NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Richard Pitino and Tim Miles are friends who are trying to rebuild their respective programs in the Mountain West, and both are still looking for their first win in conference wins. The two will clash On Friday as Miles’ San Jose State squad will be visiting The Pit, and the game will come down to avoiding last place in the Mountain West.
SJSU has dropped six in a row but the team still presents a challenge when it comes to guarding the three ball. “They play hard,” said Pitino. “Moore is one of the best guards in the league, in my opinion. I think Smith has the ability to get going. They can play small ball. They can switch up defenses, so, very, very tough opponent. We know they’ll be ready to go and we got to be ready.”
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Former Atrisco Heritage standout Jordan Arroyo has been making the most out of his extra minutes lately. He has seen more time with the Lobos without the presence of a truly big, and Arroyo had a few rebounds and a block on Tuesday. “In practice or just as our depth chart continues to change, he’s just been very, very valuable,” said Pitino. “The one thing that Jordan brings that we just don’t really have right now is a physical toughness that will be developed in time as younger guys get older and stronger and tougher, as well as through recruiting.” Game time against San Jose State is Friday at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Lobo women’s team has been rolling through the Mountain West. UNM is 8-0 in the conference but will face a challenge on Thursday night against second-place UNLV. This will be the second meeting between the Lobos and Rebels this season, following a 71-68 UNM victory a few weeks ago. “They’re the best team in the league,” said coach Bradbury. “You know, they’re really good. So, you know, hopefully, we can stay close enough to have a chance.” Game time is Thursday night at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network.
In other news, UNM men’s golfer Sam Choi was named Mountain West Golfer of the Week. The conferenced announced on Thursday that Choi was the recipient of the award following his performance at the Arizona Intercollegiate earlier in the week. Choi finished 13 under par and finished in second place.
Coach Glen Millican has high hopes for this year’s squad, and it has a lot of experience including a Mountain West title in 2021. “I just think whenever you have a good season like that, especially when you go winning the conference tournament which was also a big tournament to win and then just winning at Nevada, which is a very good experienced team,” said Millican. “Just being in those situations makes the guys better because they know what they are capable of doing.”
Also, Albuquerque-trained fighter Jon Jones hasn’t been in a UFC octagon in two years. His name has recently come out, however, as a potential candidate to fight the current heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou. UFC president, Dana White, told ESPN on Thursday that he hopes a Jones and Ngannou fight can happen this year, and if they can pull it off it will happen.
Jones spoke to KRQE Sports last month, and he is ready to bring his skill set to the heavyweight division. “Well heavyweights are usually big punchers, you know,” said Jones. “So, I think I bring a versatility to the division that is going to be rare. I am really excited to fight either one of them and they are both really big tasks and they have my full respect, all my attention, and it’s going to be great.” Jones has been training in Albuquerque and Arizona.