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For current information on this topic, see 2009–10 New Mexico State Aggies men's basketball team.
New Mexico State Aggies
New Mexico State Aggies athletic logo

University New Mexico State University
Conference WAC
Location Las Cruces, NM
Head coach Marvin Menzies (2nd year)
Arena Pan American Center
(Capacity: 12,482)
Nickname Aggies
Colors Crimson and White

             

Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1970
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1952, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1992*
NCAA Tournament appearances
1952, 1959, 1960, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992*, 1993*, 1994*, 1999, 2007, 2010
*vacated by NCAA[1]

The New Mexico State Aggies Basketball team is the basketball team that represents New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The school's team currently competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Aggie Basketball has seen 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, 5 NIT Tournament appearances and 14 conference championships. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2007. The Aggies are currently coached by Marvin Menzies.

Contents

History

NMSU Basketball has seen much success throughout the years, even making an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1970. In addition to the 1970 Final Four appearance, the Aggies also advanced to the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet Sixteen" in 1992, their best showing during the largely successful 12-year coaching tenure of Neil McCarthy. For most of that time, the Aggies were the second-best team in the Big West Conference. After the Rebels hit the skids in the early 1990s, McCarthy led the Aggies to four straight Big West 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 tumultuous end in 1997 when a new athletic director fired him for the team's poor academic performance.[3] NMSU alumnus Lou Henson, who had previously coached the Aggies from 1966 to 1975 very successful 21-year run at Illinois, was lured from retirement to coach the team on an interim basis for the 1997-98 season. Following that year Henson agreed to stay on as head coach on a permanent basis, leading the Aggies back to the NCAA Tournament in 1999.

Two years later, 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 (possibly including the death penalty) if the school's former president, the former athletic director and McCarthy had still been at the school.[4]

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.

On March 31, 2005, NMSU hired 13-year NBA veteran Reggie Theus 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 despite moving from the Sun Belt Conference to the Western Athletic Conference, which is generally considered a much stronger league. The Aggies' ten game improvement matched the fifth best turn-around for a Division I men's basketball team. In Theus' second year the Aggies finished the regular season at 22-8, good for second place in the WAC. The Aggies proceeded to win the WAC Tournament on their home floor and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, their first appearance in the event since 1999. The Aggies battled hard but ultimately fell 79-67 to Kevin Durant-led Texas in the first round, finishing the season at 25-9. However, in June 2007 Theus left NMSU to take over the head coaching position of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Marvin Menzies has been named to succeed him at NMSU. Like Theus before him, Menzies came to NMSU after having been an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville, but had no previous Division I head coaching experience. Menzies compiled a 21-14 record in his first season, earning a share of the regular season WAC title, but the Aggies fell to Boise State in the WAC Tournament Championship Game and failed to receive a postseason bid.

NCAA Tournament results

The Aggies have appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 9-20.

Year Result
1952 Regional Fourth Place
1959 First Round
1960 First Round
1967 First Round
1968 Regional Third Place
1969 Regional Fourth Place
1970 Third Place
1971 First Round
1975 First Round
1979 First Round
1990 First Round
1991 First Round
1992 Sweet Sixteen*
1993 Second Round*
1994 First Round*
1999 First Round
2007 First Round
2010 First Round

*vacated by NCAA

Aggies in the NBA

External links

References

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