Someone Forgot to Tell New Mexico State They Are the Underdog

Publish date:



New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies described it as, “I have a lot of confident guys,” but you could also call it old fashion disrespect. Either way, the Aggies were pretty jovial ahead of their first round NCAA game with Michigan State in a conference call on Tuesday.


They laughed and joked and acted as if they had no idea who Kalin Lucas was, but that couldn’t be smart. For a team who at times has lacked motivation, why would the Aggies even go down that road? It’s like a less than attractive Cinderella showing up in a Victoria Secret scantly clad outfit for the dance? A little premature?


One of their stars, Wendell McKines, said, “We're going to come out fighting." That was a good thing, but the words that preceded the comment are what made it trash talk, "We're supposed to be intimidated?" No, but why wake the sleeping giant?


You have to love the swagger, but question the timing. MSU head coach Tom Izzo loves that fight in teams, but not publicly. I can assure you that the Spartans are well aware of what was said and more importantly, how it was said.


This time of year teams like MSU shouldn’t need bulletin board material. I mentioned in a previous article how NMSU players jumped, shouted, and were all fired up just to make it in. MSU was stoic and there was no celebration or hardly a smile. 


In Las Cruces a first round loss still gets the Aggies greeted with fans and adoration. In East Lansing a second round win gets them a, “So, you were at least supposed to make the sweet sixteen.” Not saying that is right, but it is the reality of the programs.


That is the difference of just being excited to be in and being expected to go a long way. When you’re just glad to be there, you don’t go trying to be the center of attention. You earn it. NMSU hasn’t. A win on Friday would go a long way. This time of year national attention finds its way to the Cinderella teams that win.


It was not smart to do what they did. It was a lack of discipline and one that just made their task much more difficult. The Spartan Nation should send them a thank you.


Giving Izzo extra material to work with when he is already a master motivator was dumb. Jahmar Young said about Kalin, “I've really never heard of him. If he's that good it'll show."


Thanks Jahmar. That was something that made Izzo’s job even easier. People went from asking who NMSU is, and now asking what in the world you were thinking.


If the Aggies can back up their talk on Friday then more power to them. If they can’t they are another group of pretenders who overreacted in the bright media lights that didn’t belong.


They will have to show on the court who they are, but their talk tells me they are more pretenders and that if MSU needed any more motivation they just gave it to them. Izzo’s players talk, but they do it privately and in the locker room. You don’t see Izzo-coached teams giving up motivational material. They know better. They let the scoreboard talk, but in private they are all over these kinds of things.

Young said, “Michigan State is just the first team we’ll play.” Based on those comments and how Izzo will use them it is a pretty safe bet that they will be the last.