The Pit, the student section, goes after it at New Mexico. The Lobos will not lose at home against Mountain West Conference competition this season.
Along with dominating the Mountain West, they dominated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on Sunday.
New Mexico is run by point guard Kendall Williams and forward Cameron Bairstow. The duo combined for 49 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists. They also attempted 30 free throws and made 24 between the two. Along with center Alex Kirk, they are the reason that New Mexico dominated the MWC last season.
The Lobos dominated Charleston Southern on Sunday by a score of 109-93. The transition between coaches (Steve Alford went to UCLA while head-coach-in-waiting Craig Neal took over) looks flawless, thus far.
Neal runs the same sets as Alford, which allows his players to run the pick-and-roll flawlessly, and give his shooters, like Baistow and Australian guard Hugh Greenwood, open looks. If the Lobos hit threes, they’re virtually unstoppable.
The MWC has a huge advantage: home-court advantage trumps all for almost every team. They have to play at Wyoming, Fresno State, Boise State University, San Diego State and Utah State at least once this season. They have an underrated slate ahead of them, but coach Neal has the Lobos in top shape.
With a 30-point win over the Bucs, New Mexico has a chance to absolutely dominate the conference and Bairstow is its x-factor. Bairstow is not the Lobos’ best player, however, he’s the most valuable. The senior forward from Australia, scores from the post, from behind the arc and at the line. There is no force that can stop Bairstow in conference play, and he has a chance to win the MVP for the league. If he plays like he did against the Bucs, he will dominate the MWC this season and might sneak into the second round of the NBA Draft.
Bairstow has a multi-faceted game, which is undervalued from a player in a mid-major conference like the MWC. The MWC has no versatile guys that can stop the trio of Williams, Kirk and Bairstow and that thought alone is scary enough for Broncos’, Aztecs’ and Cowboys’ fan.
The Lobos had three guys over 20 points including Bairstow, Williams and Kirk on the day. They need this production every single game from an offensive standpoint.