Friday, October 16, 2009
As some of you might already know, I'm a college basketball freak! Today (Oct, 16th) marks the official start of practice for my beloved New Mexico State Aggies, and the rest of the college basketball world. Now since I'm living in Sooner/Big 12 country, a lot of you are probably going "New Mexico State? Who the hell cares about them? Have they ever even won a game?" Yes... Yes we have. Lots of them actually. New Mexico State, along with WAC rivals Nevada and Utah St., is rich in men's basketball tradition with 17 NCAA Tournament appearances including 5 Sweet Sixteens. We were a top 25 program in the 90's in wins and in 1970 (I know thats a long a time ago) we went to the final four only to lose to UCLA. No we don't get the national exposure that some of the BCS conferences get, but we have always been competitive and talented. And bigger schools have always been reluctant to make a trip to Las Cruces fearing mid major defeat. This season will be no different as the Aggies are loaded with talent heading into an exciting 2009/10 campaign.
Jahmar Young is the reigning scoring champ in the conference and 2011 NBA draft prospect. Here's some footage of him at the Carmelo Anthony tournament this past summer.
Jahmar in his neighborhood in Baltimore:
Wendell McKines. I'll let the footage speak for itself.
Jonathon Gibson, Troy Gillenwater, Hernst LaRoache, and Gordo Castillo are all dangerous players as well. Look for the NMSU Aggies to make noise this season, and don't be surprised if you see them knock off some teams in March.
My WAC pre-season picks:
9. Hawaii- Just bad.
8. San Jose St- Just not very good.
7. Boise St- Good coach, good point guard, great football team.
6. Fresno St- Like every other year, a talented bunch of underachievers.
5. La Tech- Could finish ahead of Nevada. Great coach and two great players (Gibson and Rolle). Not much after that.
4. Nevada- Some folks won't appreciate my thoughts on this one. But Nevada, who has been the overall best team in the WAC the last several years, will be down. Returning leading scorer Luke Babbit and over-rated all-conference point guard Armon Johnson will lead this team to a disappointing season.
3. Idaho- This team scares me. A branch from Stew Morrill's coaching tree, Don Verlin and the Vandals are the truth. Scrappy players that include one the nation's best point guards Mac Hopson. This team will still be riding on the confidence gained from last years turnaround.
2. Utah St-It's tough for me to pick Utah St. to finish 2nd. Stew Morrill would be successful anywhere. Discipline players that buy into a great system of success. One of the best fan bases in the country. Wouldn't be surprised to see them win another conference title.
1. New Mexico St
-I'm not picking the Aggies to win the conference based on personal bias. I didn't pick them to win the last two years. But this team has too much talent and confidence even with early season academic problems. I think this year, and next, will be huge for this team. Potential Cinderella in March.
All WAC- Mac Hopson, Magnum Rolle, Paul George, Jared Quayle.
2nd team- Jonathon Gibson, Kyle Gibson, Troy Gillenwater, Tai Wesley, Rodrick Flemings
It's hard to leave out Armon Johnson, Wendell McKines, Sylvester Seay, Adrian Oliver and Tyler Newbold but somebody has to be left out. I see Jonathon Gibson having a monster senior year.
If anyone has any issues with my words here, please comment. It's all in fun. The WAC should be a great conference this year. I look forward to watching on ESPN Full Court.
Posted by 8bit Cynics at 6:10 PM