Lobo hoops notebook: Seck to transfer, House returns, Udeze update and more - Albuquerque Journal

Lobo hoops notebook: Seck to transfer, House returns, Udeze update and more

Lobo’s Birima Seck (center) smiles as he watches young athletes work on their dribbling skills during the Richard Pitino Basketball Camp at The Pit in Albuquerque on June 28, 2022. (Chancey Bush/ Albuquerque Journal)

UNM’s Birima Seck, a 6-foot-11 sophomore forward from Senegal by way of Dream City Christian in Arizona, entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday.

He becomes the fifth Lobo on scholarship to enter the portal since the end of UNM’s season March 15.

Joining him with a Monday portal entry from UNM was 5-foot-11 walk-on guard Safi Fino-A-Laself, who appeared in 10 games this season for a total of 14 minutes.

The recruiting web site VerbalCommits.com announced both entries into the transfer portal. Seck shared the Verbal Commits tweet about his decision, but did not post any comment.

This past season, Seck averaged 1.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 6.0 minutes per game. He appeared in 28 games in New Mexico’s 2022-23 campaign and 46 total over his two seasons.

He joins fellow UNM scholarship players Emmanuel Kuac, K.J. Jenkins, Javonte Johnson and Josiah Allick in the transfer portal, the NCAA database players enter when they formally request a transfer from their current program.

Those six — the five scholarship Lobos and Fino-A-Laself — represented 27.4% of UNM’s scoring and 36.7% of its rebounding this past season.

The NCAA’s transfer portal window runs from March 13 through May 11. As of Monday, there were more than 1,000 names listed on the Division I transfers page on the Verbal Commits site. There were 1,763 in 2022, which accounts for just under five transfers per team out of the 363 Division I programs.

HOUSE CALL: Though news broke of his decision on social media on Saturday and was well known by those around the program last week, UNM senior point guard Jaelen House on Monday, through a social media post by UNM Athletics, confirmed he will be back for the 2023-24 season with the Lobos.

The fifth-year point guard decided to utilize an extra season of eligibility the NCAA allows for any player who played during the 2020-21 season impacted by COVID.

The 6-foot House, an All-Mountain West selection by both the media and coaches this past season, averaged 16.9 points, 4.7 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.2 turnovers in 32 games played this past season.

MORE MO: Former Lobo center Morris Udeze has accepted an invitation to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament April 12-15 in Portsmouth, Virginia.

The invitation-only annual showcase event features college seniors playing in an eight-team tournament with representatives from all 30 NBA teams present as well as agents and scouts from overseas teams.

HIGH POINT HUSS: Former UNM Lobos assistant coach Alan Huss, who has spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater Creighton, including the past two seasons as associate head coach of the Blue Jays squad that lost in Sunday’s Elite Eight to San Diego State, has been named head coach at High Point University, a Big South conference member located in High Point, North Carolina.

Huss, who becomes the 14th men’s basketball coach at High Point, was on staff for three seasons in Albuquerque — 2014-15 through 2016-17 when Craig Neal was fired. While UNM searched for Neal’s replacement, Huss served as interim head coach.

Though this is Huss’ first Division I head coaching job, he was the coach at La Lumiere (prep) School in La Porte, Indiana, before being hired at UNM. Among the many future Division I and professional basketball players he coached there was Darington Hobson, the Lobo star and 2010 Mountain West Player of the Year.

From left, referee Bobby Dibler, Arizona coach Lute Olson and Lobo Hunter Greene are shown during the Jan. 2, 1988, game in the Pit between No. 1 Arizona and the UNM Lobos. UNM won 61-59. (Journal file)

RETIRING REF: Bobby Dibler, a familiar face in Albuquerque, albeit one Lobo fans may never have been particularly welcoming to in all the times he visited the Pit through the years, is retiring on June 30 as the coordinator of the Western Basketball Officiating Consortium, the group that oversees officiating for men’s basketball for the Mountain West and five other Division I conferences.

Dibler, who has a home in El Paso and one in southern New Mexico, began officiating in 1973 and served as the coordinator of officials for the WBOC since 2013. He was a regular in the Pit, both as a referee and in the past decade as he traveled around the west evaluating game officials.

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