ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The roster for the upcoming basketball season is more or less set for UNM. Head coach Richard Pitino met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the current state of the team.
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Coming into the off-season, Pitino said the team would focus on addressing depth in the front court. Various injuries and departures plagued the Lobos around the paint this past season, and the team was much smaller than a lot of the competition. New additions Morris Udeze and Josiah Allick are primed to come in and make the cherry and silver more physical up front moving forward.
“I think obviously with Morris and Josiah, we addressed needs,” said Pitino. “We said over and over again that we needed to get bigger, we needed to get stronger. That will happen with maturity of our young team in the weight room, but we also needed to recruit to it, and we did that. So, we filled some needs, and we’re excited, very excited.”
Pitino is also excited about bringing in high school talent for this years class. During the course of his first year, Pitino repeatedly said that it was hard to recruit kids out of high school during the pandemic due to COVID protocols. Visits were not really permitted and most coach-player interaction was done via Zoom.
As protocols eased, high school recruiting began to have some normalcy and the Lobos were able to sign a few prospects to scholarships. This years freshman class includes Braden Appelhans, Donovan Dent, Quinton and Webb, who signed in the fall, and Albuquerque’s Mac Manzanares who was announced as a walk-on in May.
“That six, with the three freshmen in the fall and then the three we added in the spring, felt more traditional. We had them on visits, we were able to go recruit them and watch them so, really excited we got a lot better.”
The Lobos are expected to have players back on campus this summer.