Nov. 26, 2007
The undefeated University of New Mexico (6-0) men's basketball team completes a six-game home stand Wednesday by hosting Southern Utah (1-4). Tipoff is 7:05 p.m. from The Pit/Bob King Court in Albuquerque. Live audio is available via All Access at golobos.com.
After Wednesday, the Lobos hit the road for games at Ole Miss Saturday and at New Mexico State on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The next home game is Saturday, Dec. 8 against the University of San Diego.
QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE LOBOS
GAME SPONSOR IS SUSAN G. KOMEN
Wednesday's game sponsor is the Susan G. Komen For the Cure. The first 2,000 fans will receive pink foam fingers and selected UNM staff and game-day personel will wear pink shirts to promote breat cancer awareness. Pink ribbons will be affixed to the goal standards at each end of the floor. Additionally, Komen volunteers will be positioned on the concourse. For more information on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, visit www.komen.org.
Alford is 314-183 (63%) in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. His teams have qualified for postseason play 11 times, produced 13 winning seasons and reached 20 wins on eight occasions.
Alford is facing Southern Utah for the first time in his head coaching career.
In eight seasons at Iowa, Alford compiled a 152-106 record with a school-record seven consecutive winning seasons, and six postseason appearances. The Hawkeyes won two Big Ten Conference tournament titles (2001 and `06). Iowa was 17-14 in 2006-07. It was 9-7 in the Big Ten, tied with NCAA teams Illinois and Purdue for fourth place.
Prior to Iowa, Alford posted a 78-29 record in four seasons (1992-95) at NCAA Division III Manchester (Ind.) College and a four-year (1996-99) record of 78-48 at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State). The Bears defeated Wisconsin and Tennessee to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 1999 NCAA Tournament before losing to top-ranked Duke in the regional semifinals. In 1997 Alford led the Bears to a 24-9 record (second in the Missouri Valley Conference) and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament.
SEASON TICKETS SURPASS 10,000
Season tickets climbed above 10,000 for the first time since the 2003-04 season when UNM sold 10,598. The final count is 10,086. UNM sold at least 10,000 season tickets for 30 consecutive seasons between 1974-75 and 2003-04.
UNM VS. SOUTHERN UTAH
This is the 4th meeting between the Lobos and Thunderbirds with UNM holding a 2-1 lead. New Mexico won 62-57 on Dec. 11, 1999 and 62-48 in the last meeting on Nov. 20, 2005. In between, SUU upset the Lobos 69-57 in The Pit on Dec. 21, 2002.
The SUU head coach Roger Reid, who posted an 8-7 record against UNM as the head coach at BYU from 1990-96. Also, former Lobo Johnny Brown is an assistant coach for Southern Utah. He is 19th on UNM's all-time scoring list with 1,157 points from 1985-86.
SEASON NO. 105
The 2007-08 season is the 105th in school history. The Lobos first laced up the hightops on Feb. 2, 1900, when they lost 8-6 to the Albuquerque Guards. While this season is actually the 106th anniversary of that inaugural year, UNM did not field a team for various reasons in 1900-01, 1903-04, 1917-18 and 1920-21.
The Lobos have been on the hardwoods continuously since the 1921-22 season and have compiled an all-time record of 1,271-996 (.559). New Mexico was 421-497 (.458) from 1900-62, but has gone 850-499 (.628) over the past 44-plus seasons, an average of nearly 19 wins per year. The Lobos have made 27 trips to the postseason during that span, including 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and 16 showings in the NIT.
DANRIDGE OUT UNTIL JANUARY
Lobo senior Tony Danridge suffered a broken left fibula during a game with teammates on Oct. 4. He had surgery on Oct. 8 and is expected to miss three months. Danridge, a 6-5 senior from San Bernardino, Calif., posted 12.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season and was named 3rd team All-MWC. He is the only Lobo to play in all 95 games over the past three seasons, not missing a game to this point in his Lobo career. He does have a redshirt year available.
NEW NAMES AND FACES GREET THE LOBOS
In what has to be a first in the history of Lobo basketball, UNM will play 17 games in 2007-08 against 11 teams that have first-year head coaches. Of course, Nerw Mexico also has a new coach in Steve Alford. The list:
Jeff Bzdelik - Colorado
Kirk Earlywine - Eastern Washington
Mark Schmidt - St. Bonaventure
Hawaii - Bob Nash*
Southern Utah - Roger Reid
New Mexico State - Marvin Menzies*
San Diego - Bill Grier*
Wyoming - Heath Schroyer
Air Force - Jeff Reynolds
Utah - Jim Boylen*
Colorado State - Tim Miles
*1st head coaching position
UNM PREDICTED FOR 4TH-PLACE FINISH IN MOUNTAIN WEST
New Mexico was picked to finish fourth in the 2007-08 Mountain West Conference race during the league's preseason media gathering in Denver on October 17. Voters were a combination of head coaches and media.
Chad Toppert scored 20 points and Daniel Faris had 12 of his 16 in New Mexico's blistering second half as the Lobos beat Hawaii 89-60. Five players scored in double figures for New Mexico, including J.R. Giddens with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Freshman Dairese Gary scored 15 points in his first college start and Jamaal Smith had 12.
The Lobos made their last nine field goals and outscored Hawaii 51-29 in the second half. They are 6-0 under first-year coach Steve Alford, the school's best start since an 8-0 opening in 1998-99.
New Mexico led 38-31 at halftime, and everything seemed to go right for the Lobos whenever they ran the floor after that. Gary scored the first six points of the second half, hitting a 3-pointer and completing a conventional three-point play, as the Lobos opened with a 10-2 run that pushed their lead to 48-31.
It was 52-35 after Giddens made a jumper and scored a layin after a steal less than 5 minutes into the second half. Later, Faris had a fastbreak jumper for a 67-51 lead, forcing a Hawaii timeout with 7:42 remaining.
Dillinger dropped a floater for Hawaii, trimming the deficit to 69-53, but the Lobos answered with a 9-0 burst. Then Toppert made a jumper and scored on a break to give New Mexico an 82-55 lead with 3:30 to play. During that stretch, New Mexico hit nine straight baskets without a miss.
Even better for New Mexico, the home fans had The Pit rocking for much of the second half. The attendance was announced at 13,518, the largest crowd this season and a sign the locals are warming to the new Lobos.
What's not to enjoy so far? New Mexico is among the early national leaders in 3-point shooting. For the first time since the 3-pointer was added in 1986-87, the Lobos hit at least 13 in three straight games last week and shot 12-of-24 from 3-point range this time.
Hawaii could have picked a better site for its first road trip of the season, since the Warriors were winless in Albuquerque since 1989. New Mexico improved to 23-2 all-time against its former Western Athletic Conference rival.
HAWAI'I POSTGAME NOTES