Greg Heiar is Quietly Assembling a Powerhouse Roster at NM State
When Greg Heiar took over the reigns of the New Mexico State University basketball program last month, he promised fans that "we gon' get this thing poppin." Although he won't coach his first game with the Aggies until November, his first recruiting class is shaping up to be a big one.
So far, Heiar has signed eight players for the 2022-23 season. They include a pair of top 30 junior college stars who helped the new NMSU head coach win the juco national championship this past season at Northwest Florida State College. They also signed a 7-3 big man who had been received several offers from various high majors. Add in a double digit scorer in C-USA, a former top 100 prep player, the son of an Aggie legend, and a 21-year old freshman from Israel and NMSU is picking up right where they left off last season.
When you look at the roster on paper, Heiar has size, strength, and lots of ability. Heiar also chose to go for an older player, with a combination of top juco talent, D1 transfers, and European imports. He also landed a second generation Aggie, who starred in high school in Las Cruces playing for his father. Former UTSA scorer Jordan Ivy-Curry tweeted out last week a photo of himself in an NMSU uniform with the message that he signed, but no official word of his transfer to the Aggies has been confirmed by the school. Here is the current list of newcomers along with a bio, thanks to the NMSU Athletic Department.
Deshawndre Washington | PG | Jr. | 6-7 | 195 | Chicago, Ill./Northwest Florida State College
Considered to be one of the top junior college recruits in the country. He averaged 12.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.6 minutes per game. He chose NMSU after receiving offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Boise State, DePaul, Missouri, South Carolina and UTEP.
Bol Kuir | C | Fr. | 7-3 | 220 | Belfry, Ken. /Belfry High School
The South Sudan native chose the Aggies after receiving offers from Texas, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Providence while also receiving some interest from Kentucky. Kuir averaged 13.8 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game as a junior in his first year of high school basketball. He is already considered one of top prospects at center in the 2024 NBA Draft.
Deuce Benjamin | G | Fr. | 6-1 | 160 | Las Cruces, N.M./Las Cruces High School
The Gatorade MaxPreps Player of the Year in the state of New Mexico, Benjamin poured in 25.3 points per game while adding 5.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 2.8 steals per outing for a Bulldawgs team which went 31-1 in 2021-22.
Shahar Lazar | G | Fr. | 6-3 | 198 | Emunim, Israel/Hapoel Tel Aviv Academy
The first-ever NM State player to call the Asian nation of Israel home, Lazar most recently suited up for Elitzur Ironi Netanya - one of the 12 teams which comprise the Israeli Basketball Premier League. One of the best prep players in the country, Lazar claimed a spot on Israel's U18 national team in 2019. In eight games at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship, the guard averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Issa Muhammad | F | R-Jr. | 6-9 | 225 | Atlanta, Ga./Northwest Florida State College
A force in the paint, averaged 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.8 blocked shots through the Raiders' 36-game slate. Muhammad generated shooting splits of .511/.231/.610 through his sole season in a Northwest Florida. Posted 18 outings of 10 or more points, a pair of 20+ point outings and six double-doubles on the year.
DaJuan Gordon | G | Jr. | 6-3 | 190 | Chicago, Ill./Curie Metro HS/Kansas State/Missouri
Through his lone season in a Mizzou uniform, Gordon started each of the 32 games he took part in. In all, the Chicago, Ill., product averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.5 minutes per game. Serving as one of the primary contributors for Bruce Weber's Kansas State squad, Gordon logged minutes in 25 games as a sophomore in 2020-21 while starting 22 of those contests.
Doctor Bradley | F | So. | 6-8 | 200 | Gardena, Calif./Cal State Fullerton/Salt Lake CC
Took part in all 37 of the Bruins' contests last season and made 17 appearances in the starting lineup. He averaged 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 20.7 minutes per game. He averaged 5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 12.0 minutes per game through his lone season of on-court deployment with the Titans.