Aggies seek WAC title for 5th time
New Mexico State University sophomore Pascal Siakam was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and joins teammate junior Ian Baker on the first team as the conference released the 2016 All-WAC men’s basketball teams. While that is nice, the duo and the rest of their teammates have bigger game to hunt. The Aggies (22-9) are in Las Vegas, Nev. with plans to claim a fifth-straight WAC Tournament Championship.
NMSU tips off in a semifinal tilt at 7 p.m. MT Friday, March 11. A victory puts them in the title game at 9 p.m. MT.
In addition to both being chosen to the All-WAC first team, Siakam and Bakjer were selected to the WAC All-Defensive team.
Siakam was the unanimous pick for WAC Player of the Year after posting 25 double-doubles for the season, ranking second in the nation. He’s 21st nationally in scoring with 20.7 points per game and seventh nationally in rebounding with 11.7 boards a contest. He’s the only player averaging a double-double in NCAA Division I averaging 20-plus points a game. Siakam also is 26th nationally in blocked shots (2.35 per game). He leads the WAC in all categories.
In just WAC games, the 6-9 forward from Douala, Cameroon, double-doubled in 11 of 14 WAC games. In conference play, he led the WAC in scoring (18.8), rebounding (12.4), field goal percentage (54.6) and blocked shots (2.79), and ranked fourth in minutes per game (34.71) and sixth in steals (1.14).
Baker directed the Aggies on the
SIAKAM floor. The 6-0 point guard from Washington, D.C., was ninth in the WAC in scoring with 13.8 points a game, third in the conference in free throw percentage (82.1 percent), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (38.9 percent), sixth in 3-point field goals per game (2.10), eighth in assists (3.71 per game) and steals (1.10 per game).
In just conference games, Baker averaged 13.0 points (12th in the WAC), 5.4 rebounds (14th), 1.29 steals (fourth), 4.21 assists (fifth), hit 81.8 percent of his free throws (eighth), and 37.7 percent of his 3-point field goals (sixth).
CSU Bakersfield’s Rod Barnes was voted the Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year and UT Rio Grande Valley’s Antonio Green was selected as the WAC Freshman of the Year.