ALBUQUERQUE , N.M. (KRQE) – Another year of University of New Mexico Men’s Basketball is now upon us as the 2016-2017 team started practice on Friday afternoon. We had the chance to speak with Coach Craig Neal and some players prior to that practice and get a feel on the upcoming season.
Coach Neal was asked about not having his son Cullen Neal on the roster this year and he had this to say.
“Cullen doesn’t play for me anymore, you will have to go to the Ole Miss press conference,” said Coach Neal. “Well anytime that you lose a team that was going to come back with a 5th starter its different.”
The team will have a couple of options to fill that point guard position with Jordan Hunter, Freshman Jalen Harris, and maybe even Anthony Mathis. It will most likely be 2nd year Jordan Hunter taking over the point for the Lobos as he showed how athletic he is, but the team is also excited about newcomer Jalen Harris.
“You know Jalen is one of the fastest guys I have seen with a basketball,” said UNM Forward Tim Williams.
The Lobos do get back 10 players from last year and four starters to boot. Among those returning are two MW first team award winners Elijah Brown and Tim Williams. They definitely come in with an even bigger target on their back, but Elijah Brown welcomes the challenge and looks to improve upon his stellar season last year.
“At the end of the day I still have something to prove and I am going to go out and do it, so, no added pressure no,” said UNM Guard Elijah Brown.
The Lobos haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since Coach Craig Neal’s first year as head coach back in 2014. The team knows they have hit some bumps in the road along the way to this year, but they know a MWC is a major goal that they need to attain.
The Lobos will have their annual Howl on October 14th at the Pit.