ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — I know it wasn’t his saying to begin with, but I can remember my high school football coach Joe Bryant in Alamogordo tellings us, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re in trouble.”
Four Lobos in the past four days have learned that saying applies to UNM Lobos men’s basketball coach Steve Alford as well.
“We’ve got some issues with clock management,” Alford said. “Hopefully we can figure out clock management in the near future.”
Juniors guards Kendall Williams and Demetrius Walker showed up late to a team meeting before Sunday’s Portland game. As discipline, both were late (or at least later than normal) to enter the game vs. the Pilots as Alford kept them on the bench deep into the first half.
Then, before Wednesday’s game with Mercer, freshman guard Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas and freshman forward Nick Banyard were each late to a team meeting, landing them on the bench until the final minutes of the second half in a blowout of the Mercer Bears.
Here are when each player entered the game after their late-arrivals to team meetings:
• Kendall Williams, a usual starter and the team’s leading scorer who is averaging 34.0 minutes per game, was not in the starting lineup vs. Portland and didn’t enter the game until the 12:28 mark in the first half. He ended the game with nine points and three assists in just 25 minutes of play.
• Demetrius Walker, who is averaging 22.5 minutes per game and is the team’s fourth-leading scorer, didn’t play until the 7:42 mark of the first half. He ended the game with just three points in 15 minutes of play.
• Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas, the true freshman from Louisiana who has averaged 8.8 minutes per game and has seen action early in the Lobos first six games, entered the Mercer game with 2:10 left in the second half. He ended the game with zero points and two turnovers in those 2:10 played.
• Nick Banyard, the true freshman from Texas has averaged 8.7 minutes per game this season but didn’t get into the Mercer game until the 12:25 mark of the second half. He ended the game with two points scored in five minutes of play.