The New Mexico State men's basketball team takes a break from WAC play and hosts I-10 rival UTEP, Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces. This is an AggieVision production with Jeff Matthews and Glen Cerny. The game is shown live on Comcast across New Mexico, Altitude2, CSN-Houston and ESPN3 and tape delayed until 10 p.m. in Las Cruces and 1 a.m. on Fox Sports-Arizona. The game 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 game is also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.
This game is a WHITEOUT, and all Aggie fans are encouraged to wear a white shirt to the game. A special halftime act, The Piano Juggler, as well as a student-based Harlem Shake will help add to the night's festivities. The first 600 NM State students will also receive a free T-Shirt.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies' 12-game win streak was snapped with a 73-69 loss at Utah State, Feb. 16. NM State has an 18-9 overall record and 12-3 WAC record. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.3 points per game. Senior forwards Bandja Sy is also in double figures 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while freshman center Sim Bhullar adds 10.1 points per contest.
The Miners are 14-10 overall and 7-4 in Conference USA games after defeating UCF, 73-58, Feb. 16 in El Paso, Texas. Sophomore forward/guard Julian Washburn leads UTEP with 12.2 points per game. Graduate guard Konner Tucker and junior center John Bohannon are also contributing 11.9 and 11.0 points per contest, respectively.
The Aggies have a slight 103-100 lead in the all-time series despite UTEP winning the first meeting of the season, 55-54, Nov. 28 in El Paso.
NM State suffered a tough one-point loss, 55-54, at I-10 rival UTEP, Nov. 28 in El Paso, Texas. Senior forward Tyrone Watson led the Aggies with 13 points. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller both added nine points each.
Aggies Suffer First Loss of 2013
The Aggies' 12-game winning streak was snapped with a 73-69 loss at Utah State, Feb. 16. NM State had four players in double-digits with sophomore forward Remi Barry scoring a career-high 15 points. Barry was 6-of-9 from the field. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 12 points, while sophomore guards Terrel de Rouen and Daniel Mullings contributed 11 points each. With the Aggies' first block of the game, this year's squad set the single-season record for blocked shots. Freshman center Sim Bhullar's rejection gave NM State 142 blocks, which breaks the previous mark of 141 set during the 1994-95 season. Bhullar ended the game with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Aggies Cruise at San Jose State
NM State won its 12th consecutive game with a 67-57 victory at San Jose State, Feb. 14. The Aggies had four players in double-figures with sophomore guard Daniel Mullings leading the way with 15 points. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon posted his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 13 points and nine rebounds, and freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 10 points.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 17th in blocked shots per game (5.4) and 25th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.3). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 18 games. The Aggies are also 54th in field goal percentage defense (39.9). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 30th in steals per game (2.15). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 47th in blocked shots per game (2.11) as of Feb. 17.
With the first blocked shot at Utah State, Feb. 16, the Aggies set the single-season record for blocks shots. Currently, NM State has 145 rejections this season. The Aggies rank 17th in the NCAA in blocks with 5.4 per game. Freshman center Sim Bhullar leads the team with 57 blocks, which is second on the school's single-season list. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is also helping the defensive effort with 36 blocked shots. In addition, 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.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
NM State has recorded eight double-doubles in 2012-13 with senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with three double-doubles. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon posted his first career double-double with 10 and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, at San Jose State, Feb. 14. 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.
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 7.9 points, 4.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. He has a 2.4 assist to turnover ratio. In an average of 32 minutes of action per contest, de Rouen is shooting 41.9 percent from the field (18-of-43), 38.1 percent from the 3-point line (8-of-21) and 61.1 percent from the free-throw line (11-of-18).
Bhullar Protects the Hoop
Freshman center Sim Bhullar is leading the team with 57 blocked shots this season. He is the first Aggie with more than 50 blocks since James Moore (55) in 2003-04. Currently, Bhullar ranks second on the single-season list at NM State and is only two blocks shy of setting the single-season record.
Dixon and Barry Making the Most of New Roles
In the last seven games, junior forward Renaldo Dixon and sophomore forward Remi Barry have increased their production. Dixon is averaging 8.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He has a 46.5 field goal percentage (20-of-43) and 76.0 free-throw percentage (19-of-25) in the seven-game span. Barry is averaging 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest in the last seven games. He is shooting 51.5 percent from the field (70-of-33) and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line (11-of-14).
Mullings Fuels the Offense
In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 20 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 nine in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in 21 games. Mullings is shooting 39.1 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 bounced back and won 12 consecutive games before the streak was snapped at Utah State, Feb. 16. 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
Senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly and helped the Aggies to a 12-game win streak. 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 13 games, Sy is averaging 15.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting 51.3 percent from the field (77-of-150), 39.1 percent from the 3-point line (9-of-23) and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line (41-of-59) in the last 13 games. Sy is second on the team in 14.2 points per game in WAC games.
Aggies Escape Seattle 60-57
NM State fought off Seattle for a 60-57 win, 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.
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. 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.
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.
Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint
Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 11.8 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 13 double-digit games this season and has three 20-point games. Bhullar leads the Aggies in blocked shots with 57.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies lead the WAC in blocked shots (5.37 per game) and rank second in field goal percent defense (39.9) and rebounding margin (+6.3) and third in defensive rebounds (25.63).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks second in steals (2.15), seventh in free throw percentage (77.8) and scoring (14.3) and eighth field goal percentage (48.0). Freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in field goal percentage (59.9), fourth in blocked shots (2.11 per game) and 10th in rebounding (6.0). Senior forward Bandja Sy is sixth in rebounding (7.3), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is sixth in blocked shots (1.38).
In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.40). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+5.2), scoring offense (70.2) and defensive rebounds (25.00) and third in field goal percentage (46.5) and rebounding offense (37.8).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (2.60), fifth in scoring (14.8) and seventh in free throw percentage (75.7). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is second in blocked shots (2.73) and field goal percentage (58.0) and seventh in rebounding (7.5). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks fourth in rebounding (7.9), seventh in scoring (14.2) and 10th in field goal percentage (49.7). Junior forward Renaldo Dixon is fifth in blocks (2.00) and 10th in free-throw percentage (73.8) as of Feb. 16.
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 12 times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.
Allowing 60 points or less
2012-13 12 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 16 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 and fourth of his career 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 120 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 return to WAC play at Denver, Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.