#82 NM State Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

New Mexico State Aggies
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #82
Conference Rank: #1 WAC
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Despite another coaching change, New Mexico State once again went to the NCAA Tournament. This program has dominated the WAC and has now gone to the NCAA Tournament six times in the last seven seasons. Coach Chris Jans took over last year and led the Aggies to another first place finish in the conference and a 28 win campaign. NM State lost to Clemson 79-68 in the first round, but they hope to get another crack at pulling off an upset in 2019.
2017-18 Record: 28-6, 12-2
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Chris Jans
Coach Record: 28-6 at NM State, 49-18 overall
Key Departed Players:
Zach Lofton, Guard, 20.1 ppg
Jemerrio Jones, Forward, 11.0 ppg
Sidy N’Dir, Guard, 7.8 ppg
Johnathon Wilkins, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
AJ Harris, Junior, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Eli Chuha, Senior, Forward, 8.3 ppg
Keyon Jones, Senior, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Johnny McCants, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Shunn Buchanan, Junior, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Ivan Aurrecoechea, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
C.J. Bobbitt, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Denver
Robert Brown, RS Freshman, Forward
Terrell Brown, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Clayton Henry, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Berrick JeanLouis, Freshman, Forward
William McNair, Freshman, Forward
Jabari Rice, RS Freshman, Guard
Mohamed Thiam, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Addison Wallace, Freshman, Guard
JoJo Zamora, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Utah
AJ Harris will be the new star of the team after averaging 9.4 points and 2.9 assists last season. The point guard is ready to be a leader on this team and it will also be his job to get the rest of the team involved. And there are a lot of teammates to get involved. Eli Chuha, Keyon Jones, Johnny McCants and Shunn Buchanan were all key players off the bench last season. Chuha, a senior forward, averaged 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds and has the potential to develop into a big time scoring threat. The rest of the depth for this team comes from a huge group of newcomers. Ivan Aurrecoechea and Mohamed Thiam will likely form the starting frontcourt. Both come from the junior college ranks and have a ton of potential. With more transfers like C.J. Bobbitt, Terrell Brown, Clayton Henry and JoJo Zamora coming into the program, Coach Jans has done an amazing job of restocking his roster. This is not just a team that can win the WAC; this is a team that can do some damage in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (120th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.2 (13, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.8 (120, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.8 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.6 (175, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.4 (264, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.3 (342, 8)
Rebound Margin: 8.8 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (135, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (152, 1)