Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
|Idaho MBB back on the road|
Game 22: Idaho (9-12, 5-6) at New Mexico State (15-8, 9-2)
When: Thursday, Feb. 5, 2013 (6 p.m. PT)
Where: Las Cruces, N.M. (Pan American Center)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Online Video: ESPN3
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com
A Look at New Mexico State
New Mexico State lost its first two WAC games of the season at Louisiana Tech and UT Arlington, but the Aggies have rattled off nine straight wins since then. NM State is 15-8 overall and 9-2 in WAC play. The team averages 68.4 points on 46.1 percent shooting, while holding opponents to just 39.5 percent shooting and 62.5 points. The Aggies’ +7.2 rebounding margin is second-best in the WAC and 19th in the NCAA so far this year. NM State is also 26th in the NCAA with 5.2 blocked shots per game this year. In WAC play, the Aggies lead the league in scoring (71.0), rebounding margin (+6.6), blocks (6.36) and offensive rebounding percentage (.390). Four players on the Aggie roster who play at least 15 minutes per game post shooting percentages higher than 50 percent from the floor.
NM State Head Coach Marvin Menzies
In his sixth season at New Mexico State, head coach Marvin Menzies has a 117-76 coaching record. In his time with the Aggies, he’s led the team to a pair of WAC Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament berths in the 2010 and 2012 seasons. Before his time at NM State, he was an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2005-07 and also held previous assistant positions at UNLV (2004-05), USC (2003-04) and San Diego State (1999-03).
Idaho overcame a season-worst shooting night (36.0 percent) and a late Spartan rally on Saturday night to get a 66-63 home win over San Jose State at the Cowan Spectrum. The Vandals posted a season-high 10 blocks, went 21-of-25 (.840) from the free throw line and connected on nine 3-pointers, but gave up 21 offensive rebounds and 22 resulting second-chance points to the visitors, who nearly wiped away a lead that was as high as 15 points in the second half. It was never tied past 0-0 and Idaho never trailed for its second wire-to-wire victory of the season.
Vandals vs. Aggies
New Mexico State is 21-4 against Idaho and undefeated against the Vandals in the Pan American Center. Idaho is 0-12 against the Aggies on the road in a series that dates to the 1964-65 season. In fact, Idaho men’s basketball has never won a regular-season game in the state of New Mexico. The team’s only win within the New Mexico borders came on March 6, 2007, in a 50-49 win over San Jose State in the WAC Tournament. Earlier this year at the Cowan Spectrum, Idaho eliminated a 17-point Aggie lead in the final seconds, only to foul NM State’s Daniel Mullings with two ticks left on the ensuing inbounds play. He made one free throw to give the Aggies a 71-70 win.
The Most Versatile Big Man
Senior center Kyle Barone become the most balanced post player all-time at Idaho on Jan. 26 against UTSA. With 1,260 points, 782 rebounds, 125 assists and 113 blocks, Barone is the first Vandal player to reach at least 1,000 career points, 750 career rebounds, 100 career assists and 100 career blocks. He is just the fifth active NCAA Division I player to reach that standard this season.
Senior center Kyle Barone went 10-of-10 from the field on Saturday, Jan. 26 against UTSA (five dunks helped) and in doing so, posted the best single-game shooting performance in Idaho history. The previous record of 9-for-9 shooting was shared by Phil Hopson (Jan. 30, 1982) and Tanoris Shepard (Nov. 26, 2002). It was the best shooting performance by a WAC player since Louisiana Tech’s Magnum Rolle went 11-of-11 from the field on Jan. 24, 2009. Barone’s shooting performance is also tied as second best in NCAA Division I so far this season.
The 25 and 15 Standard
Kyle Barone tallied 27 points and 16 rebounds on Jan. 24 against Texas State, then followed that up with 25 points and 16 boards on Jan. 26 against UTSA. You have to go back all the way to the 1962-63 season and the reign of Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Gus Johnson to find the last time a Vandal player tallied consecutive games with at least 25 points and 15 rebounds. Barone also grabbed at least 16 rebounds in three consecutive games from Jan. 19 to Jan. 26, another feat that dates to Johnson’s era.
Early Perimeter Contributor
Guard Connor Hill set an Idaho freshman record with 47 made 3-pointers last season. He’s well on his way to becoming the top sophomore sharpshooter in school history. He has 59 triples this season, just one short of the sophomore standard of 60 set by Orlando Lightfoot in 1991-92. Hill also needs just one more made 3-pointer to break into Idaho’s career top-10 in longshots made.
Click on the PDF link above to view complete game notes.