NMSU hoops signs highly-touted JUCO player
New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Chris Jans announced the signing of Indian Hills Community College star forward Ivan Aurrecoechea on Tuesday, May 8. He comes to NM State as the No. 10 ranked JUCO player according to JucoRecruiting.com.
“We are thrilled that Ivan made the decision to join our program,” Jans said. “Ivan plays with a lot of passion and toughness, and will quickly become a fan favorite for our Aggie fan base. His ability to rebound the ball, score around the basket and team-first mentality will allow him to impact our team immediately.”
Aurrecoechea, who spent the last two seasons with Warriors, guided IHCC to its fifth-consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship appearance this past season, going undefeated in both the regular-season and regional playoff action before falling in Hutchinson, Kan., at the National Championship tournament. The Warriors finished the season 33-1, but not before setting a program record with 33-straight victories.
He was named to the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference All-Region First-Team for the second-straight year after averaging a double-double this past season, posting 13.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The 6-8 forward also shot 59.2-percentage from the floor while starting in 28-of-31 games. Aurrecoechea posted double-digit points in 22-of-31 games with 17 double-doubles. On the glass, he pulled down 10-plus boards 19 different times – including a career-high 25 rebounds against Harcum College.
His freshman season with IHCC saw him just shy of averaging a double-double with 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds. Aurrecoechea posted 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting with nine rebounds in his collegiate debut and followed it up with a dozen points on 4-of-4 shooting and seven boards. The Madrid, Spain, native posted his first 20-point game as well as his first-career double-double – scoring 20 points while pulling down 14 rebounds against Polk State.
Aurrecoechea’s freshman campaign continued to flourish down the stretch, including a string of games where he recorded a double-double in 7-of-8 games – including 3-of-4 games during that same stretch with 20-plus boards. Aurrecoechea also earned back-to-back ICCAC Player of the Week honors during that time span on top of his national player of the week accolade.
At season’s end, the Spaniard earned ICCAC All-Region First-Team accolades after helping Indian Hills CC to another NJCAA Region XI Championship as well as its ninth-consecutive league title.
Aurrecoechea will join Addison Wallace on the NM State men’s basketball roster next season as it looks to defend its Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament title.