The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns to the road for a pair of WAC games. The Aggies meet Idaho, Thursday, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. in Moscow, Idaho, and Utah State, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. in Logan, Utah on ESPN2 with Dave Fleming and Miles Simon. 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.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 17-7 this season and 6-2 in the WAC following an 83-72 win over Louisiana Tech to start the second round of conference play, Feb. 4. NM State has three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 11.9 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.2 points per game.
The Vandals have a 12-11 overall record and 5-4 WAC record after handing Nevada its first conference loss, 72-68, Feb. 4 in Reno, Nev. Idaho hosts Seattle in a non-conference matchup, Tuesday, Feb. 7. The Vandals have three players in double figures with senior guard Deremy Geiger posting a team-high 12.9 points per game. Junior center Kyle Barone adds 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Stephen Madison supplies 12.0 points per contest.
The Aggies have a 20-3 advantage in the series with the Vandals. NM State has won the last five games in the series after taking the first meeting of the year, 80-68, Jan. 14, in Las Cruces.
The Aggies won their fifth consecutive game with an 80-68 victory over Idaho, Jan. 14. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Hernst Laroche had a season-high 20 points on a 5-of-10 performance from the field including a 3-for-5 showing at the 3-point line. The Crimson and White post players also contributed with 12 points from senior Hamidu Rahman and 10 points from sophomore Tshilidzi Nephawe.
Scouting Utah State
The Navy-clad Aggies are 12-12 and 4-5 in the league following a 60-54 loss at Fresno State, Feb. 4. Utah State hosts Louisiana Tech, Feb. 9. Utah State has three players with double-digit averages and redshirt sophomore guard Preston Medlin leads the way with 15.2 points per game. Senior guard Brockeith Pane adds 12.4 points per contest, while junior forward Kyisean Reed supplies 10.1 points per game.
Utah State has a slight 35-28 lead in the all-time series. NM State won the first game of the season, 80-60, Jan. 12 in Las Cruces.
NM State defeated Utah State, 80-60, in its WAC home opener, Jan. 12. The Aggies had five players in double-figures with freshman guard Daniel Mullings leading the way with 17 points. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines posted 13 points and 11 rebounds. NM State had a dominating inside presence and scored 52 points in the paint with sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe tying a season-high mark with 12 points, while senior center Hamidu Rahman contributed 11. Senior guard Hernst Laroche added 10 points with six assists.
Aggie Hold off Late Charge
The Aggies began the second half of WAC play with an 83-72 win over Louisiana Tech, Feb. 4. NM State ended the game with a 20-5 run to hold off the Bulldogs. Senior center Hamidu Rahman had a team-high 20 points, which tied his season-high mark, on a 7-of-10 performance from the field. It was the fourth 20-point showing of his career. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 15 points, with 14 scored in the second half including eight consecutive in the late Aggie run, and seven rebounds. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines posted his 14th double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while junior forward Tyrone Watson had a game-high seven assists, which tied a career high.
Sensational Senior Class
The three-member senior class has made a significant impact for the Aggies. Both Wendell McKines and Hernst Laroche have joined the 1,000-point club at NM State, and Hamidu Rahman is only 32 points shy of joining the club. With Rahman's inclusion, it would be the first time in school history the Aggies have had three players join the 1,000-career point club in a single season.
Career Scoring Rankings
12. Wendell McKines-1,306
22. Hernst Laroche-1,067
-- Hamidu Rahman-968
McKines Joins 1,000-1,000 Club, Aggies Roll 78-57
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines became a member of the 1,000-career point and 1,000-career rebound club and led the Aggies to a 78-57 win over CSU Bakersfield, Feb. 1. With his 12th rebound of the game with 7:45 minutes remaining, McKines joined the elite club. He is only the second player in school history along with Sam Lacey, second active player in the NCAA (T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State) and 12th player in the WAC history to achieve the feat. McKines also had his 13th double-double of the year and 40th of his career with a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while senior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 10 points and four assists. For the second consecutive game, sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe blocked four shots.
Aggies to Host Drake in Sears BracketBuster TV Game
NM State has been selected to host Drake, Feb. 18, in a nationally televised Sears BracketBuster game on ESPNU at 1 p.m. The Aggies have home court advantage for the second consecutive season. NM State leads the all-time series 16-9. The Aggies are 11-2 in games played in Las Cruces against the former Missouri Valley Conference foes, but they haven't met since the 1982-83 season.
Across the Country
The Aggies rank No. 11 in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+7.7) and No. 26 in scoring offense (77.5). Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is fifth in double-doubles (14), No. 16 in rebounding (10.5) and No. 37 in points per game (18.3) as of Feb. 5.
NM State has tallied 14 double-doubles this season. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines has 41 career double-doubles and 14 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 Feb. 7.
Against the WAC
As a team, the Aggies are leading the WAC in scoring offense (77.5 points per game), scoring margin (+8.4), rebounding margin (+7.7), rebounding offense (40.0 per game) and offensive rebounds (14.63 per game). NM State also ranks second in rebounding defense (32.3), defensive rebounds (25.38) and third in field goal percentage (46.2) and steals (157).
Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (10.5) and scoring (18.3 points per game). Senior guard Hernst Laroche is first in steals (40), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (41.3), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.68) and seventh in assists (84). Senior center Hamidu Rahman is first in the league in field goal percentage (61.8) and seventh in rebounds (6.2). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings is fifth in steals (31), while junior forward Tyrone Watson is ninth in assists (68). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe is ninth in free throw percentage (75.9) and tied for eighth in blocked shots (20), while junior forward Bandja Sy is 10th in blocks (16) as of Feb. 4.
In conference games only, the Aggies rank first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.2), rebounding margin (+9.0), rebounding offense (40.6), rebounding defense (31.6) and offensive rebounds (15.25). NM State is second in scoring offense (76.5), scoring margin (+7.6) and third in field goal percentage (47.7), assists (108) and steals (47) and defensive rebounds (23.22).
Individually, McKines ranks third in rebounding (10.0), in scoring (18.6) and sixth in free throw percentage (77.1). Laroche is first in steals (17), second in 3-point field goal percentage (43.8), 10th in assists (26) and ninth in assists/turnover ratio (1.30). Rahman ranks second in field goal percentage (62.5). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is fifth in assists (34) and seventh in assists/turnover ratio (1.62). Mullings is ninth in rebounding (5.9), field goal percentage (51.6) and seventh in steals (10). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks third in free throw percentage (81.0) and 10th in blocked shots (7) as of Feb. 4.
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 3,995 career minutes, and he broke the record Eric Channing previously held (3,783). He has 1,067 career points, which ranks No. 22 on the Aggies all-time scoring list.
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.
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 162 points, 980-818, as of Feb. 4.
Driving to the Basket
The Aggies haven't been afraid to drive to the basket this season. NM State has taken 771 free throw attempts in 24 games and has 308 more attempts than its opponents. The Aggies have made more free throws (513) then the opponents have attempted (463). As a team, NM State is shooting 66.5 percent from the line, as of Feb. 4.
Aggies Own the Glass
NM State has a renewed focus on rebounding this season with a very experience front court. The Aggies have a +7.7 rebounding margin, which ranks No. 11 in the country, and 960-776 advantage on the boards. On the offensive glass, the Aggies have 90 more rebounds than their opponents (350-260). Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is averaging 10.5 rebounds, and senior center Hamidu Rahman is adding 6.2 boards per game, as of Feb. 4.
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-93
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 14 double-doubles this season, which ranks fifth in the NCAA. He has scored in double figures in 23 games and grabbed double-digit rebounds in 15 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 15 of the 24 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 13 double-figure games and five or more rebounds in 18 games. Rahman has attempted multiple free throws in 23 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 and against Louisiana Tech, Feb. 4.
Watson Maintains Supporting Role
Junior forward Tyrone Watson has started in 23 games this season. He scored a season-high 14 points at Louisiana Tech, Jan. 7. Watson also has posted three or more assists in 14 games in 2011-12 including a season-high seven assists against Louisiana Tech, Feb. 4, which tied his career-best mark.
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 3,995 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 (500) at NM State. He trails Sam Crawford by 92 assists (592).
Career Leaders in Assists
1. Sam Crawford-592
2. Hernst Laroche-500
3. Keith Hill-379
4. Ernest Patterson-371
5. Steve Colter-347
Rahman Climbs the Ladder
Senior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 112 career blocked shots. He is now No. 4 on the Aggie all-time list as of Feb. 4.
Career Leaders in Blocked Shots
1. James Moore-200
2. Slab Jones-124
3. Charles Goza-116
4. Hamidu Rahman-112
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 1,012 boards and No. 12 in scoring with 1,306 career points. McKines has posted 14 double-doubles in 2011-12 and has 41 in his career as of Feb. 4.
Career Leaders in Rebounds
1. Sam Lacey 1,265
2. Wendell McKines 1,012
3. Slab Jones 951
4. George Knighton 866
5. Billy Joe Price 824
6. Charles Gosa 788
The Aggies host two non-conference games against Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and the Sears BracketBuster game against Drake, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.