ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Lobo men’s basketball team has yet to win a conference game. Up next for UNM is a visiting San Jose State team, who is also winless in the Mountain West.

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The Lobos are coming into the game with a 7-13 record, having lost seven in a row. The Spartans on the other hand are 7-11 and have lost six in a row. The two teams are likely to finish at the bottom of the Mountain West, and Friday’s game could be the deciding factor on who comes in last.

UNM head coach Richard Pitino and SJSU head coach Tim Miles have known each other for a while and have faced each other on multiple occasions during their time in the Big 10. Now as first-year head coaches at their respective programs, they are both facing the challenge of turning a team around during a pandemic. “We are in a rebuild,” said Pitino. “This is a program that is not even close to where it’s easy to win. We have challenges within our roster right now. I’m not saying we’re going to win in ten years, but you have to hit reset mentally and tell yourself we’re going to build this thing the right way.”

While the two programs are struggling this season, there are some reasons to be optimistic about the future. The Lobos are third in the league in points scored and second in blocked shots, even without the presence of a big man. UNM also leads the Mountain West in getting to the free-throw line. Meanwhile, San Jose State has been solid from deep and leads the conference in three-point field goals made.

Tipoff between the Lobos and Spartans is on Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be available for viewing on the Mountain West Network.