The Lobos (3-0) return only one starter from last year's team that went 17-13 overall and 8-8 in the Mountain West Conference, but this year they have added a couple of talented transfer players to their roster. Wildcat coach Bob Huggins said he knows how hard of a test this is going to be for his 3-0 team.
"To be particularly honest I don't want to go, but we have to do that," Huggins said. "They are trying to play a lot faster, and they got good players. They have a transfer from Penn State that led the Big 10 (Conference) in rebounding, a transfer from (Kansas) and other transfers that are good and they got some good players that aren't transfers. They are playing a lot of people."
The player from Penn State that Huggins was referring to is senior forward Aaron Johnson. He leads the team in rebounding this season with 10.7 per game. During his junior season at Penn State in 2004-05, he led the Big 10 with 9.9 boards per game, which was also good enough to tie for 14th in the country.
Another transfer is junior guard J.R. Giddens. Giddens played two seasons at Kansas, and he leads the team in scoring with 20.7 points per game. He is also second on the team with 8.3 rebounds. The lone returning starter is junior forward Tony Danridge who is averaging 10 points per game.
Huggins said he is afraid his team won't be able to handle all of the talent that the Lobos will throw at K-State. "We're not good enough to just go anywhere and say ‘this is what we do and we're going to beat you at it,'" Huggins said. "We gotta figure out a way to make other teams do what they're not really good at somehow, and I'm not really sure how to do that yet, but hopefully we'll figure it out."
Guard David Hoskins said he understands the importance of being able to go on the road and defeat a team as talented as New Mexico.
"It's a very important game," Hoskins said. "Coach is stressing how good they are, and he said if we come out and play the way we played (Saturday night) then it's not going to be good for us. They are a team that is capable of being beaten, so we just have to go out and do it."