Chris Jans Continues to Load up NMSU Basketball Roster
While all of college sports works on getting back to on-campus activities, Chris Jans has been loading up his roster for the 2020-21 season. Despite finishing the regular season with 19 straight wins and the WAC regular season championship, the Aggies lost five seniors from that veteran team and two others have entered the transfer portal. Coach Jans knew he needed some impact talent to replenish his roster and he has done just that. Over the weekend, the NMSU head coach was able to land former UNLV forward Donnie Tillman. As a junior with the Runnin' Rebels, Tillman averaged 10.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Prior to his time at UNLV, Tillman played for the University of Utah.
Less than a week ago, the Aggies signed 6-2 Kalen Williams, who had spent his freshman season playing for Western Nebraska Community College. While at WNCC, the attacking guard was third on the team in scoring with an average of 13.5 points and he will have three years of eligibility. They also received news that Clayton Henry will be back for next season after being granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA. Henry missed all but one game in 2019-20 due to a pair of hand injuries.
Earlier this month, 6-11 Jacob Tryon announced that he would be transferring to NMSU for his senior season. The former Portland forward averaged just over 7 points and 5 rebounds with the Pilots last season and he will give Coach Jans some insurance in the post. He can also shot the 3-ball and finish around the basket. C.J. Roberts starred for Billy Gillispie at Ranger College and the 6-1 junior will give the Aggies another scoring guard who can also distribute the basketball. The Aggies signed Jason King last fall out of Snead State in Alabama and the 6-5 guard will have two years of eligibility.
Prior to all of these additions, NMSU landed a pair of impact players for next season. They are former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Watson and USF post player Mayan Kiir. Despite not playing a game for the Cowboys, Watson was ranked as the 14th best shooting guard in the nation according to 247 Sports. Kiir came to NMSU from South Florida, where he played 12 minutes per game as a sophomore. The 6-8 forward was a 4-star 2017 recruit and he originally signed with LSU before moving to USF.
In addition to the five seniors lost, Shawn Williams and Dajour Joseph both entered the transfer portal and are no longer with the team. The school is waiting word from the NCAA regarding a sixth-year waiver for A.J. Harris, who played in three games last season. Harris already used both his redshirt and medical redshirt, which is why he is applying for a sixth-year waiver.
Roberts, King, and Williams are immediately eligible for the 2020-21 season. Watson, Kiir, Tillman, and Tryon would all have to sit out until the end of the fall 2020 semester, unless they get a waiver to play at the start of the season. Regardless, Chris Jans will have another loaded team to work with in Las Cruces. The only question is whether he will have his full playing roster in October or in December.