Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Freshman Ready to Join Ags
By Randy Harrison
Journal Staff Writer
Jahmar Young is a welcomed addition to New Mexico State's fold and will play some Wednesday at New Mexico.
But not enough, coach Marvin Menzies suggests, to impact the game.
Young, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard from Baltimore, received NCAA Clearinghouse permission last week to join the 5-7 Aggies and has been practicing since last Friday.
"We'll try to find a few minutes for him," said Menzies on Monday, though he added that Young isn't a "savior, and just because he's here doesn't mean we're going unbeaten."
Young has a reputation for being a savvy offensive player with a good handle, able to shoot the 3 and score off the dribble. He will likewise give the Aggies a longer defender in the backcourt.
The challenge to be a big asset right away is offset by his lack of practice, a lack of conditioning, and a hostile crowd before which to make his college basketball debut.
"He's good enough and has some instincts that we've had a chance to do a few things with him," said Menzies. "We're just hoping for him to be a good player by middle of conference and the rest of the year."
Young once was rated the No. 26 prep prospect in the nation by one of those interminable recruiting Web sites. He spent last year at Laurinburg (N.C.) Prep.
POPE: Meanwhile, no news is bad news on the freshman Herb Pope, who hasn't been cleared. Last week he was in Pennsylvania to attend the trial of the man who shot him on March 31 in Aliquippa.
HAWKINS: No news is good news, however, on leading scorer and rebounder Justin Hawkins (18.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg), who sat out the Aggies' 80-43 win last Tuesday over Prairie View A&M with a strained hamstring. The 6-7 senior forward has been receiving treatment over the last week and seems to be OK, Menzies said.
THE ROAD AGAIN: The Aggies haven't yet won in five games away from the Pan Am Center. Three of the five losses were to ranked teams: at No. 6 Duke and neutral-site contests against No. 4 Texas and No. 24 West Virginia.
POINTS FOR FREE: With its inside-out style of half-court offense, NMSU led the nation last season in free throws made and attempted. It's playing out that way again.
The Aggies' 321 fouls shots through 12 games are the most in Division I, and their 26.75 per game is 10th most. Their 200 makes are fifth most nationally, and their 62.3 percent clip is abysmal.
NMSU was 21-of-30 from the line in beating the Lobos 71-62 on Dec. 4 in Las Cruces. UNM was 12-of-15.
Wednesday: New Mexico State at New Mexico, 7 p.m. TV: The Mtn. Radio: KDEF-AM (1150), KKOB-AM (770)