The New Mexico State men’s basketball team faces in-state rival New Mexico in the Pan American Center, Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7p.m. (MT). The game will air on the Aggie Sports Network with coverage in Las Cruces on KGRT 103.9 FM with a pregame show starting at 6:30p.m. ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon will be giving the play-by-play. ROOT Sports will produce the game for TV and fans are encouraged to check with their local cable or satellite provider for show times. Live stats are available at www.NMStateSports.com under the live events link and in-game updates will be given on Twitter @NMStateAggies.
The Aggies head back out on the road taking on Gonzaga, who is ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll, in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9p.m (MT). That game is scheduled to air on ESPNU while it will also be carried on the Aggie Sports Network with coverage in Las Cruces on KGRT 103.9 FM.
Tickets for Following
The 4,000th Twitter follower will win two courtside tickets to the next home game. Follow all the Aggie action on Twitter @NMStateAggies. If NM State reaches the 4,000-follower mark before Wednesday’s game against UNM, the winner will receive the tickets for the In-State Rivalry Game.
About the Aggies
The New Mexico State men’s basketball enters the game against New Mexico with a 7-2 record, which is the best start since the 2002-03 season when former coach Lou Henson led his team to a 7-2 start. The Aggies are just under 50 percent from the field hitting 229-of-462 shots early on. NM State is defeating its opponents by an average of 10.4 points per game, while holding its opponents to an average of 68.7 points per game.
The Aggies are led by junior guard Daniel Mullings who is averaging 17.9 points per game while leading the way defensively with a team-high 13 steals on a team-high 32.3 minutes per game. Junior guard DK Eldridge is averaging 28.3 minutes per game and is hitting a team-best 54 percent from three-point range, while going for 12.7 points per game. NM State as a team is shooting 35 percent from behind the three point arc.
NM State is out-rebounding their opponent by an average of 7.6 boards per game while pulling down 38.8 rebounds per competition. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe and sophomore Sim Bhullar have a team-high 7.1 Senior Renaldo Dixon is the only other Aggie with more than five boards a game as he is averaging 5.3 per.
Defensively, the Aggies have out-blocks their opponents 57-24 with Bhullar leading the team marking 30 blocks this season. NM State has also tallied 43 steals on the season, although has committed 124 turnovers.
Scouting the Lobos
New Mexico heads into the rivalry game with a 5-1 record on the year. Massachusetts defeated the Lobos 81-65 during the Charleston Classic, Nov. 22 in Charleston, S.C. UNM is posting 85.2 points per game hitting 46 percent of their shots from the field. The Lobos are out-rebounding their opponents by 11 boards per game, while New Mexico native Alex Kirk leads the team with 12 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in scoring with 20.8 points per game, while hitting 51 percent of his shots.
Guard Kendall Williams is putting in 34.7 minutes per game and is scoring 19.8 points per game and forward Cameron Bairstow is posting 19.0 points per game and is averaging 27.2 minutes of play. Williams has been very good from the free throw line going 48-of-52 (92%).
The Lobos defeated Alabama-Birmingham, 97-94 in double overtime on Nov. 21 to earn its third victory of the year. Last week, UNM defeated San Diego 73-66 to tally its fifth win. During that game, Kendall Williams went 16-of-16 from the free-throw line – a school record for most made in a perfect night at the line. UNM went 26-of-29 from the line and San Diego went 7-of-8. That 19-point difference could have been seen as the factor that led UNM to the win.
Series between NM State and New Mexico
The Aggies are 95-115 all-time against UNM while going 58-43 when playing in the Pan American Center. The first meeting between the two teams was a 21-9 overtime victory for the Lobos on Dec. 22, 1904 while UNM went on to win the first eight games against the Aggies. The Aggies would bounce back winning the next 10 games against UNM from 1916-23.
NM State is 1-9 against the Lobos in the last 10 meetings and 5-15 in the last 20 games of the series. Aggie head coach Marvin Menzies has struggled against the Lobos winning only two games in his time with NM State. The Aggies defeated UNM, 71-62, Dec. 4, 2007, which happened to be the first time a Menzies squad played in the rivalry game. The second win of the Menzies era was on Nov. 16, 2011 when NM State visited the Pit in Albuquerque and walked off the court with a 62-53 victory.
The Aggies fell to UNM 73-58 on the road last year and fell 68-63 in the Pan American Center, Dec. 19, 2012.
Aggies in the Nation
As of Dec. 1, NM State is No. 1 in the nation in free throws attempted (310) and free throws made (212). Daniel Mullings ranks No. 25 nationally in total points (161) and Sim Bhullar ranks No. 4 in the nation in total blocks (30) and No. 21 in blocked shots per game (3.33). Mullings also ranks 18th for total field goals made (56).
In the Pan American Center
The Aggies are 4-0 in the Pan American Center this season and finished the 2012-13 season winning the last 11 games played at home to extend their home-winning streak to 15. NM State finished the 2012-13 season with a 15-1 home record, the same record it had when the Pan American Center was opened (1968-69). The first game played in the Pan American Center was on Nov. 30, 1968 against Colorado State. The Aggies won that game 95-89.
The win versus Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, Nov. 27 was win No. 550 all-time in the Pan American Center. NM State is now 550-146 all-time in that arena.
There have been four seasons where the Aggies have gone undefeated at home (1969-70, 1970-71, 1979-80, 1989-90).
The Aggies are averaging 80.8 points per game during their four home games this season and are out-scoring their opponents by an average of 17.8 points per game. NM State opened its home schedule with an 86-73 win over I-10 rival UTEP and defeated Northern Colorado, Bethune-Cookman and Prairie View A&M between Nov. 20-27. Guard Daniel Mullings is posting 19.0 points per game in the Pan American Center this year in 30.3 minutes per game.
Last Time Out (NM State vs. Colorado State Game Recap)
Junior guards Daniel Mullings and DK Eldridge combined for 47 points and the NM State hit 59-percent of their three pointers but a last second layup gave the Colorado State an 85-83 win Saturday, Nov. 30, in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Aggies were down 77-68 with 1:41 left on the clock but stayed in the game hitting tough shots, which included a fall-away three pointer from Eldridge, who finished the evening going 6-of-6 from behind the three point arc. Eldridge walked off the court posting a career-high 23 points against CSU.
NM State was down 81-78 with 26 seconds left, but Mullings got the ball from freshman Travon Landry to hit another three making it an 82-81 ballgame. After CSU’s Daniel Bejarano went 1-of-2 at the free throw line with 12 seconds on the clock, Mullings took the ball to the basket and was fouled. Mullings would go to the line hitting both free throws to tie the game at 83 with seven seconds left.
The Rams sprinted the ball down the court and found their leading scorer, J.J. Avila, who scored on a layup with one second left.
The Aggies jumped out to an early 8-1 lead with 16:38 in the first half but a 6-2 run by the Rams made it a 10-7 game with 15:01 on the clock. NM State allowed another 6-2 scoring run by CSU, which put the Aggies behind 13-12 at the 13:01 mark. Colorado State went up by as many as six at 18-12 but used a 7-0 scoring run to regain the lead with 10:04 left in the half. There would be four more lead changes in the first half but the Aggies would head into the locker room trailing 35-33.
NM State shot 44 percent from the field but tallied 10 more turnovers than the Rams and had more fouls as well. Eldridge led the way in the first half with nine points while going 2-of-2 from three-point land and 1-of-1 at the free throw line. The bench accounted for 12 points in the half, while 16 of 33 Aggie points were score inside the paint.
NM State tied the game four times in the second half but could never get over the hump to take a lead. The Aggies were 7-of-11 from behind the 3-point line in the second half but CSU out-rebounded the Aggies 25-13 and scored 14 second chance points.
Eldridge for Three!
Junior guard DK Eldridge, a transfer from New Mexico Junior College, is currently hitting a team-high 54 percent (15-of-28) of his three-point attempts. Although he has hit only four three’s in the Pan American Center, he is hitting 45 percent of triples in Aggie victories. Eldridge caught fire last week missing only one three-pointer (9-of-10) in three games. He tallied a career-high 23 points in a heart-breaking loss to Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. on Nov. 30. That day he went 6-for-6 from behind the arc and joined three other Aggie sharp shooters in the NM State record books for highest 3-point field goal percentage in a game, with a minimum of five 3-pointers made. Former NM State guard Jimmy Taylor was the first to accomplish the feat going 6-of-6 against San Jose State on Feb. 2, 1989. Former Aggie Louis Denmark went 6-for-6 against Cal Poly, Jan. 9, 1997, while former great Jahmar Young went hit all six of his 3-point shots against Texas Southern, Dec. 23, 2009.
Bhullar with another Block
Sophomore center Sim Bhullar broke the school record for blocks in a single game when he tallied 10 blocked shots in a 91-60 win over Prairie View A&M, Nov. 27 in the Pan American Center. That day the Aggies tallied 14 blocks, which is also a new school record at NM State. Former Aggie All-American James Moore is the former record holder for blocks in a game as he tallied eight blocks against North Texas on Feb. 7, 2004. The previous school record for blocked shots by an Aggie team was 12. NM State marked 12 blocks against Creighton, Jan. 12, 1978, and against UTSA, Feb. 2, 2013.
Bhullar currently has 115 blocks on his career and is in the No. 5 spot on the all-time blocked shots list at NM State. He needs just one more block to tie former Aggie Charles Gosa, who marked 116 blocks from 1995-99.
Bhullar broke the single-season records for blocked shots last year with 85. Former Aggie Roland is in the No. 2 spot for blocked shots in a season with 58 during the 1973-74 season.
Blocked Shots (career)
1. James Moore (2000-03), 200
2. Hamidu Rahman (2008-12), 137
3. Slab Jones (1976-80), 124
4. Charles Gosa (1995-99), 116
5. Sim Bhullar (2012-Present), 115
Mullings March to 1,000 – The Countdown Continues
Junior guard and Canadian native, Daniel Mullings led the NM State men’s basketball team with 483 points during the 2012-13 season. During the 2011-12 season he tallied a total of 334 points. Prior to the start of this season Mullings needed 183 points to reach 1,000 points for NM State.
Mullings has scored 161 points this season and now has 978 points on his career, needing 22 more points to reach the 1,000-point mark. He is currently averaging 17.9 points per game this season, which means he could reach 1,000 points within the next two games.
Eric Channing is NM State’s all-time scoring leader with 1,862 points. Channing played for the Aggies from 1998-02. Former Aggie guard Hernst Laroche is No. 15 on all-time points scored. He was under coach Menzies from 2008-12 and scored a total of 400 points his first two years at NM State.
George Knighton was the first Aggie to ever reach 1,000 points. He played for NM State from 1960-62 and scored over 1,000 points his first two years. The most recent Aggies to enter the 1,000 Point Club were Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche, and Hamidu Rahman in 2012. Former Aggie Billy Keys is currently No. 31 on the 1,000-point list with 1,004 points in 65 games played (two seasons; 1999-00).
NM State has dunked the ball 39 times compared to its opponents only dunking it on the Aggies nine times this year. Sim Bhullar leads the way with 19 dunks after slamming it down on Hawai’i six times. Daniel Mullings has had some of the most entertaining dunks, with one put-back dunk against Northern Colorado making ESPN Sportcenter’s Top 10 Plays, at No. 6, on Nov. 21.
Ross-Miller off to Good Start
Ross-Miller has started all nine games for the Aggies and is averaging 24.3 minutes per game. During his time on the court, he is posting 8.8 points per game and has a team-high 35 assists averaging 3.8 per game. He tallied a career-high seven assists in a 79-56 win over Bethune-Cookman, Monday, Nov. 25 in the Pan American Center.
Ross-Miller marked 69 assists during the 2012-13 season in 30 games with the Aggies. He is working hard to find his Aggie teammates and hopes to enter the top-10 for assists in a single season at NM State. Former Aggie Fred Peete holds the No. 10 spot on the list as he marked 145 assists during the 2007-08 season. Aggie great, Sam Crawford holds the top two spots on the list as he tallied 310 assists during the 1992-93 year, after dishing out 282 assists during the 1991-92 season.
He has been pretty good from the free throw line and is currently 84% from the stripe, hitting 36-of-43 attempts. In a rivalry game at UTEP, Ross-Miller went 11-of-14 at UTEP (Nov. 15) while going 2-for-2 against Prairie View A&M (Nov. 27). He went 10-of-12 at the free throw line during a 95-88 win over Hawai’i in the final game of the Outrigger Hotels and Resort Rainbow Classic. He hit 10 consecutive free throws in the final 10 seconds of the game to boost the Aggies to victory.
Ross-Miller went 15-of-18 (83%) from the free throw line during the first three games of the season and finished the tournament scoring 7.3 points per game and dishing out 12 assists, a team-high.
It’s no secret that the NM State men’s basketball team towers over the competition more times than none. But how tall is our whole team put together? When the height of the entire roster of 13 Aggie players is added up it comes out to 84 feet, 9 inches or 1017 inches.
The frontcourt, made up of seven players combine, combines for a height of 48 feet or 576 inches. The Aggies have an average height of 6 feet, 5 inches or 78.2 inches.
Mullings Earns WAC Player of the Week
Junior guard Daniel Mullings has been named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week by the league office for the week of 11-17 after leading the Aggies to consecutive wins last week. This is his second WAC player of the week honor as he earned the honor during the 2012-13 season.
Mullings, a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, helped the Aggies pick up two consecutive wins last week averaging 23.5 points per game. He finished the Outrigger Hotels and Resort Rainbow Classic scoring 21 points on host team Hawai’i during a 3am (MT) game that was featured on ESPN’s Tip-off Marathon. He went 6-of-11 from the field and 1-for-1 from the 3-point arc while dropping 8-of-12 free throws. He was named to the Outrigger Hotels and Resort Rainbow Classic immediately following the game. Mullings tallied a game-high 26 points against I-10 Rival UTEP on Friday, Nov. 15 to help his team to an 86-73 victory in front of a vocal Pan American Center crowd while going 64 percent from the field (9-of-14). He added two assists, two steals and a rebound against the Miners as the Aggies moved to 3-1 on the year.
Overall on the week, Mullings averaged 23.5 points, 3.5 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. He shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field, 50 percent (1-of-2) from beyond the arc and 64 percent (16-of-25) from the free throw line.