The New Mexico State men's basketball team meets No. 17 Indiana, Thursday, March 15 at approximately 7:45 p.m. at the Rose Center in Portland, Ore., on CBS. The Aggies are a No. 13 seed (26-9), while the Hoosiers are a No. 4 seed (25-8). The game is available on KGRT 104 FM with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The Aggies are making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and second in three years.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 26-9 this season after winning the 2012 WAC Tournament Championship with an 82-57 victory over Louisiana Tech, March 10 in Las Vegas, Nev. NM State has recorded the most wins in a season since the 1992-93 season. The Aggies have three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 12.0 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.0 points per game.
The Hoosiers enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-8 record after a 79-71 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, March 9. Indiana has four players in double-digits with freshman forward Cody Zeller leading the way with 15.5 points per game. Junior forward Christian Watford and junior guard Jordan Hulls add 12.0 and 11.5 points per contest, respectively. Additionally, sophomore guard Victor Oladipo contributes 10.9 points per game. This is the second meeting between the Aggies and Hoosiers. Indiana won the first meeting, 74-68, in Bloomington, Ind., Dec. 7, 1961.
Aggies Win WAC Tournament Championship, Return to the Big Dance
NM State won its third WAC Tournament Championship in school history with an 82-57 win over No. 5 seed Louisiana Tech, March 10. The Aggies earned their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance with the victory and their second WAC title in three years. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines guided the Aggies with his 20th double-double of the season with 27 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting. Junior forward Tyrone Watson and freshman guard Daniel Mullings supplied 12 points each. Senior center Hamidu Rahman added nine points and three blocked shots, and senior guard Hernst Laroche had eight points, six rebounds and six assists in the title game. The 25-point margin of victory in the championship game is the largest in WAC history. The previous best was 21 points when Utah defeated TCU, 89-68, in 1997.
NCAA Third Round
With a victory, the Aggies would face the No. 19 Wichita State/Virginia Commonwealth winner in the NCAA Third Round, Saturday, March 17. Wichita State is 27-5 after a 65-64 loss to Illinois State, March 3, in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Senior center Garrett Stutz leads the Shockers with 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Junior guard Joe Ragland and senior guard Toure' Murry provide 13.4 and 12.2 points per contest, respectively. VCU enters the tournament at 28-6 following a 59-56 win over Drexel in the CAA Championships game, March 5. Senior guard/forward Bradford Burgess has a team-high 13.3 points per game. Sophomore forward Juvonte Reddic adds 10.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while junior guard Troy Daniels provides 10.0 points per contest.
The Aggies won their third WAC Tournament title in seven years with the 2012 Championship. NM State joined the league in 2005-06 and won the crown in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
The Aggies are making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. NM State has a 10-20 record in the Big Dance with a Final Four appearance in 1970.
McKines, Laroche and Watson Guide Aggies to Title
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was named the WAC Tournament Most Valuable Player after he averaged 21.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche and junior forward Tyrone Watson also earned all-tournament team honors.
McKines Earns All-District Honors
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VIII team. This is McKines' first all-district honor. He collected first team All-WAC accolades after he led the Aggies and WAC in both scoring and rebounding.
Menzies Passes the Century Mark
With a 65-49 win over Fresno State, March 8, in the WAC Tournament Quarterfinals, head coach Marvin Menzies recorded his 100th-career win. He is only the fifth coach in school history with 100+ victories. In his fifth season at the helm, Menzies ranks fifth all-time in program history in wins and is averaging 20 wins a season.
WAC Tournament History
Since joining the WAC in 2005-06, the Aggies have a 14-4 record in the conference tournament after winning the title for the second time in three years, March 10. NM State has won three tournament titles in 2007, 2010 and 2012. In head coach Marvin Menzies' tenure, the Aggies have played in the championship game three times, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Aggies Advance to WAC Title Game with 92-81 Win
The Aggies played in their second WAC Tournament Championship game in three years following a 92-81 win over Hawai'i in the tournament semifinals, March 9. The Aggies had five players in double-figures with redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines leading the way with a game-high 22 points and a season-high six assists. Senior guard Hernst Laroche contributed 18 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line. Sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe added a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Junior forward Tyrone Watson had 13 points, while freshman guard Daniel Mullings posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Aggies Beat Fresno State
The Aggies opened the 2012 WAC Tournament with a 65-49 win over Fresno State in the quarterfinals, March 8. NM State had three players in double-digits with redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines leading the way with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Junior forward Tyrone Watson supplied 13 points, and freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 11. The win was head coach Marvin Menzies' 100th-career win.
Four Aggies Collect All-WAC Honors
Four NM State players earned All-WAC honors, which are voted on by the conference's eight head coaches. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was named to the first team, senior guard Hernst Laroche was a second team selection, senior center Hamidu Rahman earned an honorable mention nod, and freshman guard Daniel Mullings was a member of the all-newcomer team. This was the first WAC postseason award for Laroche, Rahman and Mullings and second for McKines, who was an honorable mention in 2010.
Aggie Success in 2011-12
The Aggies' 26 wins in a season are the most since 1992-93. This is the third 20-win season under head coach Marvin Menzies and highest win total in his tenure. NM State is only one win shy of tying the school record (27 wins), which the 1969-70 squad, a Final Four team accomplished. The Aggies also tied the school record of 35 games played this season.
McKines Named WAC Player of the Week
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was named the Verizon WAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 27-March 4. The honor marks the second career WAC Player of the Week for McKines and third for the Aggies this year. He pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds and scored 20 points in a come-from-behind win at Fresno State in overtime, March 3. The performance marked his 16th 20-point game of the season. He tied personal-best marks with four made 3-pointers, including three in the overtime period, and eight 3-point attempts. He also recorded his 18th double-double of the season and 45th of his career in the victory at Fresno State. At Nevada, March 1, McKines had a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds. On the week, McKines averaged 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He hit 8-of-16 three-point field goals on the week.
Mullings Lights up the Pan Am
Freshman guard Daniel Mullings became only the third Aggie in school history with a triple-double against Hawai'i, Feb. 23. He had 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, all career-high marks, along with five steals on 11-of-15 shooting. He is the first player to accomplish the feat since 1990 when William Benjamin had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Cal State Northridge, Nov. 26, 1990. The first Aggie to achieve the rare feat was Willie Joseph with 12 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds against Simon Fraser, Nov. 22, 1988.
Sensational Senior Class
The three-member senior class has made a significant impact for the Aggies. Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche and Hamidu Rahman have all joined the 1,000-point club at NM State this season. It is the first time in school history the Aggies have had three players join the 1,000-career point club in a single season.
Career Scoring Rankings
8. Wendell McKines-1,506
T15. Hernst Laroche-1,201
21. Hamidu Rahman-1,075
NM State has tallied 24 double-doubles this season. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines has 47 career double-doubles and 20 this season. Senior center Hamidu Rahman also has two double-doubles this year. Against San Jose State on senior night, Feb. 25, Rahman tied a career-high with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Bandja Sy posted his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Hawai'i. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings his first double-double against Hawai'i in the WAC Tournament, March 9, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He had the first triple-double since 1990 with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Hawai'i.
Across the Country
The Aggies rank No. 3 in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+8.7), No. 11 in scoring offense (78.3), No. 26 in scoring margin (+10.5) and No. 31 field goal percentage (47.2). Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is fourth in double-doubles (20), No. 7 in rebounding (10.8) and No. 28 in points per game (18.8). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in triple-doubles as one of only 12 players with the accomplishment this season as of March 11.
Trends and Tidbits
In 2011-12, the Aggies are 17-1 when they score 80 points or more. Currently, NM State is averaging 78.5 points per game, which ranks 11th in the country. Additionally, the Aggies are 12-3 when they hold opponents to 70 points or less.
Against the WAC
As a team, the Aggies are leading the WAC in scoring offense (78.5 points per game), scoring margin (+10.5), 3-point field goal percent defense (31.9), rebounding offense (40.3 per game), rebounding defense (31.5), rebounding margin (+8.7), offensive rebounds (14.63 per game) and defensive rebounds (25.66). NM State also ranks second in field goal percentage (47.2), blocked shots (148), steals (238) and third in assists (491).
Individually, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (10.8) and scoring (18.8). Senior guard Hernst Laroche is first in steals (62), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (40.5), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.70) and assists (134). Senior center Hamidu Rahman is second in the league in field goal percentage (60.3), eighth in rebounds (5.9) and seventh in blocked shots (38). Freshman guard Daniel Mullings is second in steals (58). Junior forward Tyrone Watson is 10th in assists (112) and nine in assists/turnover ratio (1.58) as of March 11.
In conference games only, the Aggies ranked first in scoring offense (77.7), scoring margin (+8.9), 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.3), rebounding offense (40.1), rebounding margin (+8.3), offensive rebounds (14.64) and defensive rebounds (25.50). The Aggies finished second in rebounding defense (31.1), assists (209) and steals (94). NM State was third in field goal percentage (47.6), field goal percentage defense (43.6) and blocked shots (53).
Individually, McKines led the WAC in rebounding (10.9) and scoring (18.6) and was fifth in free throw percentage (78.5). Laroche was first in steals (31), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (40.8), eighth in assists (56) and ninth in assists/turnover ratio (1.40). Rahman ranked fourth in field goal percentage (59.4) and fifth in blocked shots (17). Watson was fifth in assists (61), sixth in assists/turnover ratio (1.91) and eighth in field goal percentage (53.7). Mullings was second in steals (25), and sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe ranked second in free throw percentage (82.1) and tied for ninth in blocked shots (11).
A Season Milestone
For only the 25th time in school history, the Aggies have won 20 or more games in a season. This year with a 71-55 win over Drake in the Sears BracketBuster, Feb. 18, the Aggies accomplished the feat. This is also the third 20-win season for the Aggies under head coach Marvin Menzies.
McKines Joins 1,000-1,000 Club
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines became a member of the 1,000-career point and 1,000-career rebound club and led the Aggies to a 78-57 win over CSU Bakersfield, Feb. 1. With his 12th rebound of the game with 7:45 minutes remaining, McKines joined the elite club. He is only the second player in school history along with Sam Lacey, second active player in the NCAA (T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State) and 12th player in WAC history to achieve the feat.
Laroche is an Aggie Iron Man
Senior guard Hernst Laroche is the school record holder for games played with 134 consecutive games started. At San Jose State, Jan. 19, he became the 29th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State with his second field goal of the game. He is also the all-time school record holder for career minutes played in that game. Laroche now has 4,382 career minutes, and he broke the record Eric Channing previously held (3,783). He has 1,201 career points, which ranks tied for 15th on the Aggies' all-time scoring list. Laroche ranks first on the all-time list for career steals (214) at NM State.
Career Leaders in Steals
1. Hernst Laroche-214
2. William Benjamin-209
Strong Second-Half Showings
The Aggies have had strong second-half performances this season. NM State has surged in the second half and outscored opponents by 246 points, 1433-1187, as of March 11.
Driving to the Basket
The Aggies haven't been afraid to drive to the basket this season. NM State has taken 1048 free throw attempts in 35 games and has 385 more attempts than its opponents. The Aggies have made more free throws (699) than their opponents have attempted (663). The Aggies are leading the NCAA in free throws attempted per game (29.9) and rank third in free throws made per game (19.8). The Aggies have set the school records for both free throws made in a season (699) and free throws attempted (1048) in a single-season. As a team, NM State is shooting 66.7 percent from the line, as of March 11.
Aggies Own the Glass
NM State has a renewed focus on rebounding this season with a very experienced front court. The Aggies have a +8.7 rebounding margin, which ranks third in the NCAA, and 1410-1105 advantage on the boards. On the offensive glass, the Aggies have 135 more rebounds than their opponents (511-376). Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is averaging 10.8 rebounds, and senior center Hamidu Rahman is adding 5.9 boards per game, as of March 11.
Menzies Is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies recorded his 100th victory at NM State in 2011-12. He moved into fifth on the all-time winningest coaches list in program history after the 91-66 win over Southern, Dec. 19.
All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)
1. Lou Henson-289
2. Neil McCarthy-229
3. Jerry Hines-157
4. Presley Askew-135
5. Marvin Menzies-102
6. Weldon Drew-82
McKines Leading the Way in His Final Season
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines looks to leave a lasting legacy in his fifth season in Las Cruces. McKines has 20 double-doubles this season, which ranks fourth in the NCAA. He has scored in double figures in 33 games and grabbed double-digit rebounds in 21 games. He became the 28th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State with his first field goal at Southern Miss, Dec. 4.
Laroche is a Dual Threat
Senior point guard Hernst Laroche has been a model of consistency in his Aggie career. This season, Laroche has scored in double digits in 22 of the 35 games. He has also notched five or more assists in 10 games with a season-high eight assists against Hawai'i.
Rahman Controlling the Paint
Senior center Hamidu Rahman is an anchor for the Aggies in the middle. He has 17 double-figure games and five or more rebounds in 25 games. Rahman has attempted multiple free throws in 31 games. He has recorded two double-doubles this season and 10 in his career. Rahman tied his career high of 22 points against San Jose State, Feb. 25.
Watson Maintains Supporting Role
Junior forward Tyrone Watson has started in 34 games this season. He scored a season-high 14 points at Louisiana Tech, Jan. 7. Watson also has posted three or more assists in 22 games in 2011-12 including a career-high eight assists at Idaho, Feb. 9.
Senior guard Hernst Laroche returned for his final season in Las Cruces and started his 100th consecutive game at Northern Colorado, Nov. 12. Laroche owns the school record in games played with 134.
Laroche also ranks second on the all-time list for career assists (550) at NM State. He trails Sam Crawford by 42 assists (592).
Career Leaders in Assists
1. Sam Crawford-592
2. Hernst Laroche-550
Rahman Climbs the Ladder
Senior center Hamidu Rahman currently has 136 career blocked shots. He now owns the No. 2 spot on the Aggie all-time list as of March 11.
Career Leaders in Blocked Shots
1. James Moore-200
2. Hamidu Rahman-136
McKines Returns to the Hardwood
Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines ranks No. 2 on the all-time rebounding list at NM State with 1,128 boards and No. 8 in scoring with 1,506 career points. McKines has posted 20 double-doubles in 2011-12 and has 47 in his career as of March 11.
Career Leaders in Rebounds
1. Sam Lacey-1,265
2. Wendell McKines-1,128