ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Lobo Men’s Basketball team is now entering year three with Head Coach Richard Pitino, and expectations around the team have continued to rise.

Last year, the Lobos were the last remaining unbeaten team in the country at 14-0, and this year’s squad features the returning corps in the backcourt and newly added size up front.

“We liked our team, but that was a little bit of a surprise,” said Coach Pitino. “Well, now the other teams are going to have us circled, we will probably be picked top three-ish, I would assume. So, from my standpoint nothing changes, I got to get our guys to understand what goes with people thinking that you are going to be good.”

While the Lobos already started official team practices for the upcoming season, one key player has still not reported to Albuquerque. Nelly Junior Joseph, a 6’10” transfer, is projected to be the team’s starting center following his two-time all-conference seasons at Iona, however, he has not been able to gain entry to the country due to visa issues.

“I wish I had a direct line to Nigeria, and I do not,” Pitino said. “We are still very confident that sooner rather than later it will happen. Nelly, to his credit, we are talking to him every day on Zooms. You know, the biggest thing is just take care of your academics. We will get you in shape whenever that is, but he has been great so far.”