Sunday, March 14, 2010

Capable of is different from...

Capable of is, of course, different from actually winning against another team but we'll type it here: New Mexico State can beat Michigan State.

Yes, Tom Izzo's bunch will be uber-physical and also playing defense with an intensity unseen in the WAC but this is not a Spartan squad loaded with players primed for NBA fame and riches. It's also a team that is not particularly efficient offensively. Plus, the MSU-ers committed more turnovers than they created this season.

However, Marvin Menzies' crew will not be able to afford any lapses that allow even a min-scoring run. The Aggie starters will each need to be 'on' his game, play major minutes and produce their typical output. What is particularly worrisome is that the Spartans out-boarded opponents by nine a game this season.

As for Texas A + M and Utah State, it's another Aggie - Aggie matchup and we just don't know enough about the Texans. Hey, maybe Coach Marl Turgeon will be distracted by the talk of him heading to Oregon to replace Ernie Kent. What actually jumps out at us the most is that the Lone Star Aggies earned 211 more free throw attempts than the collective opponents, 68 more in conference action. On the other hand, they shot just .296% in three-point attempts in Big 12 play.

TAM-er Donald Sloan is a big sized (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) guard who can score (18.2 ppg.) and pass. He was just named as a member of the All-Big 12 First Team. His backcourt teammate, Derrick Roland is a tremendous defender and checks in at 6-foot-4, 190. Continuing the trend, Bryan Davis (all 6-foot-9, 250 of him) can score, rebound and block shots (56 on the season). Turgeon's guys just battled Kansas in the league tourney but lost 79-66.

There is always more than one key but one jumps out: can the WAC Aggies perform with the needed (usual?) offensive efficiency against those from Big 12?

Oh yes, here's another of our silly suggestions: how about New Mexico State and Utah State play off-the-grid rubber match a day or so before the Big Dance begins since both WAC entries will be in Spokane getting ready? Yes, we're excluding the January second northern Aggie loss to the southern Aggies and are thinking of the recent two games between NMSU and USU that produced a win for each. We're s-u-r-e Stew Morrill and Marvin Menzies would be game.

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