Posted on: March 5, 2011 8:30 pm

New Mexico flies over the Air Force

New Mexico beats Air Force.  Barely.  I'm really not certain that the MWC is good or not good.  I do know that it wasn't easy for New Mexico to win the game.  I have fought the Big Conference snobs daily regarding the perception that the Mountain West conference is weak.  "Who do they play, and who did they beat?"  All relevant questions and comments.  I think Air Force is just mentally tough.  That's what I've always thought.  I think Air Force would finish in the middle of the pack of just about every conference because of that asset.  
o.k.  game time.  Whew!  That powerhouse, Air Force basketball, gave the Lobos all they could handle tonight.  Gordon managed a double-double yet again and Jamal Fenton had a great 1st half.  Nice that Dairese could play his last regular season game and be a piece of winning the game with his play down the stretch.  New Mexico hit freethrows to win.  

This Air Force team just seems to know exactly what to do with New Mexico.  They played exceptionally smart basketball and kept it close throughout and shot the 3's when they needed to.  Th Falcons are a team that could pull an upset next week in Vegas if their long ball is going in.  

A disturbing sign hidden within the obviously successful final night at the Pit was that during the 1st half we saw the same lackadaisical energy that has plagued this year's young Lobo team.  Fortunately, the Lobos started some good effort a bit earlier than many of this year's games and without it, I'm afraid we would have seen another heart-breaking loss at the end of the game.  Hopefully, this was a let-down game after the spectacular performance at Provo.  I will admit that New Mexico did shoot the ball decently from outside in the 1st half, but their perimeter defense was lacking- really it was a general lack of energy- and that just won't do it in any tournament.  The big guys started playing in the 2nd half.
We'll hope for the best next week and that the Lobos have some tough practices and get ready for the 1st round.  Coach Alford and Neal better get their act together and ensure their team starts playing at the tip-off.  The challenge will be to win the first game, because that's the scary one.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2011 8:21 pm
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:27 pm

Oh no! Utah at the last second! OMG

Good game by the Lobos overall.  Gordon ties the highest rebounding total of the season in the nation with 23.  Dairese Gary showed that he is a senior.  he waited until the very end of the game to do it though.  Drew Gordon just might be quite a bit better than anyone may have guessed.  McDonald is showing everyone that he's just not much when it counts.  

The crowd of 15K was stunned with yet another last second shot.  Too bad.  Snell missed shots.  Kendall wasn't on.  Alex didn't play.  Fenton wasn't a part of the team.  What in the heck is the New Mexico coaching staff doing?

Too darned close and the Lobos let Utah beat them in the Pit.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 17, 2011 4:37 pm

The Unreasonable Lobo Fan

This was written as a joke to my online friend dk13 beso:  It's an optimistic farce, but I know Lobo fans understand both the humor and the bitter sarcasm.  I really love my Lobos and it makes me ill to watch them play like someone died.  

 You know beso, nobody will want to face this Lobos team in Vegas.  Also, it sucks that the Mountain West is so blind that they give UNLV such an unfair advantage in the tourney.  If you held the tourney in the Pit, you'd have a real tournament.  Heck, maybe the visiting teams could have balloon rides and stuff.  There may even be skiing at Sandia Peak during down times.  It would be awesome.  It would also take the game out of the den of iniquity and debauchery to a more civilized city.  Those who insist on gambling can go to one of the many area Indian casinos.    
This Lobo team is the most athletic and talented team ever and they have size to add to supernatural physical abilities.  Gordon is probably the best power forward in the country and Gary is still the toughest PG in the nation who will take the ball to the hoop regardless of personal safety to either himself or others.  This is a team that won't only win the "Runnin' Rebel invitational," it is one who could go deep in the tourney.  I'd like to see this Lobo team show an o.k. team like Pitt or Texas how we roll in Nuevo Mexico. 
 SDSU was lucky to win both contests against the Lobos.  The refs were certainly being paid by the greater San Diego area booster club.  After the New Mexico coaching staff called the refs on it, they finally let the teams play and you saw what happened, the Lobos nearly won the game.  Leonard was overrated and Thomas threw up a bunch of bad shots that went in.  Imagine what would happen if we didn't have the "ranked team hometown bias?!!!"  Back home to the newly refurbished masterpiece known as "the Pit," where we'll teach Utah and UNLV a lesson they'll never forget.  I'm so sick of the complaining about the clock not working or the fire alarm having problems.  What?  Haven't people ever done renovation in their house.  Stuff happens.  I can't wait to go on the road to Provo and kick some Latter Day butt- then onto the Big Dance.  New Mexico should be an easy select for the committee with a couple of great wins and the fact that they were in nearly every game this season.  (They just ran out of steam at Cal because the game was at sea level and Utah cheated like a mo fo (if you watched the game you'd know what I'm talking about)...otherwise, this team has dominated all season long.)  If the ball would have bounced just a little different in six or seven games, the Lobos could be looking at a #1 seed-MAYBE a #2 seed in the tourney and their best record ever.  The rotation is making sense.  Taking Kendall Williams out of the game and not putting in Fenton in the game was a great move at San Diego State.  Those guys will have to earn playing time.  I appreciate a coaching staff willing to teach lessons during big games.  It builds character.  Alford is doing all the right things and New Mexico is ready to peak.  Woof, woof, woof...
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 16, 2011 8:13 pm

Lobos lose 1st half and game @ Colorado State

Lobos gave half effort through 3 quarters and tried to put it together at the end.  Gary was tight.  The rest of the team followed.  This won't cut it.  See what happens if the Lobos try to do this at San Diego State and BYU.  Long nights.  Lobos may want to hope for a favorable seed in the Vegas invitational.  It looks like their best shot to make the Big Dance.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 9, 2011 10:15 pm

Revenge against the Cowboys

Revenge is sweet.  Last time the Lobos faced Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming's Cruz beat New Mexico at the buzzer with a desperation shot after several offensive rebounds.  Fittingly, Cruz put up the last shot at the Pit, but one difference...the score was already UNM 68 and Wyoming 57.  This shot didn't go in either.
Interesting.  Yet another time that the young Lobos scared the heck out of us New Mexico fans.  Wyoming looked like they were going to take the game to the wire again and I reached for the Tums.  Freshman and leading candidate for Freshman of the Year in the MWC, Kendall Williams just couldn't get his shots to fall.  Several layups just fell off the rim.  3 pointers weren't there tonight for Williams, but he did make things happen with this tenacity and his assists.  7 assists were certaily a big part of the game along with his 4 rebounds and 2 steals.  Phillip McDonald is still struggling at 3-8 and 0-3 from the field and 3pt line (respectively).  Tony Snell had a career night with 19 points going 5-9 from beyond the arc.  The bad news is that Snell is the only Lobo to hit a long ball.  The Lobos, as a team, went a pathetic 5-20 from 3-point land.  Drew Gordon had another strong game posting yet another impressive double double with 18 points and 16 rebounds.  Dairese Gary played an average game scoring only 8 points, 2 assists and 4 troublesome turnovers.  The rest of the team had less than average energy and just weren't shooting well.  This kind of effort simply won't get it done in their most important game yet.  (o.k., BYU was pretty good...)  They travel to Ft. Collins to face Colorado State and this one is for quite a few marbles- namely, the one who loses is done for NCAA at-large consideration.  The still in the unenviable position to have to prove themselves and win games against BYU and San Diego State to be considered for the Big Dance.
Coach Alford and clan did not play a good game with the exception of a few minutes in the 2nd half.  That probably won't get it done against Colorado State and it certainly won't win at San Diego State or in Provo.  
The good thing is that if I were coaching against the Lobos, I would have no idea who to concentrate on.  I guess try to contain Gordon on the boards and keep Snell from beating you beyond the 3-pt line.  Then there's Kendall Williams who can also shoot and dish and Dairese Gary is tough.  Phillip McDonald has shown that every now and then he can be patient and kill you from beyond the arc.  Fenton is lighting quick and Alex Kirk can shoot.  Not all is lost for the Lobos.
Go Lobos!
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:22 am

New Mexico flies higher than Air Force

After the Big win against BYU on Saturday, this Lobo team came out right where they started.  For a bit it looked like they were taking too many 3-pointers, but then when they started hitting them, well, I guess it was okay.  After a sluggish start in the MWC, it looks like the Lobos are ready to accept the mantle as a decent team instead of a hot and cold young thing.  They have now evened up their conference schedule at 4-4 just in time to take the #4 spot from Colorado State.  It is incredible that this is the same team that was blown out of the gym by Utah and got beat by Wyoming...and for that matter, the same team that was obliterated by Cal.  Kendall Williams had another nice game on his quest to be MWC freshman of the year.  He is still shooting extremely well and going after loose balls too.  He ended with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 36 minutes of play.  Alex Kirk was a non-entity as he played only 1 minute.  Maybe he was sick...again.   The boy's going to have to get some playing time soon or he's going to be a freshman again next year.  Is this really the kid that scored 31 points this year?  
When Air Force shoots 56% from the floor and 43% from beyond the arc, you'd think the Lobos would have been in deep trouble.  Nope.  Not a problem.  The vaunted Princeton offense was generally ineffective.  So much for Ivy league in the West...  Air Force was down by as many as 23 points in the second half and New Mexico was loose as they get- which wasn't a great thing because they made a bunch of dumb plays down the stretch that could have caused them trouble if they weren't so far ahead.  
So what was the difference, you ask if the Lobos didn't quite shoot as well as Air Force.  Well, two things...freethrows (19-21 from the charity stripe) and rebounding (26-19)- well, maybe three things...and inside play.  Gordon and Hardeman combined for 29 points inside.  Hardeman was a perfect 4-4  from the field and 4-4 from the line.  4 steals by speedster Jamal Fenton was a nice thing to see along wiht his 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 points.  
We should be very relieved that Gary is finally getting his stride back.  10 assists against BYU and 8 against the Falcons is going to bring him to the forefront in the MWC pretty soon.  
At home this weekend hosting the Wyoming Cowboys who gave the Lobos their worst loss on a last second shot at the buzzer in Laramie.  It should be fun with the Lobos looking like they have figured out a few things- namely like how to win basketball games.
Category: NCAAB
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
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