Craig Neal and his Lobo basketball team continue to navigate ups and downs


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After a loss at home against UNLV Tuesday, University of New Mexico head basketball coach Craig Neal went to his team looking for answers. He said they came up with one but, he did not share it with members of the media.

The Lobos are in the midst of a three-game losing streak that has some Lobo fans irate and calling for Neal’s head. While Neal was walking off the court Tuesday one fan yelled, “get out of here.”

Tuesday, the Lobos looked like a team shaken by a devastating loss and the firestorm that is social media.

“I think the outside stuff from social media, it gets played everywhere, text messages, Twitter. I think that affects 18, 19-year-old, 20, 21-year-old kids,” said Neal.

Lobos guard Dane Kuiper also acknowledged the outside noise my have affected the team’s play.

“It’s kind of hard seeing it on everywhere, on TV, on Twitter,” said Kuiper. “You even see it on Instagram a little bit. You kind of have to block it out.”

Fans critical of the Lobos have also hit the airwaves to express their frustration.

“The Lobos aren’t playing any defense,” said one fan calling into 610 The Sports Animal on Wednesday.

Another fan expressed doubt in Neal.

“I don’t think the guy is ready to be a full-blown coach,” said the caller.

The Lobos have been dogged by opponents making three-point shots this season and the last. In their last three setbacks, the Lobos have made on 14 three-point shots while allowing opponents to knock down 34.

“That’s what we’re averaging 4 and we are giving up 9,” said Neal. “So, we got to learn to get out on the shooters a little bit quicker. Make them uncomfortable.”

Picked to finish third in the preseason, the Lobos are 2-3 in Mountain West games. They are at Colorado State Saturday for a noon start against the Rams that will be broadcast on ROOT Sports.

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