Monday, March 1, 2010

Senior night at the Pan Am

Update: Reports indicate McKines was benched for most of Saturday's game for skipping class.

Warming up before Saturday's game against Boise State, the Ags seemed happy-go lucky. Celebrating senior night, they kidded around, playfully teased Gibson and Merker, and didn't pay much attention to their practice drills. I became worried. The last time the Aggie spirits were riding this high (After a home win vs. Louisiana Tech) they traveled to Fresno and got embarrassed against a lower-tier WAC team, 83-64.

And although their last win at home was no upset or surprise (74-57 vs. Idaho), it was senior night Saturday, the Ags' last home game of the regular season. They looked a bit too relaxed.

In the end, they took care of business, scoring just five shy of a 100, 95-92. In high and close scoring battles, the Ags are usually victor. Jonathan Gibson was the leading scorer in his final regular-season home game (NIT, maybe?), Jahmar Young put up 20, followed by Hamidu Rahman and Hernst Laroche with 15. I thought Laroche played very well Saturday. He also had four assists and four steals. Rahman also played a terrific game, pulling out the double-double with 10 boards.

But it was a different story for forwards Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines. Wendell, who for some reason only played 17 minutes in the entire game, was 1-4 from the field, scoring only 2 points. He seemed a bit sloppy on the offensive end but took care of business on d. Gillenwater, on the other hand, played 25 minutes but went 6 for 13 from the field. He took a couple of 15-footers and missed pretty badly, along with two missed three-pointers. Gillenwater said he's been working on his long ball since being benched the first half of the season, but it didn't help much Saturday. Either way, his passion was there, and he had a couple of nasty blocks that made the crowd oooh.

The postseason senior night celebration was heartfelt, and plenty of fans stuck around to see Jonathan Gibson, Kelly Merker and Tray Britt honored for their contributions to Aggie basketball. Gibson thanked his family, friends and Aggie loyal, saying, "I thank God for giving me the opportunity to play here and my family for supporting me. I love my teammates, love the fans and the coaches here. I can't get wait to get out there and get another one."

Merker, the Santa Fe, N.M. native said, "I wouldn't have made it this far without my family. I take great pride in being part of this program and I look forward to seeing you guys in the future." This is Merker's last year of eligibility as a graduate student walk-on.

Britt said, "I want to thank my teammates, coaching staff, family and everyone that couldn't be here tonight. I love them."

The Aggies play Nevada in Reno, Nev., Thursday, March 4.


Unknown said...

Coach Menzies flat out said he was pissed with his team's performance on his post-game interview with Jack Nixon. Getting outrebounded by a big margin is what concerns me the most. Hopefully the team brings more tenacity and we can sweep the last two games so we can at leat be on the NCAA bubble.

Anonymous said...

Hey flapjacks,

Find out why Dashawn Gomez is leaving the roster.

Also find out about the status of Mahktar Diop and Justin Standley.