KANSAS CITY, MO (KTSM) – In a release issued Monday morning, the National Basketball Coaches Association (NABC) announced that New Mexico State head coach Chris Jans was chosen as the NABC District Six Coach of the Year for the second-straight season. Additionally, seniors Ivan Aurrecoechea and Trevelin Queen each earned a spot on the NABC All-District Six Second Team.
Once again, heralded as one of the nation’s premier bench bosses, Jans directed the Aggies to their third-straight WAC regular season title and secured the title of WAC Don Haskins Coach of the Year for the third-straight year. After opening the season 6-6 through their first 12 games, the Aggies went on a tear and won their next 19 games of the season. That run started on Wednesday, December 19, 2019 and will extend into next season after a win in the team’s regular season finale on March 5, 2020. before the WAC and NCAA Tournaments were canceled due to COVID-19.
For his part, Jans is now the third head coach in the history of the WAC – joining Billy Tubbs (TCU in 1997-98) and Rick Majerus (Utah in 1998-99) to post a perfect run in regular season WAC play. With an 84-82 victory over Utah Valley on February 15, Jans reached the 100-win mark in his NCAA Division I head coaching career. Needing just 129 games to get to that mark, Jans is the 27th-fastest head coach in the history of NCAA Division I men’s basketball to reach 100 wins. Currently, New Mexico State has won 31-straight WAC regular season games (a league record) and 34 consecutive games against WAC foes, which is the longest active streak of wins against conference opponents in the nation. With the Aggies’ win on Thursday, March 5, New Mexico State hit the 25-win mark for the third-straight season. That made Jans one of just six active NCAA Division I head coaches who have won 25+ games in each of their first three seasons at an institution.
An All-WAC First Team selection, Aurrecoechea starred as one of the league’s premier front court players through his final season of collegiate deployment. Ranked as the team’s third-leading scorer (11.4 ppg), the numbers of the Madrid, Spain, product spiked substantially in WAC action.
When Queen went down with a knee injury in the middle of January, Aurrecoechea stepped to the forefront of the Aggies’ attack. Through the five-game stretch without Queen, Aurrecoechea matched his career-high by putting in 23 points on two occasions – to help his team remain unbeaten in league action. In WAC play, he averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and came up with each of his three 20+ point outings. Aurrecoechea led the league in field goal percentage (.579) and ranked among the top five in the WAC in terms of offensive rebounding (2.0 per game, fifth).
Queen represented one of the best players on the floor for the Aggies every time he suited up in 2019-20. The team’s leading scorer (13.2 ppg), Queen helped New Mexico State reel off 19 consecutive wins to wrap up the 2019-20 season and put in 20+ points on three occasions throughout the year.
Defensively, his 1.7 steals per game represented the second-highest average in the WAC and helped NM State embark on a 19-game winning streak beginning in the middle of December. Despite playing in just 11 WAC games, Queen still managed to lead his squad in steals (17) through league action while pumping in 11.5 points per game on .524/.447/.850 shooting splits. Monday’s announcement marks Queen’s third postseason award as the Glen Burnie, Maryland, product was named an All-WAC Second Team performer as well as a USBWA All-District VIII Team choice.