New Mexico State 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
New Mexico State Aggies - WAC (25-8, 11-5)
Seed: #13 - East Region
Big Wins: 1/20 Nevada (80-73), 2/13 at Hawaii (71-68), 3/10 vs Utah State (72-70)
Bad Losses: 11/17 at Loyola Marymount (69-71), 11/28 at New Mexico (76-79), 1/17 at Louisiana Tech (71-73)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1999, First Round loss to Kentucky
Coach: Reggie Theus (First NCAA appearance)
Probable New Mexico State Starters:
Elijah Ingram, Senior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 2.5 apg
Fred Peete, Junior, Guard, 9.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.6 apg
Justin Hawkins, Junior, Guard, 15.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.3 apg
Tyrone Nelson, Junior, Forward, 11.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Hatila Passos, Junior, Center, 8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Key Roleplayers for New Mexico State:
Shaun Davis, Senior, Guard, 6.4 ppg, 2.0 apg
Ted Knauber, Senior, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
David Fisher, Senior, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Martin Iti, Junior, Center, 6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Scoring 15.7 points per game, small forward Justin Hawkins is the leader of the New Mexico State high octane offense. The Utah transfer has a nice mid-range game and will use his size and speed to get to the basket. He is also a great rebounder and will use his athleticism to grab some boards over taller opponents.
In the post, NMSU has a couple scoring options in Tyrone Nelson and Hatila Passos. Nelson has been inconsistent, but is a double-double threat every night. Passos has a handful of double-doubles of his own and the duo can dominate the paint. They can also disappear for long stretches, but it is nice to have an option like 7-0 center Martin Iti available off the bench.
Why New Mexico State Can Disappoint:
The Aggies commit 16.8 turnovers per game and point guard Elijah Ingram is responsible for 3.3 of those. Ingram, who has battled injury problems this season, is back in full force, but spends a lot of time forcing passes and playing out of control. It is easier to play out of control in the NMSU offense, but Ingram still needs to play smarter. In his absence, Shaun Davis, one of the few players with a positive assist to turnover ratio on the team, took over the point guard duties. Davis is not as explosive of a player as Ingram and Ingram is the guy who can create and who NMSU needs to lead the offense.
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Who To Watch:
Wing Fred Peete headed to Las Cruces from Kansas State and immediately made an impact. The 6-4 junior has the size and strength to get to the basket and is a decent outside shooter. Not counting the two losses he missed, Peete has scored under ten points in five of the six New Mexico State defeats, with the exception being at Arizona, where he could have scored 30 and the Aggies would have still lost. If Peete has a poor shooting outing, somebody else needs to step up or NMSU is in trouble.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.3 (22nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.2 (253, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.2 (24, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (159, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.5 (266, 6)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (37, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (129, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.8 (294, 8)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Texas
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