Like old times playing the team down I-25. (The other Aggies) New Mexico had the largest NIT crowd in the country. BY FAR. Why are you not surprised? The young Lobos looked good. 22 wins ain't bad given this season.
Alabama update: On to the SEC. The game is covered on the big station (ESPN) at 9pm on Monday. Alabama was a team who was one of the teams many thought would be in the Big Dance. Even after beating Georgia two times in a row at the end of the season, the Crimson Tide was still looked at as a football team and not as a basketball powerhouse. This was a team who beat Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas this season. Their record wasn't really the problem. It was their schedule. In their first game in the NIT, Alabama destroyed a good Coastal Carolina team by 24 points.
Road test without Dairese at Alabama. Alabama is an explosive team that is comfortable putting up 10-15 point runs. They have some very gifted athletes. There will be only a few teams still playing college ball by Monday. Alabama is #1 in the country inside- good inside scoring and rebounding. 13 offensive rebounds in the paint by the Crimson Tide. The good news is that the table is now set for Drew Gordon to dominate inside or at least neutralize 3 very good inside threats for Alabama. The Crimson Tide will run the floor and will cause turnovers, but the Lobos should be much better shooters. New Mexico ball handlers- namely Fenton, need to be careful with the ball and play controlled offense to limit turnovers. Alabama hasn't lost at home this season.
Phillip McDonald still scares me because of his philosophy that he needs to drive the lane. While he can certainly get to the hoop, he is not a great shooter on the move. He is a set shooter. The Lobos can't afford a poor shooting night from Phillip.
Kendall Williams is young, but could have a huge game. He is gaining the ability to analyze his weaknesses and take control when it's time. He is also the team's strongest spokesman. He is sensible and honest. The team will rely on this young many for not only the next game but also in the years to come.
Play of A.J. Hardeman, Alex Kirk, and aussie Cameron Bairstow could be a key if shots aren't going in. New Mexico could feasibly survive with great defense and easy buckets inside.