This time, they agree.
New Mexico and Boise State announced Friday the new dates for their two-game men’s basketball series — now to be played Dec. 21 and 23 in Boise, Idaho.
The Dec. 21 game will be televised on FS1 and tip off at 7 p.m. The broadcast details and start time of the Dec. 23 game have not yet been announced.
The Mountain West on Nov. 17 scheduled the series to be played this week — Thursday and Saturday. But UNM said publicly from that day that its team doctor advised the Lobos not to play until they’d had two full weeks of uninterrupted practices for the safety of the players. UNM had been prohibited from holding full team practices in New Mexico due to the public health order.
“We are excited to be able to play Boise State Dec. 21-23 and appreciate the Mountain West for working with us to make this opportunity possible for our team,” UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez said in a release. “We will always prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes, especially during these challenging times.”
UNM on Nov. 20 relocated to Levelland, Texas, and have practiced there (at South Plains College) since.
With the Boise State game scheduled, UNM likely will finalize in the coming days as many as four non-conference games, but none before the team returns to Albuquerque next week to take finals.
They include a potential NMSU-UNM game in Las Vegas, Nevada, where both schools would try to schedule an additional opponent on the same trip. Likely dates are between NMSU’s Dec. 12 game at Arizona and UNM’s Dec. 21 game at Boise State.
As for the newly scheduled games, and despite the league saying the health and safety of all players is first and foremost on everyone’s mind in all the scheduling decisions this season, Boise State coach Leon Rice this week publicly complained about the postponements. He said it was important for the teams to try and get in as many games as they can now before COVID-19 leads to cancellations.
NMSU, meanwhile, which also faced the same shortened preseason and relocation out of state, has played twice; WAC preseason player of the year Jabari Rice broke his foot in the game and is now out 6-8 weeks, the school announced.