San Diego State’s Fisher Provides an Example for UNM
Eight days prior to holding the New Mexico Lobos to a shot-clock era low 34 points, San Diego State coach Steve Fisher was scratching his head about his own team’s offensive ineptitude.
In Laramie, Wyo., on Jan. 19, the Aztecs had nine first-half points and ended up losing 58-45. That game had followed a home loss to UNLV on Jan. 16.
Instead of hitting the panic button, SDSU won two league games last week by 21 points, apiece, at Nevada and vs. UNM. It was a rebound week the No. 20 Lobos hope to emulate with games at Wyoming and vs. Nevada.
“Like everyone, you say next play, next game,” Fisher said. “We were as bad as we could be against Wyoming. They had a lot to do with it, but we had some to do with it. We worried about ourselves. That’s what you have to do and I’m sure that’s what I’m sure Steve Alford and the New Mexico coaching staff and players will do.”
Alford agreed. Instead of the Lobos blowing things up and changing too much, Alford says the team will just get back to working on the same things that got them to 17 wins and first place at 4-1 in the league in the first place.
“It’s really just the same,” Alford said. “We don’t harbor bad days or a loss here or there. To be 17-3 through 20 games playing the schedule we’ve played, it’s like I continue to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with our basketball team. … But do we have issues? Do we have to get better? Do we have to improve? There’s no question.”
UNM has been struggling to rebound the ball in particular in the past three games, being out-worked on the boards against Boise State, Colorado State and SDSU by a combined 121 to 87.
Still, don’t expect any major changes to the way the Lobos prepare this week.
“I don’t think there will be any different approach,” Alford said.
LOST IN TRANSLATION? After Saturday’s loss to SDSU, UNM sophomore point guard Hugh Greenwood riled Aztecs fans.
“(SDSU) is not a great defensive team, but they forced us to turn the ball over,” Greenwood said.
After holding the Lobos to 34 points, SDSU fans expected more love from the Lobos.
San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Mark Zeigler on Monday asked Alford to comment on Greenwood’s bulletin board statement.
“I think it’s being from Australia and not being over here long enough to know what good defense looks like,” Alford joked.
Greenwood was not available to media on Monday.
RANKINGS: The AP Top 25 last week had 17 losses and 14 of those at the hands of unranked foes.
Seemingly everyone losing probably played into the hands of the Lobos only dropping five spots in each poll after their horrendous offensive showing Saturday in San Diego.
UNM was ranked No. 20 in Monday’s AP Top 25 and No. 22 in the USA Today coaches poll. The Lobos were 15 and 17, respectively, in those polls last week.
SDSU swapped spots with UNM in the two polls – 22 in AP, 20 in the coaches. UNLV and Colorado State received votes in each poll.
VOTERS: A week ago, two voters -Randy Rosetta of the New Orleans Times Picayune and Percy Allen of the Seattle Times – left UNM unranked while their 63 fellow AP voters had the Lobos ranked No. 20 or higher.
Monday, even after the SDSU loss, Rosetta (24) and Allen (21) both decided to include the Lobos on their Top 25 ballots.
Five other voters, however, dropped the Lobos off their rankings.
For the second-consecutive week the Lobos most love came from Dave Borges of the New Haven (Conn.) Register who has UNM ranked the highest at No. 13 (he had them highest last week at No. 9).
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal