LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – On Friday, New Mexico State men’s basketball wrapped up their fourth team summer workout.
First-year head coach Greg Heiar got another chance to collect new data on his new looking squad for the 2022-23 season.
15 members of the Aggies team have been working on their game since summer workouts started seven days ago. 13 of those members of the team are brand new to New Mexico State. They have been working to build not only their game but also team chemistry with each other.
“I think they [summer practices] are going good. It is bringing us together as a team because this is all our first years here really,” said NM State newcomer Deshawndre Washington. “I feel like we all are becoming a family, like a real family early, and that is very important in the long run to win.”
The 16th member of the team and 14th new player this upcoming season for the Aggies is LSU transfer Xavier Pinson. Pinson has not been at summer workouts so far and is not on the team’s official roster on their website. Despite all of that, Pinson is still a member of the team. Heiar tells KTSM he is waiting for Pinson to arrive on campus for the summer.
Despite waiting for one player who has already signed with the Aggies, the team has had their foot on the gas this summer as they continue to work on the playstyle that Heiar wants implement in the program.
“I am really pleased with how their [players] paying attention and trying to learn the concepts that we are trying to teach them,” said Heiar. “The system and style of play is kind of read and react, so it is kind of a pro-style offense, up tempo offense and it takes a lot of skill, repetition on very simple things. I think they are getting better at it, they are grasping it, but we still have a long way to go but we got a lot of time till we play a game in November.”
“Players are made in the summertime, in the off-season,” said Heiar. “We are working on a lot of development, player development, all the concepts, and understanding how to run ball screens, all the different little handoffs, and just different actions that we do.”
“The goal in the summer is to number one get better one percent everyday to keep getting better. If we keep getting better, eventually our dreams will be above the clouds,” said NM State newcomer, junior guard DaJuan Gordon. “Keep getting better and just really learning to see what coach ‘GH’ [Greg Heiar] really wants and to learn our roles.”
Along with the newcomers who look to learn their roles in the program, the Aggies returned three players from last year’s NM State squads that was led by former head coach Chris Jans and that made it to the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Mike Peake, and sophomores Marchelus Avery and Shakiru Odunewo plan to stick with the Aggies for this upcoming season. Kiran Oliver was the fourth member that was planning to stay with the Aggies for 2022-23 until he announced he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Thursday.
The three remaining returnees are focused on getting better for the upcoming season while learning to work with almost a completely new team.
“As DaJuan [Gordon] said getting better one-percent every day, build team chemistry because there is a lot of guys from different programs that come from different things,” said Peake. “Some of the terms we used today is some some people don’t know so we have to come together as one and help each other.”
Workouts for the Aggies will help them build up their team before they embark on a foreign tour to the Bahamas this summer for a series of games.
The tour is scheduled for July 30-Aug. 6. First-year head coach Greg Heiar and his new roster of players will play four games while in the Caribbean, against the two Bahamian senior national squads and two other foreign teams.