PORTALES — Before it ever tips off the season on the Greyhound Arena floor, THE Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team will have already toured a pretty fair stretch of New Mexico and southwestern Texas.
The Greyhounds added their third preseason game, a 7 p.m. Oct. 8 battle at New Mexico State.
The game puts the Greyhounds at the limit of three exhibition games in a season, with games Oct. 30 at Texas-El Paso and Nov. 3 at the University of New Mexico.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better three than those three,” Hounds coach Andrew Helton said. “They’re travel-friendly, and all three made the NCAA tournament last year.”
The Aggies posted a 22-12 record last season, claiming top honors in the Western Athletic Conference tournament finals. They were defeated the Western Athletic Conference with a 69-63 win over top seeded Utah State in the tournament finals. Seeded 12th in the Midwest Regional, the Aggies were defeated 70-67 in the first round by eventual Final Four participant Michigan State.
Aggies coach Marvin Menzies, a former assistant for Rick Pitino at Louisville, is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Aggie program, posting 60 wins over that span. Helton is entering his second season with ENMU, and is coming off a 10-16 campaign.
“We look forward to the challenge of playing a team that won the WAC Tournament last season and competed well in the NCAA Tournament,” said Helton. “Coach Menzies and his staff have done a tremendous job in Las Cruces and this might be their best team. In addition, it is a positive for ENMU and our program to play another high major school from the State of New Mexico.”
The Hounds host Northern New Mexico Nov. 12 to open the regular season.