bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 11/09/10

bleedCrimson.net: 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.

bc.net: 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 >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Walker Interview :: 11/09/10

bleedCrimson.net: 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.

bc.net: 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).

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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.

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2010-2011 bleedCrimson.net 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 >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/07/10

The Aggie football team suffered a tough loss yesterday afternoon losing 27-22 to Utah State. Last year the UtAgs felt they should have won the game against New Mexico State. This year the crimson Aggies probably felt as though they should have won that game. Our Aggies won the offensive yardage battle (346 to 296), they won the time of possession battle (34:13 to 25:47) they won the first down battle (22 to 17), they won the turnover battle (1 to 0), they limited Utah State to just 3-of-13 on third down, and they kept Diondre Borel under wraps for the most part as he finished with just 43 yards rushing (one rushing TD) and just 110 yards passing (no TDs and an interception) AND New Mexico State jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter!

So how did the Aggies lose this game? The one statistic they did not win in this game (besides the final score) was average yards per kickoff return. The Aggies have been the ones to win this stat all season and not just because the other teams have scored on the Aggies... a lot. It's been because Taveon Rogers has emerged into one of the better kick returners in the country. Well, yesterday the Aggies got Rogers'd. Utah State's Jerwynn Williams nearly took two kickoff returns to the house. He had an 84-yard kickoff return on the kickoff following the Aggies' second touchdown (more on that in a second) and a 68-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter following the Aggies' field goal that had put them up 20-17. That particular kickoff had extra yards tacked on as a result of a facemask penalty on the Aggies which gave Utah State the ball on the NM State 12.

Utah State would only need three plays to score 14 points and only had to drive a total of 22 yards and took only 57 seconds. The other 13 points the UtAgs scored, the Aggies forced them to use 26 plays to drive 168 yards and 10:32 of clock time. Essentially the Aggies gave Utah State 14 free points and that's why they lost this game.

Back to the first touchdown that Utah State scored. USU had the ball at the Aggies' 10 yard line with 39 seconds left to play. Derrvin Speight ran for eight yards down to the Aggies' 2-yard line. The UtAgs let the clock run down and then with just one second left they decided to call a timeout. Following the timeout the UtAgs ran the ball in for a touchdown.

You're probably asking yourself, "Why would they call a timeout in the first quarter with just one second left on the clock and the ball on the opponents' 2-yard line?" Why not let the clock just run out and then just score on the next play? Here's our thought and we'll be sure to ask Coach Walker about this on Tuesday.

Psychologically there's a huge difference (at least in our opinion) between being down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and being down 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. If you're down 14-0 in the first quarter, you kind of feel like you've had your tail kicked a little bit. But if you're only down by one touchdown, then psychologically, things change a lot. No matter how much a team may have outplayed you in that first quarter, you're only down by a touchdown.

Before the touchdown by Utah State, the Aggies had completely outplayed USU. The UtAgs had run just 10 plays for only 52 yards of total offense and had punted twice (essentially they had two three-and-outs). Diondre Borel was 2-for-5 for 18 yards and USU had rushed for just 41 yards. New Mexico State on the other hand had run 22 plays, gained 191 yards and scored 14 points.

In our book, that's a pretty thorough beating in a quarter. And yet because of the kickoff return and the decision to call a timeout to score in the first quarter the UtAgs were only down 14-7. As a result, Utah State's defense played a much tougher second quarter and held the Aggies to just three points and just 30 yards (the Aggies had the ball four times in the second quarter).

Sometimes it's the little things that can turn the tide in a football game and we think that one little innocent timeout turned the tide in this game. (We hope that all made sense)

The Aggie volleyball team won their 18th straight match over San Jose State last night winning 3-1. It wasn't the easiest match the Aggies have ever had against the Spartan. SJSU took the first set in extra points, 29-27. The Aggies held a very sizeable lead in the second set, they were up 15-7 but a 9-0 run by San Jose State gave them the lead 16-15 before the Aggies got back into the flow and cruised to a 25-19 victory. in the fourth set the Spartans forced the Aggies to battle from a medium-sized deficit in the fourth set (down 8-3 to start out the set) to win the set 25-20.

Kayleigh Giddens had 22 kills on the night, her eighth 20-plus kill effort of the season. Giddens now has 469 kills on the season and with three regular season matches plus the WAC tournament coming up, Giddens will almost certainly become the Aggies' single-season kill leader. She's currently fourth on the list having surpassed Lisa Roberson (461), Alane Pierce (455) and Lindsey Yon (453) last night with her 22-kill performance. Kayleigh will also likely become the first Aggie to ever record 500 or more kills in a season.

She is also on pace to destroy the career kills per set record (and the single season record as well). Through last night's match, Giddens is averaging 4.43 kills per set in her career. She averaged 4.00 kills per set last year and is averaging a ridiculous 4.83 kills per set this season. Lindsey Yon holds the career record at 3.84 kills per set and Lisa Roberson holds the single season record at 4.23 kills per set.

The Aggies return to action this week as they travel to the state of Idaho for matches against Idaho and Boise State. The Vandals are now in third place in the league, a half game ahead of Nevada. Boise State is still tied for sixth with Fresno State (though, as we mentioned earlier in the week, Fresno State holds the tiebreaker with BSU). A win by the Aggies on Thursday night against Idaho will clinch the 2-seed for New Mexico State and a first round bye in the WAC Tournament later this month.

The Aggies still have plenty to play for in the regular season as well. They can reach the 20-win mark for the 10th consecutive season if they win their final three regular season matches. It will also continue to help their RPI as they try to crack the Top 50 in hopes of a possible at-large bid in the event that they aren't able to upset Hawai'i in the WAC Tournament.

Finally, as we've done the past two days, we leave you with another bizarre score. If you've been keeping track at home, On Friday we shared the 37-35 set three victory for Nevada, yesterday we shared the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters' 93-18 exhibition victory over Oklahoma Panhandle, today... we have a football score for you... but it's only a partial score. Yesterday, Colorado faced Kansas. The Jayhawks (an Aggie opponent this season) defeated the Buffs 52-45. But wait. That's not the bizarre score. Kansas trailed CU 38-17 heading into the 4th quarter. But that's not the bizarre score either. Here's the bizarre score. Kansas outscored CU 35-7 in the fourth quarter!. Utah State and New Mexico State combined for 49 points in the entire game. KU and CU combined for 42... in one quarter.

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NM State vs. San Jose State Match Photos

NM State vs. San Jose State Match Photos

Aggie Volleyball Fights Past Spartans 3-1

Kayleigh GiddensThe Aggie volleyball team overcame a sluggish performance to defeat San Jose State on Saturday night winning 3-1. Kayleigh Giddens recorded her eighth 20-plus kill match of the season finishing with 22 kills. After losing the first set the Aggies won the final three sets 25-19, 25-17 and 25-20.

The Aggies dropped the first set 29-27. The Aggies trailed much of the early part of the set before tying the set at 12-12. The Spartans would take a 17-15 lead in the set but a 5-1 run would give the Aggies a 20-18 lead. The Spartans would take a 22-21 lead in the set but the Aggies would have set point at 24-23 after a service error by the Spartans' Katie Turner. The Aggies would be unable to end the set as Kayleigh Giddens' hitting error tied the set at 24. The Aggies would have another set point up 25-24, again at 26-25 and once again at 27-26, however, the Spartans would get a kill from Hanah Blume to tie the set at 27-27 and and attack error from Ellen Miks and a block an attack attempt by Whitney Woods would give the Spartans the first set 29-27.

The Aggies would jump to a quick 15-7 lead in the second set but San Jose State would go on a 9-0 run to take a 16-15 lead forcing an Aggie timeout. Out of the timeout the Aggies would retake the lead going up 20-17. The Spartans would cut the lead to two points at 20-18 but the Aggies would score five of the final six points to take the set 25-19.  Continue Reading This Post >>