Aggies Hosts No. 25/21 Utah State Wednesday on ESPN2
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/01/2011


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (March 1)-The New Mexico State men’s basketball team concludes the regular season with a pair of WAC home games. The Aggies hosts No. 25/21 Utah State, Wednesday, March 2 at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and Nevada, Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m. The games are available on KGRT 104 FM with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon calling the action, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The contest is available in Spanish on Vista 98.7 FM with Martin Cortez. The Nevada game is available on AggieVision, which is shown live across New Mexico on Comcast stations, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com. The contest is taped delayed in Las Cruces (channel 4) and on Fox Sports-Arizona until 11 p.m.


New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies moved to 14-15 and 8-6 in the WAC following 76-70 loss at Hawai’i, Feb. 26. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater leads NM State with a team-high 19.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Junior guard Hernst Laroche is averaging 11.7 points and 4.8 assists per contest.


Scouting Utah State

The Navy-clad Aggies are 26-3 and 13-1 in the WAC and ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Utah State defeated Idaho, 84-68, Feb. 26, in its home finale. Senior forward Tai Wesley posts a team-high 14.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Brockeith Pane adds 11.3 points, while senior guard Brian Green contributes 11.0 points per contest.


Series Notes

Utah State has a 34-27 lead in the series. USU won the first meeting of the season, 59-49, in Logan, Utah, Jan. 22. NM State is 5-1 in games played in Las Cruces since both teams joined the WAC.


Previous Meeting

The Aggies suffered a tough 59-49 loss at Utah State, Jan. 22. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 20 points for the Aggies. Junior guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-figures with 11 points, which were all scored in the second half.


Scouting Nevada

The Wolf Pack is 11-17 and 7-7 in the WAC prior to its game at Louisiana Tech, March 3. Nevada has four players with double-digit scoring averages. Sophomore guard Malik Story leads the team with 13.7 points per game, while freshman guard Deonte Burton provides 13.2 points per contest. The Wolf Pack front court is producing with 12.7 points per game from junior forward Olek Czyz and a double-double of 12.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game from junior forward Dario Hunt. ­


Series Notes

The Aggies have a slight 17-15 advantage in the all-time series. Nevada won the first meeting of the series in 2010-11, 90-71, in Reno, Nev., Jan. 20.


Previous Meeting

NM State had a three-game win streak snapped with a 90-71 loss at Nevada, Jan. 20. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater had a game-high 22 points, while junior guard Hernst Laroche added 11 points.


Aggies Fall at Hawai’i on Last Road Trip

NM State’s six-game win streak over Hawaii was snapped with a 76-70 loss, Feb. 26. Freshman guard Christian Kabongo scored a career-high 22 points for the Aggies. In the final road game of the regular season, junior guard Hernst Laroche scored 15 points, and senior guard Gordo Castillo added 14. 


Home Sweet Home

NM State is utilizing its home court advantage at the Pan American Center and is 6-0 in WAC home games in 2010-11. The Aggies have won 12 consecutive conference home games dating back to last season. Not only is NM State’s program-best streak on the line against No. 25/21 Utah State, but it’s also the first time the Aggies have hosted a ranked team since the 2006-07 season, when NM State defeated No. 13/15 Nevada, 80-73, Jan. 20, 2007.


A Floor General

Junior guard Hernst Laroche continues his command at the point for the Aggies in 2010-11 with a team-high 140 assists and 58 steals. He also ranks second in scoring with 11.7 points per game. Laroche has 404 career assists and ranks second on the all-time list at NM State.


Career Leaders in Assists

1. Sam Crawford-592

2. Hernst Laroche-404

3. Keith Hill-379

4. Ernest Patterson-371

5. Steve Colter-347


Gillenwater Closing in on 1,000-Point Club

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater is on track to become the 27th member of the Aggie 1,000-point club. Currently, he has scored 997 career points from the Crimson and White.


Near Misses

The last three games have been a tough stretch for the Aggies. NM State has lost the last three games by a combined 10 points. In the final two road games of the regular season, the Aggies had season-low turnovers at San Jose State (7) and Hawai’i (9).


Castillo to Celebrate Aggie Career

Senior guard Gordo Castillo is playing his final games in the Pan American Center against No. 25/21 Utah State, March 2, and Nevada, March 5. He is just four 3-point field goals shy of moving into No. 5 on the NM State all-time list for career 3-pointers. Castillo has made 153 triples in 112 career games.


Kabongo Produces against Rainbow Warriors

Freshman guard Christian Kabongo had a career night at Hawai’i, Feb. 26. He scored a career-high 22 points. Kabongo’s aggressiveness led to a 12-of-14 performance at the free-throw line, also career-best marks.


Watson Takes Advantage of Sophomore Season

Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson has been a mainstay in the Aggie lineup this season. He is only one of two players to start all 29 games in 2010-11. He is averaging 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Watson ranks second on the team in assists (69) and steals (38).


West Hits His Stride

Sophomore forward/center B.J. West has made an important impact in the last five games. In that span, West is averaging 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He set a career-high mark with 10 points at San Jose State, Feb. 23. West has also supplied 1.4 assists and 1.0 blocked shots per contest in last five games.


Laroche is the Aggie Iron Man

Junior guard Hernst Laroche has started in every game for the Aggies since he arrived in Las Cruces in 2008. He has 95 career games started, and has played 3,071 minutes for the Crimson and White.


Nephawe Defends the Rim

Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe has played a significant role for the Aggies in his freshman campaign. He has a team-high 29 blocked shots.


Aggies Fall in Overtime at San Jose State

NM State suffered a 72-70 overtime loss at San Jose State, which was the fourth overtime game of the year. The Aggies had four players in double-figures with junior forward Troy Gillenwater posting a team-high 18 points. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson and freshman guard Christian Kabongo supplied 11 each. Sophomore forward/center B.J. West scored a career-high 10 points, and junior guard Hernst Laroche recorded nine points and a season-high nine assists. NM State slipped to 1-3 in overtime games this season.


Castillo for Three

Senior guard Gordo Castillo is currently sixth on the all-time list for career 3-pointers with 153.


Career Leaders in Made 3-Point Field Goals

1. Eric Channing-283

2. Jonathan Gibson-259

3. Jeff McCool-206

4. Denmark Reid-188

5. Jahmar Young-156

6. Gordo Castillo-153

7. Elijah Ingram-127


Gillenwater Shoots and Scores

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater is leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 19.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. In WAC games, he has increased that production to 20.3 points. He has 11 games over 20 points this year and 14 in his career. Gillenwater set a career high with 34 points in the overtime win against Boise State, 96-87, Jan. 27. He has now surpassed the 30-point plateau four times this year and has recorded four double-doubles in 2010-11. 


Aggies Edged in ESPNU BracketBuster

NM State suffered its first defeat in the ESPNU BracketBuster series with an 82-80 loss to Northern Colorado. The Aggies are now 5-1 in BracketBuster games. Junior guard Hernst Laroche posted a team-high 19 points, while junior forward Troy Gillenwater and senior guard Gordo Castillo contributed 13 points each.


Containing the Opponent

The Aggies are currently 11-1 when they hold opponents to 70 points or less. NM State has held two WAC opponents under 55 points this year, Louisiana Tech (49) and San Jose State (53). In the 2010-11 season, the Aggies have held four WAC foes to under 60 points, which is a program first.


National Campaign

In the NCAA rankings, junior forward Troy Gillenwater is No. 36 in points per game (19.3). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is No. 36 in steals (2.0 per game) and No. 60 in assists (4.8 per game). As a team, the Aggies rank No. 46 in 3-point field goal defense (31.8) and No. 82 in scoring offense (72.6) as of Feb. 27.


Stacking up against the WAC

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranks second in the WAC in scoring (19.3), eighth in rebounding (6.7), eighth in free throw percentage (76.7) and eighth in blocked shots (0.87). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is second in assists per game (4.83), third in steals per game (2.00) and third in assist to turnover ratio (1.82). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranks seventh in steals (1.31). Senior guard Gordo Castillo is fifth in 3-pointer field goal percentage (39.5) and 3-pointers made (2.07). In blocked shots, freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe is tied for sixth (1.00).


As a team, the Aggies are second in blocked shots (3.83) and third in turnover margin (+0.62) and steals per game (6.86) as of Feb. 26.


In WAC games only, junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranks second in scoring (20.3 points per game), ninth in rebounding (6.8) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.00). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is first in assists (5.29), fourth in steals (1.71) and fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.85). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranks second in field goal percentage (62.0).


Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe is sixth in free throw percentage (81.0) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.00). Senior guard Gordo Castillo ranks tied for fourth in 3-pointers made (2.07).


As a team, the Aggies are first in scoring offense (73.5). NM State is second in scoring margin (+3.6), turnover margin (+1.43) and third in field goal percentage (45.7), 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.7), steals (7.36) and blocked shots (3.50) as of Feb. 26.


Aggies Survive Louisiana Tech

NM State escaped Louisiana Tech with a 50-49 victory, Feb. 12, to record its second WAC road win of the year after junior guard Hernst Laroche made two free throws with 12.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Junior center Hamidu Rahman led the Aggies with a team-high 14 points.


Defense Sets Standard

After only allowing 49 points at Louisiana Tech, Feb. 12, the Aggies tied a program-best mark in WAC games. The Aggies first held a WAC opponent to under 50 points, Feb. 6, 2008, in an 88-49 win over Idaho. 


Aggies Fall in Overtime at Fresno State, 88-83

In the third overtime game of the season, the Aggies lost at Fresno State, 88-83, Feb. 3. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 33 points in the second overtime contest in the last three games. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson supplied 14 points, and junior guard Hernst Laroche and freshman guard Christian Kabongo provided 10 points each.


Rahman Climbs the Ladder

Junior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 98 career blocked shots. He is now tied for No. 4 with Johnny Roberson on the Aggie all-time list.


Career Leaders in Blocked Shots

1. James Moore-200

2. Slab Jones-124

3. Charles Goza-116

4. Johnny Roberson-98

4. Hamidu Rahman-98

6. Sam Lacey-92

7. Martin Iti-82


Aggies Sweep Idaho with 73-65 Win

The Aggies swept the series with Idaho following a 73-65 win, Jan. 29. Senior guard Gordo Castillo fired a game-high 19 points, while junior forward Troy Gillenwater supplied 16 points for the Aggies. Junior center Hamidu Rahman was also in double figures with 11 points. NM State also forced a season-high 24 turnovers. 


Aggies Outlast Boise State in Overtime

In their second overtime game of the season, the Aggies survived Boise State, 96-87, Jan. 27. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a career-high 34 points to lead NM State. Junior guard Hernst Laroche also had a career night with 24 points, and sophomore forward Tyrone Watson recorded his first double-double with a career-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Menzies Becomes Sixth Winningest Coach at NM State

With the win over San Jose State, Jan. 15, head coach Marvin Menzies recorded his 70th victory at NM State. He now ranks sixth on the all-time winningest coaches list in program history. Menzies is the second fastest to reach 70 behind Lou Henson.


All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)

1. Lou Henson-289

2. Neil McCarthy-229

3. Jerry Hines-157

4. Presley Askew-135

5. Weldon Drew-82

6. Marvin Menzies-74


McKines to Redshirt 2010-11 Season

Senior forward Wendell McKines has decided to redshirt the 2010-11 season. He has been sidelined this year due to a broken foot he sustained in mid-October. An All-WAC honorable mention selection in 2009-10, McKines averaged 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, a team-best mark. He now ranks No.6 on the all-time rebounding list at NM State with 761 boards. He ranked first in the WAC in conference games with 9.8 rebounds per game. McKines also posted nine double-doubles in 2009-10 and has 27 in his career.


Looking Ahead

The Aggies travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2011 WAC Tournament, March 9-12, looking to defend their crown.

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