Aggies Make Final WAC Road Trip
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  02/21/2011


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Feb. 21) - The New Mexico State men’s basketball team returns to WAC play with its final road trip of the regular season. The Aggies meet San Jose State, Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 in San Jose, Calif., and then Hawai’i, Saturday, Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. in Honolulu. 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 Hawai’i game is available on AggieVision, which is shown live across New Mexico on Comcast stations, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com.


New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies moved to 14-13 after falling to Northern Colorado, 82-80, in the ESPNU BracketBuster, Feb. 19. NM State is also second in the WAC with a 8-4 record. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater leads NM State with a team-high 20.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Junior guard Hernst Laroche is averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 assists per contest.


Scouting San Jose State

The Spartans improved to 13-12 after a pair of non-conference wins over Weber State, Feb. 18, and Montana State, 77-73, Feb. 15. Currently, San Jose State is 3-9 in the WAC. The Spartans have three players with double-digit scoring averages, and senior guard Adrian Oliver leads the team with 23.9 points per game. Senior guard Justin Graham adds 15.6 points per contest, while freshman guard Keith Shamburger provides 12.0 points per game.


Series Notes

NM State has a 30-11 advantage in the all-time series. The Aggies won the first meeting of the season, 78-53, Jan. 15 in Las Cruces.  


Previous Meeting

The Aggies defeated San Jose State, 78-53, Jan. 15. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored 18 points, and senior guard Gordo Castillo tallied 17. Freshman guard Christian Kabongo added 14 points. The Aggies held the Spartans to 18 points in the first half, a season low in a half. NM State also held San Jose State to two 3-point baskets, three steals and zero blocked shots, which tied season-low marks for opponents. Offensively, the Aggies made 11 3-pointers, one shy of the season-high mark, on 26 attempts, which tied the season-high.


Scouting Hawai’i

The Rainbow Warriors are 15-10 following an 83-69 win at UC Davis, Feb. 19. In WAC play, Hawai’i has a 5-7 record. Junior guard Zane Johnson and senior forward Bill Amis are guiding the team with 14.9 points and 14.7 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Joston Thomas also contributes 10.4 points per contest.


Series Notes

The Aggies have an 12-2 lead in the all-time series with Hawai’i. NM State beat the Rainbow Warriors, 82-64, Jan. 13 in Las Cruces, and the Aggies have won the last six games in the series.


Previous Meeting

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored 13 points in 18 minutes to help NM State to an 82-64 victory over Hawai’i, Jan. 13. He also added 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Junior guard Hernst Laroche added 14 points and five assists, while freshman guard Christian Kabongo scored 12 and senior guard Gordo Castillo scored 10.


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. 25 in points per game (20.0). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is No. 30 in steals (2.1 per game) and No. 64 in assists (4.7 per game). As a team, the Aggies rank No. 39 in 3-point field goal defense (31.3) and No. 78 in scoring offense (72.7) as of Feb. 20.


A Floor General

Junior guard Hernst Laroche continues his command at the point for the Aggies in 2010-11 with a team-high 128 assists and 58 steals. He also ranks second in scoring with 11.7 points per game. Laroche has 392 career assists and ranks second on the all-time list at NM State.


Career Leaders in Assists

1. Sam Crawford-592

2. Hernst Laroche-392

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 973 career points from the Crimson and White.


Aggies Survive Louisiana Tech

NM State escaped Louisiana Tech with a 50-49 victory 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. 


Home Sweet Home

NM State is utilizing its home court advantage at the Pan American Center and is 6-0 in WAC home games. The Aggies have won 12 consecutive conference home games dating back to last season.


Gillenwater Shoots and Scores

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater is leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 20.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. In WAC games, he has increased that production to 21.8 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 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


Castillo for Three

Senior guard Gordo Castillo is currently sixth on the all-time list for career 3-pointers with 147.


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-147

7. Elijah Ingram-127


Stacking up against the WAC

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranks second in the WAC in scoring (20.0), eighth in rebounding (6.7), seventh in free throw percentage (77.5) and 10th in blocked shots (0.81). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is second in assists per game (4.74), third in steals per game (2.15) and third in assist to turnover ratio (1.71). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranks eighth in steals (1.26). Senior guard Gordo Castillo is tied for sixth in 3-pointer field goal percentage (40.0) and fifth in 3-pointers made (2.00). In blocked shots, freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe is sixth (1.00).


As a team, the Aggies are first in blocked shots (3.85) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.3), scoring offense (72.7), scoring margin (+2.3), field goal percentage (45.1) and steals per game (6.81) as of Feb. 20.


In WAC games only, junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranks second in scoring (21.8 points per game), ninth in rebounding (6.7), eighth in free throw percentage (78.4) and ninth in blocked shots (0.91). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is first in assists (5.17), third in steals (2.00) and sixth in assist to turnover ratio (1.63). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranks third in field goal percentage (60.7).


Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe is seventh in free throw percentage (78.9) and tied for seventh in blocked shots (1.00). Senior guard Gordo Castillo ranks tied for seventh in 3-pointers made (1.92) and 10th in 3-point field goal percentage (37.7).


As a team, the Aggies are first in scoring offense (74.1). NM State is second in scoring margin (+4.9), field goal percentage (47.2) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.1) along with third in steals (7.33), blocked shots (3.50) and turnover margin (+0.67) as of Feb. 20.


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 conclude the regular season with a pair of home games against Utah State, Wednesday, March 2 at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and Nevada, Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

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