I went out to the media luncheon today to hear Coach Rocky Long, Safety Tyson Ditmore, and WR Marcus Smith talk about the implosion that was the Portland State game and what the Lobos are doing to move forward this upcoming week against intrastate rival New Mexico State.
While there is no doubt that the PSU game turned out to be a disaster for the UNM Lobos it is obvious that the team had to take their lumps and now move forward. They won't forget the PSU game but they can't dwell on it or the season will end before it ever really gets started.
A little bit of news Martelius Epps is having surgery and will be missing 4-6 weeks while recovering. The Lobos will be traveling with true freshman Mike Love. While Love is traveling the Lobos hope not to use him and preserve his redshirt status, as they will be going with Rodney Ferguson and Paul Baker.
Here is video of Tyson Ditmore
After the media luncheon I popped headed across University Blvd to check out the Lobo Men's basketball team for a few minutes as they are preparing for the upcoming season. Right now the coaches can hang out with players on an individual bases for 20 minutes I believe so I checked out a couple of the players and here are some quick thoughts.
First off this could be the most athletic team top to bottom the Lobos have had since Norm Ellenberger was the coach at UNM. I was there briefly but in that time I received my first look at newcomers Jeffrey Henfield and Jamaal Smith and both young men are solid like the rest of the Lobo basketball team. These young men are buff and cut!
Henfield is like a solid piece of marble. You can tell immediately that he has tremendous upper body strength and will be able to use that body to move people out of the way. He was guarding JR Giddens who just might end up being the greatest the Lobo basketball player of all time and that isn't just me talking. Giddens is the most versatile Lobo I can recall ever watch playing and his explosiveness around the basket is awe inspiring! Quite possibly the best play of the day was JR receiving a pass and immediately spinning around for a 360 degree windmill dunk!
I also noticed that Aaron Johnson has lost some weight and is super quick. During his time playing he was hitting from the outside, and can post up well. It wasn't like he was going against a slouch either as Soph. Daniel Faris was guarding him. After one spin move JR Giddens exclaimed, "he (Aaron) has the quickest spin more of anybody around."
Frosh Derek Oestreicher who recently underwent some surgery to his knee was working on it today while Kellen Walter was running up and down The Pit steps in preparation of when he is able to get back on the court.
Oh man you should see Tony Danridge with the shorn head and the goatee… Dude looks vicious as he glides around the floor. Last month Daniel Faris said, "Tony showed that he can do whatever he wants." I know the coaching staff and Lobo fans around the world want to see Tony do just that!
Still has the dunk! Just not the hair!
Like I said this could be the deepest team of all time. I didn't even talk about PG Ryan Kersten, Jamaal Smith… SG Darren Prentice who it seems has really matured and found his place. Or the biggest surprise over the summer and I believe will surprise people all year Chad Toppert. "Topp" is proving every day that he isn't just a shooter. Dude is a player!
I could only really stay briefly and I can hardly wait till later this month when we can all hang out at practice for a little longer and really see these guys go at it. Until then, maybe I can sneak in for a couple of quick looks and talk about some of the guys I didn't speak about today! I really think Coach Ritchie McKay is putting together something special here don't miss out!