New Mexico guard Cullen Neal started the 2014-15 on fire making 50 percent of his three-point shots and averaging 24.5 points per game in hisfirst two games of the season. It looked as if he would have the breakout season that Sports Illustrated Magazine predicted when they named Neal as one of their top players projected breakout in college hoops this year. Neal was to be the Lobos top play maker as the point guard and after two wins the Lobos looked like a strong candidate to win the Puerto Rico Tip off.
In the first game of the tournament, the Lobos struggled and that included Cullen who started the game shooting 0-4. Yin the second half while attempting a three-point shot he landed on the foot of a Boston College player he quickly fell to the ground and grabbed his ankle.
The Lobos knew the injury was bad but had to wait until they arrived back into Albuquerque for Neal to get an MRI. That MRI showed no fractures, but that he had possible ligament damage. The initial time frame was 3 to 5 weeks but Neal's recover has been slow most practices he's on the sideline riding an exercise bike while the rest of the team runs drills.
Since then there have been rumblings that the injury could be season ending. Lobo Coach Craig Neal does not think that Cullen will be completely recovered from his high ankle sprain this season, and because of that there is a good chance that Cullen could apply for a medical redshirt. Last year, Cullen rushed back after he was hospitalized with appendicitis, and because of the time off and weight loss it took Cullen most of the season to get back to the Level he was before the illness.
Cullen has until January 5th to make that decision, it a decision that Craig Neal will not make as a coach but he will give him his input as a dad. If Cullen does sit out the rest of the season he will have three years of eligibility remaining. Without Neal the Lobos do not have a real threat from the outside, Xavier Adams, Sam Logwood and Tim Jacobs will continue to see extended minutes if Neal does not return this year.
Jordan Goodman has been practicing after missing the Lobos last three games with a concussion. He will play tonight against Central Arkansas but expect him to be rusty. The Lobos will need Goodman's offense as Freshman Sam Logwood is expected to be out until after Christmas with a sprained shoulder. Log wood was hurt during the second half of the Louisiana Monroe game.
Arthur Edwards will find out today if he can practice again, he broke a bone in his hand during the last game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off. Prior to the injury Edwards was starting replacing the injured Cullen Neal.