UNM basketball: Post play might challenge undefeated Lobos
By Tommy Trujillo | The New Mexican
ALBUQUERQUE — The taller teams get, the more questions The University of New Mexico gets about its post play.
Or lack thereof.
The Lobos faced some size in their last game, an 86-58 win over Loyola Marymount on Sunday. But the difference between Loyola Marymount and Mountain West Conference teams is depth.
And if the Lobos plan on competing in the Mountain West, they need to settle some inside issues.
Against Loyola Marymount, starting 6-foot-9 post Daniel Faris drew two fouls just 46 seconds into the game, and sat the rest of the first half. He played sparingly the rest of the way, compiling just six minutes and four garbage points at the end.
His backup, newcomer Monquel Pegues, did little more, scoring four points and grabbing six rebounds in 25 minutes.
And that forced non posts into defending the paint, something that worked against Loyola Marymount, but won't for the likes of Utah and BYU.
UNM head coach Steve Alford might disagree.
"If we can get Daniel in foul trouble and find a way to win by 30 points, there's got to be some positive in there somewhere," Alford said. "He's got to continue to work hard, but I think he's come a long way and this was just one of those games that nothing really got in the flow for him."
Loyola Marymount's posts weren't much better on the offensive end, as Marko Deric and
Tim Diederichs — both 6-9 — combined for eight points and seven rebounds.
"Faris, he did get in a little bit of foul trouble — well all of our bigs kinda got in foul trouble — so we had to go with five guards," UNM guard Darren Prentice said. "If we don't have the big guys out there, we just try to rebound more."
Another test awaits the Lobos today when Hawaii visits The Pit.
The Rainbow Warriors are 1-2 on the season, but have starters that go 6-foot-11 in Colorado State transfer center Stephen Verwers, and 6-9 Bill Amis at the 4.
The Lobos are 5-0, and have an average margin of victory of 25.6 points, but they know they'll need their bigs in order to continue that success.
"All of them, Monquel, Johnny (Harris) and Faris, they're all building pieces to our team," Prentice said. "We're 10 deep and we're going to need everybody for this team to be successful."
Contact Tommy Trujillo at 986-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: Hawaii (1-2) at UNM (5-0)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: The Pit, Albuquerque
Radio: 770-AM KOB