ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lobo men’s basketball has something they lacked last season. They have size and will not be hesitant to be aggressive on the backboard in the 2022-23 season.

“We’re bigger. We’re stronger. We want to make this a blood bath, within the rules of the game,” said UNM second year head coach Richard Pitino. “We don’t want to foul out and do all of those things. But, if a shot goes up we want to attack the offensive glass. If we have a chance to block out, we want to be physical.” The addition of a pair of power forwards.

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Six-foot-eight Wichita State transfer Morris Udeze and six-foot-eight UMKC transfers Josiah Allick are physical players who will make a difference for the Lobos this season. Not only will they help in the paint, the two will also help the talented backcourt of Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. play even more wide open then they did last season.

Mashburn and House come into this season touted as one of the best backcourt duos in the west. “If they are doing their job down there, that opens up a lot more stuff for me, for Jalen, and for KJ, a lot more open shots, a lot more driving lanes, because they are down there sealing, they got to occupy the other bigs,” said Mashburn.

“So, I mean we got a lot more room to operate. So, that helps our overall offense in a big way.” The Lobos, who finished dead last in the Mountain West the season before Pitino arrived, were ninth in the among eleven teams last season. Fans’ expectations are high for this season and the Lobos believe they can deliver. Pitino wants his team to think of the best.

“Do I want them thinking Mountain West Championships? of course I do,” said Pitino. “That’s why I came here is because I believe we can win Championships. Are we ready to win a championship in a league that’s got great stability? I don’t know. We will see when adversity hits and we will see as the season goes on, but I really like where the roster is right now.”

The Lobos open the season with an exhibition game against CSU Pueblo on October 29.