As defending WAC Tournament Champions, the New Mexico State men's basketball team opens the tournament against No. 6 seed Idaho, Thursday, March 14 at 1 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Orleans Arena. The tournament 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 are the No. 3 seed in the WAC Tournament after a 21-10 overall record and 14-4 WAC record. NM State concluded the regular season with a 69-66 win over UT Arlington, March 9 in Las Cruces. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.9 points per game. Senior forward Bandja Sy is also in double figures with 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson and freshman center Sim Bhullar add 10.8 and 10.0 points per contest, respectively.
WAC Tournament History
Since joining the WAC in 2005-06, the Aggies have a 14-4 record in the conference tournament. NM State has won three tournament titles in 2007, 2010 and 2012. In head coach Marvin Menzies' tenure, the Aggies have played in the championship game three times (2008, 2010 and 2012) with two titles (2010 and 2012). NM State fell to Boise State in triple overtime, 107-102, March 15, 2008 in Las Cruces, and defeated Utah State, 69-63, March 13, 2010 in Reno, Nev., and defeated Louisiana Tech, 82-57, March 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Sy, Mullings, Bhullar Earn All-WAC Honors
Senior forward Bandja Sy, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings and freshman center Sim Bhullar earned All-WAC honors. Sy was named a first-team selection after averaging 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. This is Sy's first postseason honor, and it is the seventh consecutive year that the Aggies have had a first-team honoree. Mullings was voted to the second team All-WAC and all-defensive team, after he supplied 14.7 points, 2.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game in conference games. Bhullar was named the WAC Freshman of the Year and to the third team All-WAC and All-Newcomer team after averaging 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in WAC play.
2012 WAC Tournament in Review
NM State won its third WAC Tournament Championship in school history with an 82-57 win over No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech, March 10, 2012. The Aggies earned their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance with the victory and their second WAC title in three years. Forward Wendell McKines guided the Aggies with his 20th double-double of the season with 27 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting. Forward Tyrone Watson and guard Daniel Mullings supplied 12 points each. Center Hamidu Rahman added nine points and three blocked shots, and guard Hernst Laroche had eight points, six rebounds and six assists in the title game. The 25-point margin of victory in the championship game is the largest in WAC history. The previous best was 21 points when Utah defeated TCU, 89-68, in 1997. McKines earned WAC Tournament MVP honors, and Laroche and Watson were named to the WAC All-Tournament Team.
The Aggies advanced to their second WAC Tournament Championship game in three years following a 92-81 win over Hawai'i in the tournament semifinals, March 9, 2012. The Aggies had five players in double-figures with forward Wendell McKines leading the way with a game-high 22 points and a season-high six assists. Guard Hernst Laroche contributed 18 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line. Center Tshilidzi Nephawe added a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Forward Tyrone Watson had 13 points, while guard Daniel Mullings posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Aggies opened the 2012 WAC Tournament with a 65-49 win over Fresno State in the quarterfinals, March 8, 2012. NM State had three players in double-digits with forward Wendell McKines leading the way with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Forward Tyrone Watson supplied 13 points, and guard Daniel Mullings added 11. The win was No. 100 for head coach Marvin Menzies.
The Vandals finished the regular season with a 12-17 record and 7-11 mark in the WAC. Senior center Kyle Barone leads Idaho with 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Junior forward Stephen Madison and sophomore guard Connor Hill are also helping the offense with 14.5 and 12.1 points per game, respectively.
The Aggies have a 22-4 all-time lead in the series after sweeping the regular season matchups with a 71-70 win, Jan. 12 in Moscow, Idaho, and 76-74 win, Feb. 7 in Las Cruces.
Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings sank two free throws with 14 seconds left in regulation to beat Idaho, 76-74, Feb. 7 in Las Cruces. Mullings scored seven points and had four assists in 40 minutes of action. Freshman center Sim Bhullar led the Aggies in scoring with 20 points on an 8-of-8 performance from the field. Sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high 12 points and a steal in the final 16 seconds of the game that set up the Mullings free throws. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon was also in double-digits with 12 points, which tied a season-high mark, and senior forward Bandja Sy recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and scored nine points.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 15th in blocked shots per game (5.5) and rebounding margin (+6.8) in the NCAA. NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 21 games. The Aggies are also 56th in field goal percentage defense (40.1). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 28th in steals per game (2.2). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 37th in blocked shots per game (2.3) as of March 7.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded 10 double-doubles in 2012-13 with senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with four double-doubles. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at South Alabama, Dec. 4, 16 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State, Jan. 5, and 24 points and 13 rebounds at Texas State, Jan. 31. Sy had his fourth double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds at Denver, March 2. Senior forward Tyrone Watson had first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Louisiana Tech, March 7.
Junior forward Renaldo Dixon posted his first career double-double with 10 and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, at San Jose State, Feb. 14. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe had two this season at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds and 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. Freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded his first career double-double at UTSA, Feb. 2, with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Home Court Advantage
The Aggies finished the 2012-13 regular season with a 15-1 home record. This marks the most wins in the Pan American Center since the 2007-08 season (16-4). This season's home winning percentage of .938 is the best since the 2006-07 season (.950 and 19-1).
With the first blocked shot at Utah State, Feb. 16, the Aggies set the single-season record for blocks shots. Currently, NM State has 172 rejections this season. The Aggies rank 15th in the NCAA in blocks with 5.5 per game. Freshman center Sim Bhullar leads the team with 73 blocks, and is the NM State single-season leader in blocked shots. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is also helping the defensive effort with 40 blocked shots. In addition, the Aggies tied the school record for blocked shots in a game with 12 at UTSA, Feb. 2. NM State tied the mark that was set Jan. 12, 1978 against Creighton.
Sy Leaving a Stamp on His Senior Season
Senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly and helped the Aggies to a 12-game win streak. He had a nine-game span in double-digits snapped against Idaho but he grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds versus the Vandals. In the last 17 games, Sy is averaging 15.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, which are team-high marks in that span. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field (97-of-196), 41.2 percent from the 3-point line (14-of-34) and 73.4 percent from the free-throw line (58-of-79) in the last 17 games. Sy led the team in 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in WAC games.
Bhullar Protects the Hoop
Freshman center Sim Bhullar is leading the team with 73 blocked shots this season. In the win over UTEP, he became the single-season blocked shots leader at NM State. Bhullar surpassed Roland Grant, who blocked 58 shots in the 1973-74 season.
Mullings Fuels the Aggies
In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 22 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had eight 20-point games this season and 10 in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 23 games. Mullings is shooting 38.0 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in 15 games. Defensively, Mullings has a team-high 68 steals and ranks fourth on the single-season list. He is tied for sixth on the Aggies' career list for steals with 126. Nationally, he ranks 28th in steals per game (2.2).
de Rouen Steps Up
Since entering the starting lineup against Denver Jan. 23, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen has made a significant impact. The Las Cruces native is averaging 7.3 points, 3.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. He has a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio in an average of 28.2 minutes of action per contest.
Dixon and Barry Making the Most of New Roles
In the last 11 games, junior forward Renaldo Dixon and sophomore forward Remi Barry have increased their production. Dixon is averaging 6.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He has a 48.1 field goal percentage (25-of-52) and 72.7 free-throw percentage (24-of-33) in the 11-game span. Barry is averaging 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest in the last 11 games. He is shooting 50.0 percent from the field (21-of-42) and 76.2 percent from the free-throw line (16-of-21).
Aggies on a Roll
After a tough start to the 2012-13 WAC slate, the Aggies bounced back and won 12 consecutive games before the streak was snapped at Utah State, Feb. 16. 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 Earns WAC Player of the Week Honors
Senior forward Bandja Sy was named the WAC Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3. This was his first career honor and the first of the season for the Aggies. Sy led NM State to a pair of road wins at Texas State and UTSA. In the 86-72 win over Texas State, Sy posted his third double-double of the season and the fourth of his career with 24 points and 13 rebounds. In the 75-62 win at UTSA, Sy scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint
Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds, a career-high mark, at UTSA, Feb. 2. He has 14 double-digit games this season and has three 20-point games. Bhullar leads the Aggies in blocked shots with 73.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies lead the WAC in blocked shots (5.55 per game) and rank second in rebounding margin (+6.6) and third in scoring defense (62.6), field goal defense (40.0) and defensive rebounds (25.48).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.19), fifth in free throw percentage (76.5) and eighth in scoring (13.9). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in field goal percentage (61.5), third in blocked shots (2.35 per game) and 10th in rebounding (6.1). Senior forward Bandja Sy is sixth in rebounding (7.3), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is seventh in blocked shots (1.33).
In WAC games only, the Aggies finished conference play with top marks in blocked shots (6.50). NM State ranked second in rebounding margin (+5.7) and scoring offense (70.0) and third in scoring margin (+5.4), field goal percentage (47.0), rebounding offense (37.6), offensive rebounds (12.61) and defensive rebounds (24.94).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranked first in steals (2.61), sixth in scoring (14.7) and free throw percentage (76.5). Freshman center Sim Bhullar was first in blocked shots (3.0) and field goal percentage (60.2) and seventh in rebounding (7.3). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranked fourth in rebounding (7.8), fifth in scoring (14.7) and 10th in field goal percentage (49.2). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon was fifth in blocks (1.83) as of March 9.
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 held opponents to 60 or fewer points 14 times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 14 games
2011-12 9 games
2010-11 8 games
2009-10 2 games
2008-09 3 games
2007-08 6 games
Sy Shoots and Scores
Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in 20 games and in double-figures in rebounding in seven 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. Sy had his third double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 rebounds at Texas State, Jan. 31. At Denver, March 2, Sy recorded his fourth double-double of the season and fifth of his career with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 123 career wins at NM State. He ranks fifth in school history, and directed the Aggies to their fourth 20-win season in his tenure in 2012-13.
All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)
The Pioneers are 21-8 overall and 16-2 in the WAC. Junior forward Chris Udofia leads the Pioneers with 12.9 points per game, and sophomore forward Royce O'Neal adds 11.5 points per game.
The Aggies have a 13-6 lead in the all-time series. NM State won the first game of the season, 53-42, Jan. 23 in Las Cruces, and Denver won the second game, 66-60, March 2 in Denver.
NM State suffered a 66-60 loss at Denver, March 2. Senior forward Bandja Sy paced the Aggies with his fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman center Sim Bhullar scored 17 points on a 6-of-7 shooting performance and blocked four shots. Senior forward Tyrone Watson was also in double-figures with 10 points and five assists.
Scouting Texas State
The Bobcats finished with a 10-21 overall and 5-13 WAC record. Junior forward Joel Wright leads the team with 17.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, while senior forward Matt Staff provides 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds.
The Aggies have a 3-1 lead in the all-time series after taking the both meetings of the season, 78-67, Jan. 5 in Las Cruces, and 86-72, Jan. 31 in San Marcos, Texas.
NM State opened its WAC road trip to the Lone Star State with an 86-72 win at Texas State, Jan. 31. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted his third double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings provided 22 points, and freshman center Sim Bhullar added 10 points. Sophomore forward Remi Barry also scored 10 points.
The Redhawks have an 8-21 overall record and finished with a 3-15 WAC record. Redshirt junior forward Clarence Trent leads the team with 10.0 points per game.
The Aggies have a 3-1 lead in the all-time series. NM State swept Seattle this season with an 83-82 win in double overtime in Seattle, Jan. 10, and 60-57 win in Las Cruces, Feb. 9.
NM State fought off Seattle for a 60-57 win, Feb. 9. In the Lou Henson Classic, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings had a game-high 18 points to lead the Aggies, and freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded a near double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Bandja Sy added nine points, and junior forward Renaldo Dixon supplied eight.
Scouting Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs have a 26-5 overall record and finished with a 16-2 conference record. Sophomore guard Raheem Appleby is posting a team-high 14.5 points per game.
NM State has a 16-4 record all-time against Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs won the first meeting of the season, 81-72, Dec. 31 in Ruston, La., and the Aggies won the second meeting, 78-60, March 7 in Las Cruces.
NM State snapped Louisiana Tech's 18-game winning streak, which was the nation's longest, with a 78-60 victory, March 7 in Las Cruces. The Aggies also handed the Bulldogs their first loss in the WAC. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a game-high 23 points on 50 percent shooting from the field (7-of-14) and 80 percent (8-of-10) shooting at the free-throw line. This was Mullings' second-best scoring performance of the season. Senior forward Tyrone Watson recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds, which ties a season-high mark. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 12 points, and sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen provided 10.
Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans enter the WAC Tournament with a 9-19 overall record after finishing with a 3-14 league mark. Junior forward Chris Cunningham provides a team-high 10.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest, while sophomore guard D.J. Brown contributes 9.4 points per game.
The Aggies have a 34-12 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won both games of the season, 70-53, Jan. 19 in Las Cruces, and 67-57, Feb. 14 in San Jose, Calif.
NM State won its 12th consecutive game with a 67-57 victory at San Jose State, Feb. 14. The Aggies had four players in double-figures with sophomore guard Daniel Mullings leading the way with 15 points. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon posted his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 13 points and nine rebounds, and freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 10 points.
The Roadrunners concluded the regular season with an overall record of 8-21 and WAC record of 3-14. UTSA has three players in double figures with senior guard Kannon Burrage providing a team-high 17.1 points per game. Senior guard Michael Hale III adds 16.1 points per game, and junior forward Jeromie Hill supplies 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
The Aggies have a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won both games of the year, 82-62, Jan. 3, in Las Cruces, and 75-62, Feb. 2 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Aggies won their ninth consecutive game with a 75-62 victory at UTSA, Feb. 2 in San Antonio, Texas. The Aggies tied the school record for blocked shots with 12. Freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds and five blocked shots. Senior forward Bandja Sy also scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon was in double figures with 12 points, which ties a season-high mark, and he had career-high five blocked shots.
Scouting UT Arlington
The Mavericks are 17-12 and 11-7 in the WAC this season. Senior forward Kevin Butler is leading UT Arlington with 10.7 points per game.
The Aggies lead the all-time series 11-2. The teams split the series this year with each team winning on their home court. UT Arlington won the conference opener, 68-47, Dec. 29, 2012 in Arlington, Texas, and NM State won the regular season finale, 69-66, March 9 in Las Cruces.
Senior forward Bandja Sy hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in regulation to lead NM State to 69-66 win over UT Arlington on senior night, March 9. The Aggies finished the season with a 15-1 home record. Sy finished his last regular season game in the Pan American Center with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Sophomore guard K.C Ross-Miller added 12 points, and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings supplied 11.
Scouting Utah State
The Navy-clad Aggies posted a 21-9 overall record and 11-7 WAC record this season. Junior forward/center Jarred Shaw leads Utah State with 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield adds 12.0 points per game.
Utah State has a slight edge 36-30 lead in the all-time series. NM State won the first meeting of the season, 64-51, Jan. 17 in Las Cruces, and Utah State won the second game, 73-69, Feb. 16 in Logan, Utah.
The Aggies' 12-game winning streak was snapped with a 73-69 loss at Utah State, Feb. 16. NM State had four players in double-digits with sophomore forward Remi Barry scoring a career-high 15 points. Barry was 6-of-9 from the field. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 12 points, while sophomore guards Terrel de Rouen and Daniel Mullings contributed 11 points each. With the Aggies' first block of the game, this year's squad set the single-season record for blocked shots. Freshman center Sim Bhullar's rejection gave NM State 142 blocks, which breaks the previous mark of 141 set during the 1994-95 season. Bhullar ended the game with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks.