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.