The New Mexico State men's basketball team has a pair of home games with Idaho, Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., and Seattle, Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Lou Henson Classic in Las Cruces. Both games are AggieVision productions with Jeff Matthews and Glen Cerny. 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. The games are also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.
Thursday's game is shown live in Las Cruces, on Comcast across New Mexico, Altitude, Fox Sports-Arizona and ESPN3. Saturday's game is shown live on Comcast across New Mexico and ESPN3 and tape delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m. and on Fox Sports-Arizona until 1 a.m.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies have won nine straight games and have a 15-8 overall record and 9-2 WAC record after a 75-62 win at UTSA, Feb. 2. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.5 points per game, and senior forwards Bandja Sy is also in double figures 11.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
The Vandals have a 9-12 overall record and 5-6 conference record following a weekend split with a win over San Jose State, 66-63, Feb. 2, and loss to Utah State, 77-67, Jan. 31. Senior center Kyle Barone leads Idaho with 16.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Junior forward Stephen Madison and sophomore guard Connor Hill are also helping the offense with 14.8 and 11.7 points per game, respectively.
The Aggies have a 21-4 all-time lead in the series with Idaho after winning the first game of the year, 71-70, Jan. 12 in Moscow, Idaho.
NM State escaped Idaho with a 71-70 win, Jan. 12, after sophomore guard Daniel Mullings hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation. With the game tied, 70-70, with 3.5 seconds left, Mullings was fouled while trying to inbound the ball. He sank the second of two free throws to give the Aggies the lead. Mullings was 3-of-4 at the line and ended with night with eight points and three steals. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 16 points, and freshman center Sim Bhullar also had 16 points. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 14 points including a late basket in the final 10 seconds. The Aggies recorded a season-low four turnovers.
The Redhawks are 7-14 overall and 2-9 after defeating San Jose State, 56-48, Jan. 31, and falling to Utah State, 68-46, Feb. 2. Seattle travels to Denver, Feb. 7, before meeting the Aggies. Seattle has two players in double figures with redshirt junior forward Clarence Trent supplying 11.1 points per game. Redshirt freshman forward Deshaun Sundershaus adds 10.1 points per game.
The Aggies have a 2-1 lead in the all-time series following an 83-82 win in double overtime in Seattle, Jan. 10.
NM State recorded its first WAC road win of the year with an 83-82 victory in double overtime at Seattle, Jan. 10. Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points. This was the first multiple overtime game for the Aggies since the triple overtime thriller against Boise State in the 2008 WAC Championship game. Senior forward Bandja Sy contributed 23 points including a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the first overtime. En route to his career-high performance, Watson scored 14 points in the second half. He added five assists and seven steals, which helped the Aggies to a season-high 15 steals. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings also helped defensively with seven steals along with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Lou Henson Classic
Since the inception of the Lou Henson Classic in the 2006-07 season, the Aggies are 7-1 in the classic. NM State has won the last five games with wins over Fresno State, 60-56, Jan, 28, 2012, Pacific, 69-64, Dec. 18, 2010, Texas Southern, 79-75, Dec. 23, 2009, Sacramento State, 76-65, Dec. 11, 2008 and Chicago State, 94-61, Nov. 30, 2007. The only loss in the classic was to North Texas, 75-72, Dec. 1, 2007. The Aggies defeated Chicago State, 80-74, Dec. 1, 2006, and San Francisco, 89-78, Dec. 2, 2006.
Sy Earns WAC Player of the Week Honors
Senior forward Bandja Sy has been named the WAC Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3. This is 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.
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. This season the Aggies have 119 blocks and are only 22 shy of tying the program record for a season (141). The Aggies rank 26th in the NCAA in blocks with 5.2 per game. Freshman center Sim Bhullar leads the team with 46 blocks, which is tied for eighth on the school's single-season list. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is also helping the defensive effort with 26 blocked shots.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded seven double-doubles in 2012-13 with senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with three double-doubles. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has 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. 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. Freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded his first career double-double at UTSA, Feb. 2, with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Aggies Down UTSA, Sweep Road Trip
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.
Aggies Beat Texas State 86-72
NM State opened its WAC road trip to the Lone Star State with an 86-72 win at Texas State. The victory is the Aggies' eighth straight. 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, which is a career-high mark.
Aggies on a Roll
After a tough start to the 2012-13 WAC slate, the Aggies have bounced back and won the last nine 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' nine-game win streak, senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly. He is averaging 17.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Sy is shooting 60 percent from the field (63-of-105) and 42.9 percent from the 3-point line (6-of-14) in the last nine games. Sy is tied for the team-best 15.5 points per game in WAC games.
Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint
Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 11.5 points 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 10 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 46.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 19th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+7.2). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 16 games. The Aggies are 26th in blocked shots per game (5.2), 44th in field goal percentage defense (39.5) and 51st in field goal percentage (46.1). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 36th in steals per game (2.17) and 71st in field goal percentage (50.9). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 56th in blocked shots per game (2.0) as of Feb. 3.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in blocked shots (5.14 per game), field goal percent defense (39.5) and rebounding margin (+7.2) and third in scoring defense (62.5), rebounding offense (38.5) and defensive rebounds (26.04).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.17), fifth in field goal percentage (50.9), sixth in free throw percentage (77.6) and seventh in scoring (14.5). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in field goal percentage (59.9) and fifth in blocked shots (2.0 per game). Senior forward Bandja Sy is sixth in rebounding (7.3). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is ninth in field goal percentage (47.8), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is ninth in blocked shots (1.18).
In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense (71.0), blocked shots (6.36) and rebounding margin (+6.6). NM State ranks second in rebounding offense (38.5) and defensive rebounds (25.64). The Aggies are third in scoring margin (+6.5) and field goal percentage (47.8).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.82), fifth in scoring (15.5) and tied for eighth in free throw percentage (77.8). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is second in blocked shots (2.73), third in field goal percentage (57.1), and sixth in rebounding (7.8). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks tied for third in rebounding (8.0), sixth in scoring (15.5) and fourth in field goal percentage (56.8). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is fifth in blocks (1.82), and senior forward Tyrone Watson is ninth in assists (3.11) as of Feb. 2.
Aggies Control the Glass
NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.5 boards per game with a +7.2 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in 16 games.
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.
Ready, Aim, Fire
The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 46.1 percent. NM State has four players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (59.9), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (50.9), junior forward Renaldo Dixon (50.6) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage than their opponents in 14 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 23 games, the Aggies are averaging 24 attempts per game, 7.1 more attempts than their opponents.
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 17 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had seven 20-point games this season and ninth in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 19 games. Mullings is shooting 41.7 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in 11 games.
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 is second on 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 14 games and in double-figures in rebounding in five 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.
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 117 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 to the road for two away games at San Jose State, Feb. 14, and Utah State, Feb. 16 on ESPNU.