ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two scholarships are available, and signing period begins today
The college basketball spring signing period begins today, but the New Mexico Lobos aren’t expected to ink anybody right away.
The late signing period, however, lasts through mid-May, and the Lobos have two open scholarships for the 2012-13 season.
Per NCAA rules, a team is allowed to award 13 scholarships per season. The Lobos had only 12 scholarship players last season — recruit Jarion Henry failed to get academically eligible prior to last fall, and UNM never used his scholarship.
Phillip McDonald, Drew Gordon and A.J. Hardeman were seniors this past season, and freshman Dominique Dunning quit the team following the year. Barring anyone leaving the program prior to his senior year, the Lobos will have eight scholarship players returning next season: Jamal Fenton (senior), Chad Adams (senior), Kendall Williams (junior), Tony Snell (junior), Cameron Bairstow (junior), Demetrius Walker (junior), Hugh Greenwood (sophomore) and Alex Kirk (sophomore).
That leaves five scholarship openings. In the fall, UNM signed three players — Obij Aget, a 7-foot center from Sudan who plays in La Porte, Indiana; Devon Williams, a 6-8 forward from Dallas and Nick Banyard, a 6-8 forward from Flower Mound, Texas.
That leaves two scholarships to fill.
“The available guys out there are moving really slow,” said UNM coach Steve Alford, talking about potential recruits. Alford said he doesn’t anticipate signing anyone until May, but that he hopes to fill both scholarships.
The Lobos also had two walk-on players this past season — Chris Perez and Alford’s son, Kory. Walk-ons don’t count toward the scholarship limit.
Perez was a sophomore this season and Kory was a freshman. But Kory sat out the season as a redshirt, meaning he still has four years of eligibility remaining.
AWARDS BANQUET: The Lobos got plenty of accolades this past season, going 28-7 and winning a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title, winning the league tournament and winning one game in the NCAA Tournament. On Tuesday, the Lobos handed themselves a few accolades as well at the annual team banquet at the Embassy Suites.
Senior center Gordon was named the team’s Bob King Most Valuable Player, in addition to winning awards for highest field-goal percentage and leading rebounder. Guards Fenton and Greenwood shared the Lobo Award, and Adams was named Comeback Player of the Year.
Other winners were:
Highest free-throw percentage: Snell. Highest 3-point percentage: McDonald. Most improved: Snell and Bairstow. Sixth-man award: Walker. Comeback Player of the year: Adams. Outstanding defensive player: Hardeman and Williams. Most charges: Fenton. Most assists: Williams. All-Academic Mountain West: Greenwood and Kory Alford. Academic achivement: McDonald. Fidelity Investments All-Academic: Kirk.
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal