Cullen Neal timeline

March 2012

Coached by Roy Sanchez, Cullen Neal leads the Eldorado Eagles to the Class 5A state championship in the Pit. He averaged 26.4 points and 7.1 assists per game as a junior as well as winning the state’s 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year.

March 2013

Cullen Neal, committed to play for Saint Mary’s College, named a Parade All American after completing his senior season at Eldorado High School.

April 3, 2013

Craig Neal named UNM head basketball coach, saying of his son who was still committed to play at Saint Mary’s, “If his mom’s good at recruiting, we’ll have a shot (at him playing for the Lobos).”

April 13, 2013

With SMC coach Randy Bennett having released him from his National Letter of Intent to play for the Gaels, Cullen Neal announces he will be a Lobo and play for his dad.

Aug. 4, 2013

Neal has emergency surgery to remove a ruptured appendix on the first day of UNM’s 11-day offseason exhibition tour in Australia. He returned to Albuquerque 14 days later after a lengthy hospital stay and weighed under 170 pounds.

Nov. 9, 2013

Cullen Neal played his first regular season game as a Lobo, scoring 12 points on 1-of-6 shooting and 7-of-9 free throws with two assists and four turnovers in 20 minutes vs. Alabama A&M.

Dec. 17, 2013

First start as a Lobo vs. New Mexico State

Dec. 21, 2013

In second start for UNM, Cullen Neal scored 24 points and hit six 3-pointers in a win over Marquette in Las Vegas, Nev.

Jan. 8, 2014

After blowing a kiss in the direction of the University of Wyoming student section during overtime, referee Larry Spaulding issued Cullen Neal a technical foul, citing a rule that states “A player or substitute committing an unsportsmanlike act including, but not limited to … enticing undesirable crowd reaction.”

Nov. 14, 2014

In first game and start of the season, Cullen Neal scored 26 points with four assists in a home win over Idaho State. Two days later he scored 23 in a home win over Cal State-Fullerton.

Nov. 20, 2014

Early in the second half of a loss to Boston College in Puerto Rico, Cullen Neal lands on an opposing player’s foot and suffers a high ankle sprain.

Jan. 3, 2015

UNM announces Cullen Neal’s ankle injury will result in him missing the entire season with the school seeking a medical redshirt waiver.

Nov. 3, 2015

In an interview published in the Journal, Cullen Neal says of his desire to win over Lobos fans who had criticized him over his first two years in college: “Hopefully I can do it. I’ve matured. I’ve gotten stronger. I think I’ve become a much better player so hopefully the fans will see that. I want to win every last Lobo fan over. I want them to be proud of me for doing it for them because I’m from here. I’m from Albuquerque. I’m a hometown kid. I want them to support the Lobos.”

Nov. 13, 2015

In first start after the medical redshirt season, Cullen Neal scored 22 points in win over Texas Southern.

Dec. 23-25, 2015

After eight turnovers in a loss to BYU in the Diamond Head Classic, Cullen Neal was benched with five turnovers in eight minutes in a loss to Washington State. Social media vitriol directed at Cullen Neal intensifies and he shuts down his Twitter account.

Jan. 2, 2016

With Elijah Brown in first half foul trouble, Cullen Neal scores 26 points in 15-point road win over Fresno State, the lone representative of the Mountain West Conference in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Jan. 16, 2016

Cullen Neal suffers concussion on final play of home loss to Wyoming, missing the team’s next game (Jan. 23 at San Jose State).

Feb. 6, 2016

UNM lost controversial overtime game at league regular season champion San Diego State (a game that the Mountain West later acknowledged an officiating error late in regulation that likely cost the Lobos a win). In the extra period, a Cullen Neal turnover in the final seconds clinched the Aztecs victory. Social media criticism again begins to intensify.

Feb. 11, 2016

In a regular weekly news conference, Craig Neal for the first time opens up about the harassment and criticism Cullen Neal had received, including having to shut down social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter and change his phone number twice. Craig Neal also uses the term “death threat” to describe the harassment.

Feb. 13, 2016

Cullen Neal receives huge ovation from home fans in the Pit showing support for him, including several thousand holding signs saying “Go Cullen!”

March 10, 2016

In final game as a Lobo, Cullen Neal played 32 minutes, scored 3 points on 1-of-9 shooting with one assist and three turnovers. The 64-62 MWC tournament loss was clinched by a Cullen Neal jump shot being blocked by Nevada’s Cameron Oliver with the Lobos trailing by a point. After game, asked if his son was transferring, Craig Neal said they had not yet talked about that.

March 14, 2016

In a prepared statement, UNM announces Cullen Neal will transfer from the program after graduating this offseason with a communications degree. Though quoted in the statement, neither Craig nor Cullen Neal say why he decided to transfer and won’t speak to local media about the decision.


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