NM State vs. Texas-Pan American Coverage
Radio: KGRT 103.9 FM (play-by-play: ‘Voice of the Aggies’ - Jack Nixon)
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on live events link)
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team (14-7, 3-2 WAC) takes on Texas-Pan American, Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. AggieVision is producing the game for TV and fans should check local listings for airtimes in your area. Saturday’s game will also air over the radio waves on the Aggie Sports Network with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play.
NM State plays two games in the Pan American Center next week taking on Bakersfield, Thursday, Jan. 29 and Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 1 with both games set for a 7 p.m. (MT) start. Both games will be on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces, while they are also scheduled to be on TV with AggieVision producing them. Please check with your local satellite or cable provider for show times or check online at www.AggieVision.tv. Radio coverage on the Aggie Sports Network includes coverage in Alamogordo (107.1 FM), Albuquerque (101.7 FM), Artesia (990 AM) and Carlsbad (1240 AM).
Fans and media can access post-game video interviews with head coach Marvin Menzies and selected players after each game on-line at www.NMStateSports.com by clicking on the game recap.
About the Aggies
NM State had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 16 by falling 86-81 then lost its second straight Western Athletic Conference game of the year falling to Kansas City 68-66 on the road. The Aggies are now sitting at 3-2 in league play but return to the Pan American Center where they are 8-1 on the year.
The Aggies are averaging 77.6 points per game this season and are shooting 47.6 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 37.6 percent of their 3-point attempts. The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 41.1 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 37.0 per game to 33.2 per game (+3.8 rebounding margin).
Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 16.2 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 43 steals this season. He also has 68 assists on the offensive end of the court and seven blocks on the defensive side.
Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who has sat out the last five games due to a foot injury, leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game and has a WAC-best 53 blocks this season. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is second on the team in rebounds with 7.3 per game and he has 24 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State in Thursday’s loss.
Senior guard Kevin Aronis has the best 3-point shooting percentage at 43.5 percent (47-of-108) and has made the most 3-pointers with 47. Junior guard KC Ross-Miller is second on the team with a 42.6 3-point shooting percentage (20-of-47) and junior DK Eldridge is shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc (26-of-65).
Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made five consecutive starts heading into Saturday’s game against the UTPA and is averaging 23.8 minutes per game this season. He is posting 7.9 points per game and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game.
Looking Back (Game Recap vs. Kansas City)
Senior forward Renaldo Dixon posted a career-high 34 points against Missouri-Kansas City, but that wasn’t enough as the New Mexico State men’s basketball team fell 68-66 in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 18. NM State drops to 14-7 on the year and 3-2 in Western Athletic Conference play, while UMKC moves to 6-11 overall and 3-2 in the league.
The Aggies outscored the Kangaroos 38-31 in the second half and were down 66-63 with :13 seconds remaining in the game before senior guard Kevin Aronis hit a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to tie the game up at 66-all. The Aggies then committed a foul as UMKC’s Matez Harrison dribbled the ball up the sideline with four second left. Harrison made both free throws to give the ‘Roos a 68-66 lead and NM State committed a turnover taking away any chance for a last second shot.
Dixon scored his 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, including one 3-pointer, while going 6-of-8 from the free throw line. The Aggies as a team, although, struggled once again from the charity stripe hitting 17-of-27 attempts. Dixon also added eight rebounds, an assists, three blocks and a steal.
NM State out-rebounded the Kangaroos 34-33 and scored 19 second chance points but UMKC was able to get in the paint and score posting 36 points in the paint, compared to NM State’s 34 points from inside the key. Junior forward Tshilidzi Nephawe was the only other Aggie in double-figures scoring as he posted 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Nephawe also had nine rebounds and a game-high four block.
Series history versus Texas-Pan American
The Aggies are 6-3 all-time against UTPA and are 4-1 when playing the Broncs at home. NM State is 1-2 against them on the road a 1-0 when playing at a neutral site. The first time the NM State Aggies and Texas-Pan American Broncs tipped-off was on Jan. 8, 1969, which resulted with the Aggies dominating UTPA winning by a score of 109-74.
The Aggies have won three straight games against UTPA defeating it 62-59, Nov. 22, 2002, 64-50 on Jan. 18, 2003 and again on March 1, 2003. The two teams play for the second time of the season on Feb. 20, 2014 in Edinburg, Texas.
Scouting the Broncs
The Texas-Pan American Broncs are led by first year Head Coach Dan Hipsher, who served as an Associate Head Coach at Alabama from 2009-13. The Broncs are currently in the midst of a two game winning streak with wins over Missouri Kansas City and Chicago State. They are currently sitting in sixth place in the league standings with 2-3 record and have a 6-14 overall record. The Broncs are currently 4-7 on the road this season.
Texas-Pan American ranks last in the conference in scoring with 66.8 points per game and fifth in the conference in rebounding with 34.3 rebounds per game. Javorn Farrell, a guard for the Broncs, leads the team in scoring, assist and blocks with 16.2 points per game, 3.2 assists per game and 0.7 blocks per game. Shaquille Hines, a forward for the Broncs, is the leading rebounder with 6.1 rebounds per game and third on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game.
Last time against the Broncs (game recap)
Aggie Allen Haynes ended his home career in style with a season high 19 points, including 12 in the second half to lead the Aggies as they snapped a 10-game losing skid beating Texas-Pan American 78-61, Tuesday, March 1, 2005.
With the win the Aggies ended the regular season, 6-23 overall and 1-14 in Sun Belt Conference play. UT-Pan American closed their season at 12-16.
Haynes’ 19 points were nearly matched by former Aggie big man Trevor Lawrence who kicked in 18 points and added seven boards. Former Aggie Duane John, of Toronto, Ontario, also had double-digits in points with 14, to go along with six boards.
Jeff Jones led the Aggies on the glass snagging eight rebounds, five of which were on the offensive end. He added two blocks and two steals.
Sergio Sanchez led the way for the Broncs scoring 16 points Ray Castillo had 10 points for UTPA. Alvaidas Gedminas led the Broncs on the glass snaring eight boards, four on each end.
NMSU shot 41.5 percent from the field while holding UTPA to 37.7 percent from the field.
The Aggies held a slight edge in rebounding, picking up 45 boards to the Broncs 40.
Neither team was able to find the range from downtown as NMSU held a slight 25 percent to 21.7 percent edge in shooting from behind the arc.
Aggies in the WAC
NM State has the best overall record among WAC schools at 14-7 but are sitting in a tie for third at 3-2.
Coming into this week’s play, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense (81.0 points/game), field goal percentage (.464) and scoring margin (+9.6) in all games played.
NM State dropped from second in the WAC in scoring defense to fourth, allowing 71.4 points per game.
The Aggies entered the week leading the conference in blocked shots (125) and blocked shots per game (5.95). NM State has more than double blocked shots as second-place Bakersfield (63).
The Aggies are also second in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.394), third in rebounding (36.4 rebounds/game) and are ranked first with their rebound margin (+5.2). NM State dropped from third place to seventh in free throw percentage (.667), kept their third place rank in assists per game (13.40), defensive rebounds per game ranking sixth (22.80) and second in the WAC in offensive rebounds per game (13.60).
Despite missing all four WAC contests with a foot injury, sophomore center Sim Bhullar still handily leads the conference in overall blocked shots (53) and blocked shots per game (3.31). He is also the leader in all games in field goal percentage, shooting at a 67 percent tilt (61-91).
Bhullar also places fifth among WAC players in total rebounds per game (7.4) just under fellow center Tshilidzi Nephawe, who ranks fourth (7.4). In the WAC, Bhullar fell to fourth place in offensive rebounds per game (2.56) while placing sixth in defensive rebounds per game (4.81).
Nephawe kept his third place rank in overall games in blocked shots (28) and moved to first in the WAC (16), third in blocked shots per game (1.33), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (4.95) and seventh in offensive rebounds per game (2.43).
Senior forward Renaldo Dixon makes the third Aggie to be in the top 10 for blocked shots placing seventh in overall games. In the WAC, Dixon moved to third in blocked shots (10). His 24 blocked shot in overall games and 1.14 blocked shot per game average is good enough for seventh in the conference.
Aggies in the Nation
NM State leads the nation in free throw attempts (623) and free throws made (428). The Aggies advanced from their sixth-place rank to third in the country in total blocks (125), dropped to ninth in total rebounds (777), moved to 23rd in blocked shots per game (5.9) and 53rd in total assists (265). NM State’s scoring offense (78.2 points/game) is ranked 54th in the nation while its field goal percentage (48.0) is 46th-best in the country.
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar is 14th in the nation in blocked shots with 53 on the season and 13th in blocked shots per game with a 3.31 average. Junior guard Daniel Mullings is 15th in the country with 43 steals this season.
Career-night for Renaldo Dixon
Senior Renaldo Dixon did everything he could to try to help his team in a 68-66 loss to Kansas City, Saturday, Jan. 18, scoring a career-high 33 points on a career-high 13 field goals made while shooting a career-high 19 attempts. He also went 1-of-3 from behind the 3-point arc and was 6-of-8 from the free throw line while grabbing eight rebounds, picking up one steal and three blocks. Dixon averaged a team-high 17.5 points last week and had team-best 63.6 shooting percentage. He finished the week with 13 rebounds, two assists, five blocks and a steal.
NM State RPI
After suffering back-to-back losses to Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City last week, the Aggies have dropped more than 20 spots in the latest RPI rankings from 54 to 76. Although the Aggies did fall to 76, they still remain atop the WAC in RPI ranking.
Utah Valley is second to the Aggies with an RPI of 149, followed by Chicago State who sits at 187. Kansas City, fourth in conference RPI, also dropped from 168 to 193. Seattle, Idaho, Grand Canyon, Bakersfield, and Texas Pan American round out the conference with RPI’s of 242, 271, 273, 274, and 308 respectively.
Aggies at Home
With an 8-1 record at home, NM State has shown promise throughout the season with many players recording season highs and breaking school records.
The highest scoring game this season came against Northern New Mexico (97-47) and it was also the largest margin of victory, beating the opponent by a staggering 50 points.
Individually, sophomore Sim Bhullar broke NM State’s record for blocked shots after he recorded 10 in one game against Prairie View on Nov. 27, 2013. Bhullar is also tied with guard Ian Baker in field goal percentage (.833).
Junior guard Daniel Mullings posted the most points at a home game this season with 26 against UTEP on Nov. 15 and also tallied the most field goals in a home game with nine against UTEP. The seven steals he had at home against Seattle U came on Jan. 9.
KC Ross-Miller went 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point line at home against Seattle U on Jan. 9 and DK Eldridge was 2-of-2 for treys against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 25 in the Pan American Center.
Overall the Aggies have a +18.1 scoring margin and 51.8 field goal percentage when playing in the Pan American Center. They are allowing an average of 64.8 points per game, but NM State out scores their opponent by an average of almost 20 points per game.
The Aggies have tallied 35 or more rebounds in 15 of 21 games played this season and are averaging 37.0 rebounds per game with their highest numbers coming from games against Western Michigan on Nov. 8, 2013 (47) and Drake on Dec. 14, 2013 (47).
This season, centers Tshilidzi Nephawe and Sim Bhullar are tied for first averaging 7.4 rebounds per game. Followed by forward Renaldo Dixon who averages 5.3 rebounds per game.
Former Aggie Sam Lacey holds the all-time individual record for most rebounds in a single game (27), in a single season (493), and in a career (1,265). The Aggies as a team set the school record with 85 total rebounds in a game against Texas- Arlington in 1970 and 1,713 during the 1969-1970 season.
Mullings Climbs the Steals List
This season, guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 43. He ranks third on the all-time list with 180. He recently surpassed former Aggie great Randy Brown (1988-92), who had 162 steals. Mullings is averaging 2.2 steals per game this season. In 21 games, Mullings has recorded 12 games with at least two steals, including four games with three steals.
Against Seattle U on Jan. 9, Mullings tied a career-high seven steals. He marked seven steals against Seattle U almost one year to the date as he picked up seven steals on Jan. 10, 2013 in Seattle.
If Mullings keeps his current pace of 2.2 steals per game, by the end of the regular season he will rank third all-time with 204. He is in third on the all-time steals list at NM State surpassing former Aggie All-American James Moore (2000-03).
Career Steals at NM State
1. Hearnst Leroche (2008-12) – 216
2. William Benjamin (1988-92) – 209
3. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 180
4. James Moore (2000-03) – 174
Mullings Reaches 1,000 – Moving up the all-time scoring list
Junior guard and Canadian native, Daniel Mullings led the NM State men’s basketball team with 483 points during the 2012-13 season. During the 2011-12 season he tallied a total of 334 points. Prior to the start of this season Mullings needed 183 points to reach 1,000 points for NM State.
Mullings’ 1,000-career point came at the 17:32 mark in the second half of the Gonzaga game when he made two free throws. He finished the evening going 5-of-14 from the field while also making 6-of-9 free throws.
Mullings has scored 324 points this season and now has 1,141 points on his career. He is currently averaging 16.2 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list. Mullings moved up two spots from last week and is currently at No. 19 on the all-time list after surpassing former Aggies Justin Hawkins (2006-08) and Greg Webb (1977-80). Mullings needs 18 more points to tie for 18th on the all-time list with Billy Joe Price (1959-61).
Eric Channing is NM State’s all-time scoring leader with 1,862 points. Channing played for the Aggies from 1998-02. Former Aggie guard Hernst Laroche is No. 15 on all-time points scored. He was under coach Menzies from 2008-12 and scored a total of 400 points his first two years at NM State. George Knighton was the first Aggie to ever reach 1,000 points. He played for NM State from 1960-62 and scored over 1,000 points his first two years. The most recent Aggies to enter the 1,000 Point Club were Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche, and Hamidu Rahman in 2012. Former Aggie Billy Keys is currently No. 31 on the 1,000-point list with 1,004 points in 65 games played (two seasons; 1999-00).
Mullings Named WAC Player of the Week for the Second Time This Season
The Western Athletic Conference office announced on Monday, January 13, that junior guard Daniel Mullings has been named Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 6-12.
Mullings led the Aggies to a pair of wins over Seattle U and Idaho last week. In a 96-87 win over Seattle U on Thursday, Mullings recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He also tied a career-high with seven steals and dished out six assists. In NM State’s 78-54 win over Idaho, Mullings scored 16 points with six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
For the week, Mullings averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game. He shot 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from the field, 60.0 percent (3-of-5) from the three-point line, and 60.0 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line.
Foreign Players at NM State
Out of 524 NCAA Division I players, the Aggies are recognized for a team that has a large amount of foreign players on the roster. With seven foreigners, NM State is joined by Eastern Washington, Maine and Nicholls St. as having the highest number of foreign players, a majority coming from Canada and Australia.
Center Tshilidzi Nephawe, from Johannesburg, South Africa is tied for the team lead with 7.4 rebounds per game and has 155 total this season. Sim Bhullar, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the leader by a large margin for blocks with 53, compared to the second closest player, Nephawe, with 28. Renaldo Dixon, a forward from Toronto, Canada has 24 blocks and is averaging 7.8 points per game.
Bhullar also marks the highest field goal percentage at 67 percent. Forward Remi Barry from Paris, France, is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury against Colorado State earlier this season. Also from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Daniel Mullings leads the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and as 324 total points this year.