Scouting New Mexico State

  • 03/12/2012 12:45 pm in

Record: 26-9 (10-4 WAC)

Against the NCAA tournament field: 1-3 (1-1 vs. New Mexico, 0-2 vs. Southern Miss)

Last time in field: 2009-10, lost in first round

How they got here: Won the WAC tournament championship by beating Louisiana Tech, 82-57

Coach: Marvin Menzies, a former assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville. Menzies is in his fifth season as the head coach at New Mexico State. He recruited current Indiana guard Verdell Jones when he was with the Cardinals.

Player to Watch: Wendell McKines, 6-6, 230-pound forward. McKines, a fifth-year senior, is averaging 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and had 20 double-doubles this season. He’s scored 20 or more points in 18 games, and he had a season high 28 in a loss to Arizona.

McKines isn’t a great 3-point shooter (35 percent), but he does attempt a little more than four 3s a game. He attempts five free throws per contest, and is very much a volume shooter. Only twice this season did McKines attempt fewer than 10 shots in a game. He took 17 or more shots in nine games.

“Anybody who does this for a living knows the better players, and Wendell McKines is one of the better players, not only on the west coast but certainly in the country,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean.

Why they’re good: The Aggies like to get out and run, they get to the foul line (30 attempts per game), they rebound (sixth in the nation at 40.3 rebounds), and they score — a lot (78 points per contest). They’re very much an up-tempo team, and they have seven players that average at least seven points a game.

They are not, however, a good outside shooting team. They shoot only 32.7 percent from 3-point range, and they made only 161 this season (about 4.5 per game). To compare, Indiana has made 211 and shoots 43 percent as a team from long distance.

“They have a couple things that stand out about them that make them really unique,” Crean said. “Certainly it is something we are partial to because we work really hard to get to the foul line, but I can’t remember a team that averages 30 free-throw attempts like they do. That is an incredible number.

“And they average almost 15 offensive rebounds, so they are relentless, aggressive. I’ve seem them over a period of time and they are a relentless team. An absolutely relentless team. They get guys that come from different parts of the country and they mesh into a very good team.”

Filed to:

  • calbert40

     Bloomington time is EDT, so it would be 9:45 local time.

  • calbert40

     Zeller outplayed Anthony Davis.  I don’t think he will have trouble with these guys.  Heavier is another way to say slow.  I’ll take tall, lean and quick over tall, heavy and slow any day.

  • calbert40

    That was the 2nd game of the year too. 11/16. 

    NM was not ranked at that time. About a month later, New Mexico dropped NMST by 20 in their gym.

  • linback93

    Gottlieb has IU getting beat by them thursday lol, nothing new.

  • calbert40

     They may have 3 seniors, but that was a different year, different team.  We have 3 contributing (2 healthy) seniors from a 6 win team.  Think our team is different today?

    That game matters about as much.

  • calbert40

     They may have 3 seniors, but that was a different year, different team.  We have 3 contributing (2 healthy) seniors from a 6 win team.  Think our team is different today?

    That game matters about as much.

  • MillaRed

    I have been reading all year long how those Lobos are Phi Slamma Jamma reincarnated!

  • Petefaggen

    Milla!! I agree with you. The WAC is weak overall. And I couldn’t name five WAC teams. (I still thought Boise State was in the league!!) I had to look in the standings!! I am more of a Big Sky Conference guy from my time in Bozeman, Montana (one of Coach Knight’s favorite stomping grounds; I met him out there). Lest, I digress. I think this game will be close at first, but IU will adjust and win big in the second half. I think Oladipo is a big key here as a ballhandler/scorer and of course possibly Abel off the bench. Who makes up for Jones’ minutes and is productive could be the difference to our normal scoring….. If our team defense is there, I think we win this one and the next one (no matter who it is), setting up the showdown…  I like how IU is the underdog out there. Good.

    Curious about your thoughts for other Big Ten teams. I think Michigan is very vulnerable to Ohio. And, perhaps this is crazy, but I think Montana has a very good chance against Wisconsin. I think one of these Big Ten teams is going down, not that I am rooting against the Big Ten, but I just am not all that impressed with these outfits……Michigan State,meanwhile, I think makes the Final Four. 

  • Oregoniu

    But their not playing the game in Bloomington, are they?

  • InTheMtns

    KJoe, if you read my post as one that was giving you a hard time, I apologize. I’ve just grown tired of reading the repetitive comments every day about what might have been if we hadn’t lost one particular game or another. I was reacting to that when I suggested that we applaude the team for where they are and move on. I know you’re not a fan that dumps on the team.  I agree with you that fans sharing viewpoints of success and expectations of a relevant team once again is a great thing. 

  • calbert40

    Gottlieb doesn’t know what he is talking about.  IU went 7-7 in Road / Neutral games this year.  I wouldn’t say that is “struggling.”  It isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either.  Florida St, everyone’s darling, went 9-7 in Road / Neutral games. 

    The fact is the every team outside of the #1 seeds usually has some struggles on the road.

  • cheeseman18

    Gottlieb has IU, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin ALL losing first round. He’s just an idiot who hates the Big 10. lol

  • DannerPerea

    Someone warn the gardeners.

  • DannerPerea

    I noticed the refs weren’t calling fouls on Aaron Craft for the same type of slap coming from behind the ball handler and reaching OVER his dribbling arm and slapping the ball away. He musta got away with 5 or 6 of those against MSU.

  • DannerPerea

    I have us beating UK again. But I’m the eternal optimist.

  • DannerPerea

    I have us beating UK again. But I’m the eternal optimist.

  • Kenneth234

    I cannot confirm or deny your testimony about their focus getting on the bus before the Northern Iowa game.  However, and correct me if I am wrong on this but, I remember that No. Iowa game being an extremely competitive game into the final minute, and we lost by about 5 due to No. Iowa making all their FT’s at the end.  Lets not forget that No. Iowa was also a high level mid major team last year, I am not sure but I think No. Iowa made the Sweet 16 last year. 

    Also it is important to consider that there is a little bit more distraction in a place like Las Vegas, than there is in Portland.  Also do not forget that the leadership on our current team was the same as that team that went to Vegas.  So they are a year more mature, and also probably learned a lot from that experience that they carry with them going into Portland.

  • HoosierGrad07

     Wow man, and you’re calling other people sensitive? haha, ok. Pretty sure the guy responding to your comment was basically agreeing with you but then expanding to say that even if IU had gotten the 3 seed, it would have been a tough matchup nonetheless. I’m sure there are other past comments you are referring to but in this case, i think a couple deep breathes would do you a lot of good. Just focus on the positives of IU basketball my friend!

  • HoosierGrad07

     Wow man, and you’re calling other people sensitive? haha, ok. Pretty sure the guy responding to your comment was basically agreeing with you but then expanding to say that even if IU had gotten the 3 seed, it would have been a tough matchup nonetheless. I’m sure there are other past comments you are referring to but in this case, i think a couple deep breathes would do you a lot of good. Just focus on the positives of IU basketball my friend!

  • InTheMtns

    No, but there is three hours difference between Bloomington and Portland. The game may start at 6:45 on your Portland clock but it is 9:45 on the player’s internal clocks. Bodies adjust to time zone changes but a three-hour change is difficult. Thankfully, the clocks just switched this week to Daylight Savings Time and that change hasn’t yet registered much on our internal clocks, so it will feel like only a two-hour adjustment, which is better than three. The coaches have strategies for dealing with it and the players are young so I doubt it causes a problem.

  • Kenneth234

    May mix in a little bit of a 2-3 zone, but I actually think it would be best to play man against them.  But the dynamics of how we play it is what is important.  I would give anyone with the ball a little space in the half court with the exception of Mckinnie.  I may look to pick up the man defense up at 3/4 court or at the 1/2 court line with a lot of pressure, but settle off of them when they are near the 3pt line to dare them to shoot the three while taking away driving lanes. 
    I would match up Sheehey or Oladipo on Mckinnie, and play him similiar to how they did Draymon Green, with a lot of fronts in the post, and try to deny the ball finding him in their sets.  Zeller and Pritchard need to get back down the court on every possession and start defending their bigs and fight for position from the FT line, maybe even try to draw an offensive foul as they try to get as close to the basket as possible.  Everyone else should be just trying to keep the ball in their PG’s hand by being in good position to take away passing lanes.  Make the PG shoot and hit a lot to beat us and against either Sheehey, Oladipo, or Abel at all times.  Watford must be able defend their small forward, he likes to drive the ball from the wings. 

  • Iuspike1321

    Grantland.com did a piece about these Hoosiers being a very similar team to the 2002 team. It was a well-written piece.

  • Guest

    Yes, you are extremely smart and we are very stupid

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    That is easily the worst idea I have ever heard.  We play a terrible zone.  More importantly, the one thing that this team does well is rebound.  We will not attempt to box them out in a zone or we will get bounced.  Against this poor shooting team, two things are important, play good defense without fouling and get the ball when they miss.

    To all the first time posters- and likely trolls below that have chimed in, the “experts” on ESPN and anyone that is advocating the use of the zone, it’s time for your wakeup call.  Back to reality.  NMSU is a 13 seed for a reason.  They like to run?  Best news I’ve heard in awhile.  We can run.  My prediction, IU runs them right out of the tournament.

    Hoosiers- 86
    Aggies-    71

    Wichita State?  Now that’s a game.

  • cooper

    Maybe you’ve said what I mean in a more eloquent way. You have it right, all that matters is the game on Thurs. Previous opponents mean nothing, previous wins mean nothing, conferences mean nothing.

    I take nothing from beating UK and OSU into this game just like I take nothing from losing to NU and Iowa. Like you said, if IU comes out strong, they win. If they don’t, they are in troubl

  • cooper

    Maybe you’ve said what I mean in a more eloquent way. You have it right, all that matters is the game on Thurs. Previous opponents mean nothing, previous wins mean nothing, conferences mean nothing.

    I take nothing from beating UK and OSU into this game just like I take nothing from losing to NU and Iowa. Like you said, if IU comes out strong, they win. If they don’t, they are in troubl

  • JWB91

    New Mexico was the preseason pick to win the Mountain West Conference, and come season’s end, finished tied for 1st in the MWC in the regular season standings and won the MWC tournament. The Lobos were receiving votes in the polls for pretty much the entire season — it wasn’t like they came out of nowhere to end up ranked at season’s end. And so what if the Aggies lost the subsequent game against UNM at home — you’re missing my point. My point is that this NMSU squad is CAPABLE of springing the upset against a good team away from their home court. This is the NCAA tournament — take ANY team lightly, and you’re going to find your postseason starting sooner than you expected. Do you think coach Cream is telling the team “Don’t worry about New Mexico State, they’re pushovers who have played cupcakes all season and haven’t won any significant games. All we have to do is show up and run our system against them, and we’re guaranteed a win. Let’s start focusing who we might play in the next round.”?

  • JWB91

     Marvin Menzies’ teams at NMSU have a history of playing their best basketball toward the end of the season, so looking at the results of early season games can be misleading. Make no mistake about it — I think IU is the better team, but if you look at the history of the NCAA tournament, upsets of #5 seeds by #13 seeds are not uncommon, and this NMSU squad is capable of continuing that tradition. If coach Cream and the IU team approach this game with the same attitude you’re conveying here, they’ll show up prepared and focused, and will likely win. On the other hand, if they take NMSU lightly (like many of the people posting here are doing), it could be an embarrassing night. I’m just sayin’.

  • Oregoniu

    Just for the record, IU played from behind most of the game, they were down by 9 at the half and by 10 at various times during that game. There was a come back at 59 all but IU lost by 6 points. IU fans expected IU to beat Northern Iowa.  IU diffintely was the sports book favorite by several points that day. I believe my only point was, that day, IMHO they weren’t ready to play for whatever reason. I’m sure their prepartion is  better now but there was Neb and lowa games this year where the team didn’t seem ready to play. I’m just hoping for a focused effort by all and forget whatever distractions that migh be present.

  • IUJeff

    Rebounding, rebounding. 

    IU was only -1 rebound to MSU combined in the 2 games we played them.

    IU was +5 in rebounds in the 2 losses to Wisky. 

    I haven’t checked the national stats on this but I would bet that those 2 teams are top 20 in the country in +/- rebounding vs: their opponents. 

    IU will be fine on the boards IMO.

  • IUJeff

    Rebounding, rebounding. 

    IU was only -1 rebound to MSU combined in the 2 games we played them.

    IU was +5 in rebounds in the 2 losses to Wisky. 

    I haven’t checked the national stats on this but I would bet that those 2 teams are top 20 in the country in +/- rebounding vs: their opponents. 

    IU will be fine on the boards IMO.

  • jayrig5

    I’ll say this, the reason I replied how I did (which wasn’t a heated reply at all, in my view) was because I didn’t realize you were replying to the comment way, way up the page.  Without that context, it just seems like you brought up the fact that IU could have improved their seeding out of nowhere, apropos of nothing.  You’re obviously correct in the context of IU shouldn’t be complaining about where they get sent to play.

  • calbert40

    Exactly.  Most people say that it takes one day to adjust for each hour you depart from your home timezone.  I’m glad that CTC took the team there a day earlier than the common practice.

  • calbert40

    I don’t think we should take them lightly.  I am a little bit annoyed by some (not necessarily you) acting like NMST is a beast that IU will be lucky to compete with, let alone defeat.

    ANY team is capable of springing an upset in the tournament.  That’s what makes it so great.  Obviously, IU needs to play well, or they will be in danger of losing.

    That said, NMST is not a mid-major power this year.  They are a good team, period.  If IU plays to their capabilities, we should win by double digits.

    IU has shown it is capable of beating ANYONE.

  • calbert40

    Yes, they are 6-1 in their last 7, and they killed some people, but look at who they played during that stretch.  Combined record of opponents in victories was 85-110. They barely beat Fresno St in OT, and they went 13-20 against their schedule during this stretch!

    WAC Tournament – neutral site
    La. Tech (18-16, 6-8) No postseason tournament. W 82-57
    Hawaii (16-16, 6-8) No postseason tournament. W 92-81
    Fresno St. (13-20, 3-11) No postseason tournament. W 65-49

    Regular season
    at Fresno St, W 83-78 OT
    at Nevada (26-6, 13-1) NIT, #5 seed. L 65-61
    SAN JOSE ST (9-22, 1-13) No postseason tournament. W 79-68
    HAWAII, W 115-73

    Also, NMST hasn’t played an NCAA tourney team since 12/28 vs New Mexico, and they got beat 89-69 at home.

    Look, they are a good ball club, but just remember who they have done these “amazing feats” against before we start crowning them.  We are better than they are.  We would win probably 8 or 9 out of 10 on a neutral site.  We just need to make sure this game is one of those 8 or 9.

  • Kenneth234

    The Nebraska game this year was an collapse after half time.  The Iowa game, I agree that they did not seem to come ready to play that game.  However, I also think that on that day, that Iowa team that showed up would have beat anyone in the Big Ten playing their B+  game by 10 pts.  They were just on fire and occasionally things like that and the Wisconsin game in the BT tourney happen to everyone. 

  • Kenneth234

    5th place is ahead of the middle of the pack.  In fact it was just two games off from the the 3 teams that tied for 1st place, who also got beat by teams in the lower part of the conference.  But I do agree with what you said about Gotlieb and Lunardi.

  • Kenneth234

    I think that it would be smart to give Oladipo or Sheehey the first crack at him, trying to front him in the post and deny the ball to him.  I would stick Watford on their small forward who is also a 6’5″ 230+lb bull that likes to drive the ball to start with.  He seems to me like their number 2 option on offense.  Perhaps if Oladipo and Sheehey are not sucessful keeping the ball out of Mckennies hands and he is hot, then maybe switch Watford on him to force him to shoot over him. 

  • Kenneth234

    I think that it would be smart to give Oladipo or Sheehey the first crack at him, trying to front him in the post and deny the ball to him.  I would stick Watford on their small forward who is also a 6’5″ 230+lb bull that likes to drive the ball to start with.  He seems to me like their number 2 option on offense.  Perhaps if Oladipo and Sheehey are not sucessful keeping the ball out of Mckennies hands and he is hot, then maybe switch Watford on him to force him to shoot over him. 

  • calbert40

    Everyone is 0-0 once the ball goes up, but by the middle of March, you are what your record says you are.  That is why they seed the tourney.  If your record and S.O.S didn’t matter, they would just do a blind draw and forget about seeding.

    NMST has a nice record, but hasn’t played any really good teams in almost three months outside of Nevada (#5 seed in NIT).  I understand that a team can only play who is on their schedule, but I don’t think NMST has played a team as talented as IU all season.  That doesn’t mean that they can’t beat us, but it means that IU will be more prepared to play a talented team than they will be. We have played a good team basically every night for the past three months (directional schools from NC notwithstanding!).

    Now, we just have to go out a prove that we are better.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    1 game out of 6th place ..12 teams…middle of the pack..it is what it is

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    1 game out of 6th place ..12 teams…middle of the pack..it is what it is