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Aggies to Defend WAC Title
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/07/2011

 

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (March 7)-The New Mexico State men’s basketball team travels to Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2011 WAC Tournament, March 9-12. The No. 3 seeded Aggies play the winner of the No. 6 seeded Nevada-No. 7 seeded Fresno State game, Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The game is 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.

 

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies are looking to defend their WAC Tournament crown after finishing in third place in the conference regular season. NM State improved to 15-16 and 9-7 in the league following a 77-68 win over Nevada, March 5. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater leads NM State with a team-high 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Junior guard Hernst Laroche is averaging 11.5 points and 4.8 assists per contest.

 

WAC Tournament History

Since joining the WAC in 2005-06, the Aggies have a 10-3 record in the conference tournament. NM State has two tournament titles in 2007 and 2010, and has won two of the last four championships. In head coach Marvin Menzies’ tenure, the Aggies have played in the championship game twice, 2008 and 2010. NM State fell to Boise State in triple overtime, 107-102, March 15, 2008 in Las Cruces, and defeated Utah State, 69-63, March 13, 2010 in Reno, Nev. The Aggies are looking to repeat as champions, which is a feat that hasn’t happened since Hawai’i claimed the WAC Tournament crown in 2001 and 2002.

 

2010 WAC Tournament Recap

The Aggies won their second WAC Tournament Championship in 2010 as the No. 3 seed with a 69-63 win over Utah State, March 13, 2010. NM State beat tournament host Nevada, 80-79, March 12, 2010, in the semifinals and San Jose State, 90-69, March 11, 2010, in the quarterfinals. With the victory, the Aggies earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament, their 18th appearance in school history.  

 

Gillenwater Named First Team All-WAC

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater garnered first team All-WAC honors in 2010-11. This is Gillenwater’s first career All-WAC selection. Also, the fifth consecutive season the Aggies have had a first team all-conference honoree. Gillenwater leads the Aggies with 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. In conference games, he averaged 20.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He has 12 games over 20 points this year and 15 in his career.

 

Aggie Double-Doubles in 2010-11

The Aggies have had eight double-doubles this season. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater leads the team with four. Senior guard Gordo Castillo, freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe, junior center Hamidu Rahman and sophomore forward Tyrone Watson have all recorded a double-double in 2010-11.

 

National Campaign

In the NCAA rankings, junior forward Troy Gillenwater is No. 36 in points per game (19.2). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is No. 40 in steals (2.0 per game) and No. 59 in assists (4.8 per game). As a team, the Aggies rank No. 50 in 3-point field goal defense (31.9) and No. 85 in scoring offense (72.1) as of March 6.

 

Home Sweet Home

NM State utilized its home court advantage this season at the Pan American Center and finished with a 7-1 record in WAC home games in 2010-11. The Aggies had their 12-game WAC home win streak snapped March 2 against Utah State.

 

A Floor General

Junior guard Hernst Laroche continues his command at the point for the Aggies in 2010-11 with a team-high 148 assists and 61 steals. He also ranks second in scoring with 11.5 points per game. Laroche has 412 career assists and ranks second on the all-time list at NM State.

 

Career Leaders in Assists

1. Sam Crawford-592

2. Hernst Laroche-412

3. Keith Hill-379

4. Ernest Patterson-371

5. Steve Colter-347

 

Gillenwater Joins 1,000-Point Club

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater became the 27th member of the Aggie 1,000-point club, March 2. Against No. 25/21 Utah State, Gillenwater joined the club with his second field goal of the game. He now has 1,035 career points and ranks No. 24 on NM State’s all-time scoring list.

 

Castillo Celebrated Aggie Career

In his final game in the Pan American Center, senior guard Gordo Castillo recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the 77-68 win over Nevada on senior night, March 5. He now owns fifth place on the NM State all-time list for career 3-pointers. Castillo has made 160 triples in 114 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 31 games in 2010-11. He is averaging 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Watson ranks second on the team in assists (70) and second in steals (38).

 

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 97 career games started, and has played 3,141 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 31 blocked shots.

 

Castillo for Three

Senior guard Gordo Castillo is currently fifth on the all-time list for career 3-pointers with 160.

 

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. Gordo Castillo-160

 

Gillenwater Shoots and Scores

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater is leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. In WAC games, he increased that production to 20.1 points. He has 12 games over 20 points this year and 15 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. 

 

Containing the Opponent

The Aggies are currently 12-2 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 five WAC foes to under 60 points, which is a program first.

 

Stacking up against the WAC

Junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranks second in the WAC in scoring (19.2), eighth in rebounding (6.6) and eighth in blocked shots (0.88). Junior guard Hernst Laroche is first in assists per game (4.77), third in steals per game (1.97) and third in assist to turnover ratio (1.74). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranks eighth in steals (1.23). Senior guard Gordo Castillo is fifth in 3-pointer field goal percentage (40.6) and fifth in 3-pointers made (2.17). In blocked shots, freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe is seventh (1.00), and he is ninth in free throw percentage (75.3).

 

As a team, the Aggies are third in blocked shots (3.77), turnover margin (+0.48), steals per game (6.61) and 3-point field goal defense (31.9) as of March 5.

 

In WAC games only, junior forward Troy Gillenwater ranked second in scoring (20.1 points per game), ninth in rebounding (6.5) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.00). Junior guard Hernst Laroche finished first in assists (5.13), fourth in steals (1.69) and sixth in assist to turnover ratio (1.71). Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson ranked second in field goal percentage (60.5). Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe was fifth in free throw percentage (80.0) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.00). Senior guard Gordo Castillo finished third in 3-pointers made (2.25) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (39.6).

 

As a team, the Aggies posted a WAC-best scoring offense with 72.5 points per game. NM State ranked second in scoring margin (+3.5), turnover margin (+1.06) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.2), field goal percentage (46.1) and blocked shots (3.44). The Aggies tied for third in steals (6.81) and rebounding defense (34.0).

 

Defense Sets Standard

After escaping Louisiana Tech with a 50-49 victory, Feb. 12, the 49 points tied a program-best mark in WAC games for the Aggies. NM State first held a WAC opponent to under 50 points, Feb. 6, 2008, in an 88-49 win over Idaho. 

 

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

 

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-75

 

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.

 

Scouting Nevada

The No. 6 seeded Wolf Pack finished the regular season 12-18 and 8-8 in the WAC. Nevada has four players with double-digit scoring averages. Sophomore guard Malik Story and freshman guard Deonte Burton lead the team with 13.6 points per contest. The Wolf Pack front court is producing with 12.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game from junior forward Dario Hunt and 12.4 points per game from junior forward Olek Czyz.  

 

Series Notes

After splitting the season series, the Aggies have a slight 18-15 advantage in the all-time series and are 1-0 in neutral site games. NM State won the regular season finale, 77-68, March 5 in Las Cruces. Nevada won the first meeting of the season, 90-71, in Reno, Nev., Jan. 20.

 

Previous Meetings

In his last game in the Pan American Center, senior guard Gordo Castillo recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the 77-68 win over Nevada, March 5. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater paced the Aggies with a game-high 21 points. Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe and freshman guard Christian Kabongo were also in double-figures with 10 points each. The Aggies shot a season-best 58.3 percent from the 3-point line (7-of-12), and held the Wolf Pack to 25 rebounds, which tied a season-low mark for NM State.

 

In the first match-up, NM State had a three-game win streak snapped with a 90-71 loss at Nevada, Jan. 20. Gillenwater had a game-high 22 points, while junior guard Hernst Laroche added 11 points.

 

Scouting Fresno State

The Bulldogs are 14-16, finished 6-10 in the WAC and are the No. 7 seed. Freshman guard Kevin Olekaibe has a team-high 11.9 points per game. Sophomore center Greg Smith adds 11.7 points per game, while junior guard Tim Steed provides 10.3 points per contest.

 

Series Notes

The Aggies and Bulldogs split the regular season games with each team winning at home. NM State won, 80-68, Jan. 8 in Las Cruces, and Fresno State won, 88-83, in overtime, Feb. 3, in Fresno, Calif. NM State leads the all-time series 22-13. The Aggies are also 3-1 in games played at a neutral site.

 

Previous Meetings

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.

 

In the WAC home opener, Gillenwater recorded his third double-double of the season to lead NM State to an 80-68 win over Fresno State, Jan. 8. He scored 19 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. The Aggies had four players in double-figures with Laroche and junior center Hamidu Rahman each scoring 11 points and freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe adding 10.

 

Scouting Boise State

The Broncos finished in second place in the WAC with a 19-11 overall record and 10-6 conference record. Boise State has four players with double-digit averages including 15.4 points per game from senior guard La’Shard Anderson. Senior forwards Robert Arnold (12.6), Paul Noonan (10.5) and Daequon Montreal (10.3) also contribute to the offense.

 

Series Notes

NM State leads the all-time series 15-10 after each team won on its home floor this season. In neutral site games, the Aggies post a 2-0 lead. Boise State claimed the first meeting of the season, 81-78, in Boise, Idaho, Dec. 31, while the Aggies won the game in Las Cruces, 96-87, in overtime, Jan. 27.

 

Previous Meetings

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. 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.

 

The Aggies said goodbye to 2010 with its second WAC game of the season at Boise State, but they fell to the Broncos, 81-78, in the New Year’s Eve game. NM State had four players in double-figures with Gillenwater scoring a game-high 24 points. Senior guard Gordo Castillo had 14 points, while sophomore forward Bandja Sy and Laroche supplied 11 and 10 points, respectively.

 

Scouting Hawai’i

As the No. 5 seed, the Rainbow Warriors are 18-11 and finished 8-8 in the WAC. Junior guard Zane Johnson and senior forward Bill Amis are guiding the team with 15.8 points and 15.1 points, respectively.

 

Series Notes

The Aggies have a 12-3 lead in the all-time series with Hawai’i, and are 1-0 in games played at a neutral site. NM State’s six-game win streak in the series was snapped with a 76-70 loss in Honolulu, Feb. 26. The Aggies won the first meeting of the year, 82-64, Jan. 13 in Las Cruces.

 

Previous Meetings

In the final road game of the regular season, NM State fell at Hawai’i, 76-70, Feb. 26. Freshman guard Christian Kabongo scored a career-high 22 points for the Aggies. Junior guard Hernst Laroche scored 15 points, and senior guard Gordo Castillo added 14. 

 

The Aggies beat Hawai’i 82-64, Jan. 13, in Las Cruces behind 13 points from junior forward Troy Gillenwater. He also added 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Laroche added 14 points and five assists, while Kabongo scored 12 and Castillo had 10.

 

Scouting San Jose State

The Spartans are 15-14 with a 5-11 WAC record and are the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament. San Jose State has three players with double-digit scoring averages, and senior guard Adrian Oliver leads the team with 24.3 points per game. Senior guard Justin Graham adds 14.8 points per contest, while freshman guard Keith Shamburger provides 11.5 points per game.

 

Series Notes

NM State has a 30-12 advantage in the all-time series, and the teams have split a pair of neutral site games. The Aggies won the first meeting of the season, 78-53, Jan. 15 in Las Cruces but lost in San Jose, Calif., 72-70, in overtime, Feb. 23.

 

Previous Meetings

The Aggies suffered a 72-70 overtime loss at San Jose State, which was the fourth overtime game of the year. NM State 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.

 

The Aggies defeated San Jose State, 78-53, Jan. 15. Gillenwater scored 18 points, and senior guard Gordo Castillo tallied 17. 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.

 

Scouting Idaho

The Vandals finished the regular season 18-12 and 9-7 in the WAC. Idaho is the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. Senior guard Jeff Ledbetter posts a team-high 12.2 points per game, and sophomore center Kyle Barone supplies 10.7 points per contest.

 

Series Notes

The Aggies have a 19-3 advantage in the all-time series after sweeping the Vandals this season. NM State won 74-69, in Moscow, Idaho, Dec. 29, and 73-65, in Las Cruces, Jan. 29. The Aggies are also 1-0 against the Vandals in neutral site games.

 

Previous Meetings

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. 

 

NM State opened 2010-11 WAC play with a 74-69 win at Idaho, Dec. 29. Gillenwater led the Aggies with 22 points after missing the previous five games due to an injury. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson and junior guard Hernst Laroche added 12 points, while freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe scored 10.

 

Scouting Utah State

The Navy-clad Aggies enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed following 28-3 overall record and 15-1 WAC record. Senior forward Tai Wesley averages a team-high 14.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Brockeith Pane adds 11.2 points per contest, and senior guard Brian Green provides 10.8 points per game.

 

Series Notes

Utah State has a 35-27 lead in the series. This year, USU won, 59-49, in Logan, Utah, Jan. 22, and 58-54, March 2 in Las Cruces. NM State trails USU in neutral site games, 2-3.

 

Previous Meetings

NM State suffered its first WAC loss at home this season to No. 25/21 Utah State, 58-54, March 2. The Aggies had won 12 consecutive WAC home games dating back to last year. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 17 points. This is the first time the Aggies hosted a ranked team in the Pan American Center since the 2006-07 season. Freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Hernst Laroche added 10 points, while senior guard Gordo Castillo had nine.

 

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

 



‹ New Mexico State Men's Basketball


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