LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – For the first time since March 5, 2020, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team took the floor at the Pan American Center with fans in the stands. Head coach Chris Jans hosting an open scrimmage to give fans a glimpse of the 2021-22 Aggies.
“We don’t play any games or exhibitions inside this building before opening night, so there were a number of reasons why we put on this event tonight,” said Jans. “It wasn’t a gameday, but it felt like a little bit of a gameday. It was nice to have that feeling again and to see fans in the stands.”
NMSU was short-handed, playing with just 12 players. Clayton Henry, Donnie Tillman, Nate Pryor and Yuat Alok who all sat out with injuries. According to Jans, Henry’s foot injury is, “a little more long-term” after recently undergoing surgery and being placed in a cast.
The Aggies split up into two squads and played a single 20-minute half. In order to simulate a live game feel, officials and media timeouts were used. For fans, it was an opportunity to watch some of this year’s newcomers to the roster such as Teddy Allen, Marsei Caston and Marchelus Avery.
“You try to get the old guys to teach the new guys and try to integrate them the best we can,” said Jans. “At this point, I would say so far so good.”
NMSU will open their season at home on Nov. 9 against UC Irvine. The Aggies will host UTEP on Nov. 13 before playing in the Myrtle Beach Invitational later in the month.