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Mark Smith's NIT Blog: Lobos heading to Alabama

Time to head southeast. The Lobos win 69-57 and will go to Bama, Alford and Floyd shake hands briefly and head up ramp. We’ll ask later and see what happened

3 minutes left and the Lobos lead 60-50. Thank God. Some people are leaving and there is finally some air in this sauna.

 

Lobos led lead get cut to 45-41 but UTEP misses 3 and McDonald drains 3 at other end to make it 48-41. For a few minutes, it started feeling like St. Louis revisited. Now more like Alabama.

Still wondering how close Alford and Floyd came to blows

Run-and-gun brick-laying convention. Nobody can score…but Miners are scoring less. Lobos lead 45-36 with 11:46 left.
Interesting stat…Drew Gordon is 7-of-10, Kendall Williams is 4-of-9
— every other Lobo that has played has exactly one field goal. Rest of team is a combined 7-of-24

 

 

Lobos rolling…blocked shots, great drives, behind-the-back dish from Fenton to Gordon for a slam…up 40-30. I think. ESPN is on same row but has a much better view. Apparently some guy with a badge told fans to stay seated in front of announcers. Those fans haven’t gotten up yet.
For the rest of the media, still worst view in the league.
Not complaining…just fact

The great debate?
Word from the ESPN guys is that UNM coach Alford and UTEP coach Tim Floyd got into a screaming match during this morning’s shootarounds. Apparently, Floyd’s bunch was supposed to be off the floor by 10:30 a.m. and was still on at 10:50 when Alford brought the Lobos down.
The two then got into quite the shouting match.
Alford and Floyd?
Come on? Not those two.
Early second half, Lobos lead 38-30.

17-17 with 10 left first half: UTEP has a lot of big bodies. Hard to see how it got whipped on the boards this year. Maybe it’s taking 30-foot jumpers with a man in your face. Lobo fans desperate to make something happen – NIT or not. Lot of standing and trying to rally team. 17-17 with 10 left first half.

Miners lead 9-7 at first media timeout. Nice crowd…lot of energy. Lobos missing Dairese, especially on defense. UTEP very physical and getting the ball inside whenever it wants.

 

 

NIT.

UGH.

That’s the typical reaction ‘round Loboville when the National Invitation Tournament comes calling.

Not In Tournament.

Nobody Important Tournament.

 

Most New Mexico basketball fans don’t like the thought of the NIT. But is it really that bad this year?

For a UNM team that was never really in the NCAA Tournament chase once Mountain West Conference play started – actually, even prior to that – the NIT isn’t such a bad deal.

When the Lobos take on UTEP on Tuesday night in the Pit, they will be one of the few teams that might really have something to gain from the event. With the loss of the team’s only senior, point guard Dairese Gary (torn ACL), the Lobos can see a little bit about what life will be like after Gary. The rest of the team is due back next year (at least as of this writing, before the annual transfer bug runs its course), so the Lobos get a head start on 2011-12.

UTEP, in the meantime, could probably care less about the tournament. The Miners are a senior-filled bunch that missed making the NCAA Tournament by seven seconds.

Unless O.J. Mayo gets college eligibility again for UTEP coach Tim Floyd, it’s hard to picture the Miners doing much.

 

GARY INJURY

It happened right in front of me, and it was painful to see. Gary’s right knee twisted, and I felt it. Torn ACL. Yep, know all about that one.

While nothing can be known for absolute certainty until an MRI is taken, there seemed to be no doubt about this one.

Gary never stays down. Yet there he was, down and pounding his fist to the floor. He was then helped off the court and into the locker room, only to be helped back a little later with ice around the knee – done for his career.

I find it interesting that we (media) were all told it would be Monday before UNM would let us know the extent of the injury.

Lobo officials repeated that on Saturday and again on Sunday.

Until the NIT pairings were announced.

As soon as New Mexico secured its bid on Sunday night, it was announced that Gary had a torn ACL.

Sounds like there was a little doubt at UNM about securing that NIT bid – and creating a little doubt about Gary’s health could help nail down a spot.

 

Random thoughts…….

 

Is UNM really selling club level seats for $15 instead for the NIT game instead of the usual $100? Sign me up. Beats the heck out of the elbow room on press row.

… Why isn’t coach Steve Alford announcing who will replace Gary yet? This isn’t soccer, you can always change a lineup. Oh yeah, Floyd – and ex-NBA coach – will never adjust if he’s caught off guard.

… Apologies to KKOB that we failed to list it in one of the three areas of the paper as a station airing last Thursday’s Lobo-CSU MWC tourney quarterfinal. Our mistake. Sorry for the oversight.

… Gary is a great player, a great gentleman and an outstanding leader and role model. One of the top 10 best Lobos ever? That’s up for debate.

One of my top 10 favorites Lobos? No debate.

 

 

 

NIT.
UGH.
That's the typical reaction 'round Loboville when the National Invitation Tournament comes calling.
Not In Tournament.
Nobody Important Tournament.

Most New Mexico basketball fans don't like the thought of the NIT. But is it really that bad this year?
For a UNM team that was never really in the NCAA Tournament chase once Mountain West Conference play started - actually, even prior to that - the NIT isn't such a bad deal.
When the Lobos take on UTEP on Tuesday night in the Pit, they will be one of the few teams that might really have something to gain from the event. With the loss of the team's only senior, point guard Dairese Gary (torn ACL), the Lobos can see a little bit about what life will be like after Gary. The rest of the team is due back next year (at least as of this writing, before the annual transfer bug runs its course), so the Lobos get a head start on 2011-12.
UTEP, in the meantime, could probably care less about the tournament. The Miners are a senior-filled bunch that missed making the NCAA Tournament by seven seconds.
Unless O.J. Mayo gets college eligibility again for UTEP coach Tim Floyd, it's hard to picture the Miners doing much.

GARY INJURY
It happened right in front of me, and it was painful to see. Gary's right knee twisted, and I felt it. Torn ACL. Yep, know all about that one.
While nothing can be known for absolute certainty until an MRI is taken, there seemed to be no doubt about this one.
Gary never stays down. Yet there he was, down and pounding his fist to the floor. He was then helped off the court and into the locker room, only to be helped back a little later with ice around the knee - done for his career.
I find it interesting that we (media) were all told it would be Monday before UNM would let us know the extent of the injury.
Lobo officials repeated that on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Until the NIT pairings were announced.
As soon as New Mexico secured its bid on Sunday night, it was announced that Gary had a torn ACL.
Sounds like there was a little doubt at UNM about securing that NIT bid -  and creating a little doubt about Gary's health could help nail down a spot.

Random thoughts.......

Is UNM really selling club level seats for $15 instead for the NIT game instead of the usual $100? Sign me up. Beats the heck out of the elbow room on press row.
... Why isn't coach Steve Alford announcing who will replace Gary yet? This isn't soccer, you can always change a lineup. Oh yeah, Floyd - and ex-NBA coach - will never adjust if he's caught off guard.
... Apologies to KKOB that we failed to list it in one of the three areas of the paper as a station airing last Thursday's Lobo-CSU MWC tourney quarterfinal. Our mistake. Sorry for the oversight.
... Gary is a great player, a great gentleman and an outstanding leader and role model. One of the top 10 best Lobos ever? That's up for debate.
One of my top 10 favorites Lobos? No debate.
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