Tag:Lobo Basketball
Posted on: April 2, 2013 6:14 am

Neal needs to be coach at New Mexico

I hear New Mexico hired Altman from Oregon.  Say it ain't so.

Craig Neal is the only viable coaching hire at this point.  New Mexico would be crazy to not give him a chance because he's the only choice that would keep the Lobo team together next year.  Otherwise, the program loses all momentum.  I think anyone who has watched Alford coach knows that Neal is not only an important part of Alford's success, he may be the most important element.  While I can understand why Alford would take the UCLA job, right now, New Mexico is a better program overall.  Obviously, there is that little thing about the Lobos failing to ever produce in the tournament, but the New Mexico fan base remains impressive.  I can't think of any program aside from Indiana that Alford should have taken.  He had an opportunity to do something special at New Mexico and now that won't happen.  Next year's New Mexico team could be pretty good.  Snell, Kirk, and Bairstow along with Williams would be formidable next year.  I think only Alex Kirk is a legit NBA player right now.  Snell isn't close yet although the potential is obvious.  Williams has a spark but is slow to light.  Bairstow could be a fine role player in the NBA in another year.

On the other side, the freshman class at UCLA and some of the LA recruits may be stellar next season assuming Muhammed sticks around another year...probably not.  I hated Howland's coaching.  He found a way to make great talent mediocre.  He slowed them down so much that it was sickening.  I hate to tell the Bruin fans, but Alford is very similar to Howland.  He slows down the game.  It would be like hiring Bo Ryan thinking he would make UCLA more exciting.

Anyway, hire Craig Neal for a year and see what he does.  He would keep the Lobos intact for a run next year.  I would love to see what he can do.  He would certainly be set up for success next year and not bad if he could keep Kirk.  Contrary to Alford's obvious success, he was never a favorite of the Lobo faithful because of his style.  He's sort of a puhk....a very successful punk, but a punk nevertheless.  Sorry to see his kid go because he was a serious shooter-reminds me of Ole Miss' Henderson- without the antics and baggage.

Hire Craig Neal.  Period...or perhaps a semi-colon...if you can lure the Wichita St coach, that would be fine too.  Good luck though... So while it's not good ridance to Alford, I would say the general sentiment is "hey man, good luck...don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out..."
Posted on: February 3, 2013 8:17 am

Good time to be a Lobo fan

Good time to a New Mexico Lobo fan.   After getting demolished visiting San Diego State, they won two games.  Normally, no big deal, but this week they'll shoot up the polls from #20 to the low teens after Oregon, Butler, Wichita St, Ole Miss, NC St, and Mizzou all lost- most of them twice- and in Butler's case, lost big @ St Louis.  I thought it wasn't possible for anyone to get blown out like New Mexico did at St Louis, but then there was the Butler visit.
Posted on: January 12, 2013 5:18 pm

New Mexico win over Fresno State best yet

Although New Mexico is having a suprising banner year so-far and is now 2-0 in the tougher than usual MWC, this win over Fresno State is their best yet.  At the beginning of the game there was already controversy as starter Chad Adam's knee was too sore to play and team leader Kendall Williams was late to the game and was benched for the entire game by Coach Alford.  The last time a similar thing happened against South Dakota State I think we remembered what happened.  Yeah, the Lobos lost.  This time, against an underrated Fresno State team that although living in the cellar of the MWC, has played almost everygame this year close.  They had held all but one opponent under 65 points.  (UCLA)  Now they had a New Mexico team in the Pit who had been struggling mightily shooting.  So what happens?  New Mexico blows them out.  Cameron Bairstow dominates from the tipoff and Alex Kirk comes in in the second half and dominates.  72-45.  The Lobos outrebound Fresno St 42-21, out shoot them 49% to 33%.  

This Lobo team is deep and if they were to find that kind of combination more, it will be a very good year.    
Posted on: December 31, 2012 11:41 pm

New Mexico gets its butt kicked

So the Lobos were in some kind of nightmare on the road @ St Louis.  They show up to find Mitchell playing his second game of the season, who was a spark on defense and offense.  St. Louis extended the defense and the Lobos seemed not to figure out that they didn't have to continue passing the ball around the perimeter.  Boy, did they pay and kept on paying, and all the coaching staff did was send in substitutes.  10 minutes in it was desperation time with 16 turnovers by halftime.  At the half, St Louis had taken 20 more shots than the Lobos.  Are you kidding me?  How many good shots did the Lobos take in the 1st half?  Remember that unpredictable turnover machine Kendall Williams and that uncontrolled Walker?  Well, they picked a helluva time to show back up.  St. Louis' big man has a career day and the Lobos continue to stand around watching the ball.  Nobody moving their feet.  Their 7-foot center spending most of his time around the arc setting moving picks.  It really looked stupid.  

So in terms of momentum for New Mexico.  It's stopped.  There is none.  Goodbye ranking for awhile.  While all is not lost, the next 6 games are very tough.  If the MWC is as tough as many of us think it is, then New Mexico had better wake up.  

All of us MWC fans know how good is UNLV-at least in terms of potential.  It will take the Lobos playing to full potential just to hang with the Runnin Rebels at Thomas & Mack.  The Lobos will certainly fall back out of the rankings and I couldn't think of a more deserving team to re-evaluate their game.  Alford was pretty dumb to get caught up in a tussle with the ref and get tossed.  They sure had the chance to win the game after they cut it to 10 with more than 11 minutes left, then Lobo defense broke down again and the Lobos put up several horrible shots and didn't go after any balls.  Lots of standing around in this game by New Mexico.

Give a good St Louis credit.  I know it sounds trite, but St Louis is a very good team.  If they force other teams to play into their plans, they will have a great year.  We'll see how New Mexico recovers after getting their butts kicked. 
Posted on: December 28, 2012 5:27 pm

report card Lobo basketball

Cincy win 

Posted on: January 29, 2011 6:15 pm


Now that's what I'm talkin' about.  New Mexico beats BYU.  Always a good day when that happens.  I don't remember seeing a more lackluster performance by New Mexico all the way to about 15 minutes left in the game.  Then, it happened.  What every Lobo fan has been waiting for.  Spreading the floor.  Shooting open shots, swinging the ball.  Playing defense.  Helping.  Communicating.  Young jedi Kendall Williams has yet again showed his potential.  He'll have to continue to work on his demeanor as he starts getting cocky when he hits a couple of shots, but he did a nice job.  Gary did a fine job of outthinking the BYU defense.  Everyone who questioned how good is BYU got lots of evidence as Gary picked them apart by drawing double teams and kicking the ball out to the perimeter, and Williams and Snell killed it.  This is one of about 4 key wins New Mexico needs to be considered to have a place on the bubble.  The bad news is that they need to now beat UNLV and San Diego State- and the Aztecs will be on the road.  Not easy, but not impossible either.  
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:14 am

New Mexico pounds TCU

Great performance coming off a tough loss at UNLV.  It's nice to be home in Albuquerque.  While many will say that Phillip McDonald's performance was great- I'm concerned.  He has been rushing shots and not letting the game come to him.  I would have benched him for the first part of this game to get him to learn patience.  Perhaps I'm way off, but he has been the reason New Mexico has struggled in several games and I sure hope he doesn't think that he should take 9 2-point shots every game.  Nice work again by Drew Gordon, who is continuing to grow more comfortable.  I am seeing the makings of a true leader in him.  Dairese Gary dished a bunch of assists, but played a mediocre game overall.  
Anyway, the story tonight was Jimmer Fredette, right?  Huh, you ask?  What a performance at home against a San Diego State that was just out-coached and was unlucky.  Boy, don't we wish that we had the D.J. Gay that went 0-7 from the field tonight rather than the 30-point performance he had at the Pit?  Good news is that New Mexicoo has a bonafide chance to make a statement on Saturday and immediately lift themselves out of the doldrums of mediocrity.  Yep, you got it...beat BYU at the Pit.  I'm not sure what you can do with Jimmer Fredette except pray and steal his passes.  He's just a monster with sharp teeth as a shooter.  I do, however, think that the Lobos can match up with BYU very well otherwise and can put more perimeter pressure on them.  Hopefully the Lobos can shoot the 3's.  If the long ball is falling,  then it could happen.  Drew Gordon, Alex Kirk, and Hardeman can work the bigs of BYU, but they have to want it.  No half-hearted effort will do it against this BYU team.  They are just too good and too confident.  This win is the first step in the chance for New Mexico to qualify for the NCAA tournament.  This is the time that we will really see if New Mexico is going to be a good team this year or not.  It's up to the team.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 24, 2011 6:29 am

Lobos come up short at UNLV

Thomas and Mack is a great basketball venue.  Not as great as "The Pit," but great.  Just had to throw in a jab there to my Runnin' Rebel friends.  I hate to say, "I told you so..." but I told you so.  Kendall Williams is a bright kid with lots of potential, but this team is asking too much of him.  He is trying to pick up a load that is just too darned heavy, and the other Lobos seem content to watch him do it.  How many times are we going to stand around and watch Kendall Williams try to win the game at the last second standing at the freethrow line and throwing in some unlikely shot?  Why is the game coming down to that?  With the exception of Dairese Gary and Drew Gordon, the Lobos aren't playing very good team basketball.  Or individual basketball.  There is a talented Tony Snell running around like his hair is on fire and Phillip McDonald taking things into his own hands.  Lots of poential, but lacking patience and bit out of control.  
The good news is that I hope everyone saw some very promising signs in the Lobos' game at UNLV.  First, UNLV is a hard place to win (forget that Colorado State just went in there and dismantled the Runnin' Rebels) and the stuggling Lobos came ever so close.  Amazingly, New Mexico had a chance to win the game and certainly to send it into OT with an unlikely steal with just a few seconds left on the clock by Kendall Williams.  The youngster knocked down the first freethrow, after being fouled, but missed the second one with just over a second left- game over.  UNLV wins by 1 point.  I was greatly encouraged to witness the improved feel of the team with Fenton back in.  He made a huge difference in my opinion.  I saw a complete turn-around between this and last game for the Lobos and I believe they can put it back together in time for the tournament and will probably pull a few upsets.  Overall, nice effort.  UNLV has some fine talent but weren't clicking- they were lucky to beat the Lobos, and that should be surprising to basketball fans this season.  This team must become more patient on offense and more agresssive on defense.  20 turnovers is just way too many on the road.  3-12 from beyond the arc is a sign of rushing shots.  When New Mexico gets the ball to the open man, they knock them down- when it's rushed, it's just not going in.  Hopefully Alex Kirk will show signs of life, because the Lobos could certainly use a guy with his skills and size.  
Home should be a nice place to be for at least one game against an overmatched TCU team, but next Saturday, the Jimmer Fredette show comes to town and New Mexico better have learned some lessons or it's going to be ugly.  New Mexico probably overmatches BYU (with the obvious exception of Fredette-and possibly Emery) and has every right to play a good game at home.  The 6th man in the Pit is likely going to be ready.
Category: NCAAB
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