Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taking a glance at the 2010-2011 New Mexico State team

( a tip o' the hat to Charlie Rogers for letting PTW know of the correct NMSU logo)

The offensive emphasis will change for the Aggies this season, moving from the perimeter to much closer to the basket. No, Marvin Menzies's squad isn't eschewing the three-pointer -- plenty will still be taken -- it's because Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson have departed with their replacements in the 'to be tested' category but, more so, due to the return of frontliners Hamidu Rahman, Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater -- NMSU fans are hoping they replicate the trio of Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

There is also quite the mystery element surrounding this roster because a number of the players just haven't seen much action. Any eyeballing has been skimpy. Predictions abound regarding how the mystery guys will respectively turn out but it's generally guesses primed on speculation.

So here's our turn in the barrel:


Bandja Sy
6-foot-8 210 sophomore

We'll go with this 11-26-2009 report by the Draft Express folks on the young man until we know different: "Sy is a perimeter player with very nice size and length at 6-8 ... he is a streaky shooter with a very high arching jumper, capable of heating up quickly and burying a barrage of 3-pointers, but quite inconsistent at times as well. He moves off the ball well and is very good on the catch and shoot, but will also make nice cuts to the basket to present himself for an easy catch and finish ... Unlike your typical African prospect, Sy has an above average feel for the game ... Athletically, Sy is just average at best, lacking a significant amount of fluidity and possessing very little lateral quickness. His ball-handling skills are poor, and he seems to lose significant accuracy when forced to shoot off the dribble..."

Gordo Castillo 6-foot-5 197 senior

He's the best returning shooter but is a catch-and-shot type who is most proficient when paired with a drive-and-dish point. But defenses will be shading towards the paint against the Aggies this season which should leave opportunities for Castillo if efficient kickout passes from the frontcourters take place.

Makhtar Diop 6-foot-6 183 junior

A career reserve.

Christian 'CK' Kabongo 6-foot-4 freshman HS Canada

He has played some two guard and some point and look for him to do both for NMSU. His outside-shooting needs more consistency. Here is a 2009 ESPN mini-report on the young man: "Kabongo is an athletic, multi-talented wing with a high basketball IQ. Christian is fast and explosive with the basketball in the open court. His ability to change speeds and direction to elude defenders with various dribble moves allows him to be an effective scorer in the half court offense..."

Hernst Laroche 6-foot-1 170 junior

His 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio (125-60) probably won't be equaled minus the scoring ability of Young and Gibson  and because he'll need to look for his shot more but Laroche will be fine. Watch for him definitely being in double figure scoring this coming season.

Robert Lumpkins 6-foot-7 191

Ironically, he played less as a junior than he did while a sophomore despite starting five games this past season. That trend will continue.


Troy Gillenwater
6-foot-8 234 junior

Is he a small or a big frontcourter -- that's for the NBA types to decide and a decision to be made after this season. PTW forsees a 2010-2011 go-around in which Gillenwater leads the Aggies in scoring while battling McKines and Rahman for the team rebounding title. He's the most versatile scorer on the roster, proficient with his back to the basket and facing the hoop, even at some distance. Our gut tells us Gillenwater is headed to the pros after this season so maximizing this showcase opportunity is critical.

Wendell McKines 6-foot-6 224 senior

He's a terror on the boards inside but can also pop from treyland and sees the floor well enough to make the nifty pass (a 74-47 assist-to-turnover ratio). His 56% from the charity stripe should be better as he has the capability to do so.

Tshilidzi Nephawe 6-foot-10 freshman HS CA

He's not (yet) a scorer but is willing to bang inside the paint -- a skill not necessarily seen that often from the African players.  He has played organized basketball for just a few years so the potential to become something is there.

Abdoulaye N'doye 7-foot 215 sophomore

61 minutes of PT last year makes him a your guess is as good as ours for the coming season.

Hamidu Rahman 6-foot-11 245 junior

From a redshirt walk-on, he has developed into a solid WAC center who shot 55% last season while nabbing eight boards a game. He does need to upgrade at the foul line because 51% doesn't cut it.

Tyrone Watson 6-foot-5 225 sophomore

At 10 minutes a game last season, Watson was generally proficient during his playing time. We see him playing a bit more in 2010-2011.

B.J. West 6-foot-11 220 sophomore

Repeating, on the court for 54 minutes last season, not enough of him was witnessed to venture any realistic  assessment.

*** Also, there is 6-foot-8 Renaldo Dion -- whose eligibility was hung up with the NCAA but now has been cleared. He may or may not redshirt. The best description we came across of him is: "He is a capable mid-major player, not quite having the footwork or the explosiveness for a high major program."

As PTW sees the Aggie starting five:

* Hamidu Rahman
* Troy Gillenwater
* Wendell McKines
* Gordo Castillo
* Hernst Laroche

A major key to Aggie success in the coming season is the development of a bench -- the other three/four players in the rotation. Too many minutes logged by the starters will result in heavy legs and the typical foul trouble that pops up in games will require at least a solid pair of frontcourt and also backcourt reserves to step up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Menzies and co believe that "CK" will be in the league when its all said and done.