The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts the final two WAC home games of the season. The Aggies meet Hawai'i, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. and San Jose State, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center. Both games are AggieVision broadcasts and shown across New Mexico on Comcast. The Hawai'i game is also available on KVIA 24/7 (channel 7.3) and ESPN Full Court. The San Jose State game is available on CW (channel 7.2), ESPN Full Court and tape delayed on Fox Sports-Arizona at 8 p.m. It is also senior night, and the Aggies will honor the three seniors with a postgame ceremony. 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 20-8 this season and 7-3 in the WAC. In the Sears BracketBuster, the Aggies beat Drake, 71-55, Feb. 18. NM State has three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 12.1 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.5 points per game.
The Rainbow Warriors are 15-11 overall and 6-4 in the WAC. Hawai'i fell at Montana, 94-79, in the Sears BracketBuster, Feb. 18. The Rainbow Warriors have three players in double digits with junior center Vander Joaquim supplying a team-high 14.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Zane Johnson adds 14.4 points per game, while junior forward Joston Thomas contributes 14.0 points per contest.
The Aggies have a 12-4 advantage in the all-time series. Hawai'i won the first meeting of the year, 91-87, in Honolulu, Jan. 21. NM State is looking to extend its home winning streak over the Rainbow Warriors. The Aggies are 6-0 in games played in Las Cruces.
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.
Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans are 9-17 and 1-9 in the WAC following a 79-67 BracketBuster win at Sacramento State, Feb. 18. San Jose State travels to Louisiana Tech, Thursday, Feb. 23, before the meeting with the Aggies. Junior guard James Kinney has a team-high 16.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Keith Shamburger adds 13.8 points per game, while senior forward Wil Carter contributes 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
The Aggies have a 31-12 lead in the all-time series after winning the first meeting of the season, 79-63, in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 19. NM State is 17-3 all-time against the Spartans in home games.
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. This was the Aggies' first 4-0 start to WAC play and first six-game win streak since the 2006-07 season.
Aggie Hall of Fame Induction
In addition to the senior night festivities, the Aggies are inducting its newest class of US Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame members at halftime of the San Jose State game. The class of 2012 includes former Aggie head athletic trainer C.R. Bickerstaff (posthumously), former sports information director (SID) at NM State Dave Lopez and former Aggie football standout Tony Wragge.
Aggies Overpower Drake
The Aggies defeated Drake, 71-55, in the Sears BracketBuster game on ESPNU, Feb. 18. NM State improved to 6-1 in the BracketBuster series for their 25th 20-win season in school history. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines posted his 15th double-double of the year and 42nd of his career with 25 points and 12 rebounds, which were both game-high marks. Senior guard Hernst Laroche contributed 17 points on a 6-of-7 performance from the field including a 3-of-3 showing from the 3-point line. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings was the third Aggie in double-figures with 10 points along with a career-high five steals.
A Season Milestone
For only the 25th time in school history, the Aggies have won 20 or more games in a season. This year with a 71-55 win over Drake in the Sears BracketBuster, Feb. 18, the Aggies accomplished the feat. This is also the second 20-win season for the Aggies under head coach Marvin Menzies.
Aggies Coast 100-68
NM State started its final four-game home stand with a 100-68 win over Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14. All five Aggie starters were in double-figures with junior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with a career-high 19 points. Senior center Hamidu Rahman added 18 points and eight rebounds and joined the 1,000-point club at NM State. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings scored 14 points, and junior forward Tyrone Watson supplied 13. Senior guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-digits with 12 points.
Rahman Joins the 1,000-Point Club
With the first basket of the second half against Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14, senior center Hamidu Rahman became the 30th member of the 1,000-career point club at NM State. He is the third Aggie to join the club this season with redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines and senior guard Hernst Laroche. Rahman also moved into third all-time on NM State's career blocked shots list after blocking a pair of shots.
Sensational Senior Class
The three-member senior class has made a significant impact for the Aggies. Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche and Hamidu Rahman have all joined the 1,000-point club at NM State this season. It is 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
11. Wendell McKines-1,363
20. Hernst Laroche-1,121
29. Hamidu Rahman-1,017
Across the Country
The Aggies rank No. 5 in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+7.9), No. 23 in scoring offense (77.5), No. 38 in scoring margin (+9.3) and field goal percentage (47.1). Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is seventh in double-doubles (15), No. 16 in rebounding (10.4) and No. 34 in points per game (18.3) as of Feb. 19.
NM State has tallied 17 double-doubles this season. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines has 41 career double-doubles and 15 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.
Trends and Tidbits
In 2011-12, the Aggies are 13-1 when they score 80 points or more. Currently, NM State is averaging 77.5 points per game. Additionally, the Aggies are 9-1 when they hold opponents to 70 points or less.
Against the WAC
As a team, the Aggies are leading the WAC in scoring offense (77.5 points per game), scoring margin (+9.3), rebounding margin (+7.9), rebounding offense (39.6 per game) and offensive rebounds (14.29 per game). NM State also ranks second in rebounding defense (31.8), steals (190), defensive rebounds (25.36) and third in field goal percentage (47.1) and 3-point field goal percent defense (32.9).
Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (10.4) and scoring (18.3 point per game). Senior guard Hernst Laroche is first in steals (49), third in 3-point field goal percentage (43.2), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.72) and seventh in assists (100). Senior center Hamidu Rahman is first in the league in field goal percentage (62.8), eighth in rebounds (6.1) and tied for seventh in blocked shots (28). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings is second in steals (43), while junior forward Tyrone Watson is eighth in assists (90) and assists/turnover ratio (1.58). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks 10th in blocked shots (22) as of Feb. 19.
In conference games only, the Aggies rank first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.5), rebounding margin (+8.1), rebounding offense (39.0), rebounding defense (30.9), offensive rebounds (14.40) and steals (66). NM State is second in scoring offense (75.0), scoring margin (+7.1) and third in assists (139) and defensive rebounds (24.60).
Individually, McKines ranks fourth in rebounding (9.8), tied for second in scoring (18.1) and third in free throw percentage (78.0). Laroche is first in steals (24), 3-point field goal percentage (43.2), eighth in assists (37) and ninth in assists/turnover ratio (1.54). Rahman ranks fourth in field goal percentage (61.3) and ninth in blocked shots (9). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is fifth in assists (46), 10th in field goal percentage (51.7) and sixth in assists/turnover ratio (1.84). Mullings is fifth in steals (14). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks fourth in free throw percentage (77.8) and 10th in blocked shots (8) as of Feb. 19.
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.
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 4,118 career minutes, and he broke the record Eric Channing previously held (3,783). He has 1,121 career points, which ranks No. 20 on the Aggies all-time scoring list. Laroche also collected his 200th career steal against Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14, and he is closing in on the all-time Aggie record as of Feb. 18.
Career Leaders in Steals
1. William Benjamin-209
2. Hernst Laroche-201
3. James Moore-174
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 185 points, 1135-950, as of Feb. 18.
Driving to the Basket
The Aggies haven't been afraid to drive to the basket this season. NM State has taken 849 free throw attempts in 28 games and has 326 more attempts than its opponents. The Aggies have made more free throws (564) then the opponents have attempted (523). The Aggies are leading the NCAA in free throws attempted per game (30.3) and rank second in free throws made per game (20.0). As a team, NM State is shooting 66.4 percent from the line, as of Feb. 18.
Aggies Own the Glass
NM State has a renewed focus on rebounding this season with a very experience front court. The Aggies have a +7.9 rebounding margin, which ranks fifth in the NCAA, and 1110-889 advantage on the boards. On the offensive glass, the Aggies have 98 more rebounds than their opponents (399-301). Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is averaging 10.4 rebounds, and senior center Hamidu Rahman is adding 6.1 boards per game, as of Feb. 18.
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-96
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 15 double-doubles this season, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. He has scored in double figures in 26 games and grabbed double-digit rebounds in 16 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 18 of the 28 games. He has also notched five or more assists in seven games with a season-high seven assists against San Francisco and at Utah State.
Rahman Controlling the Paint
Senior center Hamidu Rahman is an anchor for the Aggies in the middle. He has 16 double-figure games and five or more rebounds in 21 games. Rahman has attempted multiple free throws in 27 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 27 games this season. He scored a season-high 14 points at Louisiana Tech, Jan. 7. Watson also has posted three or more assists in 18 games in 2011-12 including a career-high eight assists at Idaho, Feb. 9.
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 4,118 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 (516) at NM State. He trails Sam Crawford by 76 assists (592).
Career Leaders in Assists
1. Sam Crawford-592
2. Hernst Laroche-516
3. Keith Hill-379
Rahman Climbs the Ladder
Senior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 122 career blocked shots. He is now No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list as of Feb. 18.
Career Leaders in Blocked Shots
1. James Moore-200
2. Slab Jones-124
3. Hamidu Rahman-122
4. Charles Goza-116
McKines Returns to the Hardwood
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks No. 2 on the all-time rebounding list at NM State with 1,042 boards and No. 11 in scoring with 1,363 career points. McKines has posted 15 double-doubles in 2011-12 and has 42 in his career as of Feb. 18.
Career Leaders in Rebounds
1. Sam Lacey-1,265
2. Wendell McKines-1,042
3. Slab Jones-951
The Aggies finish the regular season at Nevada, Thursday, March 1 at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and Fresno State, Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m.