Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Idaho hosts NM State Saturday|
Game 15: Idaho (6-8, 2-2) vs. New Mexico State (9-8, 3-2)
When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 (7:05 p.m. PT)
Where: Moscow, Idaho (Cowan Spectrum)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Online Video: VandalXtra
Live Stats: www.GoVandals.com
A Look at the Aggies
New Mexico State is 9-8 overall and 3-2 in WAC play. The Aggies earned their first WAC road win on Thursday with an 83-82 double-overtime decision at Seattle U. NM State is averaging 72.4 points on 47.5 percent shooting in WAC play, but they’re just 12-62 (.194) from 3-point range. The Aggies have a +6.9 rebounding margin and rank second in the WAC with 4.88 blocked shots per game this season. Opponents shoot just .396 overall and .313 from 3-point range against the Aggies this season, but NM State has a -3.94 turnover margin and has the third-most turnovers per game in the WAC this season. The Aggies have scored just 186 points from beyond the arc this season (second-lowest in the WAC), but they’ve scored 538 points in the paint and average 32.4 points down low this season.
New Mexico State Head Coach Marvin Menzies
Marvin Menzies holds a 111-76 career head coaching record, all at New Mexico State. He’s in his sixth season with the Aggies, which he has led to a pair of WAC Tournament titles and NCAA Championships berths in the 2010 and 2012 seasons. Before he took over NM State for the 2007-08 season, Menzies was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2005-07. He also held assistant posts at UNLV (2004-05), USC (2003-04) and San Diego State (1999-03).
The Vandal men made too many mistakes in the second half of a 55-49 loss to Denver in its WAC home opener on Thursday. Idaho committed a season-high-tying 18 turnovers in the game, 12 of which came after halftime. Idaho had season-lows in points, rebounds and assists in the game.
Vandals vs. Aggies
The series between Idaho and New Mexico State is heavily weighed in NM State’s favor (20-4), but the teams split last season’s meetings. The Aggies took an 80-68 home win on Jan. 14, but Idaho claimed a 59-58 victory at the Cowan Spectrum on Feb. 9. Idaho is 2-13 against NM State since the two schools became WAC rivals, but both wins have come under head coach Don Verlin’s watch. All four of Idaho’s wins against the Aggies have come at home.
The Four-Point Swing
You’ll probably want to get a hand in Connor Hill’s face when he shoots, because he leads the WAC in 3-point field goal percentage (.462) and in 3-point makes (2.57/gm). The thing is, he also leads the NCAA in four-point play conversions (3), so you probably don’t want to get too close. In addition to having the most four-point plays in the nation, Hill also is the only player to convert a four-point play in consecutive games, which he did on Dec. 6 at Eastern Washington, then again on Dec. 8 at UTEP.
1,000 Point Watch
Senior center Kyle Barone started the 2012-13 season on the 1,000-point watch. He joined that club on Dec. 1 against UC Davis. Junior guard/forward Stephen Madison is going to finish the season on 1,000-point Club notice. He has 730 career points and a 15.2 points per game scoring average. If he averages 17 points per game for the rest of the season, he’ll break 1,000 career points. The last time Idaho had two players on the court with 1,000 career points was the 1993-94 season when both Orlando Lightfoot and Deon Watson were in the 1,000-point club (Lightfoot scored his 1,000th point in the 1992-93 season, Watson did so in 1993-94). The only time two Vandal players reached 1,000 career points in the same season was 1982-83 (Brian Kellerman and Phil Hopson).
He’s just a sophomore, but guard Connor Hill has no hesitation to take big shots - and make them. He leads the WAC in both 3-point percentage (.462) and makes (2.57/gm) this season and already has 12 games in his career with three or more made 3-pointers, including a career-high six earlier this season at New Mexico. At his current pace, he has a chance to crack Idaho’s career top-five in 3-pointers made, without even coming close to breaking the top-10 in career attempts.
Click on the PDF link above to view complete game notes.