Albuquerque, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico Lobos don't start practice officially until Saturday, but this evening the team got a pretty good reminder of what is at stake. The team, coaches and support staff received their Mountain West Championship rings at a ceremony at Four Hill Country Club after the program's annual Sixth Man Golf Tournament.
That wasn't the only news out of Lobo camp as the new court design for The Pit was unveiled via the team's official twitter account @UNMHoops.
The golf outing is one of the largest fundraisers for the Sixth Man program, which helps raise funds directly for the men's basketball program. Over 35 teams took part in the event with morning threesomes and afternoon foursomes. The eving ended with a reception at the Four Hills Country Club catered by Applebee's, where the 2013-14 Lobos were introduced in their first public appearance as a team.
In a new twist, as Coach Craig Neal introduced the team, he presented all of the returning players with their championship rings. He then presented the support staff, the team managers, and coaching staff with their rings before Alex Kirk took the microphone to present Neal his.
In previous years, the team received their rings when arriving on campus in the fall, but Neal wanted to do something a little different.
"I just wanted to make it a little more special, and present them in front of this group, as well as the new players and the new coaches so they understand what it is we are working for," said Neal.
Along with the rings, the new court design was announced on twitter by both the men's and women's teams at 11:15 a.m. Unlike some of the crazier court designs that have come out recently, the new Pit design isn't radical in anyway. It does feature a lighter wood base than the previous design (and lighter than the wood outside the endlines), the Mountain West logo is in the key, UNM's twitter hashtag of #GoLobos and the center logo was changed to the university's primary athletics mark, the shield logo.