In my Rodney Dangerfield voice, “The New Mexico Lobos cannot get any respect!” Let’s run down the list of their accomplishments and feats from the current season. Their overall record is 20-4.
Notable victories include wins against the Davidson Wildcats, the Connecticut Huskies, the Indiana State Sycamores, the Cincinnati Bearcats, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Runnin’ Rebels and the Colorado State Rams. New Mexico sits in first place in the Mountain West Conference with a 7-2 record. New Mexico is the 19th-ranked team in the nation.
Although New Mexico sits in first place in the Mountain West Conference, they are ranked sixth in scoring offense at 65.6 points per game. However, they are ranked second in the conference in the scoring defense category. New Mexico holds their opponents to an overage of 59.8 points per game.
The catalyst for New Mexico’s offense is their defense.
They lead the Mountain West Conference in steals with an average of 7.2 per game and turnover margin of +2.00. There is an old saying that goes, “Defense wins championships.” I am not going to say that New Mexico is poised to win a national championship, but I can see them winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship and making some noise in the NCAA Tournament next month.
In regards to the player personnel, New Mexico has five players who average between eight and 13 points. Junior guard Kendall Williams is No. 2 in the conference with 4.6 assists per game. Outside of Williams, New Mexico does not have any players leading any statistical categories or coming close to doing so.
New Mexico represents an ideal depiction of what a team looks like. Although there are no dominant players on this team, New Mexico manages to be the best team in the Mountain West Conference.
So, I ask you again, when they get respect? New Mexico may possibly be a Cinderella story in mid-March.