November 7, 2012
The Point - Who will lead?
The point guard is the centerpiece to any basketball team. You're either born to lead or have it thrust upon you. Coach Marvin Menzies has a tough task ahead, that being, who will lead the point guard position for the Aggies this season?
Last season, Aggie senior Hernst Laroche led the point guard position. As a matter of fact, he led the point guard position for four years at NMSU. He was a solid player, intelligent, talented, and played decent defense too. But that was then, this is now.
In the only exhibition game this year against WNMU, coach Menzies played Aggie sophomore Daniel Mullings at the point. Mullings only played 22 minutes in that game but had only three assists and four turnovers on the night. At times, Mullins appeared apprehensive, a bit out-of-sync, and uncomfortable at times leading the point. Personally, I feel Mullings is a shooting guard, not a true point guard, and it showed. Mullings is best suited to play the shooting guard position. It's a no-brainer.
In the annual Crimson and White preseason game, limited to only 32 minutes and no halftime, coach Menzies used K.C. Ross-Miller at the point. Ross-Miller had a great game running the point. Although NMSU didn't keep stats for that game so I'm not able to provide numbers, but Ross-Miller was quick, penetrated the paint, and dished-off to open players for they easy basket. The sign of a true point guard.
Coach Menzies did state via his Twitter account before the season started that a few players would see limited playing time due to "...learning the importance of punctual class attendance!" This would mean a shake-up in the starting lineup. This would also explain why Daniel Mullings played at the point. Will it remain that way? I doubt it, but we'll find out for sure on Sunday against Oregon State.
Not to limit the point guard position to Ross-Miller as the Aggies have two other very competent contenders for the coveted position. Aggie sophomore Terrel de Rouen and redshirt freshmen Eric Weary and Emery Coleman may have a say-so in the end. Weary is more of a hot shooting guard and Coleman has some experience running the point.
So what makes a great point guard? Here are some key skill sets:
* - Leadership. Not a boss, but an organizer. Keep everyone involved in the offense.
* - Speed. Quickness, transitional, and basketball I.Q.
* - Distributor. Know how to dish the ball to the "hot shooter", open shot, or the teams leading scorer.
* - Focal point. Have the ability to make the opponent adjust to the point guard's play.
* - Clutch. When the offense stalls or becomes stagnant, the point guard takes over and must hit the open 15-foot jumper.
* - Vision. See the entire court. Find the open man.
* - Defense. Not to focus on the offensive-side of the ball, the point guard needs play defense too. Stop the opponent from penetrating the paint and not get picked-off on the screen.
* - Tough. Under-rated. The point guard has to be tough and tough-skinned. Take criticism and coaching to heart. Ability to penetrate the paint and get hammered. Keep his cool under pressure.
Point guard play is so vital to a team that it can't be understated or underestimated. Coach Menzies has a tough decision to make before Sunday's game. I'm willing to be he'll go with K.C. Ross-Miler with Terrel de Rouen coming off the bench. This should prove to be a nice one-two punch for the Aggies throughout the season.
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