ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There is no doubt that the talent level has improved. Lobo men’s basketball is a team that is enjoying competitive practices as the 2022-2023 season approaches. The addition of Wichita State transfer Morris Udeze and UMKC transfer Josiah Allick has definitely added size and muscle to a frontcourt that was usually on the bad end of being manhandled last season. Throw in a strong freshman class, and the powerful backcourt duo of Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House and the Lobos sound like a true contender.

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Expectations are high among fans. Second-year head coach Richard Pitino is well-grounded when talking about his team and remains cautiously optimistic. “There still moments where I’m sitting there going guys, like, how are we going to beat a good team when we play like that? And, it’s little things like when a shot goes up, going out there and getting back in transition or if your responsibility is to crash the offensive glass, do you do it? I still think we got a ways to go there,” said Pitino.

The Lobos will give fans a look at their team Friday when they host their Cherry and Silver event at The Pit at 7 pm.

In other sports news, New Mexico State men’s basketball is picked to finish second in the WAC Coaches and Media preseason polls. Grand Canyon is favored to win the 13-team league.

Before they get on the football field again, the Lobos will work on being more disciplined. The Lobos were flagged 11 times for 64 yards in a loss at New Mexico State over the weekend. “It’s hard enough to drive the ball down the field, to score points,” said UNM quarterback Miles Kendrick. “So, when we shoot ourselves in the foot, we are only making it harder for ourselves, harder for our offense, and we’re giving the defense an advantage to do certain things because of the down and distance.” The Lobos are hosting Fresno State Saturday at 4:30 pm.

Espanola, Legacy Academy, Miyamura, and Menaul are in the Spirit Stick poll for week 10. Fans have until noon Friday to go to to vote for their respective school. A winner will be announced on Friday Night Football on Fox New Mexico Friday at 11:05 pm.

Lobo women’s soccer player Lelani Baker is the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week. Baker scored a goal in a pair of Lobo victories last week. The defending Mountain West champions are at Boise State Thursday.