New Mexico State Wins: May Not Need Watson After All

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

After losing Tyrone Watson to an indefinite suspension, it looks like a season may be in danger for the Aggies - but if you look closer at the numbers, they may not even skip a beat.

It was reported earlier today that New Mexico State would be without senior forward Tyrone Watson for an unknown period of time, as he was being suspended indefinitely pending the resolution of an assault and battery case in which he is the only suspect (and four witnesses identified him).

Upon hearing of this news, NBCSports' Raphielle Johnson wondered if this would be "the second team to see its WAC title hopes dashed due to personnel issues" after Utah State lost two of their top three scorers (and are trying to avoid their fourth straight loss as we speak).

After tonight, the Aggies likely confirmed what I already believed - that they may not even skip a beat, let alone have their conference title hopes ruined. I understand that Watson is one of only two seniors and therefore somewhat of a leader for the team.

That said, how much of a leader can you be when you aren't one of the three best players on your team? Sure, Watson entered tonight second on the team in points, and his 2.9 assists per game actually led the team, but he was fourth or worse in every other offensive category - and that's only counting players receiving significant minutes.

Fellow senior Banja Sy was only averaging 10.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the season, but in the past seven games (where the Aggies are 7-0) he was averaging 17 and 8, and tonight against Texas State he went nutty, posting 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Freshman Sim Bhullar's growth will also render Watson's absence a moot point. After averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds per game over the team's first 11 games, he went off for 25 points against Missouri State and is now averaging 12 and 7 over the last 11 games, including 10 and 9 tonight.

So much for "Sim Bhullar is averaging 9.8 points per game but the 7-5 center isn't a player the Aggies are going to ask to be an offensive force at this stage in his career." He doesn't need to be a force, he just needs to maintain his progression.

Bhullar, Sy, Dan Mullins and crew are replacing Tyrone Watson, not Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues, and they play in a conference full of very beatable teams, as they showed tonight with their 86-72 dominance of Texas State. The Aggies do not play Louisiana Tech again until the end of the season, and that game will decide the WAC champion, with or without Watson.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mid-Major Madness

You must be a member of Mid-Major Madness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mid-Major Madness. You should read them.

Join Mid-Major Madness

You must be a member of Mid-Major Madness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mid-Major Madness. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker