NMSU Men’s Basketball kicks off a new era with the Crimson and White Scrimmage

More stories from Joseph Settle

Basketball season is right around the corner for the New Mexico State Men’s Basketball squad. With tons of new faces, 16 to be exact, and new coach Greg Heiar opens up a plethora of potential for the upcoming season. Thursday’s Crimson and White game gave some much-needed glimpses into the new campaign’s potential.

Right from the jump, this team keeps the fans engaged. It became apparent throughout that the run game will be a big part of playmaking as the offense utilized it often.

“We moved the ball well and we’re getting better at that. We still have to get a lot better defensively and get better on the glass.” Coach Heiar stated. The team specifically looked like they would be looking to dominate from the three-point arc this season. These three-point splashes can be particularly expected to come from newcomer Kyle Feit who followed Coach Heiar from the Juco level. He seems to have the green light to launch a three from anywhere, as he passed out of a shot from the corner to which the coaching staff said, “Shoot the ball, Kyle!”.

Continuing with Feit, Coach Heiar stated that Feit hit 125 out of 139 3-point attempts in practice. A couple more impact newcomers to look out for are Issa Muhammed, and Deuce Benjamin from Las Cruces High. The pair linked up for an alley-oop in transition which excited the crowd. Deuce also hit a deep three which fired up the crowd even more and both bring some young talent to the team. Deshawndre Washington is another name to watch, specifically if Xavier Pinson, a transfer from LSU, doesn’t get cleared this season.

Speaking of Las Cruces natives, Johnny McCants, who leads the Aggies all time in wins, is still around on the coaching staff as a Men’s Basketball Analyst. Its nice to see the New Mexico State Basketball crimson and white continues to run deep, regardless of how new the team may be each season.

Overall, the team feels more balanced as opposed to last year. Feit will most likely be a contender to put up some good scoring numbers, but if he isn’t hitting his shots the Aggies aren’t in danger, as fellow teammates all have that potential to step up. It was of note that turnovers were prominent through this scrimmage in particular but that’s to be expected when playing their own teammates and flying down the court.

While an official starting lineup hasn’t been announced Coach Heiar did say “I wanted to see different lineups play together, and how they play together.” He followed that statement with “We are obviously a dangerous offensive team, Ive known that from the Bahamas. Our defense just has to continue to get better.”

The 2022-23 Men’s basketball season tips off on Nov 2 at 7 pm as the Aggies will take on Western New Mexico in an exhibition game before New Mexico Highlands comes to town on Nov 7, also at 7pm.

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