What: New Mexico Lobos vs Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
When: Wednesday November 6th, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: DreamStyle Arena a.k.a. The Pit in Albuquerque
Coverage: The game will be on The Mountain West Network (themw.com/live), the Lobo Radio Network will have the radio coverage.
Series: This will be the 17th meeting of the regular season between these two schools. New Mexico owns a 15-1 record between the two. This is the first regular season matchup between the two since 2000, a game in which the Lobos won 90-50. The Greyhounds lone win in the series came back on December 2nd, 1991 when they stunned the Lobos 81-76.
This is the regular season opener for the New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos are coming off of a 14-18 season, in which they were 5-6 in their 11 non-conference games. The Greyhounds were 13-14 last season and are considering this game an exhibition game according to their website. They already have one exhibition game in the books, that a 107-59 loss to Tennessee back on October 30th.
Debut for newcomers:
The Lobos are going to debut several new players this season, one debut has been highly anticipated for a couple of years, and that is of JaQuan Lyle who transferred from Ohio State. Lyle sat out two seasons ago due to NCAA transfer rules and had to sit out last season due to an Achilles injury prior to the season. Lyle is finally healthy and looking to shore up a position of point guard that has been a revolving door since Paul Weir arrived at New Mexico.
Returning starters give reason for hope:
The Lobos have several key returning players from last season’s team. Those include Carlton Bragg, who averaged 10.5 points per game, Vance Jackson who averaged 13.1 points per game, and Makuach Maluach who averaged 9.9 points per game. The Lobos are hoping the returning talent, mixed with some new talent will equate to some big noise this season.
The Lobos were picked by the Mountain West media to finish third in the conference this season behind Utah State and San Diego State. This writer, though, picked the Lobos to win the Mountain West Conference, and given their relatively soft non-conference schedule they should be going into conference play with a solid record.
Do the Greyhounds pose any threat?
The old coaching adage is that no one can be taken lightly, and this is no different. The Greyhounds certainly do not have the talent on paper to compete with the Lobos but given how last season’s non-conference slate ended up for UNM, one just never knows. The Greyhounds do return several players off last season’s 13-14 team, including a guard tandem of Devin Pullum, who averaged 12.7 points per game last season, and Isaiah Murphy, who averaged 7.9 points per game. Pullum scored 18 points against Tennessee while Murphy poured in 15 points. Lyle, Keith McGee, and Jackson will all have their hands full tonight with these two quick guards.
The Lobos tip off the 2019-20 season with what should be a cake walk. The Greyhounds have some talented guards and really shouldn’t be taken lightly. I expect the Greyhounds to hang around in the first half, but the Lobos’ depth should take over in the second half, I got the Lobos 105 Greyhounds 71.