Shunn Buchanan to coach Aggie basketball


This month, Shunn Buchanan made it official that he will be back in crimson and white, but in a different role. 

Buchanan returns to Las Cruces after two years as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State under Head Coach Chris Jans, the former bench boss for NM State from 2017-2021. Last season he helped the Bulldogs return to the NCAA tournament after recording a 21-win campaign, and saw Mississippi State ranked as high as #15 in the country following an impressive 11-0 start to the season. 

While in Starkville, Buchanan assisted in the development of All-SEC First Team selection Tolu Smith III, who averaged 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23 games of action while shooting 56 percent from the field. 

Before his time with the Bulldogs, Buchanan was an assistant coach at Navarro College under Grant McMillian during the 2021-22 season. While there, he played a large role in the development of the guards and defensive tenacity for the team. They finished with a 17-13 record. 

As an NM State student-athlete for the Aggies under Chris Jans, Buchanan saw 84 wins from 2017-2020, winning three WAC Championships and two bids to the NCAA tournament in 2018 and 2019. In his senior year, he averaged a career-high 20.4 minutes per game and earned 15 starts while leading the team in assists (83) on the season. That season, he also helped the Aggies close the regular season on a 19-game winning streak - then the second longest in the nation. 

During his playing career for the Aggies, Buchanan totaled 230 points, 226 assists, 196 rebounds and 65 steals. Off the court, he received his Bachelor's of Science in individualized studies from NM State in August 2020.  

Before playing in Las Cruces, Buchanan played alongside his brother Leroy at Northeast Mississippi College. While there, he led the Tigers to the MACJC Tournament and NJCAA Region 23 Tournament while averaging 12.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. 

Buchanan also played with brother Leroy at Madison Central High School, leading the Jaguars to the Mississippi High School Athletic Association 6A State Semifinals as a sophomore and a championship game appearance in his junior year. He finished his senior year with another trip to the 6A State Tournament averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals per contest.  

"I'm very excited to have Shunn back in Las Cruces and part of our Aggie coaching staff,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “His ‘team first’ mentality as a former Aggie student-athlete made a deep impression on the people here in Las Cruces. He has a very bright future in this business and will be a valuable asset to our players. His basketball IQ, work ethic, and toughness are all attributes that we look for in our program.”

Shunn Buchanan, Aggies, basketball coach