New Mexico State vs. New Mexico: Game Preview, TV, Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More
Lobos play Aggies in second of consecutive road rivalry games
The Aggies’ roster is beat up early, but still capable.
WHO: New Mexico Lobos (4-1) vs. New Mexico State Aggies (2-2)
WHEN: Thursday, November 21 — 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Pan Am Center – Las Cruces, NM (12,482)
TV: AggieVision (Click here for a list of TV providers per AggieVision)
STREAM: Fox Sports GO
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads, 74-64
ODDS: New Mexico State -4
PREVIEW: After a tough 66-63 loss against UTEP in the Don Haskins Center – one where JaQuan Lyle sunk a barely-too-late half court heave that would have forced overtime – New Mexico (4-1) looks to get back on track against another rival, New Mexico State (2-2).
Trying to split the first two in what might be the toughest four-game stretch in their non-conference schedule will be tough, especially considering the Aggies’ success in the last several years at the Pan Am Center, the Lobos will need to bring their offensive game back to go along with solid defense that showed in their last outing. New Mexico State has been virtually unbeatable at home for the last decade, and should be a tough out even with some capable players out of commission.
But the woes for the Aggies extend beyond strictly those players that are out of action. Leading scorer from the 2018-2019 team that took final four team Auburn down to the wire in the NCAA Tournament, Terrell Brown, and sophomore Jabari Rice have been playing through injuries as well. That’s more than a third of New Mexico State’s scholarship players with an injury in November, four of which accounted for 38% of scoring on last year’s team.
Harris is expected to be out through mid-December and Henry through mid-January. It’s unclear how long Likayi will be out, but seems unlikely for the contest against the Lobos as the injury is reportedly a torn meniscus. Hopefully, for the Aggies, injuries will improve quickly, as this should be a fun team to monitor throughout the season, despite the early season hiccups.
Through the injuries, Trevelin Queen (16.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals per game) has emerged as a leader for the Aggies in scoring, rebounding and steals and is also second in assists on the team.
Queen has been a critical player for a team that hasn’t been known for its offense, and instead has largely relied on its consistent defense to win games in the last several years. This year is a little different so far.
The Aggies are tied for 266th and 299th in points and assists per game respectively in Division I hoops and holding opponents to a respectable-but-not-elite 64.3 points per game (123rd). Of concern, this year is a drop off, thus far, in rebounding.
The Aggies finished the ’18-19 season tied 35th nationally in rebound at 38.5 rebounds per game. This season, they are averaging three rebounds less per game, putting them at just 253rd nationally. That’s not to say this team can’t get hot or can’t rebound. They just haven’t yet this season.
In contrast, New Mexico has had a high-powered offense within the Division I ranks, scoring 87.0 points per game (19th) and assisting 18.2 times per game (28th nationally) and rebounding is one of those respectable-but-not-elite categories for the Lobos thus far, pulling in 38.6 rebounds per game (157th). And exactly opposite the Aggies, the Lobos area of concern is, on average, defense, giving up 73.0 points per contest (257th).
JaQuan Lyle (19.0 points, 5.8 assists, 52. rebounds per game) continues to be a key piece of the puzzle for New Mexico, leading the Lobos in points and assists per game and Corey Manigault (13.6 points, 4.0 rebounds per game, 65.7% field goal percentage) and Makuach Maluach (12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals per game, 68.8% field goal percentage) are among the most efficient players offensively in the conference. JJ Caldwell has also been solid at the point guard position and is averaging 5.0 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
You might say that in each of their previous contests, each team did something that was rather uncharacteristic of their team’s identity.
New Mexico State struggled to keep Arizona in check defensively in giving up 83 points. New Mexico defended relatively well, holding UTEP to just 66 points, but couldn’t manage to find their stride offensively, missing a lot of layups and free throws.
Said Lobos coach Paul Weir, “I thought [UTEP’s] defense was really good. We obviously left some points I thought around the rim. Some layups, and left some points at the free throw line as well on our end. I don’t want to take away from UTEP’s defense. They were very physical, played us really well – especially to start the game.”
I still think the defensive presence will be more critical for New Mexico to win games against good teams. Even with all the missed short ones and free throws, they were in the game against UTEP, and even took the lead with less than a minute to go.
Mountain West Teams Ranked or Receiving votes:
New Mexico was among three Mountain West conference teams to receive votes in Monday’s AP poll. Utah State was ranked 15th in the poll, while San Diego State and New Mexico both received 2 points in the poll.
- New Mexico: Carlton Bragg (11.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.0 steals per game), New Mexico’s leading rebounder, is questionable for Thursday’s game after he went down on the court on Tuesday against UTEP and suffered what appeared to be a knee injury.
- New Mexico State: A.J Harris (finger); Clayton Henry (thumb); Wilfried Likayi (knee)