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:

  • Jmnoe1988

     A 3-2 zone is used to defend teams with excellent shooters and sub-par post players. If you want a team to chuck up 3’s, you would use a “packed-in” 2-3 zone.

  • MillaRed

    Get your team in a tournament and regardless of who you play tell his son he is going to lose. After you pull out the W say, “What has daddy learned???”

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Why are IU fans so mad at the “talking heads” who pick against the Hoosiers? IU has had some big wins but they have been at home in front of 17k wild fans and have laid some eggs (Neb & Minn)and finished middle of the pack in B1G. Top teams beat the teams they are suppossed to beat and when they can’t it leaves doubt. The Gotliebs and Lunardi go with the hot teams and are on and off banwagons so much it’s crazy. Let’s just root our boys on to a win..

  • WhatsUpKnight

    very good point, i just worry that playing on the west coast might be somewhat of an equalizer. then again, our guys are tough and i truly believe CTC’s going to have them dialed in thursday night

  • jayrig5

    Agreed.  Now, if he was just trolling for fun, then, bravo to him, and it was a master example of the craft.  

    But Zeller should be the best player on the court; looking at NMSU’s schedule, I highly doubt they’ve faced a big all season with the skill/athleticism Zeller possesses.

  • Bryan

    He publishes his predictions on his blog, so they are not under the pay wall (
    http://kenpom.com/blog/).

    From the looks of it, he thinks our region is the weakest of the four (in terms of how difficult it will be for the 1 seed to get out of it).

    According to him, we’re about a 77% chance of winning game one, and a 41% chance of getting to the sweet 16.  Wichita has a 46% chance of doing so (which is not the h2h numbers against IU, but rather the odds of winning 2 tournament games).

    So, good odds of winning game 1, and close to a toss-up for game 2.  Pomeroy’s numbers, of course, do not factor in injuries, so IU’s stats are based on the team they have been all season, and not the one currently missing Verdell Jones.

  • I’ve seen them play and if they were in the Big 10 they’d finish 8th at best.  This isnt’ the University of New Mexico. Their SOS is not good and their shooting percentages will be less against us.   I can’t believe the gloom and doom I’ve been reading.    Hey Brooster (see below) be more of a Rooster and an IU Booster.  We beat many teams better than NMSU this year. As for Crean he HAS to say good things about them-its basketball politics. Do you expect him to say NMSU is mediocre and McKines wouldn’t be a starter for most BIg Ten teams–?

  • Dfitz

     I’m going to have to adjust mine too.

  • hoosierbrews

    I think Vic was tying too hard! Maybe because VJ3 was out. I think coach should have pulled him out early for Wisc game & let him settle down then i think we wqould have won that game. at one time he was 2 for 12, that’s not gonna make it.

  • Jmfriedman

    Holy Debbie Downer……. I am not really afraid of a press– go ahead and spread the court- that will leave open 3’s and Big Handsome one on one in space…. Maybe that is why teams don’t press us much…. you think?

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Don’t forget these are 20yr old college students.. 10pm games should be a non-factor.These guys are at Cook Hall getting shots up at all hours of the night/morning.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Don’t forget these are 20yr old college students.. 10pm games should be a non-factor.These guys are at Cook Hall getting shots up at all hours of the night/morning.

  • Emcee7teen

    NMSU has 3 seniors who helped take Michigan State to the final seconds in the NCAA tournament. NMSU has more tourney experience the Indiana. They might not have huge wins but they are HUGE, physical, and tough. Not a good match-up for Indiana.

  • Kelin Blab

    But is this team better than MSU, KY, OSU? Surely IU can handle it.

  • calbert40

     No doubt.  Here is their non-conference “meat grinder” schedule

    at No. Colorado, at New Mexico, UTEP, Central Michigan, So. Mississippi, San Francisco, at UTEP, West New Mexico, Southern, McNeese St, New Mexico, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, at Cal St. Bakersfield.

    Then the only tough team in their conference was Nevada, and they couldn’t even get an at-large after choking in the WAC tourney.

    NMST’s RPI is 64 and their SOS was 116.  There are only 12 teams with lower RPIs in the NCAA, and they are all from one-bid conferences.

    They only played 4 games against teams with an RPI 100 and went 23-2.

    It really isn’t a stretch to say IU could have gone undefeated or close to it against their schedule.  Obviously, we will have to play well to beat them, but if we play this team on a neutral court 10 times, I think IU wins 9 times.

  • Kelin Blab

    With the make up of this team similar to an OSU or Minny of last year with a big power forward who works alot inside, IU will be fine. IU is not a good team to press and give open looks on the wings to matt ‘I figured 3 is more than 2’ roth. Would not be surprised IU plays some zone to mix things up. Feel good about this game. A hungry underdog IU are always tough….just ask NC State, KY, OSU, and MSU.

  • Julian812

    Have you seen seen NMSU SOS? It is 116 ! Their RPI is 63 ! They are racking up rebounds and stats against inferior talent. Hawaii beat them and outrebounded them that game too. 41-38

  • Kaponya13

    This game will be like playing a bigger version of Iowa minus the 3 point shooting prowess… This is not only a team IU could score 100 against but one that could very well approach the century mark against Indiana .. IU actually does well against the press and with sound ball handling – the Aggies known weakness of overplaying on the perimeter could give Oladipo ,Watford and Zeller a lot of drives to the basket..IF anyone saw Southern Miss beat them then there you have the formula… I am not certain how well they defend the 3 , but I am guessing the looks will be there at some point if the Hoosiers can get these guys off of their feet and draw fouls with head fakes …IU needs to knock 3’s down early and often to jump ahead so NMSU can shoot itself out of the game trying to come back..

  • Kaponya13

    This game will be like playing a bigger version of Iowa minus the 3 point shooting prowess… This is not only a team IU could score 100 against but one that could very well approach the century mark against Indiana .. IU actually does well against the press and with sound ball handling – the Aggies known weakness of overplaying on the perimeter could give Oladipo ,Watford and Zeller a lot of drives to the basket..IF anyone saw Southern Miss beat them then there you have the formula… I am not certain how well they defend the 3 , but I am guessing the looks will be there at some point if the Hoosiers can get these guys off of their feet and draw fouls with head fakes …IU needs to knock 3’s down early and often to jump ahead so NMSU can shoot itself out of the game trying to come back..

  • cpmichae

    Our old friend Malik Story and his University of Nevada teammates beat NM St. twice. He played pretty solid games both times.

  • Kaponya13

    NMSU has the big bodies to wear IU’s skinnies down and on D NMS boys have HOPS  …This team is multi-dimensional inside the 2 point line ..Remember all of the pull up jumpers that Hollins from Minny hit in the home loss to them ?? Think an entire team that will do this and throw in a lot of alley -oops and you have New Mexico State on offense …If that is not a good comparison then imagine playing a team with 2 Remys , 2 Sheeheys and 2 Oladipos and 4 guys over 6-9 ..   2 of those bigs are heavier than anything IU has inside ..

  • iufan4life10

     KenPom has IU 82-73 (78%)

  • SCHoosier

    The one espn know it all picked NMS over IU because” Hoosiers don’t play well on the road..and the fact that State likes to press…IU..with Jones out can’t handle it etc.” Does anybody know if this is a pressing team…coach being a Pitino disciple…that could be. I worry about our ball handling with Hulls out..altho playing in transition would be great for IU..if they don’t slap down on defense and do other dumb defensive things that will get the bad  guys on the line. Our defense will be attacked at all times..need to be rotating some bodies in and out. These guys are quick off their feet given their rebounding numbers..plenty to be concerned about here. If the Assembly Hall team shows up..not to worry.

  • SCHoosier

    the Z will have to be better fed than he was against WIS…and show up on the boards big time

  • SCHoosier

    the Z will have to be better fed than he was against WIS…and show up on the boards big time

  • Eastwood88_2

    Ok, MillaRed with his third straight comment…who have these guys played.  CBS sportsline has IU winning across the board.  Espn hates us for some reason.  Hater be hatin Dakich says IU is on easy street in the first game.

    Milla I am on board with you.  Everything I am reading is telling me the same thing.  We must play hard and get over the nerves and we will be fine. 

    When you are postive it generally is a good sign.

  • cheeseman18

    Ok, this is a stat that i haven’t seen mentioned yet, that i think gives us a huge advantage. New Mexico is VERY turnover prone. They have 516 turnovers on the season, while we have 421. They actually rank 11th in the nation in turnovers. Honestly, i think IU doesn’t take care of the ball that well, but compared to these guys, we’re  Wisconsin-like. lol  Also, remember that these TO numbers they have put up are against sub-par competition, not against Big Ten competition like us. i think we can have a great advantage because of this and can turn those turnovers into quick points. I’m sure this will still be a tough game, but we hold a clear advantage.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Second this, why all the doubt?  Just win!

  • cpmichae

    They have four guys who average more than 2.0 TO’s a game.

  • Holidaymatt

    Ken Pom has NM St. at 63rd.  IU at 11th, and Witichta St. at 10th.

  • OKC_Hoosier

    I have no problem being confident, but it seems more fun to pick at the only impressive stats they have going for them.  I am on your side when you say that the teams in the WAC are not as good as the Big Ten teams which would lead to these statistics.  However, these threads would be pretty short if we only said what most of us feel: this should be a win for the Hoosiers.

    I’ll pose this question a better way: Does the big handsome record more charges or fouls?

  • OKC_Hoosier

    I have no problem being confident, but it seems more fun to pick at the only impressive stats they have going for them.  I am on your side when you say that the teams in the WAC are not as good as the Big Ten teams which would lead to these statistics.  However, these threads would be pretty short if we only said what most of us feel: this should be a win for the Hoosiers.

    I’ll pose this question a better way: Does the big handsome record more charges or fouls?

  • Stclairt

    What if they are better than Minnesota? Those turkeys won at Assembly Hall. IU can be either of 2 teams; if the one that beat MSU shows up, NMSU will find out what a team that won a lot in the Big Ten is all about. If the one that lost to Wisconsin in the tourney shows up, it will be a long night for the good guys.

  • Ryan

    This New Mexico State team scares the crap out of me. I know that they come from a weak conference, but they were destroying teams down the stretch – literally limb from limb. Also, they’re not your “daddy’s little mid-major” team with rebounding and free throw attempts like that. Eeeee…

  • McKines is going to be a tough matchup for Olidipo.  He is much more physical, rather than a finesse player.  I think we will probably stick Watford on him.  We will be fine against New Mexico State.  For the people making a big deal out of the time and location of IU’s first game… All of our players played AAU ball, and had success all over the nation… plus, they are college kids who can play all night.  Not worried about the location nor time of the game. The only thing I am concerned about is whether or not we will match NMS’s intensity and toughness and play help side defense.  Sometimes, I feel like Cody plays soft for a 7 footer.  Granted, he is a freshman, and he will learn to be stronger in the post.  And like other posters said, we will need good games from both Sheehey and Victor.  Also, as everyone knows our defense is suspect and may get exploited if Crean doesn’t have the team focused… Overall, I am sure we will make it to the round of 32, and confident in our ability to beat either VCU or Wichita state to make it to the Sweet 16… we just need to make sure we play hard, and make open shots, because they’ll be there.

  • MillaRed

    It works both ways. These guys are also in uncharted territory. We feel your stress too WUK. But the better, B1G experienced team will prevail.

  • Naked Samurai

    If true, and I don’t doubt it is, this has to be one of the most frankly ridiculous thing coming out of the mouth of a sports analyst I’ve ever heard of.

  • jayrig5

    And then we could have played Belmont, or Iona.  Or even South Dakota State.  Every game is tough anymore.  Now, it would have helped more should IU advance to the 2nd round, but even so.  Have to beat teams sometime.  I don’t think NMSU is a bad team, but I do think IU is much more tested.

  • jayrig5

    And then we could have played Belmont, or Iona.  Or even South Dakota State.  Every game is tough anymore.  Now, it would have helped more should IU advance to the 2nd round, but even so.  Have to beat teams sometime.  I don’t think NMSU is a bad team, but I do think IU is much more tested.

  • InTheMtns

    And will you come back on Friday morning to tell us that you misjudged our team’s abilities and congratulate the Hoosiers on a well-earned victory?

  • InTheMtns

    Yes, and if we’d bought Apple stock when it was still a start-up company in someone’s garage, we’d be rich now. Where is second-guessing going to get us now? Let’s stop worrying about what might have been and applaude these guys for where they are.

  • iulineman

    man I wish I’d have done that

  • Walt

    Would rather play Kentucky than Florida St. Watched a bit of the NC Fla St. game and couln’t believe the beating/hacking Fla St. did to NC. The refs let them play. Never seen NMSt. play or Wichita, but I think like NC, IU would have a tough time with that kind of bruising up. However, it was not as bad as Detroit Public Schools clothes lining etc. When IU encounters that type of game, they must play through it.  Go Hoosiers.

  • Hello. I am The Earthly and Visionary Spirit of Tijan Jobe’s Voice. Call me Spirit of Tijan for short. I have returned from a voyage across many chasms and starbursts, but truly I never left. I protect The Banners. All will be well, Hoosier fans. Follow me on twitter and be blessed. Many apologies for self-promoting. Donate to Inside The Hall and you will be blessed even more.  

    And just for earthly and spiritual fun. IU 87 NMS 74

  • Ghost_of_Billy_Mays

     Yea, Gottlieb said that…the problem is, it isn’t an away game. The game is played at neutral site. I’m not saying this game won’t be tough…it will obviously come down to defense and rebounding. But this team can’t be any tougher than Michigan St. who IU played well against (for 30min at Mich. St. and at home) and I would think IU will have a similar game plan to Mich. St.

    I keep hearing everyone saying that we lost VJIII and that is why we will lose. Look obviously these “experts” do not know very much about IU and how they’ve played recently. This team is obviously more than VJIII, they act like he’s been averaging 17pts 5 rebs, 5 assists. a game. VJIII will still be able to apply his leadership from the bench and I believe IU will rally around that.

    IU played well against Wisconsin and lost because of some guy careering it. That’s why Mich. St. handled Wisconsin pretty easily the next game.

  • 888

    I think we can throw out all the numbers. Its simple. If IU shows up hungry and ready to play we win. We show up thinking the name on the jersey will scare them into submission then were in for a tough one. Its up to our guys whos gonna win this one.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    And we just played a tough team to a tough finish on a neutral court and demolished a team just like this one on a neutral court in PSU! 

    I don’t have the “neutral court” worries that quite a few people seem to have!

    Could be wrong but I don’t I am.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    “Layup” will have a big game!

  • Derek

    You’re insane 1-6 vs top 100 teams. Yeah they’re athletic but they can’t shoot, at all. We play better defense then them( first time in a long time). I bet we beat them by 15 and Zeller make Mckines or whatever him name is look like trash

  • IUeconAlum

    IU is favored by 6 points already. Put Oladipo on McKines and just play IU b-ball. These guys have played nobody and lost 9 games. GO HOOSIERS!