#93 New Mexico State Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

New Mexico State Aggies
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #93
Conference Rank: #1 WAC
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New Mexico State has been penciled in as WAC champions every year for quite some time now. They have reached seven of the last eight NCAA Tournaments. They still went to the NIT that season and won the conference regular season title. Since Coach Chris Jans took over the program, the Aggies have gone 42-3 in conference play. NMSU will have to deal with the loss of four starters, but this is still the team to beat in the WAC.
2019-20 Record: 25-6, 16-0
Coach: Chris Jans
Coach Record: 82-17 at NM State, 103-29 overall
Key Departed Players:
Trevelin Queen, Guard, 13.2 ppg
Jabari Rice, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Ivan Aurrecoechea, Forward, 11.4 ppg
Terrell Brown, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Shawn Williams, Guard, 5.1 ppg
C.J. Bobbitt, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Shunn Buchanan, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Johnny McCants, Senior, Forward, 9.3 ppg
Evan Gilyard II, Senior, Guard, 7.5 ppg
Tennessee Owens, Junior, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Bryce Rewalt, Senior, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Will McNair, Sophomore, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Clayton Henry, Senior, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players:
Mayan Kiir, Junior, Forward, Transfer from USF
Marcus Watson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Oklahoma State
Donnie Tillman, Senior, Forward, Transfer from UNLV
CJ Roberts, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Kalen Williams, Sophomore, Guard, JC Transfer
Wilfried Likayi, Senior, Forward, JC Transfer
Rashaun Agee, RS Freshman, Forward
Jacob Tryon, Senior, Center, Transfer from Portland
Jason King, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Johnny McCants is the lone returning starter. The 6-7 senior tallied 9.3 points and a team high 6.2 rebounds and has the ability to carry the team on both sides of the floor. McCants can spread the floor with his outside shooting ability and Evan Gilyard can shoot the ball as well. The senior added 7.5 points and 2.8 assists. Those two will be the senior leaders on the team, but New Mexico State welcomes in eight transfers, including three from the Division I ranks. Marcus Watson comes from Oklahoma State where he spent his freshman campaign suspended. The former top 50 recruit has the talent to make a big impact with his new team. Donnie Tillman has plenty of experience after spending three seasons at UNLV. Last year he averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists with the Runnin’ Rebels. Jacob Tryon may be lesser known to New Mexico State fans, but the transfer from Portland is a big, experienced senior center who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting. Those experienced Division I players will provide a talented group to build around. If the junior college transfers can at least provide some quality depth, not only will New Mexico State get back to the NCAA Tournament, but they could be a very dangerous team once there as well.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.4 (166th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.7 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.5 (83, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (144, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (31, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.5 (69, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.7 (143, 4)
Rebound Margin: 8.0 (7, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (71, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (178, 5)