, Laroche has scored in double digits in 14 of the 22 games. He has also notched five or more assists in six games with a season-high seven assists against San Francisco.
Rahman Controlling the Paint
Senior center Hamidu Rahman is an anchor for the Aggies in the middle. He has 12 double-figure games and five or more rebounds in 18 games. Rahman has attempted multiple free throws in 21 games. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds against Western New Mexico, Dec. 14. Rahman scored a season-high 20 points at San Jose State, Jan. 19.
Watson Maintains Supporting Role
Junior forward Tyrone Watson has started in 21 games this season. He scored a season-high 14 points at Louisiana Tech, Jan. 7. Watson also has posted three or more assists in 12 games in 2011-12 including a season-high six assists at Cal State Bakersfield, Jan. 2, and against Fresno State, Jan. 28.
Senior guard Hernst Laroche returned for his final season in Las Cruces and started his 100th consecutive game at Northern Colorado, Nov. 12. Jonathan Gibson has the school record in games played with 131. Laroche has 3,922 career minutes played, and he moved into No. 1 spot on the school record list at San Jose State, Jan. 19.
Laroche also ranks second on the all-time list for career assists (493) at NM State. He trails Sam Crawford by 99 assists (592).
Career Leaders in Assists
1. Sam Crawford-592
2. Hernst Laroche-493
3. Keith Hill-379
4. Ernest Patterson-371
5. Steve Colter-347
Rahman Climbs the Ladder
Senior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 111 career blocked shots. He is now No. 4 on the Aggie all-time list as of Jan. 28.
Career Leaders in Blocked Shots
1. James Moore-200
2. Slab Jones-124
3. Charles Goza-116
4. Hamidu Rahman-111
5. Johnny Roberson-98
6. Sam Lacey-92
7. Martin Iti-82
McKines Returns to the Hardwood
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks No. 2 on the all-time rebounding list at NM State with 988 boards and No. 12 in scoring with 1,271 career points. McKines has posted 12 double-doubles in 2011-12 and has 39 in his career as of Jan. 28.
Career Leaders in Rebounds
1. Sam Lacey 1,265
2. Wendell McKines 988
3. Slab Jones 951
4. George Knighton 866
5. Billy Joe Price 824
6. Charles Gosa 788
The Aggies return to the road for a pair of WAC games at Idaho, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. and at Utah State, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.