UNM (14-3, 1-1) @ TCU (9-6, 1-1)
UNM road record (4-2, 1-0 in MWC); TCU home record (9-1, 1-0 in MWC)
Last games: UNM- 72-67 loss vs. SDSU at home (1/5); TCU- 83-56 win vs. WYO at home.
What you may not know: TCU is one home win away from matching last season's win total of 10. They were 10-7 at home, gaining their 10th victory on February 28, a 19-point win over Wyoming, and their second straight home victory (Air Force) to close out the MWC season. This means they have won three straight MWC games at home, shattering their previous record of two straight (see above), which had also smashed their previous record of one.
Also, the 19-point win over Wyoming last year was their largest margin of victory in a MWC Conference game until Saturday.
Spin the slots
Here is the third of hopefully 19 looks at the conference portion of the 2007-2008 Lobos' schedule. So, in case you missed it, I have this special slot machine at home, and for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I decided to spin it before writing these. Isn't that strange? Anyway, here is what the latest spin yielded:
These images are strikingly similar to images found in the petroglyphs west of Fort Worth, which leading archeologists believe were teachings on how to and how not to catch rabbits. I don't know how they're related to Tuesday's game, but here's my best guess:
1. Nevermind the hulabaloo over the road win at Wyoming being negated by the loss to San Diego State. Those were both games which, with victories in both, placed the Lobos on the easiest path to Alford's formula for winning your conference (win at home, split on the road). The Lobos are now minus-one, on the path for second place or so, and here comes another of those 'you probably want to get this one on the road, versus having to win at Utah or UNLV' games. That is, if you're wanting to win the conference. If you are planning on that, of course. No pressure.
2. Leapin' lizards! The only way I make heads or tails out of this rabbit is that his feet aren't on the ground, which probably means he's jumping, which is what SDSU did a lot (and Wyoming, too.) It's no secret that the Lobos aren't big-time leapers, and consequently don't rebound very well. But, the Lobos showed they can keep a good rebounding team down when they outrebounded NMSU in the return game, and they're going to need to do that here, because TCU outrebounded Wyoming 46-32 Saturday, and the consensus is that these guys can jump.
3. Fair or not, this is another of those "trap games" that the Lobos should win. If they don't, the "fragile" Lobos may need some pschyotherapy to recover, not to mention the landscape will start to become littered with those bailing off the bandwagon. But if they win, so what? It's only TCU...
It was bound to happen. On a team where a different player seemingly was there to lift his teammates, the Constant Player, JR Giddens, was about the only one who rose to the challenge against the Aztecs, and that just simply wasn't enough.
What do you do when you see this one coming, and you tell everyone 'here it comes' so they'll be ready, and no one heeds your warning and it comes anyway. Coach Alford has got to feel frustrated, but perhaps the best things about this game are a) it's on the road, which has suddenly become very accomodating to our Lobos, and b) there isn't a lot of down time to prepare (and worry) about this game; we're already less than 48 hours from tip time. Perhaps the less time the Lobos have to worry about what might go wrong is the best medicine for rebounding from Saturday's loss.
This is an important game for UNM, because they do need to rebound quickly, and I do mean that on more than just one level. The last thing the Lobos need is for a blueprint to beat them- pound the boards and extend your D and let their [our] interior try to beat you- becomes widely known. It's a lot harder to disguise your weaknesses when your opponents see them for themselves on tape- over and over and over...
TCU is fresh off their most impressive and most complete game of the season, and they seem to be rapidly improving (see TCU @ Texas), but there's still time to jump on them early and get them to start doubting themselves. At least the timing is right- this could be a very scary place to visit in February or early March. I'll say UNM 70, TCU 63.
Remember: pillage first, THEN burn!
Nice job, Bloo! No update on how the team practiced today. Other than that - this report is a predictor's friend.
Nice summery Bloo of our problem and the need for some urgency for improvement. We have reached the time (mid-point) of this season when some of the projects need to show they have learned and are now ready to step up and play D-1 basketball. Harris was suppose to be a very good roll player inside and at times has been, but he needs to be consistent now, Pegeus has improved on his supposed weakness, defense, but none of his strength, scoring , has been apparent. These two players have to come out of their shells and play NOW! I felt we slipped a little this last week into last years mold, let someone else do it, and J R was the one they wanted to let do it. What has made this years team different up till now has been the shared responsibility taken by the whole team, bad night or not, you have to step up first not later and do your part. I'm still not down on this team, we just got a reality check Saturday night, this team was good for one reason it was a TEAM and played like one. This year everyone has moved to a more defensive stance, but that now has to be intensified and move up to the next level, our assists have to continue to improve, we beat NMSUs inside game with ball movement and pressure around the perimeter, we have to keep that up. Daniel looked like he was not as sure of himself as he had been and as someone else brought up held the ball too long taking the offense out of their quick passing to the open spots. I hope this is not construed to be ragging on this team, they just didn't play their game. I wondered if the big early lead changed their mindset early in that game. They have played catch up almost all year and the big early lead seemed to let them relax and expect it to carry them through, that was when I seemed to notice they were waiting for someone else to surge in and take up the slack.
We have been more intense for the last 10 or so games than this last one, time to buckle down again!
This team has size, not quickness inside, their game needs to show some toughness to stand up and make their presence known, those inside "gimmes" have to be made. We don't shoot free throws like they are each one a game winner, which six of them were/should have been, the one's at the start of the game are as important as the ones at the end, they should all be concentrated on for their importance!!
While everyone knows rebounding is our biggest wekness, TCU actually gets outrebounded by 3 per game. In just their home games they outrebound their foes by 4, but those foes include the likes of Jackson State, Prairie View, Texas Arlington, Texas Southern, Grambling and Ark-Pine Bluff.
TCU is a far cry from San Diego State.
If the Lobos are really a top 3 team in the MWC, they win this game and cover the - 3 1/2.
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