New Mexico State Men's Basketball 2016 NIT Tournament Capsule

New Mexico State Aggies
WAC (23-10, 13-1)
Despite a very young team, Coach Marvin Menzies has once again dominated the WAC with his New Mexico State side. The Aggies did not get many big nonconference wins and they tried to toughen up their late schedule with a game at Wichita State in mid-February, but all that game did was reminded NMSU that the WAC is pretty bad and being the best team in a bad conference does not help you against a team like Wichita State. And the story has pretty much been the same for the Aggies over the last decade. They have gone to the postseason a lot, but have not won a postseason contest since a single NIT win in 1995.
Big Wins: 12/21 Oral Roberts (76-61), 1/23 at CSU Bakersfield (68-67), 2/4 Grand Canyon (70-50)
Bad Losses: 11/15 New Mexico (74-83), 11/28 at Air Force (64-66), 12/13 Wyoming (59-62)
Coach: Marvin Menzies
Why They Can Surprise:
New Mexico State never lacks size. This year it is sophomore Pascal Siakam who is leading the charge. The 6-9, 230 pound forward is a massive force on both ends of the floor. He leads the team with 20.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He is the reason the Aggies remain one of the better teams in the country on the glass in the shot blocking department. But Siakam’s ability to score and score efficiently has really boosted this Aggies offense. The offense must work through the big man. The offense can work through fellow sophomore forward Johnathon Wilkins too. He is not nearly as prolific as Siakam, but Wilkins has turned into a quality running mate for Siakam in the frontcourt. The frontcourt also has 7-3 center Tanveer Bhullar. He is not making the same impact as his brother did at NMSU, but he is averaging 5.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game and allows Coach Marvin Menzies to always play big and always have that size and toughness on the floor that this team needs to stay competitive in the postseason.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Ian Baker does absolutely everything for the backcourt. He is the only upperclassmen in the regular rotation so his leadership is a must. But he is also the team’s best passer, best perimeter scorer and only legitimate threat to connect on a three-pointer. Baker and Siakam provide a great inside-outside threat, but it seems like everybody else is just a roleplayer. Matt Taylor and Jalyn Pennie are big guards who can help out on the glass and attack the basket, but neither put up impressive numbers or are particularly consistent. Fellow sophomore Braxton Huggins and freshmen Rashawn Browne and Sidy Ndir are the options. Huggins can provide an offensive spark off of the bench on occasion when his outside shot happens to be falling and the freshmen are more about the future than now. Somebody has to be an offensive threat besides Siakam and Baker or the offense is going to struggle in March and New Mexico State will still be looking for their first postseason win in over two decades.
Probable Starters:
Ian Baker, Junior, Guard, 13.8 ppg, 3.6 apg, 4.6 rpg
Matt Taylor, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 2.6 apg
Jalyn Pennie, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 1.2 apg, 4.2 rpg
Pascal Siakam, Sophomore, Forward, 20.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg
Johnathon Wilkins, Sophomore, Forward, 6.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Key Roleplayers:
Tanveer Bhullar, Sophomore, Center, 5.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Rashawn Browne, Freshman, Guard, 2.3 ppg, 1.1 apg
Braxton Huggins, Sophomore, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Sidy Ndir, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (199th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.4 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (47, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.7 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (328, 7)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.7 (260, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.8 (251, 3)
Rebound Margin:  10.1 (5, 1)
Assists Per Game:  14.6 (93, 3)
Turnovers Per Game:  13.9 (288, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round loss to Kansas
2014    NCAA Second Round loss to San Diego State
2013    NCAA Second Round loss to Saint Louis
2012    NCAA Second Round loss to Indiana
2010    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Michigan State
2007    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Texas
2000    NIT      First round loss to Arizona State
1999    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Kentucky
1995    NIT      First round win over Colorado
1995    NIT      Second round win over UTEP
1995    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Virginia Tech
*all team stats through 3/6