The Daily Aggie :: 12/10/10

The Aggie men's basketball team's task tomorrow night is a tough one. Win in The Pit. It's something they haven't done since 2002. So how do they go about doing it? Richard Stevens at offers up a few "tweaks" to the Aggie gameplan. His suggestions: Don't let Dairese Gary control the game, don't let the Lobos shoot 50 percent from the floor as they did in UNM's 84-78 overtime win in Las Cruces, Pay better attention to Phillip McDonald and Kendall Williams, and shoot better than 31.1 percent.

We'd offer up another suggestion as well, don't rely so much on the three point shot. Yes, as Coach Menzies has pointed out on numerous occasions, the three ball is the great equalizer. However, the Lobos are allowing opponents to hit just 27.7 percent of their threes. Outside of Troy Gillenwater and Gordo Castillo, the Aggies aren't a great three point shooting team and even those two are not shooting the ball from three well enough to gameplan against that specifically.

Gillenwater is hitting 35 percent of his threes, Gordo is hitting 36.1 percent. For those keeping score at home, that means the Aggies' current top three point threats are hitting fewer than two out of every five shots from behind the arc (1.7 and 1.6 threes per game for Gillenwater and Gordo respectively or 10 points per game combined).

For a three point shooter to truly be considered a threat, their percentage needs to be above at least 40 percent.

In the past four seasons the Aggies' top three point shooters have all shot above 40 percent: 40.6 (Jonathan Gibson, '09/'10), 42.1 (Jahmar Young, '08-'09), 44.8 (Gordo, '08-'09), 40.0 (Justin Hawkins, '07-'08), 41.9 (Jahmar Young, '07-'08), 42.4 (Elijah Ingram, '06-'07), 42.9 (Ted Knauber, '06-'07).

Yes, the Aggies will need to hit a few timely threes tomorrow night, but they cannot afford to simply get into a three point shooting contest with the Lobos. That's a game they definitely won't win.

On to today's links...

Conference Expansion
Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman writes that an invitation for Hawai'i to join the Mountain West could come as early as today.

Brett McMurphy of reports on the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics forum held on Wednesday.

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