The New Mexico State Aggies play their first game against a Division I foe under new coach Greg Heiar on the road against UTEP on Saturday with both teams featuring new looks.
New Mexico State Aggies (-1, 132) vs. UTEP Miners
Both teams lose their top five scorers from a season ago, but coach Joe Golding of UTEP has instilled in the program a mentality of taking the ball away as the Miners ranked in the top 50 in turnovers forced on a per possession basis last season.
Southern Miss transfer Tae Hardy should fit what Golding is looking to do on defense after registering 13.7 points and 1.7 steals per game last season while making 38.5% of his 3-pointers.
Between Division I and junior college transfers, New Mexico State has nine players that were on the floor for different schools last and while one those is LSU starter Xavier Pinson, he is coming off of a season in which he had 3.2 turnovers per game and shot 24.2% from 3-point range.
Though UTEP lost their season opener to Texas, they generated 15 turnovers against the Longhorns and in a “secret scrimmage” prior to the season, lost to Texas Tech by just four points.
With New Mexico State having a lack of chemistry with so many new faces and being tasked with facing defense that feasts on turnovers, the Miners will strike gold with a win on Saturday.
The Play: UTEP Moneyline -102