Said to be unhappy with role on team, UNM Lobo men's basketball player Jay Allen-Tovar to transfer - Albuquerque Journal

Said to be unhappy with role on team, UNM Lobo men’s basketball player Jay Allen-Tovar to transfer

Jay Allen-Tovar
UNM senior Jay Allen-Tovar dunks the ball during Lobos men’s basketball team practice in the Pit on Oct. 25. (Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal)

University of New Mexico forward Jay Allen-Tovar has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal and intends to finish his college playing career elsewhere.

The decision, the Journal has been told, was made following the team’s Nov. 15 win at SMU in Dallas — the last time the Lobos played — and is not related to the events of this past weekend that involved a shooting on the UNM campus and the cancellation of the New Mexico State University-UNM rivalry game in the Pit.

Allen-Tovar’s name has been removed from the team’s online roster.

The 6-foot-9 senior in his second season with the Lobos has one more full season of playing eligibility.

A message sent to Allen-Tovar via social media asking if he planned to make a statement about his decision has gone unanswered.

Lobos head coach Richard Pitino said he and Allen-Tovar talked about his being unhappy with his role on the team and the decision was made to help him find a situation where he can be a better fit at another program for his final season of play.

The coach said the move was supposed to be announced before this past Saturday’s game against NMSU, but then that game was postponed due to the shooting incident. There is a regularly scheduled men’s basketball media conference Wednesday with Pitino expected to talk about the upcoming Lobo Classic to be played Friday through Sunday in the Pit.

Allen-Tovar, who is from San Jose, Calif., and transferred to UNM after two seasons at Salt Lake Community College, led the Lobos in rebounding (5.0) and blocked shots (1.4) in the 2021-22 season while starting 17 of the 32 games he played in. The forward was asked to play out of his natural position much of the season due to UNM’s troubles in the frontcourt, leaving Allen-Tovar often playing the center position, though he never had before in his playing career.

Through three games this season, Allen-Tovar was averaging 15.2 minutes per game off the bench, 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds.

On Monday, UNM women’s basketball player Brooke Berry, a freshman from Billings, Montana, announced she has left the women’s team due to concerns about violent crime on and around the UNM campus, with Saturday’s shooting being the deciding factor.

 

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