The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns home for its final series of the regular season and hosts Louisiana Tech, Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. and UT Arlington, Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. 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 on Comcast across New Mexico, Altitude and ESPN3 and tape delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m. and on Fox Sports-Arizona until 1 a.m. Saturday's game is shown live on Comcast across New Mexico and ESPN3 and tape delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies have a 19-10 overall record and 12-4 WAC record after falling at Denver, 66-60, March 2. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.7 points per game. Senior forward Bandja Sy is also in double figures 11.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while freshman center Sim Bhullar adds 10.2 points per contest.
Scouting Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs have a 26-3 overall record and are in first place in the WAC with a 16-0 conference record. Louisiana Tech defeated Utah State, 84-61, Feb. 28, and San Jose State, 88-61, March 2. The Bulldogs have the nation's longest winning streak at 18 games. Sophomore guard Raheem Appleby is posting a team-high 14.8 points per game.
NM State has a 15-4 record all-time against Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs won the first meeting of the season, 81-72, Dec. 31 in Ruston, La., to snap the Aggies' seven-game winning streak in the series.
The Aggies concluded their WAC opening road trip with an 81-72 loss at Louisiana Tech on New Year's Eve in Ruston, La. The loss snapped a seven-game win streak over the Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings tallied a game-high 21 points for the second straight game. He was 8-of-16 from the field. Senior forward Tyrone Watson contributed 14 points, and he was 10-for-14 from the free-throw line, hitting 10 in a row. The Aggies shot a season-high 37 free throws and made 23 free throws.
Scouting UT Arlington
The Mavericks are 17-10 and 11-5 in the WAC. UT Arlington beat San Jose State, 81-74, Feb. 28, and Utah State, 61-46, March 2 before traveling to Denver, March 7. Senior forward Kevin Butler is leading the Mavericks with 10.9 points per game.
The Aggies lead the all-time series 10-2, but UT Arlington won the conference opener, 68-47, Dec. 29, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
For the first time in a WAC opening game, NM State suffered a 68-47 loss at UT Arlington, Dec. 29. The Aggies are 5-1 in conference openers under head coach Marvin Menzies. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a game-high 21 points for the Aggies with his fourth 20-point effort of the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar was also in double figures with 14 points and a career-high five blocked shots.
Aggies Fall at 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.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 16th in blocked shots per game (5.4) and 20th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.6). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 20 games. The Aggies are also 58th in field goal percentage defense (40.1). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 31st in steals per game (2.14). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 41st in blocked shots per game (2.21) as of March 3.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded nine double-doubles in 2012-13 with senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with four double-doubles. 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 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. Sy had his fourth double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds at Denver, March 2. Freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded his first career double-double at UTSA, Feb. 2, with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
With the first blocked shot at Utah State, Feb. 16, the Aggies set the single-season record for blocks shots. Currently, NM State has 158 rejections this season. The Aggies rank 16th in the NCAA in blocks with 5.4 per game. Freshman center Sim Bhullar leads the team with 64 blocks, and is the NM State single-season leader in blocked shots. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is also helping the defensive effort with 37 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 15 games, Sy is averaging 15.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, which are team-high marks in that span. He is shooting 50.9 percent from the field (88-of-173), 44.8 percent from the 3-point line (13-of-29) and 70.8 percent from the free-throw line (46-of-65) in the last 15 games. Sy is leading the team in 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in WAC games.
Bhullar Protects the Hoop
Freshman center Sim Bhullar is leading the team with 64 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 20 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 nine in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 21 games. Mullings is shooting 39.1 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in 13 games. Defensively, Mullings has a team-high 62 steals and tied for sixth on the single-season list. He is eighth on the Aggies' career list for steals with 120. Nationally, he ranks 31st in steals per game (2.14).
Aggies Beat UTEP
NM State used a late 16-3 run to defeat I-10 rival UTEP, 55-51, Feb. 23 in Las Cruces. Junior guard Kevin Aronis scored a game-high 11 points to lead the Aggies to a season spilt with the Miners. Aronis scored all 11 points in the second half on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-5 performance from the 3-point line. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double figures with 10 points. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon had eight points and eight rebounds, and freshman center Sim Bhullar ended the night with six points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in a career-high 37 minutes of action. With his second rejection of the game, Bhullar set the NM State single-season blocked shots record.
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 6.9 points, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He has a 2.1 assist to turnover ratio in an average of 31.1 minutes of action per contest.
Dixon and Barry Making the Most of New Roles
In the last nine games, junior forward Renaldo Dixon and sophomore forward Remi Barry have increased their production. Dixon is averaging 7.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He has a 47.9 field goal percentage (23-of-48) and 71.9 free-throw percentage (23-of-32) in the nine-game span. Barry is averaging 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest in the last nine games. He is shooting 51.4 percent from the field (18-of-35) and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line (13-of-16).
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 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 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 64.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies lead the WAC in blocked shots (5.45 per game) and rank second in rebounding margin (+6.6) and third in scoring margin (+5.0).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks second in steals (2.14), fourth in free throw percentage (77.0) and eighth in scoring (13.7). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in field goal percentage (61.1) and fourth in blocked shots (2.21 per game). Senior forward Bandja Sy is sixth in rebounding (7.3), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is seventh in blocked shots (1.32). Junior guard Kevin Aronis is eighth in 3-point field goal percentage (36.7). Senior forward Tyrone Watson ranks ninth in field goal percentage (47.6) and 10th in assists (2.95).
In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.44). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+5.6), scoring offense (69.6) and is third in scoring margin (+4.8) field goal percentage (46.6) and offensive rebounds (12.75).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks second in steals (2.56), seventh in scoring (14.4) and fifth in free throw percentage (77.5). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is second in blocked shots (2.81) and first in field goal percentage (59.5) and seventh in rebounding (7.2). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks third in rebounding (8.1), fifth in scoring (14.6) and eighth in field goal percentage (50.6). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is fifth in blocks (1.88) as of March 2.
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 13 times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 13 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 18 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 121 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 travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2013 WAC Tournament, March 12-16, to defend their title.