Oct. 31, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico women's basketball hosts the Chinese National Team Thursday in the first exhibition game of the preseason. The game will be played inside The Pit with tip around 7:05 p.m. Thursday will be the first action for the Lobos and is one of two scheduled exhibition games this season. China is ranked 10th in the world heading into the game. The game is available via gametracker and all-access through www.GoLobos.com.
This Week In Lobo Women's Basketball:
Thursday, November 1, 2007 - vs. Chinese National Team - 7 p.m. - The Pit
Sunday, November 4, 2007 - vs. Eastern New Mexico - 2 p.m. - The Pit
Live Stats, Audio and Video: Link on www.golobos.com
Lobo Exhibition Games: The Lobos will host two exhibition games in 2007-08, beginning with the Chinese National Team on Thursday, Nov. 1 and wrapping up the preseason with Division II Eastern New Mexico on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Up Next: The Lobos begin the regular season by hosting the Women's Sports Foundation Tournament, Nov. 9-11, at The Pit. Dayton, Western Michigan, and Northwestern will participate in the tournament.
Crowd Factor ... Lobo women's basketball crowds at The Pit have ranked in the NCAA Top Five in average attendance for the past seven years. Last season's average was 9,582.
Marsh In Good Company ... Senior Dionne Marsh joined an elite club of women's basketball players last season as she recorded her 1,000th career point and 500th career rebound. She is one of 12 Lobo women to accomplish this feat.
Flanagan Winningest Lobo Basketball Coach ... Head coach Don Flanagan became the winningest basketball coach in UNM history, men's and women's, with his 247th career win on Feb. 4, 2007 against Wyoming. Flanagan has a 12-year collegiate coaching record of 263-113.
Young Pups In The Wolves Den ... Of the 14 players on the Lobo roster, ten are sophomores or freshmen. Dionne Marsh and Brandi Kimble are the only seniors on the Lobo roster, while Angela Hartill and transfer Amanda Adamson are the only juniors. There are five sophomores - Amy Beggin, Georonika Jackson, Valerie Kast, Christian Shelter, and Eileen Weissmann - and five freshmen - Kelsey Ansley, Amanda Best, Jessica Kielpinski, Nikki Nelson, and Porche Torrance.
Exhibition Games ... UNM is 20-3 in exhibition games under Don Flanagan. The Lobos have not lost an exhibition game since 1997, when they lost to the Houston Flight 65-57, but is now currently on an 18 game winning streak. This season, the Lobos will play the Chinese National Team and Eastern New Mexico. A list of exhibition games under Flanagan follows:
1995 Perth Breakers 99, UNM 55
1995 Women's Armed Forces 68, UNM 67
1996 UNM 63, Mexican Univ. All-Stars 53
1996 UNM 71, Central Texas AAU 50
1997 Houston Flight 65, UNM 57
1997 UNM 70, Slovan Bratislava 63
1998 UNM 81, Houston Flight 60
1998 UNM 75, Uppsala 39
1999 UNM 68, Texlon Turtnov 47
1999 UNM 88, Houston 64
2000 UNM 65, Lokomotiva 57
2000 UNM 89, Houston Flight 85
2001 UNM 84, Houston Flight 80
2001 UNM 85, Denmark Select 44
2002 UNM 94, Houston Flight 50
2003 UNM 67, West Coast All-Stars 56
2003 UNM 78, Houston Flight 76
2004 UNM 85, West Coast All-Stars 55
2004 UNM 72, Houston Flight 57
2005 UNM 75, Fort Lewis 48
2005 UNM 77, Metro State 50
2006 UNM 68, CU-Colorado Springs 34
2006 UNM 82, Vanguard 43
About the Chinese National Team ... The Chinese National Team is currently ranked 11th in the world after the FIBA Women's World League Tournament in Russia. China took fourth place in the tournament, losing to CSKA Moscow in the semifinals on Oct. 26 and to host Ekaterinberg in the third-place game on Oct. 27. Lijie Miao scored 31 points against Ekaterinburg to lead the Chinese. China is on a six-team U.S. Tour. UNM is the first stop.
About Eastern New Mexico ... The Zias, under the direction of second-year head coach Linden Weese, were 14-12 last season and 5-9 in Lone Star Conference South Division competition. The 2007-08 squad has only one senior, Kelsie Hawkins, and 11 freshmen, including Taylor Sauer from Hope Christian in Albuquerque and Kara Bible from Cibola High School.
Home Court Advantage ... One of the great home court advantage in all of college basketball, The Pit begins year No. 30 as the home of Lobo basketball. UNM was 13-2 at home in 2006-07 and won its last six home conference matches. Since Don Flanagan took over the coaching duties in 1995-96, the Lobos have a record of 185-41.
Lobos on Television ... New Mexico will have at least seven games televised this season. The Lobos have three games on CSTV and four on the Mountain Network. In 2004-05, UNM had a school record 11 games televised.
Hitting The 20 Wins Mark ... New Mexico posted 24 wins in 2006-07 marking the seventh consecutive year that UNM has had 20 wins or more. In head coach Don Flanagan's 11 years the Lobos have recorded nine 20 win seasons compared to none prior to his arrival. New Mexico has also had 11 consecutive winning seasons under Flanagan. The Lobos continued that success last year finishing 24-9 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year.
Preseason Mountain West Conference ... Senior all-America candidate Dionne Marsh was named to the All-MWC Preseason Team at Media Days in Denver on Oct. 17. Marsh is a three-time all-MWC selection and two-time MWC Tournament Most Valuable Player. The Lobos were picked fourth overall in the preseason coaches and media poll.
Red Cross Unit ... Dionne Marsh has been cleared to play after successful back surgery over the summer ... Valerie Kast is recovering from hip surgery and is expected to be at full speed by December ... Nikki Nelson will miss the 2007-08 season due to a knee injury suffered in a pickup game in August.
Hosting, Again ... The Pit will be the site of the NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Rounds in 2008 and 2009. The dates in 2008 are March 22 and 24. For more information about the tournament, including ticket sales, go to golobos.com.
2007-08 Season Outlook
The New Mexico women's basketball team enters the 2007-08 season with high expectations after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season. The Lobos are coming off a 24-9 season and return seniors Dionne Marsh and Brandi Kimble along with two major contributors in Amy Beggin and Angela Hartill. UNM welcomes the addition of five newcomers and have five sophomores returning. The Lobos enter the year with a bigger and stronger squad and will have to make adjustments based on personnel.
"We might be a little different team than we were last year," said head coach Don Flanagan. "I think we are a little more physical than last year and we will probably be more attacking on offense than last year. I think we need to be inside-oriented to take advantage of Dionne (Marsh) and Angela (Hartill). Angela has great experience and Dionne has been excellent for three years.
"We will probably be inside more this year than in the past and that means teams will have to defend Dionne very aggressively. I think we can do some things but we are trying to find the personality of the team. I'm encouraged by their work ethic and efforts. They are making progress."
The goals for the 2007-08 season are simple and remain constant for New Mexico. The Lobos look to win 20 games and make a push for the conference title. UNM last won the Mountain West Conference regular-season title in 2005 and look to reclaim that honor this season. The Lobos have their eyes set on a seventh-straight NCAA appearance and a chance to play inside The Pit during the first and second rounds.
Leading the Lobos will be Marsh who returns as one of the top players to ever wear a New Mexico uniform and is an All-America candidate heading into her senior year. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has been named the Mountain West Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player twice in her three-year career. The three-time All-MWC selection is averaging 14.8 points per game and joined the 1,000-point/500 rebound club last season. Marsh will be looked to for leadership and guidance as the young, but talented, Lobos prepare for another NCAA run.
"Dionne has performed well since her freshman year," said Flanagan. "She contributed right away at the college level. I thought she was going to be a key part of this program starting with her freshman year but had no idea she would have this impact. She was MVP of the MWC Championship her freshman year and has continued to shine."
A three-year starter, Marsh has been a scorer since her freshman season and has been very difficult to defend. Her aggressive moves and her shot selection has allowed for her success as a Lobo.
Brandi Kimble has started for two seasons at guard and returns for her final campaign. Kimble has been described as a blue collar and self-made player that has an immediate impact. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native is a tough defender and has the ability to shoot. Her play has continued to develop throughout her career and will be a key factor in the Lobos success.
"Brandi can score and has found a way to make baskets," said Flanagan. "She has improved her game and skills since joining the program. She is a slasher on offense and this year her role won't change much. She has the ability to pull it up or drive all the way to the basket. She plays with a very competitive attitude and that will help this team."
Junior Angela Hartill returns and is projected as a possible starter. Hartill played in all 33 games last season and averaged 4.5 points per game. The Deer Park, Wash., native is a powerful and skilled post player that will help UNM in their offensive sets. Her ability to make plays on both ends of the court could be the key for the Lobos in 2007-08. Her effectiveness down low will allow New Mexico multiple options this season.
"She has to play big and will defend the toughest post player," said Flanagan. "She has the ability to score and has a shot that is very difficult to defend. If she continues to improve she could be in for a great season."
Junior transfer Amanda Adamson sat out last season and observed the UNM program. The year of development has given Adamson a better understanding of the style of play and the tools to excel. Adamson will be in the running for a starting role at the No. 3 guard position along with a handful of other Lobos.
"I think transferring and sitting out has helped Amanda a lot," said Flanagan. "She has a better understanding of our program and has matured since arriving. She got a lot stronger and worked extra hard in the weight room. She is a physical player, a rebounder and loves the game of basketball."
Sophomore Amy Beggin is the favorite to be the starting point guard this season. Beggin made two starts last year, while playing in all 33 games. She averaged 4.5 points per game as a freshman and helped guide UNM to its sixth NCAA appearance. The Maplewood, Minn., native is a strong defender and has the ability to bring the ball up the court.
"Amy is a high energy player that will eventually wear out her opponents," said Flanagan. "She consistently applies pressure defensively and always has her hands around the ball. She has great quickness and is a relentless worker. She is everything you want in a good point guard and we expect a lot from her this year."
Pushing Beggin will be true freshman Amanda Best. Best joins the UNM program and has the skills to make an impact.
"I have confidence in Amanda right now and I expect her to be a solid contributor," said Flanagan. "She has great ball-handling skills and has improved her quickness. She is a very hard worker with a great attitude."
Sophomores Eileen Weissmann and Christian Shelter will be battling Adamson for a starting role this season. All three will see the court and may hold the key to UNM's success. Weissmann has a much improved shot and is a physical player, while Shelter has an excellent upside athletically.
"Eileen will mix it up down low and has improved her shot," said Flanagan. "I love her competitiveness."
"Christian has a lot of potential and could be a big help this season. She has good speed and strength. She is working on her conditioning and has made improvements to her overall skills."
Sophomore Georonika Jackson is back at the guard position and will compete for playing time. She continues to improve her overall ability and has some experience after playing in 10 games as a true freshman.
"Georonika has the skills to compete on this level and I'm looking forward to her stepping up," said Flanagan. "She has improved her conditioning and needs to continue to work hard."
Post player Valerie Kast is also back for her sophomore season after playing in 26 games last year. Kast is recovering from off-season surgery but is expected to be back early in the season. The Tallinn, Estonia native averaged 2.7 points per game and pulled down 27 rebounds last season.
"Valerie is progressing nicely and we look for big things from her this season," said Flanagan. "She is in much better physical condition and has good skills. She is a tall player with a tough shot. I think she has matured a lot over the year and that maturity could help her develop into a contributor."
Along with Kast, freshman Kelsey Ansley will be a post player this season. Ansley is another player with a good shot and good basketball knowledge. She has improved her strength and conditioning since arriving and could earn playing time this season.
Forward Jessica Kielpinski joins the program and is a physical player. She needs to improve her overall skills but has a nice shot. She has great accuracy and gives a great effort.
Guards Porche Torrance and Nikki Nelson enter their freshman season. Torrance is very athletic with good speed and has the ability to become a rebounder. She is adjusting to the college game and has an understanding of the intensity level. Nelson was highly-touted coming out of high school but will not play this season due to a knee injury suffered during the summer.
Flanagan returns for his 13th season at New Mexico and enters the new season as the winningest coach in Lobo basketball history. Flanagan patrols the sidelines with a 263-113 overall record since taking over the UNM program in 1995. During his tenure, the Lobos have made 10 consecutive postseason appearances and six straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Flanagan's success is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication put forth by the players and coaches.
"We have a coaching staff that has the same mind set and no one is pulling in different directions," said Flanagan. "Everyone talks about chemistry within the team but chemistry within a coaching staff is very important. We are privileged to have fine coaches here and I consider them friends."
Assistant coach Yvonne Sanchez returns to the bench for Flanagan and enters her eighth season. Sanchez works primarily with the guards during practice and is the recruiting coordinator. Her outstanding recruiting has led to UNM success. Sanchez also scouts opponents and helps breakdown film.
"Yvonne has been with me for eight years and has been a great member of this staff," said Flanagan. "We have a great relationship and she knows my philosophy. She is a tired less worker and is well known as a recruiter around the country."
Assistant coach Dave Shoemate is back for his ninth year at UNM and primarily handles academics, scouting tapes and student-athlete issues regarding scholarships and housing. Shoemate joined the UNM staff prior to the 1999 season and been instrumental in its success. Shoemate was no stranger to Flanagan's style when he joined the staff after working under Flanagan at Eldorado High School from 1988-90.
"Dave and I have worked together dating back to my high school days at Eldorado High School," said Flanagan. "I have a lot of respect for Dave and his coaching abilities. We have worked together for many years at a couple of different levels and that has really helped build our friendship."
Shane Flanagan returns for his second year on the staff and his duties include floor coaching, scouting, recruiting, academics, community involvement and camps. Mandi Stovall is back at the Director of Basketball Operations position for a second year and handles the many day-to-day projects.
UNM faces another tough schedule in 2007-08 that includes four NCAA Tournament teams, four opponents from the Pac-10 and 20 home games. The Lobos will also play seven televised games this season.
"This is a competitive schedule once again and we've tried to do our best to get quality opponents early to get us ready for conference play," said Flanagan. "We could play four Pac-10 schools. That gives us plenty of competition and plenty of very competitive games. That has been our formula to get to the NCAA Tournament."
UNM will open the season with the Women's Sports Foundation Tournament on Nov. 9-11. The Lobos are slated to play Western Michigan, Dayton and Northwestern.
The Lobos' first road game of the year is at California on Nov. 18. UNM faces the Golden Bears for the third time in school history. California is one of three NCAA Tournament teams on the schedule.
UNM returns home for the Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 23-24 where they will play Nicholls State and either Coppin State or Oregon.
New Mexico will play New Mexico State on Dec. 2 in the first of two Rio Grande Rivalry games this season. The rivalry game is slated to start at 3 p.m. in Las Cruces.
The final non-conference tournament is the Comcast Lobo Shootout at The Pit on Dec. 7-8. UNM battles Norfolk State at 8 p.m. in the opening round before playing against either Southern or Towson the next night.
UNM hosts Arizona, Dec. 15, and Stanford, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. both nights. Stanford, a perennial NCAA power made its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance last season. The Lobos final non-conference home game is Dec. 21 against New Mexico State at 7 p.m. UTEP closes out the non-conference schedule Dec. 30 in El Paso.
The Lobos open conference play at home against Wyoming on Jan. 9 starting at 8 p.m. on CSTV. UNM hits the road, Jan. 12, at San Diego State before returning home to face TCU on Jan. 15. The TCU battle will be broadcast on The Mountain Network.
UNM has back-to-back road trips at Air Force on Jan. 19 and Utah on Jan. 23. The Lobos follow that up with BYU and UNLV at home. The Cougars are in Albuquerque on Jan. 26 for a 2 p.m. start, while the Lady Rebels come to town on Feb. 2.
New Mexico heads back out on the road Feb. 6 at Colorado State and Feb. 10 at Wyoming. The game against the Cowgirls will be broadcast on CSTV.
On Feb. 13, the Lobos host the Aztecs of San Diego State at 7 p.m. UNM travels to Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 17 to play TCU on the Mountain Network at 1 p.m.
Three of the final five regular-season games are at home, including a Feb. 20 date with Air Force and a Feb. 23 game against Utah. The final two road contests are Feb. 26 at BYU on the Mountain Network and March 4 at UNLV on CSTV.
The regular-season finale is set for March 8 in The Pit against Colorado State at 2 p.m. The Mountain West Conference Tournament is scheduled for March 11-15 in Las Vegas.