The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts San Jose State in the home finale, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center. The game is on AggieVision and shown across New Mexico on Comcast, 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 game is available on KGRT 104 FM with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The contest is also available in Spanish on Vista 98 FM with Martin Cortez.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 21-8 this season and 8-3 in the WAC following a 115-73 rout of Hawai'i, Feb. 23. NM State has three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 12.3 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.4 points per game.
Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans are 9-18 and 1-10 in the WAC after a 75-49 loss at Louisiana Tech, Feb. 23. Junior guard James Kinney has a team-high 16.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Keith Shamburger adds 13.4 points per game, while senior forward Wil Carter contributes 12.6 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.
Mullings Posts Triple-Double, Aggies Crush Hawaii
Freshman guard Daniel Mullings recorded the Aggies' first triple-double in school history in over 20 years with a 115-73 rout of Hawai'i, Feb. 23. Mullings had a career-high night with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. NM State had six players in double-digits with redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines adding 20 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Hernst Laroche finished with 16 points and a season-high eight assists. Junior forwards Tyrone Watson and Bandja Sy supplied 12 points each, while sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe chipped in 10 points. With two blocked shots, senior center Hamidu Rahman is tied for second all-time at NM State in career rejections with 124. He also added eight points.
NM State-Hawai'i Notes
In the win over Hawai'i, the Aggies set season highs in points (115), which is the most scored since the 1996-97 season, and assists (26) and tied the season-best marks for field goal percentage (60.3, 41-of-68) and field goals made (41). This was also the largest margin of victory in a WAC game since NM State joined in 2005-06.
Mullings Lights up the Pan Am
Freshman guard Daniel Mullings became only the third Aggie in school history with a triple-double against Hawai'i, Feb. 23. He had 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, all career-high marks, along with five steals on 11-of-15 shooting. He is the last player to accomplish the feat since 1990 when William Benjamin had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Cal State Northridge, Nov. 26, 1990. The first Aggie to achieve the rare feat was Willie Joseph with 12 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds against Simon Fraser, Nov. 22, 1988.
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-1,383
18. Hernst Laroche-1,137
27. Hamidu Rahman-1,025
Across the Country
The Aggies rank No. 4 in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+8.0), No. 14 in scoring offense (78.8), No. 26 field goal percentage (47.6) and No. 32 in scoring margin (+10.4). Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is ninth in double-doubles (15), No. 16 in rebounding (10.3) and No. 34 in points per game (18.4). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in triple-doubles as one of only 12 players with the accomplishment this season as of Feb. 23.
NM State has tallied 17 double-doubles this season. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines has 42 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. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings had the first triple-double since 1990 with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Hawai'i as of Feb. 23.
Trends and Tidbits
In 2011-12, the Aggies are 14-1 when they score 80 points or more. Currently, NM State is averaging 78.8 points per game, which ranks 14th in the country. 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 (78.8 points per game), scoring margin (+10.4), rebounding margin (+8.0), rebounding offense (39.7 per game) and offensive rebounds (14.34 per game). NM State also ranks second in field goal percentage (47.6), rebounding defense (31.7), steals (201), defensive rebounds (25.34) and third in 3-point field goal percent defense (32.8), blocked shots (114) and assists (400).
Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (10.3) and scoring (18.4 point per game). Senior guard Hernst Laroche is first in steals (51), third in 3-point field goal percentage (42.2), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.80) and seventh in assists (108). Senior center Hamidu Rahman is first in the league in field goal percentage (62.7), eighth in rebounds (6.0) and seventh in blocked shots (26). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings is second in steals (48), and 10th in field goal percentage (50.3). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is eighth in assists (92) and assists/turnover ratio (1.53). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks 10th in blocked shots (24) as of Feb. 23.
In conference games only, the Aggies rank first in scoring offense (78.6), scoring margin (+10.3), field goal percentage (49.2), 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.4), rebounding margin (+8.3), rebounding offense (39.2), rebounding defense (30.9), offensive rebounds (14.55) and steals (77). NM State is second in assists (165) and third in defensive rebounds (24.64).
Individually, McKines ranks fourth in rebounding (9.6), first in scoring (18.3) and fourth in free throw percentage (78.4). Laroche is first in steals (26), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (41.0), assists (45) and assists/turnover ratio (1.73). Rahman ranks fourth in field goal percentage (61.2) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (11). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is tied for fifth in assists (48) and eighth in assists/turnover ratio (1.71). Mullings is second in steals (19). Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranks third in free throw percentage (80.6) and tied for eighth in blocked shots (10) as of Feb. 23.
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.
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.
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 4,151 career minutes, and he broke the record Eric Channing previously held (3,783). He has 1,137 career points, which ranks No. 18 on the Aggies all-time scoring list.
Career Leaders in Steals
1. William Benjamin-209
2. Hernst Laroche-203
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 206 points, 1198-992, as of Feb. 23.
Driving to the Basket
The Aggies haven't been afraid to drive to the basket this season. NM State has taken 892 free throw attempts in 29 games and has 342 more attempts than its opponents. The Aggies have made more free throws (592) then the opponents have attempted (550). The Aggies are leading the NCAA in free throws attempted per game (30.8) and rank second in free throws made per game (20.3). As a team, NM State is shooting 66.4 percent from the line, as of Feb. 23.
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 fourth in the NCAA, and 1151-920 advantage on the boards. On the offensive glass, the Aggies have 103 more rebounds than their opponents (415-312). Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is averaging 10.3 rebounds, and senior center Hamidu Rahman is adding 6.0 boards per game, as of Feb. 23.
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-97
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 ninth in the NCAA. He has scored in double figures in 27 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 19 of the 29 games. He has also notched five or more assists in seven games with a season-high eight assists against Hawai'i.
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 22 games. Rahman has attempted multiple free throws in 28 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 28 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 4,151 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 (524) at NM State. He trails Sam Crawford by 68 assists (592).
Career Leaders in Assists
1. Sam Crawford-592
2. Hernst Laroche-524
3. Keith Hill-379
Rahman Climbs the Ladder
Senior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 124 career blocked shots. He is now tied No. 2 on the Aggie all-time list as of Feb. 23.
Career Leaders in Blocked Shots
1. James Moore-200
2. Slab Jones-124
2. Hamidu Rahman-124
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 1,050 boards and No. 11 in scoring with 1,383 career points. McKines has posted 15 double-doubles in 2011-12 and has 42 in his career as of Feb. 23.
Career Leaders in Rebounds
1. Sam Lacey-1,265
2. Wendell McKines-1,050
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.