New Mexico State Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

New Mexico State Aggies

WAC (28-5, 12-2)


New Mexico State has had a lot of coaching turnover lately, but they still end up near the top of the WAC standings no matter who is leading the way. Coach Chris Jans took over after the brief reign of Paul Weir and immediately made an impact on the program with the addition of graduate transfer Zach Lofton. Lofton quickly became the leader of this team on the floor and led the Aggies to a conference title.
Big Wins: 12/9 at New Mexico (65-62), 12/22 vs Davidson (69-68), 12/23 vs Miami FL (63-54)
Bad Losses: 12/6 San Diego (60-65), 2/15 at Utah Valley (79-86), 2/17 at Seattle (63-73)
Coach: Chris Jans
Why They Can Surprise:
As has been the case in the recent past, this is not a New Mexico State that is intimidating with their size. But that does not mean they lack frontcourt options and are not one of the best rebounding teams in the country. There just are not multiple seven-footers on the roster. Johnathon Wilkins is 6-10 though and averages 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds. It is the play of Jemerrio Jones though that has kept the Aggies effective on the glass. Jones is only 6-5, but the 200 pound senior averages an impressive 13.1 rebounds per game. He also adds 11.3 points, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.
Why They Can Disappoint:
New Mexico State will win games with their defense, but they need to make some shots too. When in the paint, New Mexico State shoots well with players like Eli Chuha joining Jones and Wilkins as efficient interior scoring threats. However, at the charity stripe or beyond the arc, this is a bad shooting team. Lofton will take plenty of three-pointers and score a ton of points on his own, but he needs help from backcourt mates Sidy N’Dir and AJ Harris. If those two are not at least a threat to shoot the ball effectively, the opposition will
Probable Starters:
AJ Harris, Sophomore, Guard, 9.9 ppg, 2.8 apg
Sidy N’Dir, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Zach Lofton, Senior, Guard, 19.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Jemerrio Jones, Senior, Forward, 11.3 ppg, 13.1 rpg
Johnathon Wilkins, Senior, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Key Role Players:
Eli Chuha, Junior, Forward, 8.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Johnny McCants, Freshman, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Keyon Jones, Junior, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Shunn Buchanan, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.0 (147th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.2 (8, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (102, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.2 (5, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (214, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (323, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.6 (345, 8)
Rebound Margin: 8.6 (6, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (120, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (150, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Baylor
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 3/4