Neal, The Ideal Candidate?

March 30th, 2013 at 5:59 pm by under Latest Posts, Sports

As Lobos former head coach Steve Alford heads west, all of the speculation is who will fill his cherry sport coat next season? UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs named Lobos Associate Head Coach Craig Neal, Interim Head Coach…for now.

Although Coach Neal has no head coaching experience at the collegiate level, you have to look at what he’s done for the program as a whole. Neal is a part of a staff that won 4 regular season titles, and 2 mountain west tournament titles running the offensive side of the ball. In the past 5 seasons, the Lobos offense finished in the top 3 in scoring offense.

As the defense-savvy Alford has departed, it’s critical for Neal to stick around for recruiting and the development of talent the Lobos have returning for another run to a possible Sweet 16 berth. Coach Alford continuously endorsed Neal (age 49) as being ready for a head coaching position, while current players Cameron Bairstow & Alex Kirk voiced their consideration to play under Neal.

It’s a no-brainer considering what he’s done for the program as an assistant as well as associate head coach having all 5 starters returning as well as a recruiting class that Neal can convince to stay, may prove to be an easy segue into his first season as a Head Coach. Sometimes you just need someone to take a chance, maybe this is Neal’s shot he’s been waiting for.

Alford leaves for UCLA

March 30th, 2013 at 2:32 pm by under Sports

Steve Alford is trading in his University of New Mexico Lobo red blazer for Bruin blue and UCLA.

The six-year Lobo coach said it was a hard decision.

Days ago Alford agreed to a new 10-year extension with New Mexico. He said, at the time of his agreement, he planned on staying at UNM for a long time.

UCLA came calling a few days ago. Alford said he had to go to the place he calls, “the pinnacle of basketball.”

He might not be alone.

Seven-foot center Alex Kirk made it sound as if he was game for a transfer to join coach Alford if Lobos now-interim coach Craig Neal does not get the job on a permanent basis.

There is always a possibility that some players will ask for a release to transfer when a coach changes jobs. It is probably too early to tell how that will go.

Alford will take his basketball playing sons Kory and Bryce with him. Bryce Alford just enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons turned in by a New Mexico high school player, averaging 38 points per game.

UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs said he was disappointed but understood the business.

Alford leaves the Lobos program in better shape than he found it. During his six seasons, Alford made the Lobos road tough and league champion regulars. The Lobos won four Mountain West titles and also a pair of conference tournament titles.  He also enjoyed the support of a fan base that would follow him anywhere.

He leaves for a storied program at UCLA. While the Lobo faithful always talked about just getting to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, UCLA will expect a national title. That is the challenge that awaits Alford.

There is also a seven-year $18.2 million deal that will pay him $2.6 million a year. Throw in a $200,000 signing bonus and the lure of the house that John Wooden built and you have all of the factors that made Steve Alford go from being a Lobo to a Bruin.

He will be officially introduced as UCLA’s head basketball coach at a press conference Tuesday.

More from KRQE.comLobo Coach Alford jumps to UCLA

Everyones a Lobo

March 19th, 2013 at 11:03 am by under Sports

The big dance is finally here, and the Lobos are ready to make some noise.

So far this season the Lobos are 5-0 on neutral courts which is a plus. Although Tony Snell’s scoring was inconsistent during the year, it looks like he’s got the confidence and ability to be the sharp shooting x-factor the Lobos need to make a deep tournament run.

Rewind back to the George mason game in the paradise jam tourney… If it wasn’t for his game winning 3 pointer, the Lobos would have won only 27 games during the year and not the second of all time by a Lobo team at 29.

Being a Lobo alumnus, I haven’t been excited about a Lobo team in a long time.  This team is special because of how unselfish everyone is on the team. Talking to Hugh Greenwood, he said that’s what makes this team so deadly.

The fact one after the other step up on a nightly basis providing a spark – this is key to making a deep run in a tournament where sinking big shots and making plays is the name of the game.

The 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Go | March 19, 2013

March 19th, 2013 at 6:35 am by under 5 Things, Latest Posts, Morning Show

Time now for the five things you need to know before you go on this Tuesday!

5) Are you taking a sip of some joe to get you going this morning? Here’s some good news it’s about to get cheaper! Columbia had a great coffee crop this so there are a lot of beans to go around. We’ll start to see the lower prices in a week.

4) Get out an enjoy today! Today will partly sunny, with a high near 62 and a light variable wind becoming Northwest 10 to 15 mph in the morning. Then tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low around 39, and a Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

3) The search is now on for a new Police Chief for Albuquerque. We talked with Ray Schultz yesterday and he told us he’s going to retire this summer. It has nothing to do with the Department of Justice’s Investigation into his Department. We also talked with the Mayor who says he won’t appoint a permanent Chief unless he’s re-elected in October.

2) It’s official. Jorge Bergoglio is now Pope Francis I. He started his ministry over 1.2 billion Catholics all across the world. Tens of thousands of people packed St. Peters Square to see the Pope’s Inauguration Mass. That includes New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez.

1) It’s all about the Lobos! The guys are off to Salt Lake City today. On Thursday they’ll take on the Harvard Crimson. You can be there too! Plane tickets start at $330 bucks round trip and even though UNM is out of seats for the game, you can get them online for about $90 bucks.

Is it deep run time for the Lobos

March 18th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by under Sports

It seems like New Mexico basketball fans can smell it. The aroma of a sweet 16 appearance or better by their Lobos appear to be in the air.

The Lobos will head into the NCAA Tournament as a 3 seed facing a 14 seed in the Harvard Crimson. Like the Lobos, Harvard won it’s regular season league title. Unlike the Lobos the Crimson is not undefeated against ranked opponents.

The Lobos have been tough away from The Pit with a 14 and 4 record. They are 9 and 4 on the road and 5 and 0 at neutral sites. You could also argue that this season the Lobos are built for a deep run into the tournament.