Aggie Women's Tennis Inks Elite South African Player

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - One of South Africa's elite women's tennis players has signed a national letter of intent to play for New Mexico State University for the start of the Fall 2011 semester.

Mandy Mallen of Mid Illovo, South Africa, will become the newest addition to the NM State women's tennis team at the start of the Fall 2011 semester. Mallen is currently a senior at the Durban Girls' School in Durban, South Africa.

"I am really excited to be brining Mandy to NMSU in the fall of 2011," head tennis coach Ivan Fernandez said. "I have been looking forward to signing Mandy ever since I started recruiting her six months ago."

Mallen is nationally ranked 19th in singles and 13th in doubles for girls 18 and under. Mallen has been nationally ranked in the top 20 for the last six years. Mallen has also competed for the Interprovincial Team for the last four years.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/10/10

It's the start of the early signing period for a number of sports including men's and women's basketball, volleyball and baseball. As of right now we don't have any signings to report however, we will post anything that comes across the wire on our Twitter page (@AgsBleedCrimson).

While we're on the subject of signing day and the National Letter of Intent, Marc Isenberg, author of a book titled Money Players, offers his (very strong) feelings on the NLI (Editor's Note: We don't have an opinion on the NLI one way or another because we personally don't have any experience with said NLI, we simply are pointing out that not everyone is in favor of the NLI).

It's also interesting that Isenberg made his feelings known given the recent allegations that current Auburn quarterback Cam Newton's services were "for sale" prior to him joining Auburn which comes on the heels of the shocking (or not so shocking depending on who you are) article by SI's George Dohrmann on sports agent Josh Luchs who admitted to playing college football players.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, author of Death To The BCS and whose article we linked in the previous paragraph had this to say about the Newton allegations.

The real issue though is this: if Auburn did pay someone $200,000 for the signature of Cam Newton they got an absolute steal.

He’s worth millions and that’s before they’re done counting the receipts on all the No. 2 jerseys sold or add up the extra donations from old men who get loose with a checkbook when they see a young man such as Newton carry the ball.

This is the real business of college football and only the most naive inside the sport even pretend that it is not.

UPDATE:Rob Duaster of Beyond The Arc has an article some ideas on how to try to "fix" things.

But we digress, that wasn't the point of this part of our post. The point is, today begins the early signing period for the sports we listed above (and a few others).

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News reported last night that Aggie running back Kenny Turner will likely not play this weekend against Louisiana Tech and could be done for the season. It's a tough blow for both Turner and the Aggies as Turner had really started to blossom in the Aggies' offense as of late. Turner has shown himself to be a dangerous threat out of the backfield both running and catching the ball and is a threat to "take it to the house" any time he touches the ball.

We also spoke with Coach Walker yesterday and got his thoughts on the Utah State game as well as a few other items.

We also spoke with Aggie head men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies about the Aggies' exhibition game against Eastern New Mexico, got his thoughts on the recent rash of Division II upsets over their Division I big brothers and a couple quick thoughts on the season opener against Louisiana on Friday.

We'll be speaking with Aggie women's basketball coach Darin Spence today about his team's opening weekend against the North Dakota schools (NDSU and UND).

Finally, our buddy Tombo Ahi at the UH Football blog Warriors Will Throw points out that Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser is reporting that the WAC is on the verge of adding Texas State, UT-San Antonio and Denver as early as tomorrow.

Southland Conference commissioner Thomas Burnett said in an e-mail that he has been in contact with the WAC about the move of UTSA and Texas State and "we expect an announcement soon."

Ferd also reports that a decision by Montana whether or not they will jump from FCS to FBS could be on its way in the next several weeks. No word on Seattle's status in the WAC expansion either other than the already known fact that they were being considered.

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

Aggies Release 2011 Baseball Schedule; 32 Home Games On Slate For The Season

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head baseball coach Rocky Ward recently released the 2011 baseball schedule with 32 games scheduled at Presley Askew Field and 21 away games.

The season starts Feb. 12 with the Annual Alumni game before opening the regular season, Friday, Feb. 18 with a three-game series against Houston Baptist. Those games are the first of seven consecutive home games at Presley Askew Field. The Aggies took on Houston Baptist last season, earning a sweep in Houston, Texas.

After the seven home games, NM State heads to Beaumont, Texas for a tournament, March 3-5, where it will face Cal State-Northridge, San Francisco, and Lamar University. NM State then returns home for the first of two games with in-state rival New Mexico, Tuesday, March 8. NM State split a four-game series with the Lobos last year, winning one game at home and one on the road.

The Aggies then head to Corvallis, Ore., March 11-13 taking on Virginia Military Institute and Oregon State in a tournament hosted by the Beavers. OSU won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007 under current head coach Pat Casey.   Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 11/09/10 Your thoughts on the exhibition game against Eastern New Mexico on Monday night?
Marvin Menzies: I was happy to see our guys play hard. We didn't always play smart but we played hard. We had a positive energy within ourselves and good chemistry. You don't expect to see a lot of high level execution and some of the finer points to be fully carried out at a high level at this stage of the season but I think the most important thing is the effort and I think we got that. It looked like your team was a lot more crisp passing the basketball last night in terms of the ball not staying in one player's hand for three, four or five seconds while their teammates were running around.
MM: Our system is designed in a certain way to take advantage of the highest percentage shot, now we turned it over a lot in attempting to move the ball because of the fact that we're really pushing it this year and guys are trying to make that extra pass. But we've really kind of gotten some growth and returning players really understanding how the system works and just having a feel for using it and that's probably what you were seeing last night.  Continue Reading This Post >> Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 11/09/10 Your overall thoughts on the game?
DeWayne Walker: We beat them in almost every category except the scoreboard. You can always point at the kickoff returns that they had against us to say that that really gave them a leg up on us. It's unfortunately. It just shows that sometimes when you think you've outplayed somebody it doesn't show up on the scoreboard. We've had a chance to experience that now. Right before the end of the first quarter, Utah State called a timeout so that they could try to score the touchdown in the first quarter as opposed to letting the clock run out and trying for the score at the start of the second quarter. I thought it was kind of a big deal and nobody has really talked about it much. How much of a psychological difference is that going into the second quarter with a 14-7 score instead of a 14-0 score?
DW: I think when you're in the heat of the battle it's probably more conversation after the fact. I know we kind of looked at it the same way you're looking at it to a certain degree but it's kind of something that people aren't going to talk a whole lot about.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/09/10

The Aggie men's basketball team raced past the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds winning 98-72 (see what we did there?) The Aggies had no trouble with a Division II team that gave UTEP fits to the very end and hung tough with New Mexico for 30 minutes.

The rebounding numbers were lopsided which was to be expected against a team that's smaller than the Aggies. The blocks were also lopsided, 12 for the Aggies, none for the Greyhounds. The turnovers were also unfortunately lopsided, 29 for the Aggies and 16 for the Greyhounds.

That being said, the Aggies still won by 26 points and maybe more importantly they held the Greyhounds under 40 percent shooting for the night (37.5 percent in both halves in fact). That's one area that the Aggies struggled with last season, holding teams to under 40 percent shooting.

Free throws were a bit of a problem for the Aggies but then again, when have free throws ever not been a problem for an Aggie team? The Aggies shot just 11-of-20 from the charity stripe, something that the Aggies will have to definitely improve on in the coming weeks. That's one statistic that is not impacted by the team you're playing against.

A couple of things we saw that we liked and/or noticed was different. The Aggies crashed the boards much moreso it seemed than in seasons past. Sure the Aggies were playing against a smaller, Division II team. However, regardless of the opponent, the Aggies were going after rebounds aggressively which was refreshing to see. (And just for reference, three games into last season, the Aggies let Oklahoma Panhandle State grab 37 rebounds while the Aggies had just one more at 38 and we'd consider OPSU just slightly above a Division II team. OPSU had a -3.4 rebounding margin last season).

Second thing we noticed, the Aggies' passing and decision making on passes seemed to be a lot quicker and crisper than last year. There was a lot more touch passes and moving the ball around (with a purpose) which was also nice to see.

The Aggies seem to have definitely benefitted from their summer trip to Canada and the 10 extra practices they got as a result.

We'll be talking with head coach Marvin Menzies today to get his thoughts on the exhibition and we'll have our season preview of the Aggie men's basketball team out a little later this week (but before the season opener on Friday).

And finally, yesterday we shared a couple of examples of Division II schools rising up to stun their Division I big brothers, last night saw another upset as Tennessee was throttled at home 79-64 by the University of Indianapolis (who also happen to be nicknamed the Greyhounds).

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

Aggie Basketball Cruises To 98-72 Exhibition Victory Over Eastern New Mexico

Troy GillenwaterThe New Mexico State men's basketball team defeated in-state foe Eastern New Mexico in an exhibition game on Monday night. The Aggies routed the Greyhounds 98-72 pulling away late in the first half.

The Aggies were led in scoring by junior Troy Gillenwater who finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks in just 22 minutes of action. Aaron Edwards led the Greyhounds with 22 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes of play.

The Greyhounds held a slim lead through the first six and a half minutes of action but the Aggies took a 12-11 lead on a layup by Tyrone Watson and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the game.

The Greyhounds trailed by just one point with 9:53 remaining in the first half but the Aggies would go on a quick 7-0 run to take a 22-14 lead with 8:10 remaining. The Aggies' run was fueled by a three pointer by Gordo Castillo, one of three he would hit on the night. Following Castillo's three pointer, Tyrone Watson would get a layup on an assist from Castillo who would then cap the scoring with a jumper after a pair of blocks on the defensive end by freshman Renaldo Dixon and junior Abdoulaye N'doye.

The Aggies would stretch the lead to 11 points as they led 34-23 with exactly four minutes left in the first half. The Greyhounds would cut the lead down to seven points at 36-29 with 2:56 left in the half but the Aggies would close the half on a 12-2 run to take a 48-31 into the break.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Kelsey Brennan Earns Academic All-District VI

Kelsey BrennanLAS CRUCES, NM - NM State Aggie volleyball player Kelsey Brennan has been named to the ESPN Academic All-District VI Second Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA), Nov. 8.

Brennan, from Monroe, Wash., is majoring in sports medicine and currently has a 3.52 GPA.

While excelling in the classroom, Brennan has played in 89 sets for the Aggies and ranks third in the WAC in hitting percentage at .347. Brennan has 209 kills and a team-high 70 blocks.

"It takes a lot of work, but if you love it, it is worth it," Brennan said. "You may lose some sleep some days, but sports medicine is something I really want to do and it will be well worth the time and effort in the end

Brennan and the Aggies have three more games this season before the WAC tournament Nov. 22-24 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

You can watch Kelsey Brennan the rest of the Aggies in their final regular season game of the season on Aggie Vision, Nov. 17 against Utah State after they return home from the final road trip of the year. The Aggies take on Idaho, Nov. 11 and Boise State, Nov. 13 in Idaho.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/08/10

College basketball is back! The Aggie men's basketball team hosts Eastern New Mexico tonight at 7:00 p.m. in an exhibition game. It's the first look at life after Jonathan Gibson and Jahmar Young and unfortunately another non-conference season without Wendell McKines.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News has blogged about a few things that fans should watch for in tonight's exhibition game. Like everyone we're anxious to see what the newcomers look like. The most intriguing players for us are Chili Nephawe and Christian Kabongo. Coach Menzies has been touting Chili since he signed and we're very much looking forward to seeing what the hype is all about.

As far as Eastern New Mexico is concerned, the Greyhounds hung tough early with New Mexico (they actually led this one 14-4 six minutes into the game and were within three points with 10 minutes to play before losing by 22 in front of an exhibition crowd of 13,921.

A few days before that Eastern lost to UTEP by just four points and had players finish with 19 (Aaron Edwards) and 17 points (Victor Reid).

There have been a couple of notable upsets in exhibition games already this season with Nevada losing to Seattle Pacific and Xavier losing to Bellarmine. It should be noted that both Nevada and Xavier lost a lot of production in the offseason. While we don't believe the Aggies will lose tonight, it wouldn't surprise us at all to see a closer-than-most-expect game.

The Aggies open up the regular season on Friday night on the road at the University of Louisiana (formerly Louisiana-Lafayette).

Tonight's game tips off at 7:00 p.m. at the Pan American Center with radio coverage on the Aggie Sports Network. Streaming video and audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie women's basketball team also opens the season this week although they won't have any exhibition tuneups. The Aggies jump right into the fire on Friday night when they take on North Dakota State. The Aggies then follow that up with a game against North Dakota on Saturday night.

We've posted our preview of the 2010-2011 team with notes and quotes on each player.

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

2010-2011 Aggie Women's Basketball Preview

The 2010-2011 New Mexico State women's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth by both the coaches and media. The Aggies are coming off of an 18-14 campaign which saw them defeat a Top 25 opponent and also reach postseason play for just the fourth time in program history as they participated in the Women's Postseason NIT.

The postseason appearance is an accomplishment that head coach Darin Spence feels cannot be understated and he's seen a difference in his players this past offseason. "I see a different twinkle in their eye. They see how all the hard work paid off for them," said Coach Spence. "Those kids have learned from it and there's a little bit different expectation they have for themselves every day in practice, every day when we have our meetings, when we have our film sessions, those kids that were there, the ones who are returning, they get it now. "

Among those returners are four starters, Madison Spence, Crystal Boyd, Danisha Corbett and Tabytha Wampler. The Aggies lose Crystal Boyd who led the team in scoring averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game but have added a pair of freshmen and a transfer all of whom eighth year head coach Darin Spence believes will have an immediate impact on the floor.  Continue Reading This Post >>