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bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News
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Texas Tech To Name Aggie Volleyball Assistant Don Flora As Next Head Coach

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech University is holding a press conference, Friday, Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. (CT) to announce the hiring of Don Flora as their eight volleyball head coach in school history.

Flora has spent the past two seasons with the Aggies and helped the team to a 38-22 record while holding the top-assistant position under head coach Mike Jordan. Flora spent his tenure at NM State as the recruiting coordinator and his responsibilities to the program included directing recruiting activities, daily practice instruction with the student-athletes and involvement in daily program growth and development.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Chace Perkins Named CollegeBaseballLineup.com Third Team All-American

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State senior outfielder Chace Perkins was named a 2011 third team Preseason All-American by CollegeBaseballLineup.com (formerly PING!Baseball), Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Perkins, a native of Sparks, Nev., played in 57 games for the Aggies in 2010 finishing with a team-leading 17 home runs as the Aggies finished with 104 home runs on the year, which put them in the top 10 nationally. He also posted a team-high .746 slugging-percentage and a team-high 70 RBI. Head coach Rocky Ward was extremely please with Perkins' output for NM State last year.

"Chace had a great year for us last year and we are looking forward to him being a key component of our top-ranked offense this year," Ward said.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/06/11

The Aggie women's basketball team opens WAC play tonight on the road against Hawai'i. The Wahine are 6-7 on the season and are no longer a game that you can just "pencil in" a 'W' on the schedule. Second year head coach Dana Takahara-Dias has the Wahine playing much better than in seasons past. The Wahine are led by freshman forward Kamilah Jackson who is averaging 13.9 points per game and erupted for 31 against Cal State-Bakersfield. Second on the team in scoring is senior guard Keisha Kanekoa who is averaging 12.5 points per game and Albuquerque native Megan Tinnin, also a senior, is third on the team in scoring averaging 9.5 points per game and is the team's designated three point shooter having taken 84 threes and made 26 (31 percent).

The Wahine are averaging 63.6 points per game while allowing 65.7 points per game. They also have a +3.1 rebounding margin per game. Teams have been able to shoot threes fairly effectively against the Wahine hitting 33.5 percent (86-of-257).

It should be an interesting game tonight as the Aggies have set their sights on a road sweep. The Aggies swept the series last season winning 75-67 in Honolulu and 73-51 in Las Cruces. The Aggies split the series in 2009, swept the series in 2008 (the Aggies rallied from a 19-point deficit in Honolulu to win by one), split the series in 2007 and split the series in 2006. Most of the games between the Aggies and Wahine have been down-to-the-wire affairs and this one could come down to the end as well and if it does, free throw shooting will be key.

The Wahine are just a 62.9 percent free throw shooting team and have just two players, Keisha Kanekoa (77.6) and Megan TInnin (73.3), who hit better than 70 percent from the stripe.

The Aggies, normally a very good free throw shooting team (72.3 percent on th season), have struggled from the stripe in their four road losses hitting just 57.3 percent (35-of-61). Conversely, in their two road wins, they have shot 88.8 percent from the line (40-of-45). There is also another trend there, in their two road wins, they've averaged 22.5 free throw attempts per game. In the four losses, they've averaged just over 15 free throw attempts per game.

Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff and can be seen on Aggievision, ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court pay per view. You can also listen to the game on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action with streaming audio available via Aggie Access.

Finally, a hearty congratulations to former Aggie Tanya Allen who was named the head coach at Texas A&M Kingsville yesterday. Allen, a native of Deming, N.M., was a part of the Aggie team that ended the Hawai'i conference win streak in 2006. She has spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Frank Phillips Junior College where she posted a 110-30 record, won three conference titles and has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association District V Coach of the Year twice. This is a great opportunity for Allen and we wish her the best of luck at her new school.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/05/11

Unless you've been living under a rock the past couple of days you're well aware by now of Wendell McKines' decision to redshirt this season and return in 2011-2012 for his final season. You can check out this week's interview with Coach Menzies to find out more on the decision and how it affects the team this season and next season. We also asked Wendell McKines about his new role on the bench as Coach Menzies' unpaid assistant coach and how it has helped him grow as a player.

The Aggies are back in action on Saturday when they host Fresno State who is off to a surprising 2-0 start in conference play after defeating San Jose State (our sleeper pick) and Nevada. Bad news for Fresno State could be good news for the Aggie interior defenders as the Bulldogs' Tim Steed is likely out for the Bulldogs' game against Louisiana Tech and could also be out for the matchup on Saturday in the Pan Am. Steed scored 20 in Fresno's win over Nevada hitting 8-of-13 from the floor, 2-of-3 from three point distance and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe while grabbing six rebounds and he's averaging 18.0 points per game in conference play, tied for fifth most in the league and 6.0 rebounds per game, tied for 11th most in the league.

Bad news for the Aggies is that Bulldog center Greg Smith appears to have snapped out of his season-long funk. Smith was averaging under 10 points and under 10 rebounds per game in non-conference play prompting just about everyone to ask, "What happened to Greg Smith?" Smith has answered in the Bulldogs' first two conference games by averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Projecting a little bit into the future, the Aggies' next opponent, Hawai'i received a big boost yesterday as senior center Bill Amis returned to practice after suffering a stress fracture earlier int eh season that has caused him to miss the bulk of the non-conference. Amis missed all of last season with an injury and prior to his injury this season, he was averaging 15.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in four appearances and hitting over 64 percent of his shots from the field. If he keeps up those numbers, he would be just outside in the Top 10 in scoring and just outside the Top 10 in rebounding in the WAC. The Aggie big men will certainly get tested in four of their next five games as they'll face Greg Smith (Fresno), potentially face Bill Amis (Hawai'i), Tai Wesley (Utah State) and Olek Czyz (Nevada). Czyz, a Reno native who transferred back home from Duke midway through last season, is leading the WAC in scoring at 24.5 points per game from the forward position.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 01/04/11

Editorial Note: This week's interview was conducted through a teleconference with members of the media from the Las Cruces Sun-News, Las Cruces Bulletin and Albuquerque Journal. The questions asked by bleedCrimson.net are marked as such.

On whether redshirting was a difficult decision for Wendell:
Marvin Menzies: It was. Wendell is very competitive by nature and really didn't want to sit out the full year but the injury just took longer than we anticipated in getting him back to 100 percent. It kind of forced our hand a little bit. He's close to 100 percent now. He has a green light to practice. He'll probably be a little out of shape and probably take a little bit longer to get all the way back in sync with the team, it wouldn't take too long because of his experience. But at the end of the day when we looked at everything the signs kept pushing to him coming back and having a great senior season and getting his degree. He loves Las Cruces, he's in no hurry to leave. It was just one of those deals where all the signs eventually made it pretty clear what he needed to do.

On when they sat down to decide on the redshirt:
MM: On the Idaho/Boise swing we kind of came to the conclusion. That's when it was really finalized.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/04/11

The news of the day, Wendell McKines will redshirt this season. Not a huge surprise if you really think about it. As we mentioned yesterday, best case for McKines would have been to play the WAC games which is a 16-game slate plus tournament games. He's already missed two of those 16 games. Additionally, as we also mentioned yesterday, he's not anywhere near game conditioning level and that could take anywhere from half to two-thirds of the conference season simply because he hasn't been able to practice with the team as he did last year when he sat out first semester due to academic issues. So in reality, the Aggies would have gotten the full Wendell McKines experience (i.e. 100 percent health, 100 percent conditioning) for maybe six or seven games.

With McKines redshirting, barring any unforeseen circumstances, McKines will suit up for the Aggies' 30-plus game schedule next year, the Aggies will have a senior-laden starting lineup, a strong bench and a serious shot to make a deep NCAA tournament run (the mid-majors who have had the Sweet 16, Elite 8 type of runs in recent seasons have had exactly this formula).

All-in-all it's the right decision for both McKines and the Aggie basketball program and it could end up helping McKines in his hopes to play professionally (he'd be much less of a gamble for teams with a full season of performances to gauge versus six or eight games fully healthy).

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

Wendell McKines To Redshirt 2010-2011 Season

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State men’s basketball senior forward Wendell McKines has decided to redshirt the 2010-11 season, head coach Marvin Menzies announced. McKines has been sidelined this year due to a broken foot he sustained in mid-October.
 
“After going back and forth on this tough decision, we came to the conclusion that for all parties involved the best thing for Wendell was to return for his senior season next year,” Menzies said. “The deciding factors for Wendell were his desire to complete his degree and to have a full season under his belt in his final season.”
   Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Spence Interview :: 01/03/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the UTEP game?
Darin Spence: I went through quite a few emotions through that game. I saw the good in our team and I saw the bad in our team within that 40 minutes of game time. First half and even parts of the second half we executed so well on both sides of the ball and then we just did the opposite. I really believe, and this is no excuse by any means, this murderer's row, that gauntlet we went through those five games, we hit halfway through that second half the other day and we just emotionally we just fatigued, we just drained. That's not an out, that just what it is. I put the schedule together and hopefully it helps us down the road but I know it took a lot out of us. Because we played every game at a high competitive level, that's something that our kids have got to learn to play at that level and not have such roller coaster rides in games. Tough road trip, tough home games. I just think that it caught up to us and it took its toll on us.

bc.net: One of the bright spots from the game against UTEP was that your team ended up with 19 offense rebounds.
DS: That's great. It's something that this team is capable of, going after rebounds. The flip to that is we have to continue to get better on our defensive rebounding.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/03/11

The Aggie women's basketball team closed out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a disappointing loss to UTEP on Sunday afternoon. The Aggies started off decently, holding an early 8-5 advantage, but then fell behind 16-8. From there they outscored the Miners 22-7 to take a 30-23 lead into the halftime break and out of the start of the second half they were up 34-25 but then the Miners went on a 17-3 run and went ahead 42-37 and the Aggies just couldn't overcome that deficit eventually losing by seven 74-67.

The Aggies enter WAC play with a 6-8 record and start on the road at Hawai'i on Thursday and at San Jose State on Saturday. Unlike on the men's side, the WAC women have actually had a pretty good non-conference season. The WAC is the 14th rated RPI league in the country and has the 20th ranked strength of schedule (out of 32 conferences). Last season the league finished 12th in the RPI with the 12th highest SOS but prior to that, the league has been dreadful ranking 24th in the RPI in 2008-2009, 20th in 2007-2008, 17th in 2006-2007 and 15th in 2005-2006, the first season of the current WAC.

The league has improved this season with everyone except for San Jose State hovering around the .500 mark or better. The league has a combined of 61-57 but if you take away SJSU's 0-13 record, the WAC is a very respectable 61-44 (.581). That's the best record the WAC has had entering conference play in quite a while. Nevada has the best record entering conference play at 11-2 with wins over Illinois State (9-3), NC State (8-6), BYU (8-6) and Arizona (11-2). Boise State at 9-5 has a solid win over Idaho State (9-4), Southern Utah (9-5, 3-1 in the Summit League), Fresno State is 8-5 with wins over UC-Irvine (9-4), Pepperdine (9-5) and TCU (8-6). Louisiana Tech, also 8-5, has a win over a pair of SEC teams, Mississippi State (8-4) and Georgia (11-3). Idaho is 7-5 in conference play with a win over UC-Santa Barbara (7-6) and Portland (9-6). Hawai'i at 6-7 has played a tough schedule and has come away with wins over Ole Miss (8-5) and Oregon State (7-6). Utah State is 6-7 with a win over in-state rival Southern Utah (9-5, 3-1 in the Summit League). Outside of that win, they don't have a win over a team with a winning record.

The Aggies' 6-8 record includes wins over UTEP (8-4) and Northern Iowa (8-5). Unfortunately what looked like a good win at the time over North Dakota hasn't held up as well with UND struggling to a 2-10 record. Their eight losses have come against teams with a combined record of 56-33 with the worst record among the teams that beat them at 6-6 (New Mexico). This is certainly a case of the Aggies being a better team than their record indicates.

The Aggies certainly have some concerns heading into conference play. Their offensive lulls are a big concern. Four, five, six and seven minute stretches where they don't score any points quickly turn leads into deficits and while the Aggies have done well to come back and make the games competitive, often times being within one or two possessions of the lead (or in the lead), they simply have been unable to get over the hump. More than likely in large part due to the amount of physical and mental effort and energy they've had to expend just to climb back into the game.

The Aggies have just one loss in which they were out of the game with less than four minutes left to play, that being their 20 point loss against Houston.

The race on the women's side should be an interesting one with any of the eight teams with a legitimate shot at winning the league title. (We're going to go out on a limb and say that SJSU is probably not going to contend just based on their non-conference results).

Aggie outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens was named to the COBRA All-National First Team which was announced in the December issue. Giddens finished the season with 542 kills setting the NM State single season kills mark. She also set the kills per set mark averaging 4.84 kills per set.

Expect a decision regarding the playing status of Wendell McKines this week. Jack Nixon stated during his broadcast of the Idaho game that there should be an announcement this week regarding Wendell's status as to whether he returns this season or redshirts and comes back for a full season next year.

There are pros and cons for both. Obviously having him come back this season adds depth to the current roster and despite everyone's insistence that Utah State is going to run away with the league, we still think the WAC race is wide open. The downside to that option is a) Wendell pretty much wastes half of his final year of eligibility sitting on the bench in the non-conference and then really only plays at his full health/conditioning level for two-thirds to maybe a half of the conference season. Unlike last season when McKines sat out due to academic issues, he was still able to practice with the team and maintain a high level of conditioning. This season he has not been able to practice with the team (hard to practice with a boot on).

Should McKines redshirt, it would obviously be a blow to the depth of the team and there are no guarantees that McKines would make it through another offseason without re-injuring his foot. However, the Aggie roster next year would be absolutely loaded with a starting lineup consisting of seniors Troy Gillenwater, Hernst Laroche, Hamidu Rahman, Wendell McKines and likely a seasoned sophomore in Christian Kabongo with sophomores Tshilidzi Nephawe (with a full season of experience and an entire offseason of practice, conditioning and weight training), Renaldo Dixon, Bandja Sy (whose contributions are increasing in each game) and a high-energy sixth man in Tyrone Watson who is quickly becoming a glue player for the Aggies as well as a pair of big men in Abdoulaye N'doye (7'0") and B.J. West (6'11") who can provide a good five to 10 minutes of playing time each. Additionally the Aggies will have whichever incoming freshmen Menzies brings in.

There are certainly plusses and minuses to both scenarios but redshirting Wendell makes the most sense in the long term and as we've seen from Coach Menzies throughout his tenure, he always has his eyes on the future of the program.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos