bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the two games last week at Nevada and at Utah State? You were close at halftime in both of those games.
Marvin Menzies: I think a combination of factors, the bottom line is both of those places are really tough to play and they wear on you in reference to all the dynamics that go into playing on the road. I think that coupled with our shooting woes at Utah State and the defensive breakdowns we started to have kind of had a snowball effect and it was difficult to climb back in. In both cases there were runs that were made, in the Utah State was a little bit more significant run, but both games our opponents had runs where things clicked for them and went the other way for us and on the road as you know it's tough to fight back on the road.
bc.net: Do you think there's any benefit for your team in terms of familiarity having been able to play in the tournament venue just last week?
MM: I hope so. I think that there's something to be said with familiarity with a venue and your immediate surroundings. Having played there I'm hoping that bodes well for us having just played there the week before.
bc.net: You had three players earn All-WAC honors with Jahmar earning First Team, Jonathan Second Team and Wendell on the Honorable Mention.
MM: I'll start off with Wendell, think Wendell is one of those blue collar guys and a real workhorse and has worked hard in the offseason to improve his game and for him to be able to receive some recognition is a testament to his offseason work on his game. He did a good job to improve some areas that weren't as strong last year and hopefully he'll continue in that direction and help us win a lot more games next year.
In Jonathan's situation you've got an experienced kid who really shoots the ball well and has been a staple for us all year long and so I was happy to see him make one of the two All-Conference teams. There are so many good players in this conference and for him to be in that top 10 says a lot about his ability to play basketball even beyond his days in Las Cruces.
JY, last but certainly not least is one of the kids who is one of the main cogs that has carried us all year long. I was really happy to see him get acknowledged for everything he's done for us not just in conference but all year. I'm optimistic with him and Wendell both coming back you put yourself in a good situation and there's a lot of reason for optimism next year.
bc.net: With Jonathan being a senior, have you seen or noticed any change in his mindset or his preparation as his career is winding down?
MM: Jonathan is pretty steady in terms of how he prepares and things that he does to get ready for games. He's consistent in his routine and his preparation. That doesn't always mean a favorable result, you're not going to have a great game every time out but he's definitely had much success this year. I think he's pretty mature in that sense and I think his preparation has been a huge part of why he's been successful all year long.
bc.net: Your team has given up 54, 59 and 47 second half points in the last three second halves.
MM: Obviously you're concerned when you lose, no matter how many points you give up you've got to look at why you lost and sometimes high scoring games, you can lose because of what you did on offense. It sounds kind of crazy but it's true. When other teams are hitting shots and have done a good job of preparing and have a lot of talent, Boise State for example, is playing the best basketball they've played all year and we were fortunate to get that win. Then you go into Nevada and we scored 92 against them so it's not like the team scored a bunch and we didn't score at all. There were a lot more possessions in those games than there had been in previous games. More possessions create more opportunities and both those teams, Utah State and Nevada, shot the ball very well. That coupled with the fact that we had some missed assignments and playing on the road, that all plays a factor. I think a neutral site and playing whoever you're playing against, you're not going to give up some of the advantages that you do on the road.
bc.net: Your first round opponent is San Jose State, you split the regular season series with them.
MM: They're a team that is very capable of competing for a WAC championship as well as we are. We've got to approach the game in a manner where there is so much parity in this conference that we've got to be ready to lace them up with the emphasis that if you don't bring your 'A' game you could be going home. It doesn't really matter who you play at this time of year, you've got to concentrate on yourself and doing the best you can in order to come out on top.
bc.net: The Aggies will win the WAC Tournament if you...
MM: If we continue to play as a team, stay together, play hard and are mentally tough.