O.K. now we're talkin'. 102 points for the Lobos. The other team, 62 points. A 40-point win before entering conference play. Very nice.
I always believed that Alex Kirk would be a fine player. I even predicted he'd be the freshman of the year in the MWC, and early signs were promising, but the sleeping giant awoke last night. Poor Cal State Bakersfield picked the wrong night to visit the vaunted Pit and they ran into the Mountain of Los Alamos, Alex Kirk. A one-man wrecking crew that couldn't be either stopped or slowed or affected as he shot 11-13 from the field including 2-3 from beyond the arc and 7-8 from the freethrow line and 6 rebounds. The guards kept feeding him and he ate up the poor Bakersfield. Alex Kirk, who played at Los Alamos H.S, in the northern New Mexico mountains was an exciting addition to the Lobos, mostly because of his abilities. But there was that thing about his size. He's a big 6'11" with a wing-span of well over 7 feet. He can shoot from anywhere on the court and has a knack for finding the ball. But last night? Whatever he ate, whatever he did during the day, he needs to repeat exactly for the remainder of the season and he will have lots of choices and the Lobos will have been the team to beat the Mountain West. Who knows? Maybe in the NCAA tournament. Now before I get all crazy, it's important to say that the competition was relatively small and predictably they didn't match up very well at all with the size of New Mexico inside. With that being said, it was still very impressive.
It should scare the crap out of the rest of the Mountain West who really have no idea who to fear on the Lobos as they have seemed thin and deep and a bit disorganized thusfar-although they still boast a nice 11-3 win/loss record. Obviously, senior Dairese Gary is a known quantity, but still might not be the best guard in the league. The scary thing is with the addition of transfer Drew Gordon from UCLA, a big man in his own right with plenty of basketball skills- and Negedu- the other transfer from Tennessee; if you add Alex Kirk to the mix and returning starter A.J. Hardeman- the Mountain West really doesn't have anyone who can really match up with the Lobos- even San Diego State. What a difference a year makes. Although Kirk had a career night at the Pit, he wasn't the only bright spot. Dairese Gary tallied 15 points, 5 assists, and are you ready for this? Zero turnovers. Gary has been stuggling since day one this season with turning the ball over, and when he doesn't give the ball to the other team, he is a force to be reckoned with and Cal State couldn't reckon. Freshman talent Kendall WIlliams dished 10 assists and had 4 steals. I bet you can guess who these guys were feeding. Also, Drew Gordon had 14 points and 11 boards...oh, yeah, and 3 blocked shots. It looked like a game of men vs. boys. The Lobos shot 57% from the floor and 18-24 from the freethrow line. A very tough team to beat with stats like that.
I just went from a Lobo fan to a confident Lobo fan in just one game. Hint: Keep feeding Kirk. He's your man.