Wendell McKines to lead New Mexico State

New Mexico State began practicing Monday to prepare for its preseason trip to Canada. Forward Wendell McKines told the Las Cruces Sun-News that he spent the summer working on his jump shot and defense.

Oh Wendell, don't be bashful. As this video from YayAreasFinest shows, McKines also spent plenty of time also working on his explosiveness and dunking ability during summer league play in San Francisco.

McKines, who is suddenly a senior now and one of the WAC's top returning players, is also talking about being a leader, according to the Sun-News.

"They know that I give my all on the court," McKines said. "I'm not a selfish player and I've been through a good amount of things in my three years and whatever I can prevent them from going through from my experience, I'm all for it.

McKines in fact is coming off an eventful year full of experiences. He would have led the WAC in rebounding averaging 9.8 per game had he played in enough games to qualify, missing the first 10 games of the season while academically ineligible.

Other distractions include calling out New Mexico State fans on his blog and getting arrested, but the season ended with the Aggies going to the NCAA tournament and giving eventual Final Four team Michigan State all it wanted in the first round.

That McKines is taking on more responsibility from the get-go is a great sign for the Aggies because getting back to the NCAA tournament is certainly no slam dunk.

Putting together the building blocks for that kind of team starts now.