In the world of college basketball it’s what have you done for me lately. Last week the Lobos were pegged to be the front runner in an inconsistent Mountain West Conference but now after two consecutive losses Craig Neal and his crew is left searching for answers.
On Wednesday, they will renew their long time rivalry with former conference for BYU. The Cougars are 7-4 and dropped a heart breaker to Harvard on Tuesday. This game will be more about what can the Lobos do to correct the weaknesses they have shown during their two game losing streak in which they Lobos have dropped games against foes they were favored against.
what’s gone wrong?
Sam Logwood: After finishing his freshman season on a high note many felt that Logwood would flourish playing alongside Elijah Brown and Cullen Neal but so far this year he has been inconsistent. In the last two games in which the lost Logwood has averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds.
His season average is not much better as he is scoring only 6 points a game in 22.6 minutes per game. Sam had 6 turnovers in the game against Auburn, he was very hesitant. If the Lobos are going to win they need him to score at least 10 points a game, New Mexico cannot be a two man show and Tony Snell 2.0 need to be more consistent if the team is going to win.
Cullen Neal: It was a bit of a curse for the Lobos that Neal hit his first four shots as after that he let the ball fly, part of that is what make Neal good but sometimes he plays out of control. Cullen scored 21 points against the Tigers but it took him 17 shots, He made some plays that cost the team like an untimely turnover or jacking up a three at the wrong moment.
With the Lobos down one he had a chance to take the lead and momentum from Auburn Neal had a 3-2 break and instead of passing the ball to Logwood for a dunk he settled for an awkward floater which he missed and led to Auburn bucket. Cullen needs to realize that he is Robin and needs to play within himself he can still score 16 plus points taking open shots when the defense is focused on Brown instead of forcing it like he has been.
The Bench: Someone has to step up you can’t win games getting two pints from your reserve unit. Anthony Mathis and Jordan Hunter have showed promise but they are receiving sporadic minutes. Xavier Adams plays a lot but is more of a defensive presence he is the leading score off the bench at 3.5 points per game in 12.2 minutes per game. Joe Furstinger scores three points a game but is a liability on defense against other teams big men.
So who steps up? The prime candidate would be the two freshman guards but because they are playing behind the dynamic duo there minutes are going to be limited they must make the most of the opportunities they get, which in turn could lead to more playing time. Other prime candidates would be Adams or freshman Dane Kuiper who have the opportunity for more playing time due to Logwood’s inconsistency. For the Lobos to win they must get 15-20 points per game from the bench.
Discipline: From calling a time that they did not have to costly turnovers they Lobos have lacked discipline the last two games, New Mexico has to get it together, Craig Neal can take the blame for losses all he wants but at the end of the day it falls on the players. The team needs to play in control limit turnover and take better shots. The team has a lot of talent but without discipline they will not go very far this year.