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Howling With The Lobos: Wisconsin Preview

Lobos look to get back on track

Roman Legends Classic - Auburn Tigers v New Mexico Lobos Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

What: New Mexico Lobos vs. Wisconsin Badgers

When: Tuesday November 26th, 2019 at 3 p.m. Mountain

Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY

Coverage: ESPN 2 will have the television coverage, while the UNM Sports Radio Network will have the radio call (770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque, or TuneIn App search KKOB)

Series: This is the third time that UNM and Wisconsin have played on the basketball court. The Badgers have won both previous games; one in 1984 an 83-74 Wisco win and one back in 1957 which was a 61-59 Badger victory.

Breakdown:

The Lobos fell to 5-2 on Monday night, getting blown out by Auburn 82-59 in the opening round of the Legends Classic. New Mexico will now have to settle for trying to get third place against Wisconsin, who also lost on Monday, their loss was to Richmond by a final of 62-52.

New Mexico shot 40.2% from the field against Auburn, made 4-of-19 three pointers compared to Auburn’s 12-of-38, and had 24 turnovers. Each of those things a team cannot do and expect to keep up with anyone let alone Auburn.

Things will not get any easier for the Lobos in this game against Wisconsin. The Badgers themselves suffered through a horrible shooting night in game one, shooting just 34% from the field, making 7-of-27 three pointers, and having 15 turnovers. Don’t expect the same game from Wisconsin in this one.

Anybody want some turnovers:

In most games this season the Lobos have had issues with turnovers. Heading into the game against Auburn they were averaging 16.7 turnovers per game, good enough for last in the Mountain West Conference. Last night’s 24 turnovers certainly made that average go up. The Lobos will need to cut down on the turnovers not only to compete in this game, but to compete in a lot of their conference games later on this season.

Yesterday’s problem was unforced turnovers; the bad passes that were stolen, player control fouls..etc. The Lobos need to abstain from the unforced turnovers and they will definitely have a chance against Wisconsin.

Settling down will be the key:

New Mexico looked rattled early, almost appearing to force things like passes and shots. That came back to bite one player in particular in JaQuan Lyle. Lyle scored just two points in last night’s contest. Lyle played 25 minutes and also had three turnovers. Obviously, if your best player is going to have more turnovers than points the chances of winning go down.

Lyle needs to not force things and do what he had been doing in the first six games; drive the ball and find the open player. This will help the other players get open shots and will also cause the defense to want to stop those who he passes to so he can fall back and get an open jumper.

Prediction:

Well I figured it was going to be tough to beat an Auburn team that shot so well. However, just like with the UTEP game, I think the Lobos did a better job of beating themselves than Auburn did. The Lobos just need to take things easily at the beginning of this game to stay in it. Wisconsin is a team that can get hot shooting just like Auburn, the trick will be to force them into tougher shots the way Richmond did. Expect a closer game and I think the Lobos will pull out third place in the Legends Classic. I like the Lobos 74 Badgers 68.