University of New Mexico starting point guard Cullen Neal will miss 3 to 5 weeks with a severe ankle sprain. The good news for Neal is that the injury will not require surgery. Neal sprained his ankle while landing on a players foot in a loss to Boston College at the Puerto Rico Tip Off Tournament last week.
Craig Neal’s Lobos started their season with a 79 to 55 victory over Idaho State Friday night. The Lobos started fast and never looked back. Sophomore guard Cullen Neal led the Lobos in scoring with 26 points. Senior guard Deshawn Delaney chipped in 12 points while sophomore center Obij Aget had a double double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Hugh Greenwood had 8 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Eleven Lobos scored in the game, including juco transfer Jordan Goodman who picked his first minutes as a Lobo, The Lobos held the Bengals to 33.9 percent shooting. The lobos host Cal State Fullerton Sunday.
On a regional level it makes a lot of sense. The Albuquerque Isotopes are expected to announce Wednesday that they are the new Triple A affiliate for the Colorado Rockies. That is according to a baseball source in Colorado Springs. The Isotopes run with the Los Angeles Dodgers ended Tuesday after a six year run. Prior to that the Isotopes served as the Triple A affiliate of the Florida Marlins. The Isotopes have called a press conference for 2:30 Wednesday.
Craig Neal said the entire time that he wanted to be at New Mexico. The school helped their men’s basketball coach take another step in that direction by announcing a new 6 year 5.7 million dollar deal for Neal Monday that will keep him through the 2020 season. There is a million dollar buyout should either side decide to part ways early. That doesn’t seem likely at the moment. Neal is well connected in the community and has two children at UNM, including one playing for him in son Cullen. When Bobby Knight went to Indiana back in the day, it was for a long stay. With Neal being from Indiana, I asked him if his Lobo job was his Indiana. He answered by emphasizing once again how he wanted the New Mexico job to be a long stay. If his first season is any indication of what Lobo fans can expect, the best is yet to come. Neal led the Lobos to an unprecedented third straight Mountain West Tournament title in his first season and 27 wins. Neal is continuing what he and UCLA coach Steve Alford started at New Mexico. Outright conference titles and tournament titles have become the norm. Neal was the choice of the Lobo basketball community when Alford departed. He reminded everyone in attendance at his contract press conference how the community had a hand in his hiring. He also reminded all that it is the passion of the Lobo Nation that has made his job worthy of a permanent destination.
- Not over it yet… #lobos #MarchMadness
- Stanford defeats 17th ranked New Mexico 58 to 53.
- Lobos down 54 to 52 with 30.8 left.
- Hugh Greenwood 3. Lobos down 54 to 50 with a little over minute to go.
- Time is running out for the Lobos. They trail Stanford 52 to 45 in the second half.
- Stanford leads 17th ranked New Mexico 48 to 45 with 8:29 left in the game.
- Neal 2 and he is fouled. Game tied at 45.
- Lobos trail Stanford 43 to 40 with 11:29 left in the game.
- Delaney 3. Lobos down one.
- Lobos trail Stanford 39 to 35 with 15:57 left in the game.
- Lobos trail Stanford 32 to 27 at the half.
- Well alright… @cbairstow41 with 12 points closing on 13-4 run and trail by 5 at the half. 32-27 #stanford
- So far 2/3 of the #lobos big 3 have 0 points with 3:35 to go in first half.
- #lobos need to cut their deficit down to single digits before the break. #stanford leads 32-19
- Lobos trail Stanford 30 to 19.
- Lobos trail Stanford 25 to 14 with 7:58 left in the first half.
- Lobos trail Stanford 23 to 14 with 9 minutes left in the first half.
- #lobos open up a 8-0 run to cut the cardinal lead to 8 points. It’s 20-12 #stanford. D.D & greenwood score all 8.
- Lobos go 4 guards and a forward to make a run and now trail 20 to 12 in the first half.
- Fans are on their feet!! Loud cheers. Stanford 20, Lobos 12
- The Lobo band. pic.twitter.com/77L6cwRmwP
- Lobos trail Stanford 20 to 5 with 12:59 left in the first half.
- Battle between Stanford fans chanting and the UNM marching band playing. I think the Lobos won. pic.twitter.com/c1fQnvfFiH
- The game is turning into whistlestock for the Lobos. They are called for a foul every other trip down the court.
- Lobo fans before the game. pic.twitter.com/qjJD0CuJ8S
- #lobos need to be careful for not letting this one get away early. #stanford leads 20-5. 17-1 run by the cardinal
- Lobo fans before the game.
- Lobos are playing really tight and trail 20 to 4.
- New Blog Post NCAA Tournament: Lobo Game Day bit.ly/1dxCKOt
- Lobos center Alex Kirk already has two fouls.
- Lobo cheerleaders before the game. pic.twitter.com/3AqqL0D4oY
- The Lobos continue to miss shots. Stanford hits another 3 and leads 16 to 4. The Lobos look out of synch.
- Stanford leads 17th ranked New Mexico 13 to 4 with 16:23 left in the first half. pic.twitter.com/WtfOCL3R6r
- #lobos off to a slow start meanwhile #stanford has scored 10 unanswered points & lead 13-4. Kirk has 2 fouls already. #NCAATournament
- Stanford leads the Lobos 10 to 4 with 16:33 left in the first half.
- Bird’s eye view. Let the games begin! #GoLobos pic.twitter.com/H2k0or65lM
- Getting excited! Finally starting to see more Lobo Fans. Looks like a lot of people got in to St. Louis last night. Just in time!
- RT @lmitri_krqe: It’s game day!! Are you ready for this Lobos!