NM State Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


New Mexico State Aggies

WAC (28-5, 11-3)

By their standards, New Mexico State had a pretty tough season in WAC play. In a four game stretch in February, the Aggies lost three conference games and ended up in second place behind CSU Bakersfield for the conference’s regular season title. But NMSU was ready to get their revenge against the Roadrunners, who took the WAC’s automatic bid in 2016. This time around New Mexico State got the best of CSU Bakersfield in this year’s conference tournament.
Big Wins: 12/10 New Mexico (84-71), 12/17 at Arizona State (81-70), 1/14 CSU Bakersfield (63-58)
Bad Losses: 2/9 at CSU Bakersfield (53-72), 2/11 at Grand Canyon (71-83), 2/23 Utah Valley (72-84)
Coach: Paul Weir
Why They Can Surprise:
The Aggies are not quite as big as they have been in recent years, but this is still a team that dominates the glass and plays very tough defense. Eli Chuha, a 6-7 sophomore, leads the team with 9.0 rebounds per game and super sub Jemerrio Jones adds 8.5 per game. Chuha has also developed into a very efficient interior scorer and makes nearly 61 percent of his shots. Jones will do plenty of scoring in the paint too, but he uses his 6-5 frame to attack the basket. At 6-10 and 218 pounds, Johnathon Wilkins looks more like a traditional big man, but he can stretch the defense with his outside shooting. Senior guard Ian Baker helps out in every aspect of the game. He aids the rebounders and leads the team with 16.6 points and 4.1 assists per game. Baker could stand to be more consistent with his outside shot, but he will do a lot of scoring whether his shots from long range are falling or not.
Why They Can Disappoint:
New Mexico can have a difficult time scoring on occasion. The Aggies are not a group that will force a lot of turnovers that lead to easy buckets the other way. First year head coach Paul Weir wants his team to get up and down the floor, but they need to stay under control and take smart shots. And Baker and Braxton Huggins need to knock down their three-pointers in order for Chuha to get room in the paint and Jones to get room to attack the basket.
Probable Starters:
Ian Baker, Senior, Guard, 16.6 ppg, 4.1 apg, 4.3 rpg
Braxton Huggins, Junior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 1.3 apg
Matt Taylor, Junior, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 1.7 apg
Eli Chuha, Sophomore, Forward, 12.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg
Johnathon Wilkins, Junior, Forward, 5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Key Role Players:
Jemerrio Jones, Junior, Forward, 9.9 ppg, 2.9 apg, 8.5 rpg
Chancellor Ellis, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Jermaine Haley, Freshman, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.7 (42nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.2 (75, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (65, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.0 (81, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (162, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (246, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.4 (127, 3)
Rebound Margin: 7.2 (14, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.1 (72, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (215, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Kansas
2014    NCAA Round of 64 loss to San Diego State
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Saint Louis
2012    NCAA Round of 64 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 3/5