The new look of the Lobos basketball team this season starts with the court they’ll play on.
The University of New Mexico on Monday unveiled the floor design of the new Pit floor, featuring a large Lobo logo at the center of Bob King Court and the familiar “The Pit” painted on both baselines in white lettering on a cherry background.
The court was last replaced in 2003.
The Lobo “shield” as the university refers to it, is a forward facing Lobo and is considered the “primary mark” for athletics as opposed to the sideways, profile Lobo that was at center court in past seasons.
Also included in the design, and a sign of the social media age, the university’s #GoLobos hash tag used in both Twitter and Facebook social media updates, is included as part of the design on the sidelines, visible to fans in the arena and on televised games.
The “Bob King Court” lettering is on the court a few feet in front of the Lobo bench.
The university spent $130,000 this offseason to replace the hardwood floor with the replacement. While the floor has been installed, it has yet to be painted.
The Lobos today will release broadcast details for the upcoming season. For the first time in program history, it will have every regular season game broadcast on either ESPN3 (online) or on regional or national television on the ESPN family of networks, CBS Sports Network or Root television.
At least one of the Lobos’ two exhibition games will also be televised regionally.
Kiss the (new) rings
When San Diego State’s student section took to twitter last month to mock the emergency appendectomy of Lobos guard Cullen Neal and even wish infection and even death upon the UNM freshman, Hugh Greenwood had a simple response on the social media network.
“Kiss the ring(s),” Greenwood posted on his Twitter account, referring to the Lobos having won each of the past two Mountain West regular season and tournament championships.
Monday night at the team’s annual 6th Man Club fundraising golf tournament at Four Hills Country Club, Greenwood and the Lobos were given the latest piece of bling to add to their collection, championship rings commemorating the team’s 2012-13 season and tournament titles.
New coach Craig Neal said he wanted to hand out the rings to the returning players and coaches in front of the new players and coaches to give them all a reminder of what the goals are this year.
But the team’s goals this year, he reminded, don’t end with league titles.
“We still have some unfinished business to take care of,” Craig Neal said, referring to the team making a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament.
The large, silver rings with cherry colored studs placed around the Lobo shield on the face of the ring feature last year’s season motto “Drive for five,” referring to the pursuit of the fifth league title (regular season or tournament) in the six year Steve Alford era. By winning both the regular season and tournament title, the Alford era ended with a total of six league championships.
Last year’s seniors Chad Adams and Jamal Fenton as well as junior Tony Snell, who left school early and now plays with the Chicago Bulls, Kory Alford and former coaches Steve Alford and Duane Broussard, now at UCLA, will also get rings.
While Neal said he didn’t know how much the rings cost, he said the athletics covers the cost for all team championship rings.
Monday’s fundraising tournament at Four Hills raised an estimated $32,000 for UNM men’s basketball.
There were about 150 golfers who took part, an auction and hole sponsorships sold.