New Mexico announced that fourth-year junior guard Demetrius Walker has been suspended indefinitely for the vague “undisclosed violation of team rules.”
Despite losing a depth guard, the Lobos have all ready began adjusting before Mountain West Conference tournament play, as Walker has been away from the team for the last four games for undisclosed reason.
New Mexico head coach Steve Alford announced that the suspension was not injury related, as Walker injured his knee against Fresno State on Feb. 13.
The Lobos (25-4, 12-2 Mountain West) sit atop the Mountain West with a three-game lead over Colorado State and UNLV, who are tied for the No. 2. seed.Alford stated that Walker will not travel with the team for the final road trip against Nevada and Air Force.
Luckily, the Lobos are losing a player that has struggled throughout the season and hasn’t been a legitimate contributor. Walker failed to hit a single field goal in the month of January, and averaged 5.0 points in 23 games this season. His 30 turnovers in that span is his most impressive statistic.
New Mexico’s loss of Walker is more of a team chemistry issue than a performance issue. Junior guard Kendall Williams told the Albuquerque Journal how losing a teammate can impact the dynamic of a rotation.
“Losing a teammate like that personally is tough and I think collectively we’re going to have to come together and try to move on,” Williams said.
New Mexico is clearly the frontrunner in the Mountain West, and the loss of Walker will only serve as a minor distraction for his teammates.