The Sul Ross St. Lobos (no that is not a mistake) did provide some competition for UNM early on but were clearly out matched as the score would indicate. Coach Ritchie McKay started Mark Walters at the point, Troy DeVries at the two, Alfred Neal at the 3, Danny Granger at the 4, and Big Dave Chiotti at the 5.
#5 Mark Walters (photo
courtesy of golobos.com)
#5 Mark Walters (photo courtesy of golobos.com)
Mark Walters's start at the point probably was a message to Kris Collins and Darren Prentice that they need to cut down on the mount of turnovers and mistakes that they made in the first exhibition game. It worked as they only committed 4 turnovers between the two of them. They also combined for 4 assists and 16 points.
As the season progresses this duo will be able to lead UNM back to prominence in the Mountain West where this program belongs. Kris Collins is a prototype point guard who is a vocal leader. On one play Chris got Mark Walters the ball on the baseline. Mark hesitated, looking to pass, but then Chris yelled out "You got it by your self". Mark threw a nice baseline spin and dunked it on Sul Ross's big man Justin Steward. Chris Collins is also a perfect mentor for Prentice to learn from. The thing about Prentice that will catch Lobo fans eyes is that Darren is as fast if not faster than former Lobo Kelvin Scarborough. He may have better skills at this point in his Lobo career as well.
Ritchie McKay shuffled players in and out of the line up all game long, tweaking different looks to get a good idea of who plays well with whom. At the start of the second half the starting line up was Kris Collins at the point, Mark Walters at the 2, Alfred Neale at the 3, Danny Granger at the 4, And Big Dave at the 5. This starting five is probably what the Lobo fans can expect to see come Friday night when UNM plays for real against North Carolina A&T, which will provide a real tough test for UNM.
Today UNM shot 51% from the field from the floor, 37.5% from three point range, and was 20 of 24 from the charity stripe for a nice 83.3%. David Chiotti continues to improve in all areas. He is leaner, stronger and is developing into a very nice post player for UNM. Dave shined with a team high 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. This is the year Dave breaks out as one of the top players in the league.
What a picture of #13 David
Chiotti (photo courtesy of golobos.com)
What a picture of #13 David Chiotti (photo courtesy of golobos.com)
Danny Granger continues to be Danny Granger. Coming off of a stellar junior year that got him billed as one of the top 5 players in the league and a virtual lock as a first round pick in the NBA draft this next year, that was endured with a bad shoulder. If you can imagine, Danny will have an even better season in his senior year and will try to help return UNM back to the big dance.
Alfred Neale has come a long way since last year. An obvious athletic talent, Alfred struggled with handling the ball and with his out side shot. They say that hard work pays off, and for Alfred it has. Neal looks very comfortable out on the court. His ball handling looks sound and his shot selection was great. He went 5 of 8 from the field for 11 points, led all players with eight rebounds and also dished out 5 assists. Alfred's high field goal percentage was high impart to two thunderous dunks he brought the crowd to their feet with in the second half.
Tony Danridge going for the
Tony Danridge going for the dunk!
The Youth looks like it will contribute to the cause this year as Tony Danridge poured in 10 points, 5 rebounds and an assist while Darren Prentice scored 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Unfortunately, UNM fans were not able to see Lobo freshman Bombale Osby today as he sat out after having his wisdom teeth pulled earlier in the week.
Every Lobo on the bench scored, and all but Kellen Walter and Sean Phaler played double digit minutes. Richie McKay has depth and talent to do big things this year. The questions are; will the inexperienced players step up and contribute significantly, and, will Richie McKay utilize his depth or only go 2 or 3 deep on the bench.
We will see real soon as UNM gears up to play 3 games in 3 days starting with NC A&T on Friday, Santa Clara on Saturday, and then Duquesne on Sunday.
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