The New Mexico State men's basketball team heads back on the road to start the second round of WAC games at Texas State, Thursday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. in San Marcos, Texas, and UTSA, Saturday Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas. The games can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies have won seven straight games and have a 13-8 overall record and 7-2 WAC record after a 53-42 win over Denver, Jan. 23. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.5 points per game. Senior forwards Tyrone Watson and Bandja Sy are also in double figures with 10.8 and 10.5 points per contest, respectively.
Scouting Texas State
The Bobcats are 7-14 overall and 3-6 in the WAC. Texas State has won three consecutive games including a 86-83 win at Seattle, Jan. 26. Junior forward Joel Wright leads the team with 17.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, while senior forward Matt Staff provides 11.0 points and 5.4 rebounds.
The Aggies have a 2-1 lead in the all-time series after taking the first meeting of the season, 78-67, Jan. 5 in Las Cruces. This is NM State's first trip to San Marcos, Texas.
With three players in double figures, NM State beat Texas State, 78-67, Jan. 5 in Las Cruces. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies with 22 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar posted his second 20-point game of his career on a 9-for-9 shooting performance. Senior forward Bandja Sy recorded his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Roadrunners are 5-14 and 1-8 in the WAC following a 74-70 loss at Idaho, Jan. 26, after winning their first conference game of the year at Seattle, 78-75, Jan. 24. UTSA hosts Denver, Jan. 31, before the Aggies arrive. UTSA has three players in double figures with senior guard Kannon Burrage providing a team-high 17.9 points per game. Senior guard Michael Hale III adds 16.4 points per game, and junior forward Jeromie Hill supplies 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Aggies have a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won the first game of the year, 82-62, Jan. 3, in Las Cruces.
With a strong second-half start, the Aggies defeated UTSA, 82-62, Jan. 3. The Aggies broke the school record for team field goal percentage, which stood for 39 years. NM State shot 68.6 percent from the field (35-of-51) and broke the previous record of 66.2 percent from Jan. 19, 1974. The Aggies were also one shy of tying the school record for blocked shots with 11 against the Roadrunners. Senior forward Bandja Sy scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also had eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Freshman center Sim Bhullar added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting along with three blocked shots. He helped the Aggies to a 30-point advantage in points in the paint, 48-18. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings was also in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He added four steals and four assists. NM State posted a season-high 21 assists.
Aggies Top Denver 53-42
NM State beat Denver, 53-42, to extend its winning streak to seven games, Jan. 23 in Las Cruces. The Aggies halted the Pioneers' win streak at seven games. The win marked the Crimson and White's longest win streak since the 2006-07 season. The Aggies had three players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson leading the way with 12 points and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings added 11 points and eight rebounds, while senior forward Bandja Sy supplied 10 points and eight rebounds. The Crimson and White defense harassed Denver and held the Pioneers to 3-of-18 shooting from the 3-point line (13.7 percent). Denver averaged a league-best 8.39 3-pointers per game entering the contest.
Aggies on a Roll
After a tough start to the 2012-13 WAC slate, the Aggies have bounced back and won the last seven straight games. The win streak is the longest under head coach Marvin Menzies and longest since the 2006-07 season, when the Aggies won 13 consecutive games.
Sy Has the Aggies Streaking
In the Aggies' seven-game win streak, senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly. He is averaging 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Sy is shooting 56.1 percent from the field (46-of-82) and 33.3 percent from the 3-point line (4-of-12) in the last seven games.
Mullings Lights up Opponents
Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the Aggies in scoring in 2012-13 with 14.5 points per game and 15.7 points per game in WAC games. He has scored in double figures in the last 13-of-14 games.
Ross-Miller Right on Target
Sophomore point guard K.C. Ross-Miller is learning on the job this season, but he missed his first game of the season with a hamstring injury against Denver, Jan. 23. He ranks second on the team with 54 assists. Ross-Miller has three six-assist games this season. In WAC games, he is averaging 2.6 assists per game.
Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint
Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 11.2 points per game. He has eight double-digit games this season and has two 20-point games. He scored a career-high 25 points against Missouri State, Dec. 22, and 20 versus Texas State, Jan. 5. Bhullar leads the Aggies in blocked shots with 40. He only needs four blocks to enter the NM State single-season top 10 list.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 19th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+7.6). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 15 games. The Aggies are 36th in blocked shots per game (5.0). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 38th in steals per game (2.19) and 61st in field goal percentage (51.7). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 67th in blocked shots per game (1.9) as of Jan. 27.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in blocked shots (5.0 per game), field goal percent defense (40.1) and rebounding margin (+7.6) and third in scoring defense (62.1), rebounding offense (38.3) and rebounding defense (30.8).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.19), fourth in field goal percentage (51.7) and seventh in scoring (14.5). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks second in field goal percentage (59.2) and fifth in blocked shots (1.90 per game). Senior forward Bandja Sy is seventh in rebounding (7.0). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is 10th in field goal percentage (47.8), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is 10th in blocked shots (1.00).
In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.22) and rebounding margin (+7.3). NM State ranks second in rebounding offense (38.1) and rebounding defense (30.8). The Aggies are third in scoring offense (68.9), scoring margin (+4.9), field goal percentage (46.8), offensive rebounds (13.00) and defensive rebounds (25.11).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (3.00), fifth in scoring (15.7) and 10th in field goal percentage (50.5). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is tied for second in blocked shots (2.67), fourth in field goal percentage (55.2), and tied for eighth in rebounding (6.6). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks fifth in rebounding (7.6), sixth in scoring (14.3) and seventh in field goal percentage (52.6). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is sixth in blocks (1.56) as of Jan. 26.
Aggies Control the Glass
NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.3 boards per game with a +7.6 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in 15 games.
Aggies Overpower San Jose State
The Aggies posted a 70-53 victory over San Jose State, Jan. 19 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Bandja Sy led the Aggies with 16 points on 50 percent shooting (6-of-12), and he had eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings and senior forward Tyrone Watson were also in double digits with 13 points and 10 points, respectively. The Aggies posted a 35-18 halftime lead over the Spartans. This was the second straight game NM State has held opponents to 18 points in the first half.
Aggies Down Utah State 64-51
NM State snapped Utah State's 13-game winning streak, the second longest in the country, with a 64-51 victory, Jan. 17 in Las Cruces. The Aggies had four players in double figures with senior forward Bandja Sy scoring a game-high 16 points. Sy was 7-of-9 from the field to lead the Aggies to a 57.8 field goal percentage (26-of-45). Senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings contributed 12 points each. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller added 10.
The double overtime game at Seattle, Jan. 10, was NM State's first overtime game of the season. It was also the first multiple overtime game since the 2007-08 season. This was the first multiple overtime win for the Aggies since the 1997-98 season, when NM State defeated Cal State Fullerton, 89-87, Jan. 8, 1998 in double overtime. The Aggies are 4-5 in overtime games under head coach Marvin Menzies.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded five double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with two double-doubles each. Nephawe's first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also had a double-double against Louisiana, Nov. 23, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mulling had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at South Alabama, Dec. 4, and 16 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State, Jan. 5.
Ready, Aim, Fire
The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 45.4 percent. NM State has three players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (59.2), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (51.7) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage than their opponents in 12 games.
Aggie Aggressiveness Leads to the Line
The Crimson and White are continuing the trend of getting to the free-throw line in 2012-13. In 21 games, the Aggies are averaging 23.9 attempts per game, 7.1 more attempts than their opponents.
Crimson and White Defense is Stifling
The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 62.1 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in 10 of the 21 games.
Defense in the Menzies Era
In head coach Marvin Menzies' six seasons, the Aggie defense has continued to improve during his tenure. This year NM State has already held opponents to 60 or fewer points 10 times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 10 games
2011-12 9 games
2010-11 8 games
2009-10 2 games
2008-09 3 games
2007-08 6 games
Mullings Fuels the Offense
In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 16 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had six 20-point games this season and eight in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 18 games. Mullings is shooting 41.9 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in nine games.
Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has missed the last 12 games with an injury. He had surgery on his right hand, and his return to action is unknown at this time.
Watson's Senior Campaign Going Strong
In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored 24 points in the home opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. He made two 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career against Bucknell and Niagara. Watson has scored in double-figures in 11 of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in 15 contests. The senior leads the team in assists with 60 including three five-assist and one six-assist games.
Sy Shoots and Scores
Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in 12 games and in double-figures in rebounding in four games. In the win at South Alabama, Dec. 4, he posted his second career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Sy recorded his third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Texas State, Jan. 5. That performance followed a career-high 25 points against UTSA, Jan. 3.
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 115 career wins at NM State. He ranks fifth in school history, and directed the Aggies to their third 20-win season in his tenure in 2011-12.
All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)
The Aggies return home to host Idaho, Feb. 7, and Seattle, Feb. 9 in the Lou Henson Classic.