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New Mexico State Aggies
New Mexico State Aggies
School Name: New Mexico State University
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Arena: Pan American Center
Capacity: 12,482
Conference: WAC
Head coach: Marvin Menzies

The New Mexico State Aggies Basketball team is the basketball team that represents New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Founded in 1904, the Aggies currently compete in the Western Athletic Conference and last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2010. The Aggies hold the distinction of being one of 34 college basketball teams with multiple NBA retired jerseys from former players (Sam Lacey & John Williamson) and a team that reached the NCAA Final Four (in 1970). The team plays home games in the Pan American Center. The Aggies are currently coached by Marvin Menzies.

A Lou Henson-coached team gained national attention during the 1970 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament by advancing to the Final Four. And in 1992 a Neil McCarthy-coached team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Aggie Basketball has seen 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, 5 NIT Tournament appearances and 14 conference championships.

HistoryEdit

NMSU Basketball has seen much success throughout the years, reaching the NCAA Final Four in 1970, the "Sweet Sixteen" in 1992 among their 18 tournament appearances. Their two most successful coaches were Lou Henson and Neil McCarthy.

Jerry Hines Era (1929-40,46)Edit

Jerry Hines was one of the most exceptional Aggies. He was an outstanding two-sport athlete, the head basketball and head football coach, and the athletic director, each with success. During the later 1930s, the Aggie football team was 31-10-6 and the basketball team was 102-36 under Hines. The Aggie basketball team went to several postseason tournaments during this time, including the 1938 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, and the 1939 NIT tournament in New York City. The Hines era ended at the onset of World War 2 when he was called to duty in September 1940 as a member of a New Mexico National Guard unit assigned to the 45 Infantry Division. Hines did return for one more Aggie basketball season in 1946-47.[1]

Lou Henson Era (1966-75)Edit

Lou Henson played for the Aggies in the 1950's, coached at Las Cruces High School, and came from Hardin-Simmons University to become the head coach. His tenure was the most successful in Aggie history. His 1970 team reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four, losing to a John Wooden-coached and eventual champion, UCLA.

Henson led the Aggies to the NCAA tournament in six of his nine years. He left in 1975 for a successful 21-year run at Illinois.

Neil McCarthy (1985-1997)Edit

Neil McCarthy came to Las Cruces in 1985 following a successful 10-year run at Weber State. He'd built Weber State into a regional power, and was equally successful at New Mexico State. For most of McCarthy's tenure, the Aggies were the second-best team in the Big West, behind UNLV. After the Rebels hit the skids in the early 1990s, McCarthy led the Aggies to four straight regular season and tournament titles, including the 1992 Sweet Sixteen run.

However, the 1992 Sweet Sixteen run, along with two other NCAA runs in the early 1990s, was scrubbed from the books in 1996 when the NCAA found several players from that team received help on correspondence courses from a coach. Without those courses, the players would not have been eligible.[2]

The McCarthy era came to a sudden and abrupt end just weeks before the 1997-98 season when new athletic director Jim Paul stripped him of coaching duties, citing the team's poor academic performance.[3] McCarthy was originally supposed to serve as an assistant athletic director for the balance of his contract, but instead sued NMSU for wrongful termination--a move that would come back to haunt the school later.[4]

Lou Henson's 2nd Run (1997-2004)Edit

Henson was lured from retirement to coach the team on an interim basis for the 1997-98 season after McCarthy's ouster. Henson wanted to donate his time, but state law forbade him from coaching the program for free. He ultimately settled for $1 per month. The following season Henson agreed to stay on as head coach on a permanent basis, leading the Aggies back to the NCAA Tournament in 1999.

In 2000, the Aggies were rocked again by a scandal from the McCarthy era. McCarthy had promised to hire a junior college coach as an assistant coach in return for bringing two of his top players to Las Cruces. That coach, in turn, helped the players with coursework and exams. The school placed the basketball program on two years' probation and withdrew from postseason consideration during the 2000-2001 season. The NCAA imposed an additional four years' probation and forced the Aggies to vacate McCarthy's last season and the first season of Henson's second stint. The NCAA said that the penalties would have been even harsher if the school's former president, the former athletic director and McCarthy had still been at the school.[5]

Henson continued to coach the Aggies until being sidelined by Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma prior to the 2004-05 season. Due to Henson's illness the Aggies were led that year by assistant coach Tony Stubblefield, who guided the squad to a dismal 6-24 record, by far the school's worst season in twenty years. Henson officially announced his retirement from coaching in January of 2005, and Stubblefield remained interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

The Louisville Connection (2005-Present)Edit

On March 31, 2005, NMSU hired 13-year NBA veteran Reggie Theus, then an assistant at Louisville under Rick Pitino, as head men's basketball coach. In his first season, Theus turned the Aggies from a 6-24 squad in 2004-05 to a 16-14 team in the 2005-06 season as the Aggies moved from the Sun Belt Conference to the Western Athletic Conference. In Theus' second year the Aggies finished the regular season at 22-8, won the WAC Tournament on their home floor, and earn an automatic bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Following the tournament Theus left NMSU to take over the head coaching position of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Marvin Menzies was named as the successor, and like Theus before him, came to NMSU after having been an assistant to Pitino, and had no previous Division I head coaching experience. In 2010 the Aggies again advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Season ResultsEdit

Season Overall record* Conference tournament Postseason results Head coach
Border Conference
1932-33 7-11 (2-10) -- -- Jerry Hines
1933-34 10-9 (2-6) -- -- Jerry Hines
1934-35 12-6 (4-6) -- -- Jerry Hines
1935-36 10-9 (8-8) -- -- Jerry Hines
1936-37 22-5 (15-3, 1st) -- -- Jerry Hines
1937-38 22-3 (18-10, 1st) -- -- Jerry Hines
1938-39 20-4 (14-2, 1st) -- NIT Quarterfinals Jerry Hines
1939-40 16-7 (12-4) -- -- Jerry Hines
1940-41 14-12 (8-8) -- -- Julius Johnston
1941-42 8-18 (4-10) -- -- Julius Johnston
1944-45 9-5 (0-0) -- -- Kermit Laabs
1945-46 5-16 (1-9) -- -- Kermit Laabs
1946-47 8-17 (3-15) -- -- Jerry Hines
1947-48 12-11 (8-10) -- -- John Gunn
1948-49 9-15 (4-12) -- -- John Gunn
1949-50 17-13 (7-11) -- -- George McCarty
1950-51 19-14 (11-6) -- -- George McCarty
1951-52 22-11 (14-4) -- NCAA Sweet Sixteen George McCarty
1952-53 7-17 (5-9) -- -- George McCarty
1953-54 7-12 (3-9) -- -- Presley Askew
1954-55 7-14 (1-11) -- -- Presley Askew
1955-56 16-7 (7-5) -- -- Presley Askew
1956-57 6-18 (3-7) -- -- Presley Askew
1957-58 14-9 (8-3) -- -- Presley Askew
1958-59 17-11 (7-3, T1) -- NCAA First Round Presley Askew
1959-60 20-7 (9-2, 1st) -- NCAA First Round Presley Askew
1960-61 19-5 (9-1, T1) -- -- Presley Askew
1961-62 10-14 (3-5) -- -- Presley Askew
Independent
1962-63 4-17 -- -- Presley Askew
1963-64 8-15 -- -- Presley Askew
1964-65 8-18 -- -- Presley Askew
1965-66 4-22 -- -- Jim McGregor
1966-67 15-11 -- NCAA First Round Lou Henson
1967-68 23-6 -- NCAA Sweet Sixteen Lou Henson
1968-69 24-5 -- NCAA Sweet Sixteen Lou Henson
1969-70 27-3 -- NCAA Final Four Lou Henson
1970-71 19-8 -- NCAA First Round Lou Henson
1971-72 20-6 -- -- Lou Henson
Missouri Valley Conference
1972-73 12-14 (6-8, T5) -- -- Lou Henson
1973-74 15-11 (7-6, T3) -- -- Lou Henson
1974-75 20-7 (11-3, 2nd) -- NCAA First Round Lou Henson
1975-76 15-12 (4-8, T4) -- -- Ken Hayes
1976-77 17-10 (8-4, T1) (0-1) Semifinals -- Ken Hayes
1977-78 15-14 (9-7, 4th) (2-1) Semifinals -- Ken Hayes
1978-79 22-10 (11-5, 2nd) (2-1) Finals NCAA First Round Ken Hayes
1979-80 17-10 (8-8, T5) (0-1) First Round -- Weldon Drew
1980-81 10-17 (7-9, T6) (0-1) First Round -- Weldon Drew
1981-82 17-10 (8-8, T5) (1-1) Semifinals -- Weldon Drew
1982-83 18-11 (11-7, T3) (1-1) Semifinals -- Weldon Drew
Big West Conference
1983-84 13-15 (9-9, 5th) (0-1) First Round -- Weldon Drew
1984-85 7-20 (4-14, 9th) -- -- Weldon Drew
1985-86 18-12 (10-8, 3rd) (1-2) Finals -- Neil McCarthy
1986-87 15-15 (9-9, T4) (0-1) First Round -- Neil McCarthy
1987-88 16-16 (8-10, T6) (0-1) Second Round -- Neil McCarthy
1988-89 21-11 (12-6, 3rd) (2-1) Finals NIT First Round Neil McCarthy
1989-90 26-5 (16-2, T1) (1-1) Semifinals NCAA First Round Neil McCarthy
1990-91 23-6 (15-3, 2nd) (0-1) First Round NCAA First Round Neil McCarthy
1991-92 25-8 (12-6, 3rd) (3-0) Champion NCAA Sweet Sixteen Neil McCarthy
1992-93 26-8 (15-3, 1st) (2-1) Finals NCAA Second Round Neil McCarthy
1993-94 23-8 (12-6, 1st) (3-0) Champion NCAA First Round Neil McCarthy
1994-95 25-10 (13-5, T2) (1-1) Semifinals NIT Quarterfinals Neil McCarthy
1995-96 11-15 (8-10, 3rd) -- -- Neil McCarthy
1996-97 19-9 (12-4, T1-East) (1-1) Semifinals -- Neil McCarthy
1997-98 18-12 (8-8, 5th-East) -- -- Lou Henson
1998-99 23-10 (12-4, T1-East) (3-0) Champion NCAA First Round Lou Henson
1999-2000 22-10 (11-5, 2nd-East) (2-1) Finals NIT First Round Lou Henson
Sunbelt Conference
2000-01 14-14 (10-6, West) -- -- Lou Henson
2001-02 20-12 (11-4, West) -- -- Lou Henson
2002-03 20-9 (9-6, West) -- -- Lou Henson
2003-04 13-14 (6-9, West) -- -- Lou Henson
2004-05 6-14 (1-14, West) -- -- Lou Henson
Western Athletic Conference
2005-06 16-14 (10-6, T4) (1-1) Semifinals -- Reggie Theus
2006-07 25-9 (11-5, 2nd) (3-0) Champion NCAA First Round Reggie Theus
2007-08 21-14 (12-4, T1) (2-1) Finals -- Marvin Menzies
2008-09 17-15 (9-7, T3) (1-1) Semifinals -- Marvin Menzies
2009-10 22-12 (11-5, T2) (3-0) Champion NCAA First Round Marvin Menzies

* - Overall record includes tournament and postseason results; Regular-season conference record and place contained in parentheses.

NCAA Tournament resultsEdit

The Aggies have appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 10-20.[6]

Year Seed Location Region Round Result
1952 Kansas City, MO West First L 62-53 to St. Louis
Consolation L 61-44 to Texas Christian
1959 Las Cruces, NM West First L 62-61 to Idaho State
1960 Eugene, OR West First L 68-60 to Oregon
1967 Ft. Collins, CO Midwest First L 59-58 to Houston
1968 Salt Lake City, UT West First W 68-57 over Weber State
Albuquerque, NM Sweet Sixteen L 58-49 to UCLA
Consolation W 62-58 over New Mexico
1969 Las Cruces, NM West First W 74-62 over BYU
Los Angeles, CA Sweet Sixteen L 53-38 to UCLA
Consolation L 58-56 to Weber State
1970 Fort Worth, TX Midwest First W 101-77 over Rice
Lawrence, KS Sweet Sixteen W 70-66 over Kansas State
Elite Eight W 87-78 over Drake
College Park, MD Final Four L 93-77 to UCLA
Consolation W 79-73 over St. Bonaventure
1971 Houston, TX Midwest First L 71-69 to Houston
1975 Charlotte, NC East First L 93-69 to North Carolina
1979 10th Lawrence, KS Midwest First L 81-78(OT) to Weber State
1990 6th Long Beach, CA West First L 111-92 to Loyola Marymount
1991 6th Salt Lake City, UT West First L 64-56 to Creighton
1992 12th Tempe, AZ West First W 81-73 over DePaul
Second W 81-73 over Louisiana-Lafayette
Albuquerque, NM Sweet Sixteen L 85-78 to UCLA
1993 7th Syracuse, NY East First W 93-79 over Nebraska
Second L 92-55 to Cincinnati
1994 11th Oklahoma City, OK Midwest First L 65-55 to Oklahoma State
1999 14th New Orleans, LA Midwest First L 82-60 to Kentucky
2007 13th Spokane, WA East First L 79-67 to Texas
2010 12th Spokane, WA Midwest First L 70-67 to Michigan State

Notable Players and CoachesEdit

Ring of HonorEdit

New Mexico State's men's basketball Ring of Honor stands as a tribute to individual players and coaches that are distinguished as Aggie legends. A player's number is retired upon reaching this milestone. A banner designating this honor is hung from the rafters in the Pan American Center.[6]

Lou Henson - began his coaching career with the Aggies in 1966, eventually coaching the Aggies to 289 victories over 17 years. Henson finished with 779 victories including his wins at Illinois. Henson coached the Aggies to the Final Four and two Sweet Sixteens among the 10 NCAA tournament appearances. His career Aggie record is 289-152, which is the winningest in Aggie history.

Sam Lacey (#44) - played for the Aggies from 1968-70, including a trip to the Final Four. Lacey is 9th in Aggie all-time scoring and holds most rebounding records. He was a 1st Team All-American in 1970 and played in the NBA for 13 seasons, well enough to get his #44 jersey retired by the Sacramento Kings.

Billy Joe Price (#31) - played during the 1958-60 seasons, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament. Price is 16th on the all-time scoring list and among the career leaders in rebounding.

Jimmy Collins (#22) - played for the Aggies from 1968-70 and helped them to the Final Four in 1970. Collins holds the Aggie season scoring record and rank 3rd all-time in career scoring. Collins played in the NBA for several seasons.

John Williamson (#24) - is the most prolific scorer in Aggie history, averaging over 27 points/game during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Williamson played for the New Jersey Nets and won two championships. His #23 jersey is retired by the New Jersey Nets.

Jerry Hines - was the Aggie basketball coach, as well as football coach, during the 1930s. The Aggies advanced to the NIT Tournament in 1938. His career record is 157-108, which is third winningest in Aggie history.

Aggies in the NBAEdit

1000 Point ClubEdit

The 1000 Point Club consists of Aggies who have eclipsed the 1000 points scored in their career. This is notable accomplishment since it requires either spectacular or consistent career scoring. There are 26 Aggies that have reached this mark.[6]

Rank Player Season Games Points Avg.
1. Eric Channing 1998-2002 124 1,862 15.0
2. Albert "Slab" Jones 1977-80 114 1,758 15.4
3. Jimmy Collins 1968-70 89 1,734 19.5
4. George Knighton 1960-62 75 1,660 22.1
5. James Moore 2000-03 110 1,651 15.0
6. Jonathan Gibson 2007-10 131 1,541 11.8
7. Richard Robinson 1974-77 100 1,540 15.4
8. Jahmar Young 2008-10 87 1,479 17.0
9. Sam Lacey 1968-70 89 1,448 16.3
10. Ernest Patterson 1980-83 110 1,419 12.9
11. Steve Colter 1981-84 107 1,333 12.5
12. Charles Gosa 1995-99 117 1,233 10.5
13. Johnny Roberson 1986-89 121 1,223 10.1
14. Keith Hill 1987-90 115 1,201 10.4
15. John Williamson 1972-73 43 1,168 27.2
16. Billy Joe Price 1959-61 77 1,159 15.1
17. Greg Webb 1977-80 113 1,127 10.0
18. Justin Hawkins 2007-08 67 1,126 16.8
19. Kenny Travis 1986-87 60 1,070 17.8
20. Gilbert Wilburn 1985-86 51 1,068 20.9
21. Brandon Mason 1999-2003 115 1,051 9.1
22. Jeff Smith 1969-71 87 1,045 12.0
23. Truman Ward 1971-73 76 1,037 13.6
24. Dexter Hawkins 1974-77 101 1,022 10.1
25. Bill Allen 1973-76 92 1,018 11.1
26. Billy Keys 1999-2000 65 1,004 15.4

External LinksEdit


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