New Mexico State Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

New Mexico State Aggies
WAC (26-9, 12-4)


Despite the weakness of the WAC, New Mexico State had a pretty good season. Their non-conference losses came against Western Michigan, New Mexico State, Gonzaga, Arizona and Colorado State. The first four of those are NCAA Tournament teams. The Aggies even beat New Mexico on the road and had a couple of other decent wins. In WAC play they only lost four road games. That may not equate too much success in the NCAA Tournament, but this is a program that has plenty of tournament experience.

Big Wins: 11/15 UTEP (86-73), 11/23 at UTEP (77-68), 12/17 at New Mexico (67-61)
Bad Losses: 1/16 at Chicago State (81-86), 1/18 at UMKC (66-68), 2/6 at Idaho (67-73)
Coach: Marvin Menzies (7 seasons at New Mexico State)

Why They Can Surprise:
The big New Mexico State frontcourt can be problematic for opponents on both ends of the floor. Sim Bhullar is an imposing figure in the paint at 7-5 and 360 pounds. Tshilidzi Nephawe is 6-10 and 268 pounds. Not many teams start two players with more size that that. Both are double digit scorers and very effective rebounders. And, perhaps even more importantly, they combine for about five blocks per game. Only a couple teams in the country have totaled more blocked shots than the Aggies. Even reserve Renaldo Dixon can come in for 20 to 25 minutes per game without much of a drop in production on either end. But there are scorers on the perimeter too. Daniel Mullings will not shoot from outside too often, but he can score in bunches in the paint and at the charity stripe.

Why They Can Disappoint:
NMSU may be efficient in the shooting department from the floor, but they do not connect on many three-pointers. For a team that gets open looks while the opposition collapses in the paint, it would be nice to have a couple prolific outside shooters. Kevin Aronis is usually the only player who can take advantage of that. DK Eldridge takes about one-third of his shots from beyond the arc and is certainly capable of getting hot from outside, but he does a big chunk of his scoring from in the paint.

Probable Starters:
DK Eldridge, Junior, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 2.0 apg, 4.6 rpg
Kevin Aronis, Senior, Guard, 7.5 ppg
Daniel Mullings, Junior, Guard, 16.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 4.9 rpg
Tshilidzi Nephawe, Junior, Center, 11.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Sim Bhullar, Sophomore, Center, 10.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.4 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Ian Baker, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Renaldo Dixon, Senior, Forward, 8.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Travon Landry, Freshman, Guard, 2.1 ppg
K.C. Ross-Miller, Junior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 3.5 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.7 (33rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (105, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.8 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (34, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (248, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (74, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.1 (234, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (39, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (132, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (227, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
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 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules