Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.
Conference: Western Athletic
Coach: Marvin Menzies
Record: 26-9, 10-4 (2nd)
Rankings and Ratings:
- Kenpom: 68
- RPI: 67
- AP/Coaches: NR
How’d they get here? Automatic bid. The Aggies crushed Louisiana Tech in the WAC final for the second trip in the last three years under Menzies.
What seed will they get? Probably a 12 or 13, but that’s not indicative of their talent, just the conference pecking order.
Names to know: Wendell McKines (18.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg), Hernst Laroche (12.1 ppg, 3.8 apg), Hamidu Rahman (10.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg).
Stats to know: No team gets to the free-throw line more often (on 53.4 percent of its attempts) and few hit the offensive glass harder, grabbing 40 percent of its misses. The Aggies don’t shoot well from the free-throw or beyond the arc – and they love to run, getting out for 71 possessions a game.
Tendencies: New Mexico State runs, but it’s not a team filled with outside gunners. McKines, a 6-6 senior, and Laroche are the only ones who even attempt 3-pointers. Not that it matters The Aggies get into the lane and either get to the line or get the rebound. The defense is mostly man. The Aggies pressure shooters, but don’t generate a lot of turnovers. They’re more intent on playing fast and getting points in spurts when the other teams misses.
Big wins, bad losses: A win against New Mexico in the second game of the season is the only impressive victory. The Aggies have lost to the likes of Hawaii, Idaho and UTEP.
Outlook: This isn’t a team you want to see across from you. The Aggies have been on a roll, dumping 90 and 100 points on teams thanks to their style and a bench that only sees two players play a ton of minutes. They’ve got great size and a talent in McKines. Also, five of the regulars are upperclassmen, so don’t expect them to be swayed by any BCS schools. They’re not a dominant team – they did finish behind Nevada, after all – but is certainly capable of winning a game..
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