The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns to the road for two away games at San Jose State, Thursday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in San Jose, Calif., and Utah State, Saturday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. on ESPNU in Logan, Utah. 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.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies have won 11 straight games and have a 17-8 overall record and 11-2 WAC record following a 60-57 win over Seattle, Feb. 9. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.4 points per game. Senior forwards Bandja Sy is also in double figures 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while freshman center Sim Bhullar adds 10.2 points per contest.
Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans have a 9-14 overall record and 3-9 league mark following a 63-36 loss to Utah State, Feb. 8. Junior forward Chris Cunningham provides a team-high 10.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest, while sophomore guard D.J. Brown contributes 9.6 points per game.
The Aggies have a 33-12 advantage in the all-time series. NM State won the first game of the season, 70-53, Jan. 19 in Las Cruces.
The Aggies won their sixth consecutive game with a 70-53 victory over San Jose State, Jan. 19 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Bandja Sy led the Aggies with 16 points on 50 percent shooting, and he had eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings and senior forward Tyrone Watson were also in double digits with 13 points and 10 points, respectively. The Aggies posted a 35-18 halftime lead over the Spartans. This was the second straight game NM State has held opponents to 18 points in the first half.
Scouting Utah State
The Navy-clad Aggies are 17-5 overall and 8-4 in the WAC following a 63-36 win at San Jose State, Feb. 8. Junior forward/center Jarred Shaw leads Utah State with 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, and junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield adds 11.1 points per game. Junior guard Preston Medlin and senior forward Kyisean Reed were both averaging in double figures but have been sidelined with injuries.
Utah State has a slight edge 35-30 lead in the all-time series. NM State won the first meeting of the season, 64-51, Jan. 17 in Las Cruces.
NM State snapped Utah State's 13-game winning streak, the second longest in the country, with a 64-51 victory, Jan. 17 in Las Cruces. The Aggies had four players in double figures with senior forward Bandja Sy scoring a game-high 16 points. Sy was 7-of-9 from the field to lead the Aggies to a 57.8 field goal percentage. The Crimson and White have won the last five straight with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings contributing 12 points each. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller added 10.
Aggies Escape Seattle 60-57
NM State fought off Seattle for a 60-57 win for its 11th straight victory, Feb. 9. In the Lou Henson Classic, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings had a game-high 18 points to lead the Aggies, and freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded a near double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Bandja Sy added nine points, and junior forward Renaldo Dixon supplied eight. The Aggie offense was held to 34 percent shooting for the game, but the defense stepped up and blocked eight shots. Bhullar led the effort with four, and he now ranks sixth on the single-season list at NM State. The Crimson and White also protected the ball and only committed nine turnovers
Aggies Survive Idaho for 10th Straight Win
Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings sank two free throws with 14 seconds left in regulation to beat Idaho, 76-74, Feb. 7 in Las Cruces. The Aggies won their 10th consecutive game. Mullings scored seven points and had four assists in 40 minutes of action. Freshman center Sim Bhullar led the Aggies in scoring with 20 points on an 8-of-8 performance from the field. Sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high 12 points and a steal in the final 16 seconds of the game that set up the Mullings free throws. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon was also in double-digits with 12 points, which tied a season-high mark, and senior forward Bandja Sy recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and scored nine points.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 23rd in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.4). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 17 games. The Aggies are 21st in blocked shots per game (5.2), 56th in both field goal percentage defense (39.8) and field goal percentage (46.0). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 37th in steals per game (2.16) and 88th in field goal percentage (49.2). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 56th in blocked shots per game (2.04) as of Feb. 10.
Lou Henson Classic
Since the inception of the Lou Henson Classic in the 2006-07 season, the Aggies are 8-1 in the classic. NM State has won the last six games with wins over Seattle, 60-57, Feb. 9, 2013, Fresno State, 60-56, Jan, 28, 2012, Pacific, 69-64, Dec. 18, 2010, Texas Southern, 79-75, Dec. 23, 2009, Sacramento State, 76-65, Dec. 11, 2008 and Chicago State, 94-61, Nov. 30, 2007. The only loss in the classic was to North Texas, 75-72, Dec. 1, 2007. The Aggies defeated Chicago State, 80-74, Dec. 1, 2006, and San Francisco, 89-78, Dec. 2, 2006.
Sy Vying for Spot as State Farm Dark Horse Dunker
Senior forward Bandja Sy is nominated for the "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker" competition. "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker" nominees are under-the-radar players who have what it takes to compete against the D-I field in Atlanta. The winner will participate in the Denny's Slam Dunk Competition at the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships in Atlanta at 5 p.m., April 4 on ESPN. Sixteen dunkers have been selected to compete in the "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker" Facebook bracket, which is a five-week knockout competition. Fans will determine the winner by voting during each round at the official Facebook page (facebook.com/CollegeSlam).
de Rouen Steps Up
Since entering the starting lineup against Denver Jan. 23, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen has made a significant impact. The Las Cruces native is averaging 7.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He has a 2.0 assist to turnover ratio. In an average of 33 minutes of action per contest, de Rouen is shooting 37.9 percent from the field (11-of-29), 37.5 percent from the 3-point line (6-of-16) and 70 percent from the free-throw line (7-of-10).
Bhullar Protects the Hoop
Freshman center Sim Bhullar is leading the team with 51 blocked shots this season. He is the first Aggie with more than 50 blocks since James Moore (55) in 2003-04. Currently, Bhullar ranks sixth on the single-season list at NM State and is only seven blocks shy of tying the single-season record.
Dixon and Barry Making the Most of New Roles
In the last five games, junior forward Renaldo Dixon and sophomore forward Remi Barry have increased their production. Dixon is averaging 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He has a 45.2 field goal percentage (14-of-31) and 78.9 free-throw percentage in the five-game span. Barry is averaging 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest in the last five games. He is shooting 45.5 percent from the field (10-of-22) and 80 percent from the free-throw line (8-of-10).
Sy Earns WAC Player of the Week Honors
Senior forward Bandja Sy was named the WAC Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3. This was his first career honor and the first of the season for the Aggies. Sy led NM State to a pair of road wins at Texas State and UTSA. In the 86-72 win over Texas State, Sy posted his third double-double of the season and the fourth of his career with 24 points and 13 rebounds. In the 75-62 win at UTSA, Sy scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Aggies tied the school record for blocked shots in a game with 12 at UTSA, Feb. 2. NM State tied the mark that was set Jan. 12, 1978 against Creighton. This season the Aggies have 131 blocks and are only 10 shy of tying the program record for a season (141). The Aggies rank 21st in the NCAA in blocks with 5.2 per game. Freshman center Sim Bhullar leads the team with 51 blocks, which is sixth on the school's single-season list. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is also helping the defensive effort with 31 blocked shots.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded seven double-doubles in 2012-13 with senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with three double-doubles. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has two this season at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds and 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, 16 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State, Jan. 5, and 24 points and 13 rebounds at Texas State, Jan. 31. Freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded his first career double-double at UTSA, Feb. 2, with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Mullings Fuels the Offense
In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 18 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had seven 20-point games this season and ninth in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 20 games. Mullings is shooting 42.9 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in 12 games.
Aggies on a Roll
After a tough start to the 2012-13 WAC slate, the Aggies have bounced back and won the last 11 straight games. The win streak is the longest under head coach Marvin Menzies and longest since the 2006-07 season, when the Aggies won 13 consecutive games.
Sy Has the Aggies Streaking
In the Aggies' 11-game win streak, senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly. He had a nine-game span in double-digits snapped against Idaho but he grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds versus the Vandals. In the last 11 games, Sy is averaging 16.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting 56 percent from the field (70-of-125) and 38.9 percent from the 3-point line (7-of-18) in the last 11 games. Sy is second on the team in 14.5 points per game in WAC games.
Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint
Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 12.2 points per game. He recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds, a career-high mark, at UTSA, Feb. 2. He has 12 double-digit games this season and has three 20-point games. He scored a career-high 25 points against Missouri State, Dec. 22, and 20 versus Texas State, Jan. 5. Bhullar leads the Aggies in blocked shots with 51.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in blocked shots (5.24 per game), field goal percent defense (39.8) and rebounding margin (+6.4) and third in defensive rebounds (25.84).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks second in steals (2.16), fifth in free throw percentage (77.8) and seventh in scoring (14.4) and field goal percentage (49.2). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in field goal percentage (61.0), fourth in blocked shots (2.04 per game) and ninth in rebounding (6.0). Senior forward Bandja Sy is sixth in rebounding (7.3), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is sixth in blocked shots (1.29).
In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.31). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+5.2), scoring offense (70.5) and third in field goal percentage (47.4) and defensive rebounds (25.31).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.69), fifth in scoring (15.1) and seventh in free throw percentage (78.1). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is second in blocked shots (2.69), third in field goal percentage (59.4) and sixth in rebounding (7.7). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks fourth in rebounding (8.0), sixth in scoring (14.5) and field goal percentage (53.6). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is fifth in blocks (1.92) and ninth in free-throw percentage (75.0) as of Feb. 9.
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 11 times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 11 games
2011-12 9 games
2010-11 8 games
2009-10 2 games
2008-09 3 games
2007-08 6 games
Sy Shoots and Scores
Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in 14 games and in double-figures in rebounding in six 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. Sy recorded his third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Texas State, Jan. 5. That performance followed a career-high 25 points against UTSA, Jan. 3. Sy had his third double-double of the season with 24 points and 13 rebounds at Texas State, Jan. 31.
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 119 career wins 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 take a break from WAC play and host I-10 rival UTEP, Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces.