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NMSU coach denies interest in WSU job … sort of

From Pullman — We've written that New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies appears to be one of a number of candidates for the vacant men's basketball coaching position at Washington State. Menzies has recruited well in Canada and taken the Aggies to three WAC tournament titles in a row. 

On Tuesday Menzies told the Las Cruces Sun-News that he doesn't plan on leaving for WSU, at least, not right this minute

"Right now I'm 100 percent coming back (to NMSU)," Menzies said. "I don't know why I wouldn't. I have three more years."

That qualified statement is about as clear as the WSU football team's cornerback depth. Menzies' contract with NMSU requires him to alert athletic director McKinley Boston of any contact with other schools regarding other coaching opportunities. Boston says that has not yet happened. 

Day after New Mexico State

Business is about to pick up for Gonzaga, which faces its first true road game Tuesday at West Virginia, then takes on South Alabama in Seattle and Kansas State in Wichita.

The Bulldogs enter that stretch following an 80-68 victory New Mexico State on Saturday, but they now have some injury issues with guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr.

Here's my game story and another from the Las Cruces newspaper.

More below in my day-after post (warning: it's a long one!).

Zags pulls away from Aggies, 80-68

Gonzaga's usual formula of 3-point shooting and a guard-driven, efficient offense needed some help Saturday.

It came in the form of Sam Dower Jr. (22 points), Gerard Coleman (21 points), rebounding (45-30 edge) and tenacious defense (keeping New Mexico State to a shooting percentage in the 30s until the latter stages of the game). It all added up to an 80-68 Gonzaga victory over the Aggies.

GU dealt with injury before the game (Kevin Pangos was a game-time decision because of a sprained toe) and during the game (Gary Bell Jr. exited early in the second half with a right hip injury). Bell said he hopes to be able to play Tuesday at West Virginia.

My unedited game story is below. I'll have a day-after post in the morning.

Tall order for Gonzaga

There aren't many college teams with frontcourts taller and bigger than GU's 7-1, 296-pound Przemek Karnowski and 6-9, 243-pound Sam Dower Jr., but one is visiting the McCarthey Athletic Center tonight. New Mexico State, with 7-5, 355-pound Sim Bhullar and 6-10, 265 Tshilidzi Nephawe, takes on GU at 8 p.m.

Here's my game preview, another from Las Cruces and more on the Aggies here.

Bhullar is one of four NMSU players from Toronto, including guard Daniel Mullings, who was teammates with Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos for Canada at the World University Games last summer. According to northpolehoops.com, there are 104 Canadians playing D-I basketball.

The Aggies haven't defeated a ranked opponent since knocking off Nevada in Jan., 2007.

Idaho Vandals Undefeated In WAC

Idaho’s “new” season started just the way the Vandals wanted – with the victory that puts them in a tie for the Western Athletic Conference lead, albeit one game into the conference season. The Vandals did it by dispatching New Mexico State 26-18 before a Homecoming crowd at the Kibbie Dome with all three elements of the team making their presence felt. Possibly more than any other was kicker Trey Farquhar with field goals of 55, 53, 39 and 32 yards. “All three phases of the game contributed,” coach Robb Akey said. “It was a more complete game. It was our football team’s best game – because we won/University of Idaho Vandals athletics PR. More here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

Question: Yeah, this game still mattered to me. How about you?

UI Wants Sell-Out For Homecoming

Peter Mundt of Boise introduced himself to me in an e-mail: “I’m doing some volunteer PR for the UI Athletic Department with the goal of filling the Kbbie Dome for as many games as possible this season. I produced a video to promote interest in UI’s Homecoming and game vs. New Mexico State University. A contact in Spokane who reads your blog suggested I send you the link to the video and ask if you could help us publicize homecoming in support of our Vandals.” I responded: Of course.

Question: Are you planning to attend the Idaho Vandals homecoming game with New Mexico State Oct. 23? Have you attended any other UI game this year?

Boise State, NMS, Bans Twitter

New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker doesn’t see his decision to ban his team from using Twitter this season as an issue about control. For Walker, it’s about protection. “You’ve got 105 guys on your football team,” he said Thursday at the team’s media day. “It’s not a matter of not trusting guys. Guys may say things and do things that can affect not only our football team but our university and not even mean it.” Walker showed he was serious about the ban a short time later, declaring on his Twitter account that he’s finished until December. … Walker’s decision comes after Boise State coach Chris Petersen, pictured, banned Twitter for his players/Associated Press. More here. (AP File Photo: Pat Sullivan)

Question: Are coaches Chris Petersen (Boise State) and DeWayne Walker (New Mexico State) being paranoid by banning players from using Twitter during the season?

Idaho 67, New Mexico State 57

 Idaho guard Kashif Watson (32) shoots over New Mexico State guard Hernst Laroche (13) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game Saturday at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)