Looking back at last year's Lobo basketball team Coach Steve Alford, turned around the New Mexico program from worst in the MWC to a solid third place as the Lobos finished the 2007-08 season with a 24-9 record and a trip NIT. The Lobos were led by JR Giddens who previous to Alford coming to UNM was thought of us a "problem child," in comes Alford and Giddens quickly bought in to what Alford put on to the table allowing him not only the chance to become an All-Conference player, but a first round draft pick for the Boston Celtics.
a first year coach to have
that kind of success there is no doubt that expectations are at an all
high. I just want to ask are fans expectations a little unrealistic for
team? And more importantly, if Coach Alford's team does not have as
good of a
year this season and it seemingly had last year and those unrealistic
expectations aren't met will Lobo fans quickly become complainers? This
notorious for having unreal expectations for their beloved New Mexico Lobos
and when those expectations aren't met Lobo fans are also notorious for
turning on their coaching staffs.
I'm not say we shouldn't be excited, but I'm not to sure as fans we do not want to ask to much out of this team. Yes, they are very talented and very athletic, however, they are also young and inexperienced at the collegiate level. With three seniors and only one junior, experience is in short supply, and I believe that big time success depends on how fast this team comes together and gels as one. If they come together fast the sky is the limit, but if takes awhile and a few losses pile up will those that complain start to call for Coach Alford's head.
I really think it isn't unrealistic to compete for a MWC championship in regular season and/or tourney, receive a bid to the NCAA, and 20 plus wins. These things are very possible and are very exciting. I think it is even possible with things going right the Lobos would start receiving votes if not crack the Top 25. That would be a super season, however, I do get a little uncomfortable when I hear people talk about Elite 8, Final Four…. This is unrealistic type of talk that can kill a program and derail the bandwagon before it really gets going, when those unrealistic expectations are not met.
I said, I don't want to
dissuade anyone or temper their excitement for this year's Lobo hoops
Coach Alford really built a nice foundation last season, and if fans
behind Coach Alford and continue to build this program those
seem so unrealistic today might just be realized in a couple of very
Dream Big! Do Big!
With that said, let me put down
some of my predictions for the upcoming hoops season.
Starting Line Up:
First off the Bench:
C. Toppert, W. Brown, N. Garth
AJ Hardman, C. Dennis
24-6(13-3) 2nd in MWC regular season, go down in Finals of MWC Tourney to UNLV. An NCAA birth as a 7 seed and 1st round victory.
My bold prediction we go undefeated in the Pit this year!
I would love to hear your predictions! Go to our message board and post your thoughts on this year's Lobo hoops team!