The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts UTSA, Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. and Texas State, Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center. The 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 available live on Comcast across the state including Las Cruces, Altitude2, Fox Sports-Arizona, KVIA (7.2 and 7.3) and ESPN3. The game is tape delayed until 11:30 p.m. on CSN-Houston. Saturday's contest is tape delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m., and shown live on Comcast, Fox Sports-Arizona, CSN-Houston and ESPN3.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 6-8 and 0-2 in the WAC this season after falling at Louisiana Tech, 81-72, Dec. 31 in Ruston, La. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.6 points per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson adds 10.4 points per game, and freshman center Sim Bhullar contributes 8.7 points per contest.
The Roadrunners are 4-8 and 0-2 in the WAC after the conference opening weekend. UTSA has three players in double figures with senior guard Kannon Burrage providing a team-high 17.6 points per game. Senior guard Michael Hale III adds 14.8 points per game, and junior forward Jeromie Hill supplies 14.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
The Aggies have a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won the last game in the series, 74-72, Dec. 20, 2005 in Las Cruces.
Scouting Texas State
The Bobcats are 4-10 overall and 0-2 in the WAC. Texas State plays at Denver, Jan. 3, before traveling to Las Cruces. Junior forward Joel Wright leads the team with 15.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while senior forward Matt Staff provides 14.2 points and 6.2 rebounds.
The Aggies and Bobcats are tied 1-1 in the all-time series. NM State won the last meeting, 80-65, Dec. 29, 1987 in Las Cruces.
Second-Half Comeback Falls Short at Louisiana Tech
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, which tied the season-best mark.
Aggies Falter in WAC Opener
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. The Aggies struggled offensively and shot 33.3 percent from the field (17-of-51), and were out-rebounded for only the fourth game this season, 44-37.
Aggies Beat Missouri State 71-51
NM State defeated Missouri State, 71-51, Dec. 22, in its last tune-up before WAC play begins. Freshman center Sim Bhullar scored a career-high 25 points to pace the Aggies. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings recorded his eighth game in double-digits this season with 11 points. Senior forward Tyrone Watson contributed nine, and freshman forward Matej Buovac added eight points in his Aggie debut.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 43rd in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.6). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 10 games. The Aggies are 38th in 3-point field goal defense (28.8) and 51st in field goal percent defense (38.7) as of Dec. 31.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in field goal percent defense (39.2). NM State is third in 3-point field goal percent defense (30.7), rebounding defense (31.9) and blocked shots (4.36 per game).
Individually, freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in the league in field goal percentage (61.5) and sixth in blocked shots (1.64 per game). Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks fifth in field goal percentage (54.1) and ninth in scoring (14.6), free-throw percentage (76.1) and steals (1.57) as of Dec. 31.
Aggies Control the Glass
NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.6 boards per game with a +6.8 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in 10 games.
Ready, Aim, Fire
The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 43.6 percent. NM State has three players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (61.5), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (54.1) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage than their opponents in seven games.
Aggie Aggressiveness Leads to the Line
The Crimson and White are continuing the trend of getting to the free-throw line in 2012-13. In 14 games, the Aggies are averaging 24.9 attempts per game, 6.6 more attempts than their opponents.
Crimson and White Defense is Stifling
The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 62.6 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in seven of the 14 games.
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 seven times. Here' s a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 7 games
2011-12 9 games
2010-11 8 games
2009-10 2 games
2008-09 3 games
2007-08 6 games
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded four double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe leading the way with two double-doubles. His first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nephawe also had a double-double 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.
Mullings Fuels the Offense
In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 10 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had five 20-point games this season and seven in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in every game but one this season. Mullings is shooting 47.6 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in six games.
Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has missed the last five games with an injury. He had surgery on his right hand, and his return to action is unknown at this time.
Watson's Senior Campaign Going Strong
In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored a career-high 24 points in the home opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. He made two 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career against Bucknell and Niagara. Watson has scored in double-figures in seven of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in nine contests. The senior is tied for first on the team in assists with 38 including two five-assist games.
Sy Shoots and Scores
Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in five games and in double-figures in rebounding in three 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.
Young Aggies Set Career Highs
The Aggie underclassmen are contributing to the team this season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar has five double-digit games this season with a career-high 25 points against Missouri State, Dec. 22. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 11 points versus Louisiana, Nov. 23. Sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen scored a career-high 10 points at Louisiana Tech, Dec. 31.
Aggies Edged in Pan Am
NM State's upset bid of in-state rival No. 16/17 New Mexico fell short with a 68-63 loss, Dec. 19 in Las Cruces. It snapped an 11-game home winning streak for the Aggies dating back to last season. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings paced the Aggies with 13 points and five assists. Senior forward Tyrone Watson contributed 11 points, while junior guard Kevin Aronis tied a career-high mark with 12 points. Aronis hit a career-best four 3-poitners (4-of-5), and the Aggies made a season-high 10 shots from beyond the 3-point line (10-of-17).
Aggies Fall in The Pit
NM State fell at No. 17/20 New Mexico, 73-58, Dec. 15. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a team-high 14 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar and sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen added nine points each, while sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had eight.
Rio Grande Rivalry
In the first game of the year against New Mexico, the Aggies turned in season-best performances. NM State recorded a season-low eight turnovers and a season-high 84.2 free-throw percentage (16-of-19).
Aggies Earn First Road Win
NM State collected its first road of the season with a 58-52 victory at South Alabama, Dec. 4. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 12 points off the bench for his third double-digit game of the year. Senior forward Bandja Sy recorded his second career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, along with a vital steal in the last 20 seconds of the game. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had nine points including two free throws to seal the game.
Defense Dominates inside Pan Am
The Aggies held Northern New Mexico to just 37 points, Nov. 21. This was the first time since a 41-37 win over Cal State Fullerton, Jan. 4, 1988, that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points. The Crimson and White followed that performance with a season-high nine blocked shots versus Louisiana, Nov. 23.
Aronis Finds Long Range Touch
Junior guard Kevin Aronis is making an impact for the Aggies in his first season. He has a team-high 12 3-point field goals this year, and has made at least two 3-pointers in four games. He scored a career-high 12 points against Louisiana, Nov. 23, and then again versus No. 16/17 New Mexico, Dec. 19.
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 108 career wins in five seasons 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 continue WAC play on the road at Seattle, Jan. 10, and Idaho, Jan. 12.