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The Daily Aggie :: 12/18/09 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

The Daily Aggie :: 12/18/09

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The Aggie men's basketball team will try to bounce back tonight against Pepperdine. The Waves are 3-8 on the season but have played in several close games and their record is not necessarily reflective of their play. They do have a couple of questionable losses, those being their two most recent ones to California Baptist and to Portland State. As for the Aggies, they're coming off a disappointing 32-point loss at UCLA, a game that many, including ourselves thought that the Aggies had a chance to be competitive in. Unfortunately UCLA's defense rattled the Aggies (Ben Howland has always been an outstanding defensive coach) and UCLA's offense had a near perfect night, hitting shot after shot (even the bad shots went in). The Aggies are just 3-8 all-time against Pepperdine, however, the Aggies defeated the Waves 90-66 last season in Las Cruces.

The Waves are led by sophomore guard Keion Bell who is averaging 22.2 points per game which accounts for 30 percent of Pepperdine's offensive output. He also averages 5.2 rebounds per game and has 22 steals on the season. Sophomore wing Dane Stuttle Jr., is averaging 11.3 points per game and is the Waves' best three point shooter hitting 21-of-48 threes (43.8 percent). Junior forward Mychel Thompson is averaging 10 points per game and also averages 5.6 rebounds per game.

The Aggies' Jahmar Young, Jonathan Gibson and Hamidu Rahman lead the Aggies in scoring. Young is averaging 19.1 points per game, Jonathan Gibson is averaging 17.1 points per game and Hamidu Rahman is averaging 12.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game. Gordo Castillo has been playing more minutes as of late and has increased his scoring average to 6.9 points per game.

The Waves average 37.7 rebounds per game and 12.2 offensive boards per game. The Aggies average 35.7 rebounds per game but only nine offensive rebounds per game. Defensively the Aggies are still allowing their opponents to shoot at a very high percentage, 46.3 percent. The Aggies are also struggling from the three point line on the season having hit just 29.3 percent of their shots, although they did hit 11-of-22 threes against UCLA.

Both the Waves and Aggies are good free throw shooting teams but the advantage goes to the Aggies who are hitting 76.5 percent of their threes and have 205 of their 268 free throws. The Waves are one of the few teams who have attempted more free throws than the Aggies, 281, and have made 201 of those attempts.

The Aggies can erase the bad taste of the UCLA loss tonight with a win over Pepperdine and a win would put them at 2-1 on this week's road trip. A win would also put them in position to finish at 7-6 in the non-conference portion of the season if they can win their three home non-conference games before the New Year.

A quick look at the Aggies' schedule reveals that the six losses have come to some pretty good competition. Yes, the scores in the losses have not been particularly close, however, St. Mary's has five 20+ point wins, New Mexico is now No. 19 in the country and have five 15+ point wins and had a ranked Texas A&M team down by 17 in the second half, all five of UTEP's wins have been by 15+ points (and they nearly upset No. 25 Ole Miss), UCLA is still UCLA despite their record. The ony game the Aggies should have won that they didn't was against Cal State-Fullerton when the Aggies held a 22-point lead in the first half. However, that is also a Cal State-Fullerton team that beat UCLA.

What we're saying is it's still too early to count out the Aggies. Their win over UTEP showed that they are capable of beating good teams.

Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. MT start. The game can be heard on KGRT 103.9 FM in Las Cruces. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access. Streaming video can be seen at the Pepperdine athletic website for a fee and Live Stats will also be available for tonight's game.

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
The Pepperdine athletic website previews tonight's game.

Kevin at Parsing The WAC shares his take on Teddy Feinberg's commentary regarding the Aggie men's basketball team.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks with NM State Athletic Director McKinley Boston about the team's potential.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks about Tyrone Watson's role on the team.

Aggie Football
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News reports that head coach DeWayne Walker will conduct interviews this weekend for the vacant offensive coordinator position.

Teddy Feinberg blogs that the Aggies have received another verbal commitment. This one from an offensive lineman from the College of the Sequoias. Running back Seth Smith is also came to the Aggies via the College of the Sequoias.

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