ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — University of New Mexico junior Merv Lindsay has requested, and received, a release from his scholarship from the Lobos men’s basketball team and will seek a transfer for the upcoming season.
Lindsay, a 6-foot-7 wing player who transferred two years ago to UNM from Kansas, played in 20 games this past season, averaging 6.5 minutes per game with a season high three points at UNLV on Feb. 19.
Lindsay, a Moreno Valley, Calif., native who redshirted during the 2012-13 season after transferring to UNM, would have to sit out the coming season then have one year left to play if he transfers to another Division I program. Or, he could play immediately if he transfers to a non-DI program and have two years of playing eligibility remaining.
UNM head coach Craig Neal, who is recruiting out of state this week, confirmed the news late Tuesday.
The move by Lindsay means the Lobos are now at the NCAA scholarship limit of 13 for the coming season. The Lobos had added seven scholarship players this offseason, either as transfers or as incoming freshmen, since the end of the 27-win, NCAA Tournament 2013-14 season. But they had only six scholarships open until Lindsay’s transfer request.
Other than Lindsay’s, the six scholarships that have opened for UNM since the end of the season include: Kendall Williams and Cameron Bairstow (exhausted eligibility); Alex Kirk (left with one year of eligibility remaining to pursue a professional career); and Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas, Nick Banyard and Tim Myles (transfers).
The Lobos have added this offseason the following seven scholarship players: Xavier Adams, Joe Furstinger and Tohi Smith-Milner (incoming freshmen); Jordan Goodman and J.J. N’Ganga (junior college transfers); and Elijah Brown and Tim Williams (transfers from other Division I programs who will be on scholarship but sit out the coming season per NCAA transfer rules).
Walk-ons Tim Jacobs (Oñate High School by way of Cochise College) and Adam Cumber (Sandia High) have also joined the roster but are not on scholarship.
Smith-Milner is home in New Zealand playing with his country’s national team in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup. Goodman has not yet enrolled at UNM, but is expected to in August.
NEW STRENGTH COACH: UNM on Tuesday announced the hiring of new men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Anderson to replace Diego Baca, who filled that position for the past two seasons.
Anderson comes to UNM after serving as assistant strength and conditioning coach the past three years at Virginia, including most recently as the head strength coach for the Virginia women’s basketball team and also assisted with men’s basketball. He played college basketball at Liberty, where he was named to the Big South All-Freshman team in 2008 under former Lobos head coach Ritchie McKay.
“He comes to us after spending three years at Virginia under Mike Curtis, who spent six years as the strength and conditioning coach with the Memphis Grizzles and has a great reputation in the NBA and college basketball,” Neal said in a statement released by the school.
GREENWOOD HONORED: Lobo guard Hugh Greenwood on Monday garnered another academic honor, being named to the to the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Honors Court.
To be eligible for the award, which a record 895 basketball players earned from this past academic year, a player must be a junior or senior, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher, have completed at least one full year at their current school, which must compete at the NCAA Division I, II or III level or at an NAIA program with an NABC member coach.
Greenwood averaged 6.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this past season for the Lobos and was also named this spring to the Mountain West’s Academic All-Conference team for the third time in his three seasons at UNM.
The NABC is scheduled to announce their annual team academic awards today.