So, about that Lobo hoops schedule released a little over a month ago.
There have been some tweaks.
The Mountain West Conference on Thursday announced its complete television schedule for the coming 2022-23 men’s basketball season.
The good news for Lobo men’s basketball fans is that all 18 conference games will be on actual television channels — CBS Sports Network or FS1 — with none being exclusively streamed online or streamed through an app of any kind (though some games can still be viewed that way if one so chooses).
It’s the first time in a decade that every league game will be televised for the Lobos.
UNM and expected preseason favorite San Diego State are the only two in the 11-team conference to have every league game scheduled for television.
But, also a part of Thursday’s league-wide television schedule announcement, was the changing of dates for eight Lobo basketball games since the school announced its full schedule Aug. 31.
As part of the league’s media rights partnership with CBS Sports and Fox Sports, those broadcast partners look at the original league schedule then pick the games they want to air with the right to move any of them one day, in either direction, to fit an open time slot.
As such, the Lobos’ eight game-date changes since the Aug. 31 schedule release are:
■ Jan. 20 vs. Boise State (was Jan. 21)
■ Jan. 23 at Nevada (was Jan. 24)
■ Jan. 27 vs Air Force (was Jan. 28)
■ Feb. 1 at Utah State (was Jan. 31)
■ Feb. 10 at Air Force (was Feb. 11)
■ Feb. 17 at San Jose State (was Feb. 18)
■ Feb. 22 at Boise State (was Feb. 21)
■ March 3 at Colorado State (was March 4)
The Lobos will have 10 games air on FS1, which will include the Dec. 18 nonconference game in the Pit against Iona, coached by Rick Pitino, the dad of the Lobos’ second-year coach Richard Pitino. CBS Sports Network will televise UNM’s other nine league games.
All UNM nonconference games in the Pit which are not televised will be available online at TheMW.com.
ON SCHEDULING: Asked how he felt about the Lobos’ nonconference schedule — a 13-game slate with 10 games in the Pit and true road games against teams that finished last season ranked in the top 80 of the NCAA’s NET and KenPom.com rankings — Pitino was happy, but with the hope it can get better.
“Everybody says, ‘Well, you can’t get the Power 5 teams to come play in the Pit. Nobody’s gonna play in the Pit.’ I don’t believe that,” Pitino said. “I don’t think that’s accurate at all. I think the key is for our program to get to a point where there is a return on these teams’ investment to lose to us. I know as crazy as that sounds, they don’t want to lose to a team that’s 140 in the NET. Now, they don’t mind losing to a team that’s 50 in the NET.”
UNM finished last season 165 in NET and 162 in KenPom — one season after finishing 303 in the NET and 294 in KenPom. Those numbers, Pitino has said, make it nearly impossible to lure power conference programs to Albuquerque.
“So, I think as our program grows, you’ll see more marquee opponents,” Pitino added. “We will call the Arizonas and the UCLAs and the Utahs and the Texas’ and ask them to play home-and-home (series). But our program needs to get better for them to feel like that’s necessary.”
ALMOST TIME: The Lobos’ first taste of real competition, at least the kind against guys not also wearing Lobo jerseys, comes next week (Oct. 14) in the Pit.
The Lobos will host a scrimmage against the Big Sky’s Northern Arizona University. It is closed to the public, per NCAA rules, but coaches are allowed to talk publicly about the results or stats from the scrimmage.
The Lobos have an exhibition game Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the Pit against CSU-Pueblo and a free-to-the-public Cherry Silver scrimmage Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
The NCAA allows teams 30 practices over the 42 days leading up to the first regular season game (Nov. 7 for UNM). All scrimmages (like vs. NAU), exhibitions (like vs. CSU-Pueblo) and open-to-public events (like the Cherry Silver scrimmage) count toward that number, leaving the Lobos with 27 traditional preseason practices.
DREW ON THE MOVE: Former Lobo basketball assistant Drew Adams, who worked on the staffs of Steve Alford and Craig Neal from 2011-2015, is on the move.
The University of Cincinnati this week announced Adams as its Associate Athletic Director for Men’s Basketball. He spent the past seven years as an assistant coach at Bradley.