The Lobos ... and the FUTURE!
Before basketball season began, fans worried how the Lobos would react to having only one senior on the roster and losing two leading scorers. The Lobos were picked fifth in the Mountain West Conference, and Darington Hobson was a promising but unknown junior college transfer. Even the most optimistic fans couldn't have seen this season coming. And, in fact, it was announced yesterday that the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches poll ranked UNM at No. 16.
Even with all the accomplishments—a conference championship, a 30-5 record and birth in the NCAA tournament—some fans may still consider this season a disappointment because of the blowout loss to the Washington. The Huskies had more quickness than UNM could handle, running them out of the gym. Despite the loss, the Lobos learned a valuable lesson about the next level of competition.
Head coach Steve Alford has built a solid foundation after three years of improvement, wins and recruits. As fans reflect on the season, keep in mind the former Lobos who believed in Alford's coaching philosophy, setting an example for future players. Senior Roman Martinez’ leadership and heart has left a massive footprint for years to come. With Hobson's future still in doubt, there’s still lots to look forward to with UCLA transfer Drew Gordon and freshman standout Alex Kirk. If doubters thought this season was a fluke, they'll be shocked when this season was only a preview of the resurgence of the Lobos.